FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Jeanette Smith, NMSU Library, (575) 646-7492, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Rio Grande Historical Collections of the NMSU Library will present a talk and book signing with Dr.
Rick Hendricks for the new volume: New Mexico Prenuptial Investigations from the Archivos
Historicos del Arzobispado de Durango, 1800-1893. This is the second collection of prenuptial investigations
compiled by Hendricks and John B. Colligan. The presentation will be held on Wednesday, February
28, at 3:00 p.m. at the Rio Grande Historical Collections on the fourth floor of Branson Library.
New Mexico Prenuptial Investigations from the Archivos Historicos del Arzobispado de Durango,
1800-1893 presents the abstracts of 256 “diligencias matrimoniales,” or prenuptial investigations, from the
microfilm collection of the Archivos Historicos del Arzobispado de Durango held by the Rio Grande
Historical Collections. Prenuptial investigations were conducted when a couple needed a dispensation or
permission to marry from the archbishop of their ecclesiastical jurisdiction. Those needing a dispensation
were the “ultramarinos,” or men born in Spain, and couples related in one of the prohibited degrees of
consanguinity. Presidio soldiers were required to request permission of their superior officers and then to
undergo a prenuptial investigation.
The abstracts in this volume reflect the tumult of this period of New Mexico history — Mexican independence
in 1821, foreign occupation by the United States Army in 1846, and the establishment of the Rio
Grande as the international boundary between the two countries in 1848. The “diligencias” from 1800-
1846 come from New Mexico and the greater El Paso area, while after 1846 all of the documents relate
only to communities in the latter region. For more information, please contact Molly Molloy at 646-6931.