Yuma County, Colorado
Reference Books and Volunteers

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Yuma County Surnames
On-line Data
If you have any material on Yuma County that you would like to share with others please contact me. As you can see, we need YOUR help.

Marion, email mdmonk2@tx.rr.com
Updated Monday, 05-Sep-2011 17:20:00 MDT

The people listed below have volunteered to take pictures, do lookups or perform research. Please ask them nicely and be patient, some volunteers have limited time. For further information on the resource, click its name. References with current copyrights have a lookup permission statement on file with USGenWeb. Volunteer's limitations are described in the resource description. Please limit your request to a single complete name.

Yuma County Cemeteries by Aileen D Tombaugh
Yuma County Newspaper Obituaries 1887-1999
Compiled and published by Patricia Oestman
Yuma County History books
   Yuma County-A Hundred Year Review, published 1989
   East Yuma County History, published 1978
   West Yuma County Colorado, published 1985

Published Works

W.P.A. Index of Colorado Marriages 1858-1939, published Sep 17, 2004 on CD-ROM as a joint project of the Denver Public Library and the Colorado Genealogical Society. In 1940 W.P.A. workers visited all the County Court Houses in Colorado and compiled a set of some 456,000 typed index cards, listing the basic information from marriage certificates found in the County Clerk's records. A microfilm (106 reels) of the individual cards, sorted by groom's name, has been available from the National Archives for many years and the original card decks are part of the Colorado State Archives holdings. Colo GenSoc volunteers have been working for several years compiling a printed index that could also be searched by bride's name. The only columns from the original cards that were used for the index are Groom's Name, Bride's Name, Date of Marriage, County Filed, and Lisc. Num. The listing is in PDF format and is 20,400 pages long. I will look up individuals or couples in the index and provide date of marriage and county filed. Send an email to Linda Zion, lzion@plains.net; Subject: Colorado Marriages 1858-1939.
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Yuma County Cemeteries by Aileen Tombaugh. 615 pages. Privately published in 1992 now out of print. Contains a listing of all known burials, cemeteries and family grave sites, and headstone information. Compiled from cemetery and mortuary records and visits to every known cemetery in the county. Mrs. Tombaugh and a small group of volunteers walked each cemetery confirming and transcribing headstone information. Where known, maiden names are also listed.

Limitations: Able to provide grave location and headstone information on a single complete name. Since many names are common, the more information the requester can provide the better.
Send your request to Lee Zion, lzion@plains.net; Subject: Yuma Co Cemeteries
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Obituaries from The Wray Rattler, Wray Gazette and Yuma Pioneer compiled by Patricia Oestman. Privately published on her home computer. Reprints available. Contains extracts of published obituaries from the two surviving Yuma County newspapers' archives. 31 volumes with obituaries dating 1887 - 1999 from the Yuma Pioneer archives and 1898 - 1999 from the Wray Rattler and Wray Gazette.

Notes for researchers: Many deaths did not result in a published local obituary. Several county newspapers folded and their archives didn't survive. Require complete name and approximate date of death. Wives obituaries were frequently published using their husband's name; eg: Mrs John Smith. If you know a widow married again you must also provide that surname.

I will provide a summary of the genealogical information in the obituary. Just send an e-mail titled Yuma County Obits to Linda Zion, lzion@plains.net.

Researchers desiring copies of the books should write Pat Oestman, 529 Ash St., Wray, CO 80758.
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Recent Obits from the Yuma Pioneer and the Wray Gazette

Lee had been clipping obits from the Gazette and Pioneer since the fall of 2002 and we have a few obits dating earlier than that. A list of names is in the USGenWeb Archives. I can provide a copy of any of them.
Linda Zion, lzion@plains.net, Subject: Recent Yuma Co Obits.
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Yuma County History Books

The Colorado Statehood Centennial in 1976, the Yuma County Centennial in 1989 and 1980s-1990s centennial celebrations of the founding dates of county towns drove the publication of almost a dozen local histories. Three works, A History of East Yuma County, the Yuma County History and the West Yuma History, contained collected short family biographies written by family members.

I can check to see if your family was included and provide scans, resized for email, of any of the stories. Please be specific about the desired family. Simply relating "My Smith line settled in the county, what is in the books about them?" will produce nothing but confusion since there were over thirty "Smith family" stories published. Send requests to Linda Zion, lzion@plains.net, Subject: Yuma Co Family Stories.
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Yuma Area Genealogical Society

Arlene Glenn, email glenn@plainstel.com, of the Yuma Area Genealogical Society has volunteered to do lookups in the Yuma Museum collection, to lookup articles published in the Yuma Pioneer on the microfilm at the Yuma Public Library and search the Yuma County Court House records. Arlene will also take digital photographs of headstones in the Eckley, Yuma and Pleasant Valley cemeteries. Since Arlene lives in rural Washington County she asks that you help pay for her gasoline for trips outside the Yuma/Otis area plus any copy fees and postage.

Eastern Yuma County Cemetery Photographs

I now have a digital camera and can take large format (2560x1952 pixel) pictures of your family headstones in the Vernon, Wray, Hanshaw¹, Lucas¹, Lansing/Kingston†, Long Family†, St. Johns¹ and Armel¹ cemeteries for you. I will expect you to cover my mailing costs for a CD-R and, for those cemeteries marked - name¹, a bit of help with the cost of gasoline to get there.

† I conducted a photographic survey of all the existing stones in the Downey, Lansing and Long Family cemeteries and donated them to the USGenWeb Archives Tombstone Photo Project. See the link from the online data page. Photographs of many other headstones in county cemeteries are also in the project holdings.
Lee Zion - email Lee's widow Linda at: lzion@plains.net.

1930 Register of Electors for Precinct No. Ten

Dallas Riedesel has the 1930 election judge's list of registered voters used for the primary and general elections in precinct 10. If you think you might have an ancestor living in the Idalia, Colorado area or were just curious about your Idalia family's party affiliation he is willing to look them up in the register for you.
Dallas Riedesel - email: dallas1056@comcast.net, Subject: 1930 Voters.

Kirk Panther High School Yearbooks - late 1930's

Dallas will also look up names in these yearbooks !

Yuma County Official Records

What is available from the County records?

Marriage Index. Some low-life walked out with (stole) the Recorder's bride's index so the Clerk has to have the groom's name for a records search. Records date from 1889. Copies of the official records entail a small fee and must be requested directly from the Yuma County Clerk, 310 Ash St., Wray, CO 80758. Marriages of minor children are not in the index unless their parents gave specific written permission. If the marriage took place prior to 1940 suggest starting your search with a "Colorado Marriages 1858-1939" lookup above.

Land Records. The County has the original land patent information indexed by name. Records provide homestead location and the date the land patent was issued. Copies of the Land Office homestead application file and some land patent certificates must be acquired from the Federal Achives. They are not available locally. A complete index to Yuma County BLM land patents and township plats are now available on this website.

Land sales after the original patent was recorded are a major part of the public record but title research is outside the scope of what the Clerk can do.

On-Line Land Patent Records! The Bureau of Land Management has the original General Land Office Patent Records on-line including Yuma County patents.

Property Tax Rolls. The County Treasurer has property tax rolls dating from 1889 for the north half of the county and from 1903 for the southern portion. The tax roll provides the name and mailing address of your ancestor. Since homesteaders were taxed on the improvements they made and not on the land (until the patent was issued), the tax rolls can provide additional pointers to the date your ancestor arrived in the county. Tax rolls for the years prior to 1889 (1903) were retained by the original Colorado counties. See my Yuma County Information Page for links to Arapahoe, Washington and Weld Counties.

As of February 2010 "Tax rolls from 1889 to 1995 have been digitized and are accessible to the public on computer in the Treasurer's office."

County and District Court Records. The Court records have not been indexed nor archived. Current case files are stored in the same basement vault as the 1889 case files. Researchers and volunteers have no direct access to the case files. Researchers wanting information from the files should write to Court Clerk, Yuma County Court House, 310 Ash St., Wray, CO 80758. There is a search fee of $5.00 and a charge of $0.75 per page for copies of the old case records. Some older case records are also available from the Colorado State Archives.

Birth and Death Certificates. Must be obtained from the State Health Department. Visit their Web site for more information.

County School Superintendent's Records. When the position of County School Superintendent was abolished in 1962 the Superintendent's copies of the 1886-1962 local school district records and reports were put in storage. They were later turned over to the County Commissioners office and are now stored in the basement of the County Social Services building (the old Wray Hospital). They are not indexed and the Commissioners' office staff doesn't have the people to support requests to search and make copies. However, they do have the key and the Social Services office has a copy machine if you or a proxy researcher want to dig for that elusive school record you need. Of particular interest to researchers are the annual Colorado school district census records that recorded the names of every child of school age (5-21) in the district to use as a base-line pupil count for the next school year's state funding.

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