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


Ouray County, Colorado
Map of Colorado highlighting Ouray County
Location in the state of Colorado
Map of the U.S. highlighting Colorado
Location of Colorado in the U.S.
Founded January 18, 1877
County Seat Ouray
Address Ouray County Courthouse
541 4th St
Ouray, CO 81427
Phone: 970.325.4961
Ouray County Website


County Courthouse

County Clerk has marriage and land records from 1881  County Treasurer
has birth records from 1877 and death records from 1894;
Court Clerk has divorce, probate and Court records[1]

Historical Facts

Beginning dates for major county records
1880-1907 [2]*
1881 [2]*
1894 [2]*


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

Fpr early records see Vital Statistics Registrar, Ouray. For deaths 1880-1907 see clerk and recorder's office.[2]

County Seat

Ouray [3]

Parent County

  • 18 January 1877 - Ouray county (original, renamed) was created from San Juan County. [4] This is not quite the same county as the present day county of Ouray.
  • 19 Feb 1881 - OURAY county lost land to creation of DOLORES county. [5]
  • 27 Feb 1883 - OURAY county lost land to creation of UNCOMPAHGRE County (extinct); OURAY County regained the lost portion three days later. [6]
  • 2 Mar 1883 - OURAY County was renamed SAN MIGUEL County and UNCOMPAHGRE County (extinct) was renamed OURAY County. OURAY County in effect regained the area it lost three days earlier to the creation of UNCOMPAHGRE County and lost all the territory that became SAN MIGUEL County. [7]

Neighboring Counties


Record Loss




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

Church Records

Court Records





Local History

Local histories are available for Ouray 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.


Family Maps of Ouray County, Colorado Genealogy (land patent maps) at HistoryGeo.com ($). Free surname search.


Naturalization and Citizenship


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



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



The Colorado State Archives has the following records available for Ouray 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

Ouray County Births 1891 - 1902
Ouray County Probate Cases 1878 - 1919

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 Center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.


Ouray County Historical Society
P. O. Box 151
Ouray, CO 81427
Telephone 970-325-4576
Website http://www.ouraycountyhistoricalsociety.org/


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.

Colorado Vital Records Search


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. [8]


Death records may become public records when 75 years have elapsed after the date of death. [8]



Web Sites


  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Ouray County, Colorado. Page 100 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 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 93.
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  4. Colo. Laws 1876, 1st sess., ch. 21, par. 385-392/pp. 207-209
  5. Colo. Laws 1881, 3d sess., pp. 92-96
  6. Colo. Laws 1883, 4th sess., pp. 139-142
  7. Colo. Laws 1883, 4th sess., sec. 1/p. 123
  8. 8.0 8.1 Letter from Colorado State Registrar, Dated September 1, 2011. Policy Number 2011- 08. http://www.colorado.gov


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  • This page was last modified on 5 November 2015, at 22:07.
  • This page has been accessed 6,240 times.