Land Grants and Water Issues in New Mexico

Understanding the Land Records of NM - SANM I

The CSWR has microfilm of the SPANISH ARCHIVES OF NM (SANM I) - Land Records of NM - made from the originals at the New Mexico State Records and Archives (NMSRCA), in Santa Fe. Whether you go to Santa Fe or are in Albuquerque, you can only use the microfilm. 

At UNM, See CSWR Anderson Reading Room for a paper finding guide. The 63 reels of microfilm are at the same Call #.

The SANM I land records finding guide is also online via the NMAO.  After opening the NMAO - to find it select Repository - NMSRCA - which owns the documents and made the listing and description. Search for - Spanish Archives of New Mexico I. Open the collection and use Control - F to find your topic.  See the SANM I guide from the NMAO here - Online.


Help: The SANM I guide and reels contain 3 sections or sets of land papers:

Set 1 - Original surviving land documents from the Spanish - Mexican eras, 1602-1855, ie. Pueblo and Hispanic land and water transactions. Also has Donanciano Vigil index of papers done in 1848-49 preU.S. occupation.  Note that Set 1 is arranged by assigned Ralph E. Twitchell numbers #s.  See further notes on Twitchell below.*

Set 2 - Records of the U.S. Surveyor General, collected by U.S. Land Office, in Santa Fe, 1854-1892, arranged by SG file numbers #s.

Set 3 - Records of the U.S. Court of Private Land Claims, court cases, Santa Fe, 1892-1912, arranged by PLC or case numbers #s.


*More notes for SANM I - Set 1 - Land Records - Twitchell #s:

Numbers #s assigned to land documents in SANM I - Set 1 - are from Ralph E. Twitchell's 1914 book - Spanish Archives of New Mexico, Vol. 1, land records, found at CSWR Anderson F791 T85, Vol. 1. Book has an index and short descriptions of SANM I documents made by Twitchell.

Twitchell, SANM I, 1914 - book is also online


English translations of Spanish land documents in SANM I - Set 1 only, were done by the WPA workers in the 1930s-40s in Santa Fe and Albuquerque. These are available on microfilm, at CSWR Mfilm CD3394 T722 1999, 10 rolls - arranged by their Twitchell numbers #s.

There is also a Chronological Guide for SANM I - Set 1 - land papers which are arranged by their document date, done by Julian Josue Vigil, available at CSWR Anderson F799 L36 1987 chronological guide.  Helps to understand the land transactions in relation to other events.


Tip: The Spanish Archives of New Mexico I and II documents are now on Ancestry.