New Mexico Government records cover a broad range of genealogy subject areas that can help you as part of your research, such as land ownership, courts, taxes, and naturalization’s. Given that New Mexico court records cover such a wide selection of topics, they could aid you in many different ways. As an example, they could aid you in finding ancestors’ residences, identify occupations, locate financial information, determine citizenship status, or shed light on relationships between individuals. The whole thing relies upon on the type of court records that the ancestors” names show up in. For Definitions of all court terms see the Genealogy Encyclopedia.
New Mexico Courthouse records change extensively from county to county in both level of quality and volume. You will find different kinds of court records that are most likely to possess information related for your genealogical research below.
New Mexico Court Records
Contracts, property rights, tort and other civil cases are handled by magistrate courts. The next level is the probate courts, which do not have jury trials and have limited jurisdictions. Most of their cases relate to estates that are uncontested. City violations are handled by municipal and metropolitan courts. The “Online Archive of New Mexico” and the New Mexico State Records Center and Archives hold court records from years earlier than 1912.
District courts are the level above the local court system. They are separated into 13 different districts and handle some jury trials, as well as divorces and some probate matters.
The State Supreme Court of New Mexico handles writs, death penalty cases and appeals from lower courts. The courts of appeal may also review certain criminal and death penalty cases.
First Judicial District includes Santa Fe, Los Alamos, and Rio Arriba counties: Court Clerk, P.O. Box 2268, Santa Fe, NM 87504.
Second Judicial District includes Bernalillo County: Court Clerk, 400 Lomas NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102.
Third Judicial District includes Doña Ana County: Court Clerk, 201 W. Picacho, Ste. A, Las Cruces, NM 88005.
Fourth Judicial District includes Guadalupe, Mora, and San Miguel counties: Court Clerk, P.O. Box 1540, Las Vegas, NM 87701-1540; 420 Parker Ave., Ste. 5, Santa Rosa, NM 88435.
Fifth Judicial District includes Lea, Eddy, and Chaves counties: Court Clerk, P.O. Box 1776, Roswell, NM 88202-1776; 102 N. Canal, Ste. 240, Carlsbad, NM 88220; Box 6-C, Lovington, NM 88260 .
Sixth Judicial District includes Grant, Hidalgo, and Luna counties: Court Clerk, 700 S. Silver, Deming, NM 88030; P.O. Box 608, Lordsburg, NM 88045; P.O. Box 2339, Silver City, NM 88061.
Seventh Judicial District includes Catron, Sierra, Socorro, and Torrance counties: Court Clerk, P.O. Box 78, Estancia, NM 87016; P.O. Drawer 1129, Socorro, NM 87801; P.O. Box 3009, Truth or Consequences, NM 87901.
Eighth Judicial District includes Colfax, Union, and Taos counties: Court Clerk, P.O. Box 310, Clayton, NM 88415; P.O. Box 150, Raton, NM 87740.
Ninth Judicial District includes Curry and Roosevelt counties: Court Clerk, 109 W. First St., Ste. 207, Portales, NM 88130; 700 N. Main, Ste. 11, Clovis, NM 88101.
Tenth Judicial District includes Quay, De Baca, and Harding counties: Court Clerk, P.O. Box 1067, Tucumcari, NM 88401; P.O. Box 910, Fort Sumner, NM 88119; P.O. Box 1002, Mosquero, NM 87733.
Eleventh Judicial District includes McKinley and San Juan counties: Court Clerk, 201 W. Hill St., Rm. 4, Gallup, NM 87301; 103 S. Oliver Dr., Aztec, NM 87410; 920 Municipal Dr., Farmington, NM 87401.
Twelfth Judicial District includes Lincoln and Otero counties: Court Clerk, 100 New York Ave., Rm. 209, Alamogordo, NM 88310-6937; P.O. Box 725, Carrizozo, NM 88301.
Thirteenth Judicial District includes Sandoval, Cibola, and Valencia counties: Court Clerk, 100 Avenida de Justicia, Bernalillo, NM 87004; P.O. Box 758, Grants, NM 87020; P.O. Box 1089, Los Lunas, NM 87301. See Also Research In Court Records.
New Mexico Land Records
Although New Mexico didn’t gain statehood until January 6, 1912, it did become a territory on September 9, 1850. It was considered to be a public-domain land state from the time that the United States first took control of it.
Land records dating back to 1693 can be found at the New Mexico State Records Center and Archives. Originally, they were in Spanish, but some translations exist.
The New Mexico State Office of the BLM has homestead land information for the state on file. There are also microfiche public records for other states there, including Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas. Those records include plats, tract books, patents and topographic maps, as well as other documents.
Private land claim plats, survey plats, Surveyor General field notes, abstracts, registers, tract books and other retired court and federal agency records can be found at the National Archives and Records Administration-Rocky Mountain Region.
Most county deed books from 1850 are extant and so are most 1850 to 1920 mining deeds, along with their indexes. The New Mexico State Records Center and Archives has many land records for the state on file, but the counties each have their own records collections, which can be valuable to researchers. The University of New Mexico, Center for Southwest Research, which is in Albuquerque, can also be a good source of information, as can the “Online Archive of New Mexico.” See Also Guide to U.S. Land Records Research
New Mexico Probate Records
The New Mexico State Records Center and Archives has many of the earlier probate records for the state on file. However, each county clerk’s office or district court clerk’s office may have informal or formal probate records on file as well. Formal versus informal probate filings were determined by the estate size.
Each of the 13 New Mexico judicial districts is responsible for at least one county, but some cover more. Researchers must write to the court clerk of the district covering the county of interest at the time of interest. However, since laws may vary, it may also be necessary to contact the county clerk’s office. See Also Guide to U.S. Probate Records Research
New Mexico Tax Records
Property tax records from the 1870s until as late as 1929 can be found on file at the New Mexico State Records Center and Archives. The Special Collections Library has copies of the records from the years of 1884 to 1912 and those records have been placed on microfilm. Original documents make up the rest of those records. The “Online Archive of New Mexico” has a comprehensive tax records list on file. Other property tax records may be found in individual tax books dating from 1913 to the present day in each county.
National Archives microfilm M781, Record Group 58 is a single roll of microfilm featuring New Mexico Territory Internal Revenue Assessments Lists for 1862 to 1870 and 1872 to 1874. The Special Collections Library has that roll on file. See Also Guide to U.S. Tax Records Research