New Mexico Prenuptial Investigations (Diligencias Matrimoniales)

Information and Where to Find the Records

New Mexico Roots Ltd: Prenuptial Investigations (Diligencias Matrimoniales) 1678-1869

Diligencias Matrimoniales, sometimes known as "DMs," are essentially Catholic parish records giving a couple permission to marry. Some couples were denied permission based on being too closely related. The records are available in 11 bound volumes. Each one is listed alphabetically and then chronologically by surname. They vary in the kind of information provided, but the records give the names of the prospective bride and groom, and usually the names of their parents and witnesses. They also give the date and location. The collection is not complete as many DMs were lost.

The Roots Ltd. DMs can be very useful when doing genealogy research in the Spanish Colonial period of New Mexico. Often you will also be able to find the marriage record itself if you look among the church records in the place the bride or groom lived. However, sometimes a prenuptial investigation will be the only record found relating to a marriage as some of the church records may not have survived.

Fray Angelico Chavez, once the archivist of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, transcribed and translated these records under the title: New Mexico Roots Ltd: a demographic prespective from genealogical, historical, and geographical data found in the Diligencias Matrimoniales or Pre-nuptial Investigations (1678-1869) of the archives of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.

Fray Chavez completed the project in 1982 after three decades of work. The books can be found at the New Mexico State Records Center and Archives in Santa Fe; the University of New Mexico Library in Albuquerque; the Denver Public Library in Denver, Colorado; the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah; and some others. The books are available online as downloadable PDF files. See: New Mexico Roots Ltd...Diligencias Matrimoniales or Pre-nuptial Investigations (1678-1869) of the Archives of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe

Roots Ltd. Addendum 1681-1730

The New Mexico Genealogical Society has published an addendum to Roots Ltd. for the years 1681-1730 in a book called Santa Cruz Marriages, 1826-1849 and Roots Ltd. Addendum. Locations include El Paso, Santa Fe, Chimayo, Santa Cruz, Ysleta, Albuquerque, and others. For ordering information from Amazon see: Santa Cruz Marriages, 1826-1849 and Roots Ltd. Addendum (Amazon link)

New Mexico Prenuptial Investigations from the Archivos Históricos del Arzobispado de Durango

In addition to the Roots Ltd. Diligencias Matrimoniales, there were also DMs that required the permission of the Archbishop in Durango, Mexico. These were kept seperately and they have been transcribed and translated in a two volume series of books by Rick Hendricks (editor) and John B. Colligan (compiler):

Volume 1: 1760-1799; Includes abstracts of 140 Diligencias Matrimoniales that relate to colonial New Mexico.
Volume 2: 1800-1893 (to Sept. 1846 for New Mexico); Includes abstracts of 256 Diligencias Matrimoniales.

PDF files of the above two volumes are available online from the New Mexico State University Library...

DM Transcriptions Online

Assorted Belen Diligencias Matrimoniales Records (ongoing project)

Taos County Diligencias Matrimoniales (online list)

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