A biography is a history of a person’s life. A biography may include the individual’s birth, marriage, death information, and the names of his or her parents, children, and other family members. Biographies often include photographs, family traditions and stories, clues about an ancestor’s place of origin, residences, military service, and community activities. Use the information carefully, because it may contain inaccuracies.
Some biographies of Mexican citizens exist, but usually only on the most notable citizens. Few ancestors of the common people were the subjects of biographies.
Some brief biographies of individuals have been gathered and published in collected biographies, sometimes called biographical encyclopedias or dictionaries. Others feature biographies of specific groups of people such as military personnel or priests.
There is one book of Chihuahua biographies that may be helpful to you if you had ancestors who lived in the Mormon colonies: Nelle Spilsbury Hatch and B. Carmon Hardy, Stalwarts south of the border ( [S.l.] : E. Hatch, c1985), FHL INTL Book 972.1 D3hn. This book includes an index and includes biographical sketches of Mormon colonists in pre-Revolutionary northern Mexico.
Another helpful book is Francisco R. Almada's Diccionario de historia, geografía y biografía chihuahuenses and volume 2 of the same book (Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmado por la Sociedad Genealógica de Utah, 1988), FHL INTL Access Services Window 1162492 Item 2.
Latin America, Spain, and Portugal Biographies
Extensive and significant biographical encyclopedias and dictionaries that cover all of Latin America, Spain, and Portugal are:
Herrero Mediavilla, Víctor, and Lolita Rosa Aguayo Nayle. Índice Biográfico de España, Portugal e Iberoamérica(Biographical Index of Spain, Portugal and Latin America). New York: K.G. Saur, ca. 1990. (FHL book Ref 920 In2; microfiches 6002170–6002172.)
Herrero Mediavilla, Víctor. Archivo Biográfico de España, Portugal e Iberoamerica Nueva Serie(Biographical Archive of Spain, Portugal and Latin America New Series). München: K.G. Saur, 1993. (FHL microfiches 6131531–6131558.)
These sets of indexes include hundreds of thousands of biographical entries taken from hundreds of biographical reference works published between the 17th and the 20th centuries.
There are several major collections of Mexican biographies, including:
León-Portilla, Miguel. Diccionario Porrúa de Historia, Biografía y Geografía de México (Porrúa Dictionary of History, Biography and Geography of Mexico). México, D. F.: Editorial Porrua, ca. 1995. 4 vols. (FHL book 972 E5d 1995.)
Miguel I. Verges, José María, 1904–1964. Diccionario de Insurgentes (Dictionary of Insurgents). México: Editorial Porrua, 1969. (FHL book 972 D3m.) Contains 4,000 entries.
Icaza, Francisco A. De. Diccionario Autobiográfico de Conquistadores y Pobladores de Nueva España/Sacado de los Textos Origniales (Autobiographical Dictionary of the Conquerers and Settlers of New Spain/Taken from Original Texts). Guadalajara, México: Edmundo Aviña Levy, 1969. (FHL book 972 D3id or FHL film 0873574 items 2–3.) Contains 1,385 entries.
Fernández de Recas García, Guillermo Sergio. Aspirantes Americanos a Cargos del Santo Oficio: Sus Genealogías Ascendentes (Aspiring Americans in Charge of the Holy Office: Their Genealogical Ascendancy). México, D.F.: Libreria de Manuel Porrua, 1956. (FHL book 972 D3fr; FHL film 0283553)
There are also bibliographies of biographies. The following is an example that lists 1,314 publications:
Iguíniz, Juan B. Bibliografía Biográfica Mexicana (Bibliography of Mexican Biographies). México: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1969. (FHL book 972 A3ig.)