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


Chaffee County, Colorado
Map of Colorado highlighting Chaffee County
Location in the state of Colorado
Map of the U.S. highlighting Colorado
Location of Colorado in the U.S.
Founded November 1, 1861
County Seat Salida
Address Chaffee County Courthouse
132 Crestone Ave
PO Box 699
Salida, CO 81201-1566
Phone 719.539.6913
Chaffee County Website


County Courthouse

County Clerk has marriage and land records[1]

Historical Facts

Beginning dates for major county records
1866 [2]*
1884 -1907[2]*
1879 [2]
1879 [2]
*For earlier dates, try... Church | Obituaries | Cemeteries

County Seat


Parent County

1 November 1861: Chaffee County was created as an original county. It was formally known as Lake County (while Lake County was known as Carbonate County) for a brief period before the name was changed to Chaffee on 10 February 1879.

Neighboring Counties

Record Loss


Bible Records


Business Records and Commerce



For tips on accessing Chaffee County, Colorado Genealogy census records online, see: Colorado Census.

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.

Court Records


Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political, or Religious Groups




Local History

Local histories are available for Chaffee County, Colorado 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 Colorado Local Histories.

Land and Property

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.




Naturalization and Citizenship


Online Newspapers

Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Chaffee County, Colorado Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:




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.



The Colorado State Archives has the following records available for Chaffee County, Colorado Genealogy in this online database Archives Search. For a full list of online holdings, click here.
Civilian Conservation Corps Enrollments 1936 - 1942
Divorce Index 1880 - 1939
Horseshoers 1897 - 1920
Mine Accidents, Non - fatal 1883 - 1900
Vietnam Deaths 1966, 1968

Chaffee County Probates 1878 - 1979
Chaffee County Teacher Certificate Register 1879 - 1889

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. See Family History Centers for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.



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 Catalog/frameset_fhlc.asp Place Search for the county.

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.


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. [4]


Death records may become public records when 75 years have elapsed after the date of death. [4]





  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Chaffee County, Colorado. Page 97At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 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.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Colorado Online Historical Newspapers,, accessed 19 July 2013.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Letter from Colorado State Registrar, Dated September 1, 2011. Policy Number 2011- 08.


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  • This page was last modified on 22 September 2015, at 20:50.
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