By Mary Torres

The world of genealogy and family history research is constantly changing. The major sites such as,,,, and others are adding millions of new records to their sites on a daily basis. If you ran a search for an ancestor in the past and received no results, set a reminder to rerun your search periodically and you might find that the information you’re looking for has been posted.

On, at the new free historical records for the week of 19 April 2021 include: 6.5M Catholic Church records from Mexico for Guanajuato 1519–1984, Guerrero 1576–1979, México 1567–1970, Michoacán 1555–1996, Morelos 1598–1994, Nuevo León 1667–1981, Oaxaca 1559–1988, Querétaro 1590–1970, Sinaloa 1671–1968, Sonora 1657–1994, Tabasco 1803–1970, Tamaulipas 1703–1964, Tlaxcala 1576–1994 and additional records for England, France, and Papua New Guinea. Also, you can explore expanded collections for the U.S. (Illinois, Massachusetts, Iowa, and Kentucky. has added Texas, U.S., Arriving and Departing Passenger and Crew Lists, 1893-1963. These passenger and crew lists from both ships and aircraft were recorded on a variety of forms that were then turned over to the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Details requested on the forms varied, but they typically include the name of the vessel and arrival date, ports of departure and arrival (as well as future destinations on a ship’s itinerary), dates of departure and arrival, shipmaster, full name, age, gender, physical description, military rank (if any), occupation, birthplace, a citizen of what
country, and residence. For military transports, you may find the next of kin, relationships, and address listed as well. Later manifests may include visa or passport numbers.

The Brownsville Museum of Fine Art, 660 E. Ringgold St., Brownsville, is hosting “Caminos de Milagros A Special Journey,” a Mid-Career Survey Exhibition by Teodoro Garcia Estrada through July 3. For more information visit

The Rio Grande Valley Hispanic Genealogical Society is planning to resume its monthly
meetings at 2 p.m. on the third Sunday of the month at the Harlingen Arts & Heritage Museum, 2425 Boxwood St., Harlingen. The next meeting and program are scheduled for May 16. Program to be announced. Follow the society on Facebook for updates. The meeting is free and open to the public. All City of Harlingen COVID-19 safety mandates are being followed so remember to wear your mask.

The Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival will be live this year November 10-14! Due to the pandemic, last year’s event was canceled and presented virtually instead. This year I’m happy to report that this popular festival that attracts birders from all over the world will again be held at the Harlingen Convention Center and the full schedule of events will be posted by early summer with registration opening soon after. Conference organizers are taking measures to ensure that everyone feels safe and if a resurgence of COVID-19 occurs, plans will be adjusted. Visit the Festival’s Facebook page for updates.

The Texas State Genealogical Society will be presenting Virtual TIGR 2021 (Texas Institute of Genealogical Research) on June 13-18. This five-day event promotes learning in an instructional classroom atmosphere, taking each attendee’s skills to another level. This year, TIGR offers four courses that create a unique learning experience for those researching ancestors in the Southwest. In addition, TIGR’s inclusion of a unique course on Texas research addresses a critical need for genealogists researching complex Texas and early Republic of Texas records. Be part of this year’s exciting event. Seating for each course is limited, so register early!

For more information email tigr@txsgs or follow them on Facebook: TXIGR. Although the RootsTech Connect 2021 conference is over, that doesn’t mean the learning stops! You can still explore 1,000+ breakout sessions ranging from beginning genealogy to DNA and more at

Stay safe!