Conejos County, Colorado Genealogy
Guide to Conejos County, Colorado ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.
|Conejos County, Colorado|
Location in the state of Colorado
Location of Colorado in the U.S.
|Founded||January 9, 1852|
|Address|| Conejos County Courthouse|
6683 County Rd 13
PO Box 157
Conejos, CO 81129-0157
- 1 County Courthouse
- 2 Historical Facts
- 3 Resources
- 3.1 Cemeteries
- 3.2 Census
- 3.3 Church Records
- 3.4 Court Records
- 3.5 Directories
- 3.6 Gazetteers
- 3.7 Genealogy
- 3.8 History
- 3.9 Land and Property
- 3.10 Maps
- 3.11 Military
- 3.12 Naturalization and Citizenship
- 3.13 Newspapers
- 3.14 Obituaries
- 3.15 Periodicals
- 3.16 Probate Records
- 3.17 Public Records
- 3.18 Repositories
- 3.19 Vital Records
- 4 Websites
- 5 References
Called Guadalupe County for six days before the name was changed to Conejos County 7 Nov 1869.
Clerk of Courts has probate records; County Clerk has birth, marriage and death records; County assessor has land records.
|Beginning dates for major county records|
|*For earlier dates, try... Church | Obituaries | Cemeteries|
The original boundaries of the county included a large portion of southwestern Colorado. In 1874, most of the western and northern portions of the county were broken away to form parts of Hinsdale, La Plata and Rio Grande counties, and Conejos County achieved its modern borders in 1885 when its western half was taken to create Archuleta County.
- Before 1861 the settled part of this modern Colorado county was in New Mexico.
- 1852 January 9 it was created part of Taos County in New Mexico Territory. 
- 1861 February 28 it was transferred to Colorado  (1 Nov 1861 Guadalupe County).
- 1861 November 1 Conejos County was created as an original county under the name of Guadalupe.
- 1861 November 7 the name was changed from Guadalupe County to Conejos County.
- Look for pre-1861 records in New Mexico. For further explanation see Taos County.
- Antonito (Town, Hwy 285 & 17)
- Bountiful (settlement, Hwy 285 South of La Jara)
- Capulin (Town, Hwy 15)
- Conejos (County Seat / Town, 1 mile West of Hwy 285)
- Ephraim (old settlement South of Sanford, No longer exists)
- Espinoza (old settlement North of Manassa)
- Florida (old settlement East of Antoito)
- Fox Creek (settlement, Hwy 17 West of Antonito & Mogote)
- Guadalupe (settlement North of Conejos)
- La Isla (old settlement)
- La Jara (Town, Hwy 285 & 136)
- Las Mesitas (old settlement, Hwy 17 West of Mogote)
- Lobatos (settlement East of Antonito)
- Los Cerritos (old settlement Southeast of Manassa)
- LaSauses also spelled as Los Sauces (settlement East of Sanford)
- Los Pinas (old settlement)
- Manassa (Town, Hwy 142)
- Mogote (settlement, Hwy 17 West of Antonito)
- Nortonville (old settlement Northeast of Sanford)
- Ortiz (settlement Southwest of Antonito)
- Paisaje (old settlement)
- Richfield (settlement East of La Jara)
- Romeo (Town, Hwy 285)
- San Acacio (settlement, Hwy 142 East of Manassa)
- San Antonio (settlement Southwest of Antonito)
- San Miguel (old settlement Southwest of Ortiz in New Mexico)
- San Rafael (old settlement West of Antonito)
- Sanford (Town, Hwy 136)
- Track City (old settlement Northwest of Antonito)
1980: County records from 1878-1936 were lost when the courthouse burned in 1980, except for the Grantee and Grantor books, which are at the clerk’s office.
The county has digitized the land records and they are on a paid subscription website by the county. A few marriage records of the late 1940s also remain in the county clerk’s office. Marriage records for 1858-1936 have been published by “The Colorado Genealogical Society, Inc.” Denver Colorado. The older birth and death certificates that were kept in the Local Registrar, are now available at the courthouse in Alamosa, Colorado.
For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:
|Tombstone Transcriptions Online||Tombstone Transcriptions in Print||List of Cemeteries in the county|
|Findagrave.com||Family History Library||Findagrave.com|
|See Colorado Cemeteries for more information.|
For tips on accessing Conejos County, Colorado Genealogy census records online, see: Colorado Census.
- 1860-1940 Colorado Census Records from 1860 to 1940 at FamilySearch.org — index/images
Some of these church records are available online. Conejos County 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.
- Lady of the Valley in La Jara
- Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Conejos
- St. Anthony in Los Sauces (Special Mass once a month)
- St. Augustine in Antonito
- St. Joseph’s Parish in Capulin
- St. Teresa in Manassa
- St. Andrew in La Jara (closed and replaced with Lady of the Valley)
- In Lobatos
- In Romeo
- In Ortiz
- In San Antonio
- In Sanford (closed and replaced with Lady of the Valley)
- Conejos Canyon Community Chapel (26727 Hwy 17)
- Presbyterian Church in San Rafael
- Presbyterian Church in Antonito
- Seventh Day Adventist in Antonito
- United Church in La Jara (522 Walnut)
The folowing LDS Ward and Branch Records are on micro film at the Family History Center in La Jara.
- 1878-1879 Conejos Branch
- 1894-1908 Eastdale Ward
- La Jara Ward (see Richfield Ward)
- 1893-1894 Fox Creek Branch
- 1892-1897, 1907-1948 Manassa Ward
- Manassa 1 Ward
- 1920-1928 Manassa 2 Ward
- 1934-1942 Morgan Branch
- 1889-1896 Mountain View Branch
- 1884-1941 Richfield Ward
- 1936-1948 Romeo Ward
- 1888-1948 Sanford Ward
Numerous records are available at Colorado Archives. To use this link scroll down the page to where it asks for Record Type. Click there and scroll down the list to the records you want and select. The next field asks for county. Select the county you want and then click on Search. You can narrow the search by adding the additional information it asks for.
The first European know to visit this area was Don Diego de Vargas in 1694, but he left behind no colonists. In 1708, Juan de Uribarri passed through searching for run away Indian slaves.
Conejos County's name comes from the Spanish word "conejos", meaning rabbit, for the large abundance of rabbits in the area. Also early in its existence, the county seat was moved from the town of Guadalupe to Conejos.
- Misc. Family Collection in Family History Center, La Jara, Colorado, 719-274-4024
Local histories are available for Conejos 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.
- "We Call It Home" by Mary June Miller, copyright 1977. (A history of Sanford and surounding area.)
- "Clarinda's Story of San Luis Valley Roots" by Clarinda Knight Sewell, printed Dec. 31, 1983.
- "Mormon Colonization of the San Luis Valley, Colorado 1878-1900" by Judson Harold Flower, Jr., May 1966. (A Thesis Presented to the Department of History Brigham Young University.)
- "The Mormons 100 Years in the San Luis Valley of Colorado, 1883-1983" compiled and Edited by: Carleton Q. Anderson, Betty Shawcroft, and Robert Compton, Published by: The La Jara Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
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.
- 1878 - current: Grantee & Grantor books, Conejos County Clerk, 719-274-5422.
- 1936 - current: Land records 1936 - current, ibid
Memorial of World War II Veterans - located on US Hwy 285, just north of Romeo, Colorado
The Colorado State Archives has put an Index to the Conejos County World War II Enlistments on-line.
World War II Army Enlistment Records are also available at MooseRoots on-line. These records are searchable by state and by county.
Naturalization and Citizenship
- 1899-1901 - La Voz Del Valle, Antonito, online at Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection - free.
The following are on microfilm located in the Family History Center, located in La Jara, Colorado. 719-274-4032.
- 1892-1972 The Antonito Ledger (June 1892 - Oct 1972)
- 1904-1911 The La Jara Chronicle (Oct 1904 - Dec 1911)
- 1914-1917 The La Jara Enterprise (April 1914 - April 1917)
- 1916-1982 The La Jara Gazette (April 1916 - Dec 1982)
- 1983-1993 The Conejos County Citizen (Jan 1983 - Oct 1993)
- 1996-1997 The Conejos County Citizen (July 1996 - Oct 1997)
Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Conejos County, Colorado Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:
There is a collection of misc. obituraries from newspaper clippings and funeral programs in the Family History Center in La Jara. To recieve a digital copy call 719-274-4032 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
North Conejos "Centauri" School District, 719-274-5174
Sanford Public School District, 719-274-5167
South Conejos "Antonito" School District, 719-376-7000
The Colorado State Archives has the following records available for Conejos County, Colorado Genealogy in this online database Archives Search. For a full list of online holdings, click here.
1880-1939 Divorce Index
1883-1900 Mine Accidents, Non - fatal
1936-1942 Civilian Conservation Corps Enrollments
1966-1968 Vietnam Deaths
1894-1918 Conejos County Probate Cases
1899-1915 Conejos County Divorces
1918-1923 Conejos County Inheritance Tax
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.
Conejos County Library District
17703 Hwy 285
La Jara, CO 81140
Phone: (719) 274-5858
Sanford Pioneer Museum - located at 778 Main St., Sanford, Colorado, 719-274-4024
- Sanford World War II Veteran's Project, for more information contact Wanda Rackham, 208-762-5353 or email@example.com
Jack Dempsey Museum - located on Main St., Manassa, Colorado, 719-843-
Cumbres & Toltec Narrow Gauge Railroad - Antonito, Colorado
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 Place Search for the county.
Colorado State Archives has the Conejos County Inheritance Tax Records Index (1918-1923) online.
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.
- Conejos County Old Vital Records, are kept in the Alamosa County Courthouse, 719-589-6681.
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. 
- 1853-2006 Colorado Statewide Marriage Index, 1853-2006 at FamilySearch.org — index/images
- 1859-1900 Colorado Marriages, 1859-1900 at Ancestry.com — index $
- 1864-1995 Colorado, County Marriages, 1864-1995 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1900-1939 Colorado, Statewide Marriage Index, 1900-1939 at Ancestry.com — index $
Death records may become public records when 75 years have elapsed after the date of death. 
1899-1915 The Colorado State Archives has put a name only index to the Conjeos County Divorce Records for the period 7/13/1899 to 9/20/1915 on-line.
- Conejos County COGenWeb
- FamilySearch Catalog
- Conejos County, Colorado Genealogy and Family History (Linkpendium)
- The Town of Manassa Project
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 97, Conejos County, Colorado, and 99, Guadalupe County, Colorado. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
- 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.
- William Thorndale and William Dollarhide, Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses, 1790-1920 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publ., 1987), 52. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 X2th.
- Brief County Histories (New Mexico) in RootsWeb (accessed 21 June 2012).
- Wikipedia contributors, "Colorado Territory" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopeida at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorado_Territory (accessed 19 June 2012).
- Adrian B. Ettlinger, AniMap 3.0 : with SiteFinder U.S. place name database (Alamo, Calif.: Gold Bug, 2008), Colorado 1861 map. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL CD-ROM no. 4903.
- Handybook, 97, Conejos County, Colorado, and 99, Guadalupe County, Colorado.
- Wikipedia contributors, "Guadalupe County, Colorado Territory" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guadalupe_County,_Colorado_Territory (accessed 23 June 2012).
- Colorado Online Historical Newspapers, https://sites.google.com/site/onlinenewspapersite/Home/usa/co, accessed 19 July 2013.
- Letter from Colorado State Registrar, Dated September 1, 2011. Policy Number 2011- 08. http://www.colorado.gov