A Guide to Researching Your Ancestors in Colorado
Colorado started requiring birth and death certificates in 1907, although some counties didn't begin to comply with the new law until sometime in 1908.
A few birth records before January 1907 may be obtained at the office of the county registrars, after January 1907 at the State Bureau of Vital Statistics in Denver. A few death records before January 1900 may be obtained from the respective county registrars. After these dates, from the State Bureau of Vital Statistics in Denver.
Marriage records were not generally recorded until after 1881, but some counties have marriage records as early as 1860, and are kept by the county clerks, as are probate matters, wills, etc. All land titles, deeds, mortgages, leases, etc are kept by the county recorder.
The best place to start looking for your family is in the county where your ancestor/s lived. Other local sources are historical and genealogical societies, libraries, area archives, museums, and Colorado Historic Newspapers Online.
Book: The Rocky Mountain Directory and Colorado Gazetteer, for 1871. This book is from Google books, is in public domain and in a PDF format. The file is large almost 34 mb so be patient for the file to open.
Links to helpful resources and websites:
A * donotes an offsite link.
History Colorado Center
Limited research services are available while their new building is under construction. They are able to search for obituaries and newspaper articles. Please email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Ethnic Research
- COGenWeb Land Deeds and Records Special Project
- COGenWeb Obituary Special Project
- COGenWeb Census Project
- COGenWeb Photo Project
- COGenWeb Colorado Places
- COGenWeb Military Special Project
- COGenWeb Naturalization Record Project
- COGenWeb Colorado Tombstone Transcription Project
- Mortality Schedules Online *
- State of Colorado Vital Records: Birth, Death, Marriage & Divorce *
- State of Colorado Vital Records: Genealogy *
- Colorado State Archives *
- National Archives, Rocky Mountain Branch *
- University of Colorado at Boulder: Norlin Library Archives *
- Colorado Genealogical Society *
- History Colorado (Colorado Historical Society) *
- Colorado Public Libraries (public libraries by city & county, with contact information). *
- FamilySearch.org (has tons of Colorado specific information and research tips) *
- Colorado Genealogy Society Directory *
- How to Date Tintypes
- Colorado Medical Directory 1903-1904 (digital images of actual pages. Listings=state wide)
- Colorado Historic Newspapers *
- Colorado "Black Sheep" ancestors (Prison, Convict, Court Records, Executions, Insane Asylum Records, and Biographies of Famous Outlaws, Criminals & Pirates). *