Conejos County, Colorado Genealogy

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United States
Colorado
Conejos County

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

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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
Courthouse
ColoradoConejosCourthouse.jpg
Location Map
Colorado Conejos County.png
Adoption

County Information

Description

The County was named for Conejos River. The County has Conejos as its seat and the County was created November 1, 1861. The County is located in the south central area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse

Conejos County Courthouse
6683 County Rd 13
PO Box 157
Conejos, CO 81129-0157
Phone: 719.376.5422

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

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
*For earlier dates, try... Church | Obituaries | Cemeteries

Record Loss

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


Populated Places

The following are locations in the county[12]

Towns
Unincorporated communites
  • Bear Creek
  • Bountiful
  • Cañon
  • Carmel
  • Elk Creek
  • Fox Creek
  • Guadalupe
  • Horca
  • La Florida
  • Lasauces
  • Las Mesitas
  • Lobatos
  • Mogote
  • Ortiz
  • Osier
  • Platoro
  • Richfield
  • Rincones
  • San Antonio
  • Sheep Creek
Census-designated places


History Timeline

Resources

Bible Records

Biographies

Business, Commerce, and Occupations

Cemeteries

Cemeteries of Conejos County, 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

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: "Wikipedia.org".

State and Territory Census Records

Federal Census Records

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 FamilySearch.org — index/images

Church Records

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 LDS Ward and Branch Records 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

Court Records

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

Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups

Funeral Homes

Genealogies

Guardianship

Land and Property Records

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

  • "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.

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

Mineral CountyRio Grande CountyAlamosa CountyCostilla CountyArchuleta CountyTaos CountyRio Arriba CountyCO CONEJOS.JPG
About this image
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Migration

Military Records

Online Collections

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

Vietnam War

For further information see Colorado Military Records.

Naturalization and Citizenship

Online Records

Newspapers

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

Microfilm

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

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 fhcobituary@gmail.com

Other Records

Public Records

Conejos County Assessor's Office $

Periodicals

Probate Records

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 Records

School Records

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

Sanford Public School District, 719-274-5167

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

Tax Records

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.


Colorado State Archives has the Conejos County Inheritance Tax Records Index (1918-1923) online.

Vital Records

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.

Colorado Vital Records Search

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

Birth

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

Online Records

Death

Death records may become public records when 75 years have elapsed after the date of death. [16]

Divorce

Online Records

1899-1915 The Colorado State Archives has put a name only index to the Conjeos County Divorce Records  for the period 7/13/1899 to 9/20/1915 on-line.

Research Facilities

Archives

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.
(Statewide)
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

Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes.

Libraries

Conejos County Library District
17703 Hwy 285
La Jara, CO 81140
Phone: (719) 274-5858
conejos.colibraries.org/

Museums

Sanford Pioneer Museum
located at 778 Main St.,
Sanford, Colorado,
Telephone: 719-274-4024

Sanford World War II Veteran's Project, for more information contact Wanda Rackham, 208-762-5353 or rwrackham@roadrunner.com

Jack Dempsey Museum
located on Main St.
Manassa, Colorado

Cumbres & Toltec Narrow Gauge Railroad
Antonito, Colorado

Societies

San Luis Valley Genealogical Society
PO Box 1541
Alamosa, CO 81101

Websites

Research Guides

References

  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, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conejos_County,_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 21 June 2012).
  8. Wikipedia contributors, "Colorado Territory" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopeida at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorado_Territory (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 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guadalupe_County,_Colorado_Territory (accessed 23 June 2012).
  12. Wikipedia contributors, "Conejos County, Colorado," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conejos_County%2C_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, https://sites.google.com/site/onlinenewspapersite/Home/usa/co, accessed 19 July 2013.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Letter from Colorado State Registrar, Dated September 1, 2011. Policy Number 2011- 08. http://www.colorado.gov