Researching Your Colorado Ancestors

Postal Code: Co Abbreviation: Colo.
Capital: Denver
Originally part of Territories of Mexico, Utah and Nebraska
1861: US Territory
1878: Admitted as the 39th state
First extant federal census: 1860 (Territories of Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico and Utah); Colorado state census 1870+
Statewide birth, marriage and death records: 1907 (see counties for earlier records)
Colorado is a federal land state.

There is nothing more helpful that a handy reference book with information specific to the area you are researching. I list below some that might be useful. If the title of the book is a link, it will take you to purchase information. The link (find in a library) will give you a link to help you find the book in the library closest to you. Most will show libraries near Ann Arbor... to change the location, type in your zip code and you can find libraries near you.

The three books listed below each have a small section covering each state that includes maps, historical information, vital records coverage and a bibliography of resources for that state.

  1. Handybook for Genealogists ( 11th edition) (find in a library) (note: some libraries may have earleir editions; those are perfectly usable)
  2. Ancestry's Redbook (you'll want the 3rd edition) (find in a library)
  3. The Family Tree Resource Book for Genealogical Research (find in a library)

On the web...

First, bookmark or print out these FHL documents:

Use the catalog at the FHL to find out what has been filmed covering the state Colorado ; Click View Related Places in the upper right to find sources that have been filmed for the county you are researching and once there click View Related Places in the upper right to find sources that have been filmed for the township or city. You will want to check for resources in all three jurisdictions, although most people check the county holdings first, township next and state last.


State/County sites

Next, see what is available for your counties of interst at at the Colorado Gen Web (use the county and town selection lists to find what's available for each of the counties). You can search the Colorado GenWeb Archives in a single search, but note this does not search all the pages of the site, only the submitted databases. Then do the same for the Colorado Page page and the AHGP Colorado page.

See also
* Ghost Seekers Colorado Genealogy

Visit the websites of these libraries. archives and societies.

The Colorado State Archives site is more helpful than it originally appears. It offers a historical records database, which you can search as one entity, though it contains a number of separate files. If your search yields a hit, clicking on the name will give brief information, but you can also use the "compose an e-mail" button to send queries to the CSA, where they will work on the request for a fee. Hint: When you are on this website and you see a black and white map, with the names of some counties written in, click that county to go to the records.

Colorado is served by the National Archives: Rocky Mountain Region branch in Denver.

The Colorado Historical Society Hart Library site offers little online data, but gives a good overview of collections available onsite and offers research and photocopy services to those who can't visit the library.

The Denver Public Library Western History and Genealogy Division is an excellent resource for Colorado research. Joe Beine describes their website briefly on his blog, so I'll just let you read that!

University of Colorado. Norlin Library Archives lists some unique resources owned by the library that are useful to the genealogical researcher.

Find Colorado Public Libraries -- see what services are offered by the public library in or near the jurisdiction of your research.

The Colorado Genealogical Society puts out out The Colorado Genealogist quarterly, which is sent to all members as a benefit to joining the society. The offer a very limited research service

Fird other genealogical societies in Colorado.


  • Cemetery Junction: Colorado (CJ is alphabetical by the name of the cemetery)
  • Interment.Net Colorado (arranged by county)


  • Census Online: Colorado provides links to online census records.
  • CensusFinder: Colorado census records online
  • Mortality Schedules online: Colorado




Historic Colorado Newspaper Collection -- what a deal! You can search them as well as browse. And the images come up fast. Very nice!

Search the Chronicling America site to see what newspapers were published for the area you are researching. (So far Chronicling America doesn't have any scanned images up from Colorado newspapers)


Don't overlook your Colorado Black Sheep ancestors!

Help! Queries and Lookups

More Links

* Colorado Genealogy on tne Internet
* Genealogy Today's State Gen Site: Colorado
*Linkpendium: Colorado
* Rootsweb: Colorado Resources
* Genealink's Colorado Page
* Access Genealogy's List of Colorado Links
* Cyndi's ListColoradoPage


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This page last updated Monday, April 11, 2011
Created by Barbara Snow Dec. 5, 2005
c. 2005 , 2006 , All rights reserved