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Genealogy: Our Collection

This LibGuide covers the various resources available regarding genealogy.

Genealogy and Local History Collection

The McAllen Public Library has a Genealogy and Local History Collection available to researchers.

Genealogy and Local History Collections at the Library

The Genealogy and Local History collection of the McAllen Public Library is a non-circulating collection of materials useful for beginning self-directed research. Our collection covers a broad range of locations, family groups, and time periods. In particular, we strive to provide materials which are relevant to residents of South Texas. We are unable to conduct in-depth research, but can assist with basic searches. Our collection of various print and online tools is available for public use whenever the library is open, on a self-service basis, at no charge. Printing and photocopying are available by using our coin-operated, self-service equipment in the Computer Lab.

Our entire genealogy collection can be searched in our online catalog.  Try clicking on "advanced search" and change one of the search fields to Subject. Then search for terms such as "Saenz family", "Hidalgo County", or "Mexico genealogy". You can also do a regular search for any family name, location, or subject, and then use the Collection button in the menu on the left to filter the results to books in the Genealogy collection.


Local History Files

Contain newspaper clippings, brochures, and other ephemera from the early 1970's to mid-November 2002. The files cover about 1500 topics related to McAllen and the Rio Grande Valley. Material is organized in vertical files according to subject. 


Local Newspapers

The Monitor (formerly Valley Evening Monitor)

Recent past issues of The Monitor (McAllen’s daily newspaper) are available on the periodical shelves of the Main Library. The library keeps the original paper copies for approximately 6-8 weeks.

Issues from 1925 to 2014 are available on microfilm. The microfilm reels are kept near the north Information Desk and can be viewed whenever the library is open.  The microfilm reader machine is operated on a self-service basis and does not print. We recommend bringing a camera or phone to take a photo of the screen.

Issues from mid-November 2002 to the present are available online and can be viewed at the library by going to our Books & More tab and select eBranch. Scroll down on the left side of the screen.


Aerial Photograph Collection of Hidalgo County

Original printed aerial photographs of the county, particularly the agricultural areas of the early 1960's, are in the map drawers near the north Information Desk of the Main Library. Please ask for assistance at the Information Desk before using this collection. The library was awarded the Portal to Texas History Grant enabling a sample of the collection to be digitized by the University of North Texas - Digital Projects Unit. This digitized collection of 30 remote-sensing aerial images includes the City of McAllen and surrounding cities. The images were captured by Aeroflex Corporation, Robinson Aerial Surveys Division, to survey land use in Hidalgo County. The United States Department of Agriculture published the series, which dates from 1960-1983. This collection, along with many other Texas history materials, can be viewed via the Portal to Texas History.


Texas Almanacs

Texas Almanacs: 1939, 1941, 1943, 1945-1950, 1952-1957, 1961-1962, 1964-2011

PLEASE NOTE: Although dates are listed for most items, chronological sequences are by no means complete. Gaps exist in all collections listed above, particularly the yearbooks and directories. Patrons are encouraged to contact the reference desk of the Main Library to confirm if a certain date or volume is available.


City Directories and Phone Directories are a valuable resource for researchers. They were created for those interested in contacting residents and business in a given area. They are arranged alphabetically, listing names and address. 

City Directories and Phone Directories are published annually and may include an individual's address, occupation, and their spouse or marital status.

​Some of the city directories available at the McAllen Public Library are as follows:

  • McAllen City Directory: 1936 - 1975, 1978, 1982
  • Rio Grande Valley Telephone Directory: 1969 - 2001, 2005, 2007-2008, 2011-2012
  • Cole's Cross Reference Directory, Rio Grande Valley and vicinity: 1961-present
  • Brownsville City Directory: 1964, 1966
  • Edinburg City Directory: 1959, 1965
  • Harlingen City Directory: 1964​


Microfilm is also another resource that researchers should not overlook. The McAllen Public Library has several newspapers in microfilm.

The Monitor               

January 1925 - December 2014


Valley Morning Star   

January 1975 - April 1975; December 1990; January 1991 - May 1991


Brownsville Daily Sentinel 

April - June 1920


Brownsville Daily Herald       

June - July 1920; January 1926; December 1932; August - September 1933; March - April 1938; December 1990 - May 1991


San Antonio Express           

June 1926; August 1927


Austin American Statesman

April 1-15, 1974; July 1-15, 1975


New York Times                   

January 1966 - December 2007


Yearbooks are also an interesting resource for researchers. Similar to City Directories, yearbooks provide a year when an individual was a student. All yearbooks include a photo of most students and can also provide information as to clubs, organizations, and events participated students were involved in.


  • Victor Fields: 1992-93, 1999

Middle School 

  • Brown: 1980-81
  • Lamar: 1993
  • Lincoln: 1971, 1983 
  • Morris: 1988, 1990, 1995, 2002 

High School

  • McAllen High School: 1937, 1942, 1946-1957, 1959-1963, 1965-1967, 1969-1978, 1980-1986, 1988, 1992, 1996-1998, 2000
  • Memorial High School: 1981-1992
  • Nikki Rowe High School: 1993-2000


  • UT-Pan American: 1948 - 1989 

SAGA Books

The Spanish American Genealogical Association (SAGA) has done extensively work on compiling records south of the Rio Grande river. The books consist of the following areas: Agualeguas, Cadereyta, Camargo, Cerralvo, Guerrero, Matamoros, Mier, Sabinas Hidalgo, and Vallecillo.


​Agualeguas Church Birth Records, 1821-1870

GEN 929.3721 Agu v1 Copy c1 – 2 volumes

Agualeguas Church Death Records, 1821-1880

GEN 929.3721 Agu Copy c1


Cadereyta Church Baptisms Records, 1763-1810

GEN 972.12 Cad v1 Copy c1 – 2 volumes

Cadereyta Church Baptism Records, 1825-1835

GEN 972.12 Cad v1 Copy c1 – 2 volumes

Cadereyta Church Marriage Records, 1710-1880 

GEN 929.3721 Cad v1 Copy c1 – 2 volumes


Camargo Church Baptism Records, Bk.1 – 1764-1864

GEN 972.13 Cam v1 Copy c1       

Camargo Church Marriage Records, 1764-1913

GEN 972.12 Cam v1 Copy c1 – 2 volumes

Camargo Church Death Records, 1764-1864 

GEN 972.12 Cam Copy c1


Cerralvo Church Baptism Records, 1761-1871

GEN 972.13 Cer v1 Copy c1 – 4 volumes

Cerralvo Church Marriage Records, 1761-1880

GEN 972.13 Cer v1 Copy c1 – 2 volumes

Cerralvo Church Death Records, 1761-1880 

GEN 972.13 Cer v1 Copy c1 – 2 volumes


Guerrero Church Baptisms Records, 1804-1876

GEN 972.12 Gue v1 Copy c1 – 2 volumes

Guerrero Church Marriage Records, 1753-1925

GEN 929.3721 Gue v1 Copy c1 – 2 volumes

Guerrero Church Death Records, 1755-1881

GEN 972.3721 Gue Copy c1


Matamoros Church Marriage Records, 1801-1848

GEN 929.3721 Mat v1 Copy c1 – 2 volumes

Matamoros Church Death Records, 1800-1828

GEN 972.12 Mat Copy c1    


Mier Church Baptism Records, 1767-1880

GEN 972.12 Mie V 1 Copy c1 – 4 volumes

Mier Church Marriage Records, 1767-1926

GEN 972.12 Mie V 1 Copy c1 – 2 volumes

Mier Church Death Records, 1767-1903

GEN 972.12 V 1 Copy c1 – 2 volumes


Sabinas Hidalgo Church Baptism Records, 1770-1843

GEN 972.13 Sab Copy c1

Sabinas Hidalgo Church Baptism Records, 1843-1878

GEN 972.13 Sab Copy c1

Sabinas Hidalgo Church Marriage Records, 1761-1880

GEN 929.3721 Sab v1 Copy c1 – 2 volumes


Vallecillo Church Marriage Records 1768-1863. Grooms & Brides

GEN 972.13 Val Copy c1 – 2 volumes


South Texas Land Grants Maps

TX R 333.16 Spa Copy c1