Thursday, January 15, 2015
For families of Spanish-American heritage who may have resided in or near the missions up to 1850, I recommend the following: Mission records as gleaned and annotated by the Huntington Early California Population Project (see: http://www.huntington.org/information/ecppmain.htm, and as gleaned and annotated by Dorothy Mutnick in her books on the families of the missions. The Early California Population Project records are accessible online, and the database has scans for many of its records, which allows the researcher to see the words as written by the scribe at the time. These records go back to the late 1700s. The database has even made connections between records for individuals, so that a marriage record may be linked to a death record for the same person. Most of the information written in Spanish has been translated or transcribed so that it is easy to understand the content. A third database which can be helpful is Los Californianos (http://www.loscalifornianos.org/), a website devoted to the history and genealogy of the early hispanic settlers of Alta California. Using all three, you can build a family history for the early Spanish-Californian residents of California.