Colfax County, New Mexico Genealogy

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


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Colfax County, New Mexico
Map
Map of the U.S. highlighting New Mexico
Location of New Mexico in the U.S.
Facts
Founded January 25, 1869
County Seat Hettinger
Courthouse
Address Colfax County Courthouse Colfax County Website]


Nm-colfax.png

County Information

Colfax County, New Mexico Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1969 1870 1964 1984

County Courthouse

Colfax County Courthouse

230 N 3rd St; PO Box 1498
Raton, NM 87740-1498
Phone: 505.445.5551 

County Clerk has marriage records from 1890, probate records from 1903 and land records, and land records from 1864; District Court Clerk has divorce and court records.[1]

Historical Facts

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject: Colfax County, New Mexico

History

  • The Santa Fe Trail's Raton Pass offshoot brought settlers from the Eastern United States to join the existing Mexican and Native American populations. Colfax County was named for Schuyler Colfax (1823-1885), the seventeenth Vice President of the United States. Detailed Historic and Cultural Overview. History and Historic Trail Maps (Dept.Interior).

Places/Localities

Populated Places[2]

City
  • Raton (county seat)
Town
  • Springer
  • Villages[edit]
  • Angel Fire
  • Cimarron
  • Eagle Nest
  • Maxwell
Census-designated place
  • Ute Park
  • Unincorporated communities[edit]
  • Black Lake
  • Carisbrook
  • Colmar
  • Dawson
  • Dillon
  • Elizabethtown
  • Farley
  • Miami
  • Philmont Scout Ranch
  • Pittsburg
  • Rayado
  • Sunny Side
  • Sweetwater
  • Van Houten

Parent County

  • Up until 1821New Spain controlled land that later would become New Mexico and Arizona. Some records of early settlers may have been sent to an archives in Seville, Spain, or to archives in Mexico City.
  • From 1821 until 1846Mexico had jurisdiction over the land that later would become New Mexico and Arizona. Some records of this period may have been sent to archives in Mexico City. Starting in 1846 United States forces occupied New Mexico during the Mexican-American War.
  • 1848 -  Land that became Colfax County formally became a part of the United States when the Mexican War ended with ratification of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

25 January 1869: Eastern part of Taos County was set off to form Colfax County.[1]

Description

Colfax County is located in northeastern New Mexico, where the plains meet the Rockies. It was established on January 25, 1869 during the height of the New Mexico gold rush. The towns of Cimarron and Springer thrived on the many goods and services that were brought by merchants on the Santa Fe Trail. Raton, the County Seat, was created at the base of Raton Pass, the highest point on the Santa Fe Trail, after the establishment of the railroad in the 1880’s.

The county encompasses 3,771 square miles of beautiful mountains, grassy plains, lakes, rivers, and geological wonders like the Raton Basin. The Raton Basin is known for its well-preserved exposures of the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary (K–T boundary), showing evidence of a large meteorite impact which is believed to be the cause of the extinction of the dinosaurs. The county has its roots in ranching, mining, and the railroad.[3]

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.

Record Loss

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

Towns or Places with Name Changes

An Alphabetical List of Colfax County Towns and Place Names that have undergone a name change. The Older name will be listed first and generally followed by the more current name.

Neighboring Counties

Mora · Harding · Taos · Union
Colorado Counties: Costilla · Las Animas

Resources

New Mexico Genealogy Research Outline

Click Here.

Archives and Repositories

  • See details
  • Seton Memorial Library
  • Center for Southwest Research
  • New Mexico State Records Center and Archives
  • National Hispanic Cultural Center
  • Hispanic Genealogical Research Center of New Mexico
  • Rio Grande Historical Collections

Cemeteries

Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county
Findagrave.com Family History Library Findagrave.com
NM Interment WorldCat Billion Graves
NMGenWeb Archives
Tombstone Project
Billion Graves
See New Mexico Cemeteries for more information.

Search by Cemetery Name

Click on Cemetery Name to see details.

Abbott Cemetery , Abreu Cemetery, Agua Dulce Cemetery, Black Lake Cemetery,

Caliente Canyon Cemetery, Catholic Cemetery, Catskill Cemetery, Cimarron Canyon Cemetery,

Cimarron Cemetery, Cimarron Mountain View Cemetery, Clifton Cemetery p.206,

Colmor Cemetery, Dawson Cemetery, Eagle Nest CemeteryElizabethtown Cemetery

Espinoza Cemetery, Fairmont Cemetery, Fairview Presbyterian Cemetery, Gallagher Cemetery,

Hecht Family Cemetery, Herrera Cemetery, Hollenbeck Cemetery,

J.B. Dawson Family Cemetery, Jackson Cemetery, Johnson Cemetery, Johnson Mesa

Cemetery, Kaplan Cemetery, Kelleher Cemetery, Livingston Cemetery, Maxwell Cemetery,

Maxwell Family Cemetery, Miami Cemetery, Mountain View Angel Fire Cemetery,

Mountain View Cimarron Cemetery, Mountain View Kiowa Cemetery, Mountainview Kiowa

CemeteryMount Calvary Cemetery, North Abbott CemeteryOtero Cemetery, Palo Blanco

Mountain Cemetery, Pine Buttes Cemetery, Point of Rocks Mesa Cemetery,

Ponil Park Cemetery, Rayado Cemetery, Ring Place Cemetery, Saint John's Methodist Church

Cemetery, Pacheco Cemetery, San Antonio Cemetery, St. Anthony Church Cemetery,

Saus Creek CemeterySeeley Cemetery, Soldier Hill p.207, Springer Cemetery,

Sweet Water Cemetery, Tinaja Cemetery, Touch Me Not Mountain Cemetery,

United Church of Angel Fire Cemetery, Valdez Cemetery, Vermejo Cemetery, Wilson Cemetery,

Census Records

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1910 16,460
1920 21,550 30.9%
1930 19,157 −11.1%
1940 18,718 −2.3%
1950 16,761 −10.5%
1960 13,806 −17.6%
1970 12,170 −11.8%
1980 13,667 12.3%
1990 12,925 −5.4%
2000 14,189 9.8%
2010 13,750 −3.1%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".
State Census Records
Federal Census Records

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

Colfax County

1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920 Free Census Search

1870 US Census, Colfax County: (A-Free), (Fren-Midd), (Mila-Truj), (Truj-Z), Index, transcription and index,

1880 US Census Free Search

1912 - Business Directory:

County Officials, Baldy, Bell, Black Lake, Blossburg, Bonito, Brackett, Brilliant, Capulin, Carlsbrook, Cerrososo. Chico, Chicorica, Cimarron, Clifton House, Colfax, Colmor, Cunningham, Dawson, Dean, Dillon, Dorsey, Elizabeth, French, Gardiner, Gato, Harlan, Hebron, Hunt, Keota, Koehler, Koehler Junction, Lloyd, Lynn, Maxwell, Meloche, Metcalf, Miami, Nash, Otero.

1930 - Federal Census Index: A-C, C-G, G-L, L-P, P-S, S-Z.

Kiowa

1920 - Partial Federal Census Record

Raton

1910 and 1920 Partial Federal Census Records

Other

New Mexico Death Records 1889-1945 Search. More information at New Mexico Death Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

New Mexico Death Records US GenWeb Index Project

Social Security Death Index Search

Guide to1788 and 1790 Census of El Paso del Norte

Colfax County Residents  (60) who received Patents

Go to Google Search Patents. Type in "New Mexico" "county of Colfax" OR "Colfax County"

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

Colfax County New Mexico Courthouse.jpg

Land

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.

Colfax County was, historically, a mining area. Most of the mines have closed. See, List of Mines.

Libraries

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.


Local Histories

Local histories are available for Colfax 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.

Lists of Settlers, 1860

1. Rayado (356)

2. Rio Colorado (707)

Lists of Settlers, 1870

1. Precinct 1 (800): A-E , F-M, N-Z.

Post Office: Elizabeth City. Location: Elizabethtown and environs.

2. Precinct 2 (132): A-Z

Post Office: Elizabeth City. Location: Cimarron.

3. Precinct 3 (1,060): A-E, F-M, N-Z.

Post Office: Elizabeth City. Location: Rayado and outskirts.

Lists of Settlers, 1880

1. Upper and Lower Dry Cimarron (470)

2. Chico (113)

3. Cimarron (1,247)

4. Elizabethtown (287)

5. Otero (50)

6. Rayado (270)

7. Springer (34)

8. Ute Creek (133)

Lists of Settlers, 1900

1. Baldy (111) 2. Black Lakes (205);  3. Blossburg (191);  4.Catskill (976);

5. Chico Springs (398)

6. Cimarron (3363)

7. Cimilario (105)

8. Colmor (1,343)

9. Dorsey (226)

10.Elizabethtown (580); 11. Elkins (61)

12. Gardiner (1,195) A-FG-L, M-R, S-Z

13. Johnson Park (793)

14. Martines (365)

15. Maxwell (276)

16. Mesa (505)

17.Pena Flor(156)

18.Ponil (50)

19. Ponil Park (100)

20. Raton (3,863)

21. Rayado (135)

22. Springer (589)

23. Trinchera (191).

Pioneer or Settler Biographies, A-Z

Pioneers, Others

Published Online Information

Listed by surname

1.A-F 2.G-O 3.P-Z

Family Histories or Genealogical Information

Online Surname Links

1860

See census enumeration in Mora and or Taos counties. For free census search, click here.

1870

See census enumeration precincts: Elizabeth City Precinct 1, Elizabeth City Precinct 2, or Elizabeth City Precinct 3. Or, For free census search, click here.

1880

See census enumeration precincts: 1. Upper and Lower Dry Cimarron, 2. Chico, 3. Cimarron, 4. Elizabethtown, 5. Otero, 6. Rayado, 7. Springer, 8. Ute Creek. Or, For free census search, click here.

1900

See census enumeration precincts: 1. Baldy, 2. Black Lakes, 3. Blossburg, 4.Catskill, 5. Chico Springs, 6. Cimarron, 7. Cimilario, 8. Colmor, 9. Dorsey, 10. Elizabethtown, 11. Elkins, 12. Gardiner, 13. Johnson Park, 14. Martines, 15. Maxwell, 16. Mesa, 17. Pena Flor, 18. Ponel, 19. Ponil Park, 20. Raton, 21. Rayado, 22. Springer, 23. Trinchera. Or, For free census search, click here.

Immigrant Information

1. List of immigrants from Nanno and Portolo, Italy

Colfax County Family Photo Album

1. Photos taken 1860 to 1879. 2. Photos taken 1880 to 1899. 3. Photos taken 1900 to 1919. 4. Photos taken 1920 to 1939.

Resources

1. List of Online Resources 2. List of Offline Resources

Maps

Nmcolfax.jpg 1895 Colfax County Map , 1895 new Mexico State Map

1895 Map of Taos, Mora, and Colfax Counties

  • Colfax County Interactive Map of Minerals and Mines

Cornelio Vigil Map of the Beaubien Miranda Land Grant. US Dept. Justice. Map 3, page 34.

  • note: The book "Translating Property - The Maxwell Land Grant and the Conflict Over Land in the American West, 1840-1900" by Maria E. Montoya,  provides a limited preview through the page 7 link.  You may inquire at your local library for an inter-library loan. The ISBN number for this book is ISBN 0-520-22744-1.  Some places of interest in this book are as follows:
  • Maxwell Land Grant, Map 1, page 7.
  • Map of the Property Claims on the Ponil River, ca. 1885: page 106.
  • Map of Cimarron, New Mexico, 1865: Figure 20, Page 14 in the insert between pages 77 and 78.
  • Surveyor's sectional map of Colfax and Mora Counties, 1889. Figure 21, Page 15 in the insert between pages 77-8.  
  • Sites of the Maxwell and White Incidents on the SantaFe Trail, Map 4, page 42.[[]]
  • Interactive Formation Boundary Map of New Mexico - shows boundary changes for New Mexico Counties
  • NMGenWeb - historical maps

Military

Pre-Statehood (6 Jan 1912)

Revolutionary War

Post-Statehood

World War I
World War II
Vietnam War

Mining

The mountains of Colfax County were rich in gold, silver, copper, iron, and coal. page 64; p.90-107;

30 miles to the west of Lucien Maxwell's ranch, Elizabethtown and Virginia City were established in the Moreno Valley close to the extensive placers and mines. Resulting in 5 million dollars of gold output between 1867 and 1872. Near these mines, "one of the richest copper mines of the world" had been  established before the discovery of gold in 1867. page 65.

The existence of coal deposits were first officially noticed by Wislezenus, Tour of Northern New Mexico in 1848. p.63 , and by Lt. Colonel Emory, Notes of  Military Reconnoissance of 1848, page 19.  Although, travellers of The Santa Fe Trail, knew of its existence, many years prior. In 1865, Prof. Richard Dale Owen, noted that a five foot coal bed was clearly visible from Lucien Maxwell's hacienda and was close to the stage road. The survey estimated coal deposits to measure 870, 000 acres with contents of 30 billion, 805 million tons. Coal was mined in large scale.1907, the year of greatest production, output of 1,844,550 tons was reached.

Early Mining

Early coal mining operations. page 64.

Early Places

Early places prospected for gold page 67.

Mining Claims

List of Mining Claims for Colfax County.

Mining Camps

List of Mining Camps.

===Museumsv

  • Eagles Nest
  • Elizabethtown Museum
  • Cimarron
  • Kit Carson Museum of Rayado
  • Philmont Museum
  • Villa Philmonte
  • Raton Museum
  • Springer
  • Dorsey Mansion history Ranch
  • Santa Fe Trail Interpretative Center and Museum Santa Fe Trail Museum and Historical Society

Newspapers


Probate

Online 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.

See Details

Santa Fe Trail

Santa Fe Trail went through Colfax County in two places.

1. The Mountain Route went south from Trinidad, Colorado, through Raton Pass, down the slope toward the town of Cimarron. There was a stop on the Canadian River at the Clifton House. About nine miles to the southwest the trail splits, one going to the town of rayado and the other to Cimarron. The Road travels on to Springer.

2. The Santa Fe Trail crosses Colfax County from the eastern border of the Kiowa Grasslands near Clayton, New Mexico, and travels through the Gaine's Cattle Ranch, then beneath the Point of Rocks Mesa, and then travels through the Gillespie Ranch, east of Springer.

More information on the Santa Fe Trail

Santa Fe National Historic Trail

Santa Fe Trail Family History Project

Santa Fe Trail Scenic Byway

Santa Fe Trail Aerial Photos

Santa Fe Trail Museum and Historical Society

Schools

Taxation

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.

Societies

Local

  • Angel Fire: Genealogy Club of Angel Fire, PO Box 503, Angel Fire, NM 87710
  • Cimarron: Cimarron Historical Society, Les Davis, Cimarron, New Mexico, 87714.
  • Raton: Raton Historical Society
  • Raton Family History Center, 2136 La Mesa Drive, Raton, New Mexico, 87740. Phone 505-445-9226.
  • Raton Museum, Roger Sanchez, 218 S. First, Raton, New Mexico, 87740. Phone 505-445-8979.
  • Springer: Springer Santa Fe Trail Museum and Historical Society., Mike Taylor, 606 Maxwell Ave., Springer, New Mexico, 87747. Phone: 505-483-5554 or 505-483-0474.

State

Vital Records

Birth and death certificates are NOT issued at the Colfax County Clerk's Office. They may be obtained from one of the following locations: They CANNOT copy birth and death certificates under any circumstances.

Births

  • Local Office: New Mexico Public Health Office
    226 East 4th Street
    Raton, NM 87740
    Phone: (575)445-3601
  • State Office: Office of NM Vital Records and Health Statistics
    1105 S. St. Francis Drive
    P.O. Box 26110
    Santa Fe, NM 87502-6110
    Phone:(505) 827-0121
    Credit Card Orders: 877-284-0963
  • 1726 – 1918 New Mexico Births and Christenings, 1726-1918 at FamilySearch

Marriages

  • 1889-1893 and 1897-1901 Marriages 1889-1893, and 1897-1901 - Justice of the Peace Records, Precinct #20 - NMGS

Deaths

  • Local Office: New Mexico Public Health Office
    226 East 4th Street
    Raton, NM 87740
    Phone: (575)445-3601
  • State Office: Office of NM Vital Records and Health Statistics 
    1105 S. St. Francis Drive
    P.O. Box 26110
    Santa Fe, NM 87502-6110
    Phone:(505)827-0121
    Credit Card Orders: 877-284-0963
  • NMGenWeb, Colfax County page.
  • Linkpendium for Colfax County
  • Worldcat, Library Books regarding Colfax County

Web Sites

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Colfax County, New Mexico page 473, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colfax_County,_New_Mexico#Communities
  3. http://www.co.colfax.nm.us/community/about_colfax_county.php
New Mexico Research Outline.
NOTE: All of the information from the original research outline has been imported into this Wiki site and is being updated as time permits.