Union County, New Mexico Genealogy

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United States
New Mexico
Union County

Guide to Union County, New Mexico ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

County Facts
County seat: Clayton
Organized: February 23, 1893
Parent County(s): Colfax, Mora, San Miguel[1]
Neighboring Counties
Baca (CO)  • Cimarron (OK)  • Colfax  • Dallam (TX)  • Harding  • Hartley (TX)  • Las Animas (CO)  • Quay
See County Maps
Location Map

County Information


Union County was officially created on February 23, 1893 and fully organized on January 1, 1894. The county is named “Union” because the citizens were united in their desire for the creation of a new county.[2] The County is located in the northeast area of the state.[3]

County Courthouse

Union County Courthouse
200 Court Street
P.O. Box 430
Clayton, NM 88415
Phone: 505.374.9491
Union County Website

County Clerk has marriage records from 1894, probate, court and land records
District Court Clerk has divorce records.[1]

Union County, New Mexico 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 County Records[4]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1907 1894 1907 #8 1894 1911 1790
Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1907. General compliance by 1930.

Record Loss

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

Boundary Changes

For animated maps illustrating New Mexico County boundary changes, "Rotating Formation New Mexico County Boundary Maps" (1845-1981) may be viewed for free at the MapofUS.org website.

Populated Places

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:[5]

Unincorporated communities
  • Seneca
  • Census-designated places
    Ghost towns
    • Airolo
    • Alps
    • Amboy
    • Apache
    • Atencio
    • Barney
    • Beenham
    • Centerville
    • Codorniz
    • Corrumpa
    • Cuates
    • Dead Man
    • Devoy
    • Dolores
    • Emberson
    • Emery Gap
    • Exter
    • Frampton
    • Garcia
    • Gem
    • Grande
    • Grandview
    • Gregory
    • Guy
    • Harrington
    • Hayden
    • Holland
    • Hope
    • Ione
    • Johnson
    • Kephart
    • Kimball
    • Leighton
    • Louis
    • Madison
    • Malpaiz
    • Mansker
    • Moses
    • North Desmoines
    • Otto
    • Patterson
    • Pennington
    • Penrith
    • Pleasant
    • Sampson
    • Santander
    • Sierra Grande
    • Smith
    • Spring Hill
    • Staunton
    • Stonehaven
    • Tate
    • Telesfora
    • Thomas
    • Towanda
    • Tramperas
    • Travesilla
    • Valley
    • Vance
    • Vargas
    • Veda
    • Wanette
    • Willow
    • Willow Springs

    List of Historic Post Offices and Place Names in Union County

    History Timeline


    Bible Records


    Business, Commerce, and Occupations


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

    Census Records

    Historical populations
    Census Pop.  %±
    1910 11,404
    1920 16,680 46.3%
    1930 11,036 −33.8%
    1940 9,095 −17.6%
    1950 7,372 −18.9%
    1960 6,068 −17.7%
    1970 4,925 −18.8%
    1980 4,725 −4.1%
    1990 4,124 −12.7%
    2000 4,174 1.2%
    2010 4,549 9.0%
    Source: "Wikipedia.org".

    Federal Census Records
    Federal Censuses were taken for New Mexico starting in 1850. For links to Federal census indexes, see New Mexico Census.

    State Census Records

    Church Records

    Church records and the information they provide 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 New Mexico denominations, view the New Mexico Church Records wiki page.

    Court Records


    Emigration and Immigration

    Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups

    Funeral Homes



    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 New Mexico Land and Property for additional information about early New Mexico land grants. After land was transferred to private ownership, subsequent transactions were usually recorded at the county courthouse and where records are currently housed.

    Online Land Records

    Local Histories

    Local histories are available for Union County, New Mexico Genealogy. County histories may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories, see the wiki page section New Mexico Local Histories.

    Maps and Gazetteers

    Union CountySan Miguel CountyColfax CountyHarding CountyQuay CountyLas Animas County, ColoradoBaca County, ColoradoCimarron County, OklahomaDallam County, TexasHartley County, TexasNM UNION.jpg
    About this image
    Click a neighboring county
    for more resources


    List of Settlers, 1880
         1. Upper and Lower Dry Cimarron , click here

    Online information about Pioneers and Settlers listed by surname

          1. A-E   2. F-L  3. M-R   4. S-Z

    Military Records

    Revolutionary War

    Civil War

    World War I

    World War II

    Naturalization and Citizenship



    Other Records


    Probate Records

    Since statehood in 1912, probate matters have been under the jurisdiction of probate courts in each county. Records of guardianship and adoption have usually been transferred to the district courts. In 1953 the district courts were given concurrent jurisdiction with the probate court over all probate matters in each county.

    See the wiki page New Mexico Probate Records for information about how to find earlier probate records.

    The Family History Library does not have copies of the New Mexico county probate records. They are available at each county courthouse. You can obtain copies by contacting the county clerk.

    Content: Probate Records may give the decedent's date of death, names of his or her spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, neighbors, associates, relatives, and their place of residence.

    Record types: Wills, estates, guardianships, naturalizations, marriage, and adoption.

    Online Probate Records

    School Records

    Tax Records

    New Mexico tax records complement land records and can be used to supplement the years between censuses. There may be gaps of several years in the tax records of some counties. For more information, see the Wiki page New Mexico Taxation.

    Vital Records

    Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents. See the Wiki page, New Mexico Vital Records, for additional information about the vital records in New Mexico.

    Marriage records - are at the County Clerk's office

    Divorce records - are at the office of the County Clerk of Court

    Birth and death records - are at the New Mexico Vital Records and Health Statistics Office which has records since 1920 and delayed records since 1880.

    See also How to order New Mexico Vital Records, order electronically online or download an application for New Mexico Birth Certificate, Death Certificate Applications to mail.





    Research Facilities


    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.



    Herzstein Memorial Museum
    22 South Second
    Clayton, New Mexico, 88415
    Telephone: 505-375-2977


    Folsom Historical Society
    Main Street
    Folsom, New Mexico, 88419


    Research Guides


    1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), New Mexico.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
    2. http://genealogytrails.com/newmex/union/ accessed 09/29/2016
    3. Wikipedia contributors, "Union, New Mexico," in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_County,_New_Mexico. accessed 8/30/2018
    4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Union County, New Mexico. Page 475 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), 471.
    5. Wikipedia contributors,"Union County, New Mexico," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_County,_New_Mexico, accessed 13 February 2019.