Custer County, Colorado Genealogy

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United States
Colorado
Custer County

Guide to Custer 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: Westcliffe
Organized: 9 March 1877
Parent County(s): Fremont [1]
Neighboring Counties
Fremont  • Huerfano  • Pueblo  • Saguache
See County Maps
Courthouse
ColoradoCusterCourthouse.jpg
Location Map
Colorado Custer County.png
Adoption

County Information

Description

The County was named in honor of Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer, who had died the previous year. The County has Westcliffe as its seat and the County was created March 9, 1877. The County is located in the south central area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse

Custer County Courthouse
205 S 6th St PO Box 150
Westcliffe, CO 81252
Phone: 719.783.0441
Custer County Website

County Clerk has marriage and burial records[3]

Custer 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
1905 1877 1902 1877 1877 1877 1860
*For earlier dates, try... Church | Obituaries | Cemeteries
Some earlier marriage records are in the Fremont County miscellaneous file.[5]*

Record Loss

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Boundary Changes

Populated Places

The following are locations in Custer county[12]

Towns
Unincorporated communites
  • Cold Spring
  • Fairview
  • Greenwood
  • McKenzie Junction
  • Tanglewood Acres
Ghost towns


History Timeline

Resources

Bible Records

Biographies

Business, Commerce, and Occupations

Cemeteries

Cemeteries of Custer 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.  %±
1880 8,080
1890 2,970 −63.2%
1900 2,937 −1.1%
1910 1,947 −33.7%
1920 2,172 11.6%
1930 2,124 −2.2%
1940 2,270 6.9%
1950 1,573 −30.7%
1960 1,305 −17.0%
1970 1,120 −14.2%
1980 1,528 36.4%
1990 1,926 26.0%
2000 3,503 81.9%
2010 4,255 21.5%
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

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.


Online Land Records

For more information see Colorado Land and Property

Local Histories

Online County Histories

Maps and Gazetteers

Fremont CountyPueblo CountyHuerfano CountyAlamosa CountyRio Grande CountySaguache CountyCO CUSTER.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


Obituaries

Other Records

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

1891-1896 Colorado State Archives has put an Index to the Pupil Register for District #3 for the years 1891-1896 on-line. The index gives the name of the pupil, date, and birth place.

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.


1907-1946 Colorado State Archives has put the Custer County Inheritance Tax Records Index for the years 1907-1946 on-line.

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

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. [15]

Marriage

Online Records

Death

Death records may become public records when 75 years have elapsed after the date of death. [15]

Divorce

Online Records

Research Facilities

Archives

The Colorado State Archives has the following records available for Custer 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

1879-1989 Custer County Probates
1880-1896 Custer County Teachers Registers of Students
1887-1966 Custer County Wills
1907-1946 Custer 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

Museums

Societies

Custer Co. Historical & Genealogical Society
PO Box 436
Westcliffe, CO 81252
Telephone:719-783-2837
E-mail:dorothyurb@yahoo.com
Website

Websites

Research Guides

References

  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. Genealogy Trails History Group, "Custer County, Colorado Genealogy and History", http://genealogytrails.com/colo/custer/ 6/28/2017.
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 98, Custer 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), Custer County, Colorado. Page 98 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 Red Book, American State, County, and Town Sources. Edited by Alice Eichholz. (Ancestry, Provo; 3d ed, 2004.) Colorado article by Birdie Monk Holzclaw and Marsha Hoffman Rising. page 92.
  6. 6.0 6.1 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, 98, Fremont County, Colorado.
  11. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002).
  12. Wikipedia contributors, "Custer County, Colorado," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Custer_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. 15.0 15.1 Letter from Colorado State Registrar, Dated September 1, 2011. Policy Number 2011- 08. http://www.colorado.gov