Unlock your family history for free at the Bexar County Spanish Archives

Tejano Moments: ‘People can know the real history of what happened in Bexar County,’ Bexar County clerk says

SAN ANTONIO – The Tejano Moments series has taught many of us about the untold story of Tejano history and now the Bexar County Clerk’s office is making sure that history is being preserved.

The Spanish Archives have an updated facility downtown where all kinds of documents that date back to the 1700s are being kept.

“Can you imagine that historical information that belongs to our great, great, great ancestors?,” Bexar County Clerk Lucy Adame-Clark said. “How much more of what we learn and we unlock the history of their county.”

When Adame-Clark took office in 2019 the vault where all the historic records sat was in disarray. Over the past three years, an audit was done in addition to an $18 million restoration project.

The project restored the vault and made room for a portion of the archives that were sent to Austin in 1899 because there wasn’t enough room or capability to store them.

The hope now is that those records can be returned to Bexar County by next year.

In the meantime, the records currently in the county are available for anybody to go look into.

“If you take time to just come down here, it’s free,” Adame-Clark said. “This is your history.”

Records include maps, property records, land grants and so much more that can help someone figure out their family genealogy.

The records are now in the process of being digitized which will open up the door for even more people, educators, students and researchers to access the records.

“As we begin to understand our identity, understand what our Tejanos ancestors contributed and were important parts of Texas, history will really deepen and give us pride in our own families,” TexasTejano.com historian Rudi Rodriguez said. Ultimately our society will be much, much stronger for that information.”

Anybody who wants to do some research on their ancestry can do so by calling and making an appointment at the Spanish Archives.

“It’s very important and imperative that you get involved in your history because you find out your history, it just gives you this strength and empowerment,” Adame-Clark said.

Read more about Tejano History:

About the Author

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with 15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast Texas Crime Stories.

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