La Plata County, Colorado Genealogy

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United StatesGotoarrow.pngColoradoGotoarrow.png La Plata County

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


La Plata County, Colorado
Map of Colorado highlighting La Plata County
Location in the state of Colorado
Map of the U.S. highlighting Colorado
Location of Colorado in the U.S.
Founded February 10, 1874
County Seat Durango
Address La Plata County Courthouse
1060 E 2nd Ave
Durango, CO 81301-5157
Phone: 970.382.6219
La Plata County Website

County Courthouse

County Clerk has marriage records from 1878 and land records from 1876;
Clerk District Court has divorce and probate records; County Court has court
records; San Juan Basin Health Department has birth, death and burial records[1]

Historical Facts

Beginning dates for major county records
1895-1918 [2]*
1880 [2]*
1895-1918 [2]*


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

Early records are with Vital Statistics Registrar, City Hall, Durango: also clerk and recorder's office 1900-1912. Some early marriages in San Juan County clerk and recorder's office.[2]

County Seat

Durango [3]

Parent County

1874--La Plata County was created 10 February 1874 from Conejos and Lake Counties.

Neighboring Counties


Record Loss

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


Bible Records


Business Records and Commerce


Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county Family History Library
COGenWeb WorldCat Billion Graves
COGenWeb Archives
Tombstone Project
Colorado Gravestones
Billion Graves
See Colorado Cemeteries for more information.


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

  • 1860-1940 Colorado Census Records from 1860 to 1940 at — index/images

Church Records

LDS Ward and Branch Records

  • Allison
  • Durango
  • Kline
  • Pine River
  • Redmesa

Court Records

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.

1935-1942 An Index of the WPA Employment Case Files between 1935 and 1942 was compiled from the official record of the Colorado Department of Public Welfare, La Plata County Office. The information contained in the record generally shows:

  • Name of the applicant
  • Date of the filing
  • Case number
  • Name(s) and location of next of kin
  • Date applicant accepted for employment
  • Military service dates
  • General work experience record and qualifications


Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political, or Religious Groups




Local History

Local histories are available for La Plata 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


Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as La Plata 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

Public Records

School Records



The Colorado State Archives has the following records available for La Plata 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
1897-1920 Horseshoers
1936-1942 Civilian Conservation Corps Enrollments
1966-1968 Vietnam Deaths

1935-1942 La Plata County WPA Enrollments

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.

  • Pine River Public Library District/Bayfield
    395 Center Drive
    Bayfield, CO 81122
    Phone: (970) 884-2222
    Pine River Library website

La Plata County Historical Society
3065 W 2nd Ave.
Durango 81301-4209

La Plata County Historical Society & The Animas Museum
PO Box 3384
3065 West 2nd Ave.
Durango, CO 81301-4209
Telephone: 970-259-2402

Four Corners Genealogy Society
PO Box 2636
Durango CO 81302

Genealogical Research Society Of Durango
2720 Delwood
Durango CO 81301


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.

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. [4]


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



Populated Places

Cities and Towns (* incorporated)


Bayfield *
• Bondad
• Breen
• Carbon
• Junction
• Columbus
Durango* (county seat)
• Falfa
• Florida
• Gem-Village
• Grandview
Hermosa [2]
Ignacio* [2]
• La Boca
• La Plata
• La Posta
• Loma Linda
• Mayday
• Oxford
• Pinon Acres
• Rockwood
• Tacoma
• Tiffany
• Trimble
• Vallecito

Web Sites


  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), La Plata County, Colorado. Page 99 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. 4.0 4.1 Letter from Colorado State Registrar, Dated September 1, 2011. Policy Number 2011- 08.