Dona Ana County, New Mexico Genealogy

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United States
New Mexico
Dona Ana County

Guide to Dona Ana County, New Mexico ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

County Facts
County seat: Las Cruces
Organized: January 9, 1852
Parent County(s): unorganized land in New Mexico Territory[1]
Neighboring Counties
Luna  • Otero  • Sierra  • El Paso (TX)  • Chihuahua, Mexico
See County Maps
Location Map

County Information


The County was named for Doña Ana Robledo.[2] Doña Ana County was created in 1852. The county seat is Las Cruces. Doña Ana County is a county located in the southern part of the state of New Mexico. [3]

County Courthouse

Doña Ana County Courthouse
180 West Amador
Las Cruces, NM 88001
Phone: 505.647.7285
Doña Ana County Website

County Clerk has marriage and probate records from 1870 and land records from 1801;
Clerk District Court has divorce and court records.[1]

Dona Ana County, New Mexico Record Dates

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[4]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1907 1870 1907 #3 1901 1870 1790
Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1907. General compliance by 1930.

Record Loss

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Boundary Changes

  • 1600s - New Spain obtained control over the land that later would become New Mexico and Arizona. Some records of early settlers may have been sent to archives in Seville, Spain, or to archives in Mexico City.
  • 1821 - Mexico received jurisdiction over the land that later would become New Mexico and Arizona. Some records of this period may have been sent to archives in Mexico City.
  • 1846 - United States forces occupied New Mexico during the Mexican-American War.
  • 1848 - Land that became the Territory of New Mexico formally became a part of the United States when the Mexican-American War ended with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
  • 9 January 1852 -  Doña Ana County was created from unorganized land in New Mexico Territory.[1] Doña Ana county extended from Texas on the east onto land in present day Arizona on the west.[5] [6] [7] Residents living far from the county seat, probably didn't send many records to the county offices.
  • County seat: West Amador[1]
  • 3 February 1855 - Doña Ana County gained all of the Gadsden Purchase land from Mexico. This included land south of the Gila River in present day Arizona, which extended Dona Ana county west to the Baja California border.[8]
  • 24 February 1863 Arizona was created from the western half of New Mexico Territory.[9] Dona Ana county was reduced in size to the portion that was still in New Mexico Territory.[10]
  • 30 January 1868 - DOÑA ANA county lost land to creation of GRANT county. [11]
  • 3 April 1884 - DOÑA ANA county lost land to creation of SIERRA county. [12]
  • 30 January 1899 - DOÑA ANA county lost land to creation of OTERO county. [13]
  • 16 March 1901 - DOÑA ANA county lost land to creation of LUNA county. [14]

For animated maps illustrating New Mexico County boundary changes,

See also Previous Jurisdictions to Land in Arizona for further details.

Doña Ana and other counties in New Mexico Territory in 1852.

Populated Places

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit HomeTown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[15]

Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places

History Timeline


Bible Records


Business, Commerce, and Occupations


Cemeteries of Dona Ana County, New Mexico online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See New Mexico Cemeteries for more information

Census Records

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1910 12,893
1920 16,548 28.3%
1930 27,455 65.9%
1940 30,411 10.8%
1950 39,557 30.1%
1960 59,948 51.5%
1970 69,773 16.4%
1980 96,340 38.1%
1990 135,510 40.7%
2000 174,682 28.9%
2010 209,233 19.8%
Source: "".

Federal Census Records
Federal Censuses were taken for New Mexico starting in 1850. For links to Federal census indexes, see New Mexico Census.

State Census Records

Church Records

Church records and the information they provide vary significantly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. They may contain information about members of the congregation, such as age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information and maiden names; and death date. For general information about New Mexico denominations, view the New Mexico Church Records wiki page.


Parish registers (baptisms, marriages, and burials) are available online for the following years:

FS = FamilySearch - free[16]
Our Lady of the Purification, Dona Ana, Parish Registers Online


Indexes Images Indexes Images Indexes Images
FS 1859-1956 1859-1956 1859-1876, 1913-1935, 1947-1955 1859-1876, 1913-1935, 1947-1955


LDS Ward and Branch Records

  • Hatch
  • Las Cruces

Court Records


Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups

Funeral Homes



Land and Property Records

Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.

See New Mexico Land and Property for additional information about early New Mexico land grants. After land was transferred to private ownership, subsequent transactions were usually recorded at the county courthouse and where records are currently housed.

Dona Ana county online record search You do not need to Register, Sign on as Guest. Some records found online go back to the 1950's. But most are from the 1970 to the present. If searching for an older record, you may have to visit the County Clerks Office.

Online Land Records

Local Histories

Local histories are available for Dona Ana County, New Mexico Genealogy. County histories may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories, see the wiki page section New Mexico Local Histories.

Maps and Gazetteers

Dona Ana CountySierra CountyOtero CountyLuna CountyMexicoEl Paso County, TexasNM DONA ANA.jpg
About this image
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Military Records

Revolutionary War

Civil War

World War I

World War II

Naturalization and Citizenship



Other Records


Probate Records

Since statehood in 1912, probate matters have been under the jurisdiction of probate courts in each county. Records of guardianship and adoption have usually been transferred to the district courts. In 1953 the district courts were given concurrent jurisdiction with the probate court over all probate matters in each county.

See the wiki page New Mexico Probate Records for information about how to find earlier probate records.

The Family History Library does not have copies of the New Mexico county probate records. They are available at each county courthouse. You can obtain copies by contacting the county clerk.

Content: Probate Records may give the decedent's date of death, names of his or her spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, neighbors, associates, relatives, and their place of residence.

Record types: Wills, estates, guardianships, naturalizations, marriage, and adoption.

Online Probate Records

School Records

Tax Records

New Mexico tax records complement land records and can be used to supplement the years between censuses. There may be gaps of several years in the tax records of some counties. For more information, see the Wiki page New Mexico Taxation.

Vital Records

Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents. See the Wiki page, New Mexico Vital Records, for additional information about the vital records in New Mexico.

Marriage records - are at the County Clerk's office

Divorce records - are at the office of the County Clerk of Court

Birth and death records - are at the New Mexico Vital Records and Health Statistics Office which has records since 1920 and delayed records since 1880.

See also How to order New Mexico Vital Records, order electronically online or download an application for New Mexico Birth Certificate, Death Certificate Applications to mail.





Research Facilities


Southern New Mexico Historical Collections at NMSU
Austin Hoover archivist
Telephone Number: 505-646-1543

Family History Centers

Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes.




Doña Ana County Genealogical Society (DACGS)
PO Box 123
Las Cruces, NM 88004-0123
Facebook: Doña Ana County Genealogical Society

Doña Ana County Historical Society
500 North Water Street
Las Cruces, New Mexico, 88001-1224

Gadsen Historical Society
PO Box 147
Mesilla, New Mexico, 88046

Southern New Mexico Genealogical Society
PO Box 2563
Las Cruces, New Mexico, 88004-2563


Research Guides


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), New Mexico.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Doña Ana, New Mexico," in,_New_Mexico accessed 8/29/2018
  3. accessed 09/29/2016
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Donna Anna County, New Mexico. Page 473 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 470.
  5. N.M. Terr. Laws 1851, 1st assy., 2d sess. /p. 291
  6. William Thorndale, and William Dollarhide, Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses, 1790-1920 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1987), 26. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 X2th.
  7. Original Counties of New Mexico Territory (map) at (accessed 9 August 2011).
  8. N.M. Terr. Laws 1854, 4th assy. /p. 57
  9. Wikipedia contributors, "1st Arizona Territorial Legislature" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at (accessed 8 August 2011).
  10. U.S. Stat., vol. 12, pp. 664-665; Van Zandt, 165
  11. N.M. Terr. Laws 1867-1868, 17th assy., ch. 20/p. 88
  12. N.M. Terr. Laws 1884, 26th assy., ch. 109/pp. 223-225
  13. N.M. Terr. Laws 1899, 33d assy., ch. 3/pp. 21-30
  14. N.M. Terr. Laws 1901, 34th assy., ch. 38/pp. 70-75
  15. Wikipedia contributors, "Doña Ana County, New Mexico, New Mexico," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_New_Mexico, accessed 30 January 2019.
  16. FamilySearch Catalog. Accessed 12 May 2016.