San Juan County, Utah Genealogy

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Guide to San Juan County, Utah genealogy. Birth records, marriage and death records, cemeteries, census, church records, probate records, and obituaries—resources to find parents and family history since 1880, when the county was formed.

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San Juan County, Utah
Map of Utah highlighting San Juan County
Location in the state of Utah
Map of the U.S. highlighting Utah
Location of Utah in the U.S.
Founded February 17, 1880
County Seat Monticello
Address Monticello, UT
Named for: [1]
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County Facts

County Courthouse

San Juan County Courthouse
117 South Main Street; PO Box 338
Monticello, Utah 84535
Phone: 448-587-3223

County Clerk has marriage and probate records from 1888, divorce and court records from 1891.[1]

Dates for major county records[2]
1898-present 1887-present 1897-present 1880, 1890... 1883-present 1888-present
For earlier dates, try...Church | Obituaries | Cemeteries | Parent counties

Parent Counties

San Juan County, Utah Genealogy was created February 17, 1880 from:Iron Kane and Piute

Boundary Changes
  • Boundary changes timeline for San Juan County, Utah Genealogy from "UT: Index of Counties," Newberry Library's Utah Atlas of Historical County Boundaries.

Neighboring Counties

San Juan County, Utah Genealogy is surrounded by: Emery | Garfield | Grand | Kane | Wayne | Arizona counties: Apache | Coconino | Navajo | Colorado counties: Dolores | Mesa | Montrose| Montezuma| San Miguel | New Mexico counties: San Juan County
San Juan CountyMontezuma CountySan Miguel CountyDolores CountyMontrose CountyMesa CountyApache CountyNavajo CountyCoconino CountySan Juan CountyKane CountyGarfield CountyWayne CountyEmery CountyGrand CountyColoradoArizonaNew MexicoSanJuan44.JPG


Bible Records

The term "Bible records" refers to the practice of keeping family dates and events in a family Bible. This was a common practice in many European countries and carried over to America. Many of these family Bible records are still in existence and preserved by the descendants of the immigrants. In some cases these family Bibles have found their way into libraries and other repositories.

For an explanation of how to find Bible records and for helpful links see Utah Bible Records. See also United States Bible Records.


  • Biography(microfilmed originals or published transcripts) are listed in the FamilySearch Library Catalog for San Juan County, Utah Genealogy. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see public libraries.

Business Records and Commerce


Cemetery records often reveal birth, death, relationship, military, and religious information. The spouse and children who died young are frequently buried nearby.

More than tombstone inscriptions, cemetery records include sextons (caretakers) records and interment (burial) records, each with slightly different information. See Utah Cemeteries.

State and national resources for San Juan County, Utah Genealogy cemeteries
Online Grave Transcripts
or Images
Published Grave
Lists of Cemeteries
in the County

Utah Cemeteries and Burial Database
Utah Gravestones
UTGenWeb Cemeteries
Billion Graves
Veterans to 1966

FamilySearch Library
Early Church Info File
Utah Periodicals

USGenWeb Tombstone Project
UTGenWeb Cemeteries
Utah Hometown Locator Cemeteries
Utah Cemeteries Search
Genealogy Trails

See Utah Cemeteries for details about each site.
  • Blanding City Cemetery, Blanding Indian Graveyard, Bluff City FHL Book: 979.259 V3t


Census records 1850 and later list names, ages, and places of birth (state or nation) for everyone in the household. Censuses locate the family and have other clues to find more records about them.

Churches and Religious Groups

  • Monticello - Portrait of our past: a history of Monticello Utah Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints FHL US/CAN book 979.25 K2
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons)

Historically, most people in Utah were Mormons. Their records are, therefore, very important for early Utah research. For additional information, see Tracing LDS Ancestors and Utah Church Records.

Click a church unit name in the chart below for its history, boundaries, and availability of records, which are often in microfilm format

(Section In process. Want to help?)
San Juan County, Utah Genealogy guide to history and records of LDS wards and branches

Stake(s): San Juan Stake, Utah

Places: Blanding · Bluff  · La Sal · Monticello  ·

List of San Juan County Stakes and Wards to about 1948


Court Records

The County Court and county records are located in the county seat :

Court minutes of San Juan County, Utah 1892-1899

District Court minutes 1896-1921, FHL US/CAN film 483511 Item 3

County Court minutes 1892-1899 FHL US/CAN film 483511 Item 4


  • Directories(microfilmed originals or published transcripts) are listed in the FamilySearch Library Catalog for San Juan County, Utah Genealogy. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see public libraries.

Ethnic and Other Groups

Funeral Homes

San Juan Mortuary [3]
370 South Main St.
Blanding, UT 84511
Phone: 435-678-2612
Fax: 435-678-7848



 * Genealogies for San Juan County may be found at  
A FamilySearch Community Tree is available for this place.


NOTE: Unless otherwise mentioned, the events below were gleaned from Wikipedia for San Juan County, Utah.

Before 1300 the Anasazi Indians were inhabiting the land that would some day become San Juan. The cliff dwellings and petroglyphs of the Anasazi still interest many. When pioneers came to the area they not only found a wild country, but Piutes and Navajos. The Spanish explorers had left the country naming the river that flowed though the area, San Juan in memory of Saint John. The State Legislature named the county after the the San Juan River.

The County is located in the southeastern corner of the State having 7,725 square miles more land than any other county in Utah. It also has many state and national parks including Edge of the Cedars Museum and the Goosenecks of the San Juan River. The National parks include part of Canyonlands, Glen Canyon, Hovenweep and Manti-La-Sal Forest. The Natural Bridges and Rainbow Bridge National Monuments are within San Juan County, as well as Cedar Mesa and Comb Wash.

San Juan County had a great deal of growth in the 1940's and 1950's because of the uranium mines in the County and oil which accounted for 94 percent of all property tax in those years. Today the only operating Uranium Processing plant operates in Blanding, San Juan County. Today in all the towns, a major economic resource is tourism because of the many parks within the County both National and State, the other economic resources are livestock and agriculture.

History Timeline
  • Boundary changes timeline for San Juan County, Utah Genealogy from "UT: Index of Counties," Newberry Library's Utah Atlas of Historical County Boundaries.
  • 1878 - 1895.  Aneth had a variety of titles, including Riverview (1878-85), Holyoak (1886 to around 1895), Guillette, and finally Aneth, a Hebrew word meaning "The Answer," given by Howard Antes, a Methodist missionary who lived there beginning in 1895.
  • 1879.  The first white man to build a cabin in the Monticello area was likely cattleman Patrick O'Donnell.
  • 1880.  Under the direction of John Taylor, Silas S. Smith led about 230 Mormons on expedition to start a farming community in southeastern Utah. After forging about 200 miles (320 kilometers) of their own trail over difficult terrain, the settlers arrived on the site of Bluff in April 1880. (The trail followed went over and down the "Hole In the Rock", which now opens into one of the tributaries of Lake Powell.)
  • 1880. February 17 San Juan County was created.
  • 1887.  Monticello is the county seat and was settled in July 1887 by pioneers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The families of George A. Adams, Frederick I. Jones, Parley R. Butt and Charles E. Walton went from Bluff to establish a new settlement. They first set up camp at Verdure near the South Fork of Montezuma Creek on March 11, six miles (10 km) south of what is now Monticello. By the first part of July, the men had begun to plant crops, survey an irrigation ditch, and layout a town site.
  • 1895.  Monticello, named in honor of Thomas Jefferson's estate, became the county seat.
  • 1914.  First known as Grayson (after Nellie Grayson Lyman, wife of settler Joseph Lyman), the town changed its name when a wealthy easterner, Thomas W. Bicknell, offered a thousand-volume library to any town that would adopt his name. Grayson competed with Thurber, Utah (renamed Bicknell) for the prize. Grayson was renamed Blanding after the maiden name of Bicknell's wife, and each of the towns received 500 books.
  • 1915.  The San Juan Record, the county newspaper, was established in Monticello by Oscar Walter McConkie.
  • 1997.  On October 4, President Gordon B. Hinckley, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, announced that the Church would begin to build a new series of "miniature temples." The first of such temples was built in Monticello.
  • 1998.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints dedicated theMonticello Utah Temple, the first in a series of mini temples and the 53rd temple for the Church.
Local Histories

A History of San Juan County online at Marriott Library Digital Collections.

Lonesome Trails of San Juan the Ranching legacy of J. A. (Al) Scorup FHL US/CAN book 979.25 H2v

"A History of San Juan County" In the Palm of Time, by Robert S. McPherson, Utah Centennial County History Series, 1995 Utah State Historical Society, San Juan County Commission

Land and Property

Land records (especially deeds) often give the name of a spouse, heir, other relatives, or other clues for further research. They often have other clues for further research, such as witnesses or the other parties who may be relatives or in-laws. See Utah Land and Property for more.

  • County Recorder's Office: check deeds, file mining claims, get assistance in finding ownership of a particular property, and obtain copies of county plat maps. This office has county plat records dating back to 1878, prior records having been destroyed in a fire.


  • Maps(microfilmed originals or published transcripts) are listed in the FamilySearch Library Catalog for San Juan County, Utah Genealogy. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see public libraries.

Maps of Hole-in- the Rock, Utah FHL US/CAN film 1019732

Google Highway map of San Juan County 2012


  • Migration(microfilmed originals or published transcripts) are listed in the FamilySearch Library Catalog for San Juan County, Utah Genealogy. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see public libraries.

Native Races

  • Native Races(microfilmed originals or published transcripts) are listed in the FamilySearch Library Catalog for San Juan County, Utah Genealogy. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see public libraries.

The Navajo Mountain Community a Social Organzation and Kinship Terminology  by Mary Shapardson and Blodwen Hammond, Publication University of California Press,c 1970 Family History Library (FHL) US/CAN book 970.3 N227


  • Military(microfilmed originals or published transcripts) are listed in the FamilySearch Library Catalog for San Juan County, Utah Genealogy. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see public libraries.

Naturalization and Citizenship

Declarations of Intent before 1906 often include the nation of origin, his* foreign and "Americanized" names, residence, and date of arrival. See Utah Naturalization and Citizenship for more information.    (*Women were not naturalized until 1922 in the United States.)

  • Utah, State Archives Records, 1848-2001, a FamilySearch digital collection, contains certificates of naturalization, 1878-1896 and 1896-1933; declaration of intentions 1874-1896 and a1904-1906; petition and record 1907-1942.


Small town newspapers contain obituaries, birth or death notices, community news (such as the visit of someone's relatives), legal notices and provide historical content. See Utah newspapers for tips, resources, and details.


Obituaries may mention birth, marriage, spouse, parents, and living family members. See Utah Obituaries for state level compendiums and United States Obituaries for tips and insights regarding this record type.

Obituaries for residents may be found in:


Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.

In Utah, such records may be difficult to find. Try records of the church they may have attended. Realize, however, that such records may have not been preserved, and would not be in the typical records of membership.

It is possible there were records kept by civilian authorities. Ask town or county officials and local librarians and the State Archives. Also try National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (online).

Probate Records

Probate cases include court actions regarding property and estates of individuals who have died. Records may locate relatives, provide death dates, and identify property. See Utah Probate Records for more information.


Probate records 1888-1912 Record of wills 1922-1966 FHL US/CAN film 483510

Estate Packets
  • Probate register of estates 1888-1966 FHL US/CAN film 483509
  • San Juan County Probate Case Files, No. 1-164, 1888-1933 are included in the FamilySearch Historical Records collection Utah, State Archives

Additonal resources for probate records:

Public Records


Inhertance tax 1907

Vital Records

Below are the best sources to find birth information (dates and places of birth and names of parents) for San Juan County, Utah Genealogy. Also available: How to Find Birth Information in Utah.
Follow the suggestions under the year span that matches when your ancestor was born:
Birth Before 1880
San Juan County, Utah Genealogy was formed on 17 February 1880.
      If your records show the person was born here before the county was formed,
      search parent counties
Birth 1880 - 1897
No birth records were created for San Juan County, Utah Genealogy by either by county or state civil authorities in this time period.
Follow these suggestions to find birth information for this time period:
Birth 1898 - present
County clerks became responsible for recording births beginning in 1898. In 1905, the State Department of Health assumed responsibility and required the counties to forward copies of the records to them.

Records open to the public
Birth records created more than 100 years ago State Department of Health Birth, Marriage, and Death Certificates page. are open to the public.
Restricted records
Access to official birth records within 100 years is restricted to those who meet certain requirements. Order copies:
  • Office of Vital Records and Statistics, 288 North 1460 West, Salt Lake City, Utah, Phone: (801) 538-6105. How to order online, by mail, or in person.
  • 1888-1966 - Marriage license records, 1888-1966 FHL US/CAN film 483508
  • 1897-1917 - Register of births and deaths, 1897-1917 FHL US/CAN film 483511 Item 1-2
  • 1898-1917 - San Juan Register of Deaths. FHL film 483511 items 4-5. The catalog record is titled Register of births and deaths, 1897-1917 and it appears there are only 2 volumes of vital records on this film, but it appears that 2 volumes of deaths were filmed. They cover the years 1898-1905, 1910-1917.
  • Utah Death Certificates 1904 - 1956 -A free internet access to the 1904-1956 death certificates can be viewed at . Utah requires a death certificate before a burial is completed. A death certificate may contain information as to the name of the deceased, date of death, and place of death, as well as the age, birth date, parents, gender, marital status, spouse and place of residence.
Utah State Burial Index for death before 1904

USGenWeb Archives San Juan County, Utah provides the Draft Cards - Birth information of 1917 -1918

Voting Registers


The following links are to San Juan County, Utah Genealogy items.


Resources for San Juan County, Utah Genealogy are available in repositories (such as libraries and archives) at all levels: the town, the county, the state (including universities), and the nation.

Check websites and catalogs of archives and libraries for items for this county. Examples: San Juan County, Utah Genealogy items in FamilySearch Library (Utah) or Allen County Public Library (Indiana).

When you find items you'd like to access, see Get a Copy

See these headings for San Juan County, Utah Genealogy details: Courthouse · FamilySearch Centers · Libraries · Societies

Clerk/Auditor: P. O. Box 338
Monticello, UT 84535
Phone: (435)587-3223
Fax: (435)587-2425

County seat: Monticello

FamilySearch Centers


Local public libraries usually have histories, genealogies, indexes of cemeteries, copies of local newspapers, or other records for the area they serve. Many libraries in Utah have an area dedicated to local collections and manuscripts.

See also Utah Public Library Directory, which provides links to library web pages, addresses, phone numbers, hours, and maps. Does not mention holdings.


Towns and Communities

Aneth Halls Crossing Halchita, Navajo Mountain Tselakai Dezza
Blanding La Sal Montezuma Creek Monument Valley White Mesa
Bluff Mexican Hat Monticello Spanish Valley

The earliest pioneer settlers to the San Juan area were part of a group which came to be called the "San Juan or Hole-In-The-Rock Mission." The Mission was sent by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints or Mormon's  to win the favor of the indians and to establish good relations thus they needed to find a route in that wild country. Before they could come Captain Silas Sanford Smith was asked to lead twenty-four scouts, cattle and other loose animals besides their pack-horses. Two families Harriman and Davis familys  were to prepare to help the other pioneers that would take part in the "Hole-In -The-Rock Mission" A list of many of those early settlers is available online.


  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), San Juan County, Utah Page 687 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. Alice Eichholz, Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources, 3rd ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry Pub., 2004), 676-677. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27rb 2004.
  3. Funeral Home & Cemetery Directory.(Youngstown, OH: Nomis Publications, Inc., c2009,937.
  4. "San Juan County, Utah: Family History and Genealogy, Census, Birth, Marriage, Death Vital Records and More," Linkpendium,, accessed 1 February 2012.