FamilySearch announced new Hispanic Family History Resources for its popular FamilySearch Website. The resources are available both in English and Spanish and link to the Hispanic Family History Resources Portal of the FamilySearch Wiki. Interestingly, our own Mesa Regional Family History Center is featured as a related Website. For the past few months, I have been helping translate the Center's Website and organize the materials at the Center for use by Spanish speaking patrons. There is also a link to a four part interview with Dr. George R. Ryskamp, AG. from Brigham Young University. His books on Spanish language genealogy are the starting point for any Hispanic research.
This move by FamilySearch can be seen as a continued extension of genealogical resources into geographic areas long ignored by the mainstream repositories and Websites in the United States. For example, the closest Ancestry.com gets to Spanish language genealogy is the Spanish American War. A look at Ancestry.com's summary of their International Collections makes no mention of any Spanish language records. In another example, on Cyndislist.com's opening page, the only mention of Spanish language Websites is a list of 169 sites from Spain and the Basque Country and 259 sites from Mexico. The list of sites, interestingly, contains one reference to Ancestry.com -- an article by Dr. George Ryskamp! As a side note about Cyndi's list, (not related to Spanish language genealogy) the site has a "New" list of genealogy wiki sites that does not include We Relate, the world's largest genealogy wiki, and was last updated in November of 2008.
Latin America and other Spanish speaking areas of the world, are routinely ignored by the predominantly northern European cultures. The reason is likely the long historic antagonism between the two cultures. However, the lack of Spanish language resources in genealogy is inexcusable since Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the World and may now have more actual native speakers than English. In many lists of the world's most widely spoken languages, Spanish is now listed ahead of English. Click here for an example.