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Finding Your Hispanic Roots [Paperback]

by George R. Ryskamp
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 11, 2009 0806315172 978-0806315171
Finding Your Hispanic Roots is quite possibly the most useful manual on Hispanic ancestry ever published. Building on the previously published Tracing Your Hispanic Heritage (1984), it provides detailed information on the records, sources, and reference works used in research in all major Hispanic countries. Starting with an examination of basic research principles and techniques, illustrated with examples from actual Hispanic research experience, it goes on to discuss such important subjects as language and handwriting, Hispanic surnames, methods of tracing Hispanic immigrants in U.S. records, and, most importantly, how to conduct Hispanic genealogical research in LDS Family History Centers, where the researcher has access to the largest body of Hispanic records in the United States. With this foundation in place, the work proceeds with an examination of the types of records found in all Hispanic countries, using examples from many of them and indicating where particular record types are found. Covered here are such indispensable records as civil registers of births, marriages, and deaths; church records of baptisms, marriages, and burials; census records; military records; and the often under-utilized notarial records. This discussion is enriched by the introduction of numerous documents that have been transcribed and translated, allowing the reader to teach himself to read and work with old records. George R. Ryskamp, the author, is an Assistant Professor of History at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah and an Accredited Genealogist specializing in Spanish language research and United States probate and legal systems.

Frequently Bought Together

Finding Your Hispanic Roots + Finding Your Mexican Ancestors: A Beginner's Guide (Finding Your Ancestors) + Hispanic Surnames and Family History
Price for all three: $53.73

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Readers interested in genealogical research will be pleased to know that much of the information contained in Ryskamp's classic Tracing Your Hispanic Heritage (1984) is readily available again in an updated, revised version that addresses recent developments (computer applications, microfilming, development of family history centers, and the centralization of parish records, to name a few) and continues to provide an excellent introduction to genealogy in general and Hispanic genealogy in particular. The author teaches history at Brigham Young University and writes and lectures extensively on genealogical research.

The first four chapters could serve as an introduction to anyone beginning to compile a family history, offering suggestions on where to begin, how to set up a filing system and understand the Sosa numbering system (a system devised by Spanish genealogist Jeronimo de Sosa in 1676 and later adopted worldwide), selecting a computer program, and using the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints family history centers. The remainder of the book explains specific aspects of research using Hispanic materials, including language and handwriting, naming systems, and records in Hispanic countries (civil, church, military, and notaries). There is a glossary and a directory of Hispanic genealogical societies in the U.S.

The new version compresses nearly 1,000 pages of information plus new material into a 290-page paperback, which is less expensive and more portable than the 1984 work. However, libraries fortunate enough to own copies of the 1984 work will want to consider keeping it for its durable binding in a larger format and its wealth of sample letters and explanatory material.

Libraries should also consider acquiring Paula Byer's Hispanic American Genealogical Sourcebook [RBB My 15 95], which features an extensive directory of sources of Hispanic genealogical information, including libraries, archives, public and private organizations, print sources, and other media.


Learn how to examine basic documents which reveal Hispanic origins through a title which covers all the types of records found in all Hispanic countries, and how to use them in a genealogical search. Any with Hispanic roots who want to learn more about family origins will find Finding Your Hispanic Roots an essential document of just how to go about the research process at home, and through overseas contacts. -- Midwest Book Review

Product Details

  • Paperback: 310 pages
  • Publisher: Genealogical Publishing Company (May 11, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0806315172
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806315171
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,169,265 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very important tool for research July 7, 2006
Whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced, this book will help you understand many aspects of Hispanic genealogy. Language, abbreviations, paleography, jurisdictional boundaries and its effects on record keeping, etc... this is THE book to get for researching ancestors in Mexico, Central and South America, and Southern Europe.

This is one of two books I recommend my classes to purchase. The other I recommend, if doing American Research, is THE SOURCE.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finding Your Hispanic Roots January 24, 2007
This was actually a gift for my husband, who is enjoying the resource book. It has been one of his (young)life long goals to find his roots, which has been a struggle: especially with his Mexican roots.

Our wish is that the book will give us excellent leads as to where he can continue his search or where to begin.

Thank you from a very satisfied costomer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spain and forward February 1, 2010
A Kid's Review
I was a bit disappointed that there was not more about locating genealogy going back from Florida, Cuba and Puerto Rico. Many of the author's suggestions are based on Mexican family research. However I have found some information useful...after all, if you don't learn something new from a book, you must be omnipotent!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Resource July 30, 2010
It was a great place to start learning about Hispanic research, and will continue to be a resource I consult. I've had the opportunity to hear the author lecture-- very informative, and Dr. Ryskamp has amazing experience and knowledge.
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5.0 out of 5 stars GENEALOGY for Hispanics August 29, 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
By far, the best book for Hispanic Genealogy. Highly recommended for all levels of genealogy.
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