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 research@chs.state.co.us.