The State Records Center and Archives (SRCA) is a major source of information for any individual whose roots form part of New Mexico's rich history. Each month SRCA assists approximately 400 individuals in performing different types of research. Nearly 70 percent of these patrons are beginning genealogists – individuals researching their families' origins and history. The study of an individual's origins is a time-consuming, labor-intensive task. In fact, it is often more time-consuming and laborious than most individuals bargain for. However, once bitten by the genealogy bug, many individuals are compelled to scroll through miles of microfilm and scour through old manuscripts, diaries, wills, and record books in search of clues to their family's origins.
Before using the State Records Center and Archives, it is recommended that preliminary research be conducted first. Rule number one: genealogy begins at home. Begin with yourself and work your way back. Talk to parents, grandparents, relatives, and anyone else who can provide answers relative to your search. Using a pedigree chart (family tree chart) and fill in as many blanks as you can. Always take good notes. Once the preliminary research is compiled, the State Records Center and Archives has many resources to help continue your research. The sources listed in this pathfinder are intended to familiarize the beginning genealogist with the different types of secondary and primary material available at the SRCA. These sources are just a sampling of the materials that will assist the genealogist's journey into the past.