Conejos County, Colorado Genealogy

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Guide to Conejos County, Colorado ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, and military records.

County Facts
County seat: Conejos
Organized: 1861 November 7
Parent County(s): Guadalupe[1]
Neighboring Counties
Alamosa  • Archuleta  • Costilla  • Rio Arriba (NM)  • Rio Grande  • Taos (NM)
See County Maps
Location Map
Colorado Conejos County.png

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for Conejos River. The County is located in the south central area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Conejos County Courthouse
6683 County Rd 13
PO Box 157
Conejos, CO 81129-0157
Phone: 719-376-5422
Conejos County, Colorado

Clerk of Courts has probate records;
County Clerk has birth, marriage and death records
County assessor has land records.[3]

Conejos County, Colorado Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major Records[4]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1877 1871 1877 1877 1871 1875 1860
*Statewide registration for births in 1910 and deaths in 1910. General compliance by 1920.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

1980: County records from 1878-1936 were lost when the courthouse burned in 1980, except for the Grantee and Grantor books, which are at the clerk’s office.

The county has digitized the land records and they are on a paid subscription website by the county. A few marriage records of the late 1940s also remain in the county clerk’s office. Marriage records for 1858-1936 have been published by “The Colorado Genealogical Society, Inc.” Denver Colorado. The older birth and death certificates that were kept in the Local Registrar, are now available at the courthouse in Alamosa, Colorado.

For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit Hometown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[12]

Unincorporated communities
  • Osier
  • Paisaje
  • Platoro
  • Richfield
  • Rincones
  • San Antonio
  • Sheep Creek
Census-designated places

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Conejos, Colorado online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See Colorado Cemeteries for more information

Census Records[edit | edit source]

In 1860, present-day Colorado was enumerated in the Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Utah Territories. Colorado Territory was created in 1861 and was enumerated as such in the 1870 Census. A state census was taken in 1885 for Colorado.[13] See links listed below.

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1870 2,504
1880 5,605 123.8%
1890 7,193 28.3%
1900 8,794 22.3%
1910 11,285 28.3%
1920 8,416 −25.4%
1930 9,803 16.5%
1940 11,648 18.8%
1950 10,171 −12.7%
1960 8,428 −17.1%
1970 7,846 −6.9%
1980 7,794 −0.7%
1990 7,453 −4.4%
2000 8,400 12.7%
2010 8,256 −1.7%
Source: "".

State and Territory Census Records[edit | edit source]

Federal Census Records[edit | edit source]

The 1880 Census was the first Federal Census for Colorado after it became a state in 1876.[14] For links to Federal Census indexes, see Colorado Census.

  • 1860-1940 Colorado Census Records from 1860 to 1940 at — index/images

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Church records vary significantly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. They may contain information about members of the congregation, such as age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information and maiden names; and death date. For general information about Colorado denominations, view the Colorado Church Records wiki page.

Online Church Records

Presbyterian Church

Churches of Conejos County
Some of the following Conejos church records are available online at Colorado GenWeb
Catholic Churches:

  • Lady of the Valley in La Jara
  • Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Conejos
  • St. Anthony in Los Sauces (Special Mass once a month)
  • St. Augustine in Antonito
  • St. Joseph’s Parish in Capulin
  • St. Teresa in Manassa
  • St. Andrew in La Jara (closed and replaced with Lady of the Valley)
  • In Lobatos
  • In Romeo
  • In Ortiz
  • In San Antonio
  • In Sanford (closed and replaced with Lady of the Valley)

Other Churches:

  • Conejos Canyon Community Chapel (26727 Hwy 17)
  • Presbyterian Church in San Rafael
  • Presbyterian Church in Antonito
  • Seventh Day Adventist in Antonito
  • United Church in La Jara (522 Walnut)

The following Ward and Branch Records of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are on microfilm at the Family History Center in La Jara.

  • 1878-1879 Conejos Branch
  • 1894-1908 Eastdale Ward
  • La Jara Ward (see Richfield Ward)
  • 1893-1894 Fox Creek Branch
  • 1892-1897, 1907-1948 Manassa Ward
  • Manassa 1 Ward
  • 1920-1928 Manassa 2 Ward
  • 1934-1942 Morgan Branch
  • 1889-1896 Mountain View Branch
  • 1884-1941 Richfield Ward
  • 1936-1948 Romeo Ward
  • 1888-1948 Sanford Ward

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Numerous records are available at Colorado Archives. To use this link scroll down the page to where it asks for Record Type. Click there and scroll down the list to the records you want and select. The next field asks for county. Select the county you want and then click on Search. You can narrow the search by adding the additional information it asks for.

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.

See Colorado Land and Property for additional information about early Colorado land grants.

After land was transferred to private ownership, subsequent transactions were usually recorded at the county courthouse, where current records are also housed.

  • 1878 - current: Grantee & Grantor books, Conejos County Clerk, 719-274-5422.
  • 1936 - current: Land records 1936 - current, ibid

Online Land Records

For more information see Colorado Land and Property

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

  • "Clarinda's Story of San Luis Valley Roots" by Clarinda Knight Sewell, printed Dec. 31, 1983.
  • "Mormon Colonization of the San Luis Valley, Colorado 1878-1900" by Judson Harold Flower, Jr., May 1966. (A Thesis Presented to the Department of History Brigham Young University.)
  • "The Mormons 100 Years in the San Luis Valley of Colorado, 1883-1983" compiled and Edited by: Carleton Q. Anderson, Betty Shawcroft, and Robert Compton, Published by: The La Jara Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Green check.png
The usage of "Mormon" and "LDS" on this page is approved according to current policy.

The first European known to visit this area was Don Diego de Vargas in 1694, but he left behind no colonists. In 1708, Juan de Uribarri passed through searching for runaway Indian slaves.[2]

Conejos County's name comes from the Spanish word "conejos", meaning rabbit, for the large abundance of rabbits in the area. Also early in its existence, the county seat was moved from the town of Guadalupe to Conejos.

  • Misc. Family Collection in Family History Center, La Jara, Colorado, 719-274-4024

Online County Histories

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Error: No valid link was found at the end of line 8.

Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Online Collections[edit | edit source]

These collections are unique to Colorado. You will find nationwide databases for military records on U.S. Military Online Genealogy Records and Colorado Military Records.

All Veterans

Civil War

Spanish-American War (1898)

World War I

World War II

Vietnam War

For further information see Colorado Military Records.

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Online Records

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

For more information, see Colorado Newspapers.

Colorado Newspapers Online

Colorado Newspaper Catalogs

  • U.S. Newspaper Directory, 1690-Present on Chronicling America - contains a list of all known newspapers and the dates they cover; once you locate a newspaper name, contact the local library to see if they have copies of the newspaper


The following are on microfilm located in the Family History Center, located in La Jara, Colorado. 719-274-4032.

  • 1892-1972 The Antonito Ledger (June 1892 - Oct 1972)
  • 1904-1911 The La Jara Chronicle (Oct 1904 - Dec 1911)
  • 1914-1917 The La Jara Enterprise (April 1914 - April 1917)
  • 1916-1982 The La Jara Gazette (April 1916 - Dec 1982)
  • 1983-1993 The Conejos County Citizen (Jan 1983 - Oct 1993)
  • 1996-1997 The Conejos County Citizen (July 1996 - Oct 1997)

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

There is a collection of misc. obituraries from newspaper clippings and funeral programs in the Family History Center in La Jara. To recieve a digital copy call 719-274-4032 or email

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Public Records

Conejos County Assessor's Office

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Probate records have been kept by the county courts. Colorado probate records include bonds, affidavits, letters, claims, appraisals, fee accounts, minutes, judgments, dockets, calendars, case files, and wills. The Family History Library does not have copies of probate records from Colorado.

You may obtain copies of documents from the clerk's office in the county courthouse.

Online Probate Indexes and Records

School Records[edit | edit source]

North Conejos "Centauri" School District, 719-274-5174

Sanford Public School District, 719-274-5167

South Conejos "Antonito" School District, 719-376-7000

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

Colorado tax records complement land records and can be used as supplements to censuses. There may be gaps of several years in the records. To find tax records in the FamilySearch Catalog, do a Place Search for the county.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents. A copy or an extract of most original records can be purchased from the Vital Records Section Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment or the County Clerk's office of the county where the event occurred.

For some online statewide indexes, see the FamilySearch Historical Record Collections for Colorado.

  • Conejos County Old Vital Records, are kept in the Alamosa County Courthouse, 719-589-6681.

Birth[edit | edit source]

Birth records may become public records when 100 years have elapsed after the date of birth. EXCEPTION: The birth record of any individual who is known to be currently alive will remain confidential even if they are 100 years of age or greater. [16]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Online Records

Death[edit | edit source]

Death records may become public records when 75 years have elapsed after the date of death.

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Online Records

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Listed below are archives in Conejos County. For state-wide archival repositories, see Colorado Archives and Libraries.

The Colorado State Archives has the following records available for Conejos County, Colorado Genealogy in this online database Archives Search. For a full list of online holdings, click here.
1880-1939 Divorce Index
1883-1900 Mine Accidents, Non - fatal
1897-1920 Horseshoers
1936-1942 Civilian Conservation Corps Enrollments
1966-1968 Vietnam Deaths 1894-1918' Conejos County Probate Cases
1899-1915 Conejos County Divorces
1918-1923 Conejos County Inheritance Tax

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries

  • Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
  • FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Listed below are libraries in Conejos County. For state-wide library facilities, see Colorado Archives and Libraries.

Conejos Library District
17703 Hwy 285
La Jara, CO 81140

Museums[edit | edit source]

Cumbres and Toltec Narrow Gauge Railroad
5234 B US Hwy 285
PO Box 668
Antonito, CO 81120
719-472-3984, 888-286-2737

Jack Dempsey Museum
412 Main St
PO Box 130
Manassa, Colorado 81141

Sanford History Museum
778 Main St
Sanford, Colorado 81151

Societies[edit | edit source]

Listed below are societies in Conejos County. For state-wide genealogical societies, see Colorado Societies.

San Luis Valley Historical Society

Websites[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Conejos, Colorado," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Colorado 6/28/2017.
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 97, Conejos County, Colorado, and 99, Guadalupe County, Colorado. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Conejos County, Colorado. Page 97 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 92.
  5. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002).
  6. William Thorndale and William Dollarhide, Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses, 1790-1920 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publ., 1987), 52. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 X2th.
  7. Brief County Histories (New Mexico) in RootsWeb (accessed 28 Jan 2019).
  8. Wikipedia contributors, "Colorado Territory" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopeida at (accessed 19 June 2012).
  9. Adrian B. Ettlinger, AniMap 3.0 : with SiteFinder U.S. place name database (Alamo, Calif.: Gold Bug, 2008), Colorado 1861 map. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL CD-ROM no. 4903.
  10. Handybook, 97, Conejos County, Colorado, and 99, Guadalupe County, Colorado.
  11. Wikipedia contributors, "Guadalupe County, Colorado Territory" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at,_Colorado_Territory (accessed 23 June 2012).
  12. Wikipedia contributors, "Conejos County, Colorado," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Colorado, accessed May 16, 2017.
  13. William Thorndale and William Dollarhide, Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses (Bountiful, UT: American Genealogical Lending Library, 1985), page 51-54; Alice Eichholz, ‘’Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources,’’ 3rd ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 2004), 86. Free online version; FHL Book 973 D27rb 2004; WorldCat entry.
  14. William Thorndale and William Dollarhide, Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses (Bountiful, UT: American Genealogical Lending Library, 1985), page 54.
  15. Colorado Online Historical Newspapers,, accessed 19 July 2013.
  16. Letter from Colorado State Registrar, Dated September 1, 2011. Policy Number 2011- 08.