Union County, New Mexico Genealogy

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United States Gotoarrow.png New Mexico Gotoarrow.png Union County

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


Union County, New Mexico
Map of the U.S. highlighting New Mexico
Location of New Mexico in the U.S.
Founded February 23, 1893
County Seat Clayton
Address Union County Courthouse
200 Court Street, PO Box 430
Clayton, NM 88415
Phone: 505.374.9491
Union County Clerk's Website


County Information

Union County, New Mexico Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1894 190 1894 1911

County Courthouse

Union County New Mexico Courthouse.jpg
Union County Courthouse
200 Court Street PO Box 430;
Clayton, NM 88415
Phone: 505.374.9491 

County Clerk has marriage records from 1894, probate, court and land records; District Court Clerk has divorce records.[1]

Parent County

  • Up until 1821 New 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 Union County formally became a part of the United States when the Mexican-American War ended with ratification of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

1893-- Union County, New Mexico was created 23 February from Colfax, Mora, and San Miguel counties.[1]


Union County, was created by an act of the territorial legislation in 1893 and was officially recognized on January 1, 1894, when the first slate of elected county officials received their oaths of office. The county is named “Union” because the citizens were united in their desire for the creation of a new county out of three existing New Mexico counties - Colfax, Mora and San Miguel. Union County was subsequently “carved up” by the creation of additional counties, Quay in 1903 and Harding in 1920. At one time, Union County had a population of over 20,000. There were a number of bustling communities such as Amistad, Hayden, Sedan, Pasamonte, Gladstone, Mt Dora, Grenville, Des Moines, Folsom and Dedman (as Capulin was called back then).[2]

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 and Villages

Populated Places [3]

  • Clayton (county seat)
  • Des Moines
  • Folsom
  • Grenville
Census-designated place
  • Capulin
Other communities
  • Amistad
  • Gladstone
  • Hayden
  • Mount Dora
  • Sedan
  • Seneca
  • Sofia
  • Stead

List of Union County Place Names


Historic or Ghost Towns

  • Airolo
  • Alps
  • Amboy
  • Apache
  • Atencio
  • Barney
  • Beenham
  • Capulin
  • Centerville
  • Codorniz
  • Corrumpa
  • Cuates
  • Dead Man
  • Devoy
  • Dolores
  • Emberson*
  • Emery Gap
  • Exter
  • Frampton
  • Garcia
  • Gem
  • Grande
  • Grandview
  • Gregory
  • Grenville
  • Guy
  • Harrington
  • Hayden
  • Holland
  • Hope
  • Ione
  • Johnson
  • Kephart
  • Kimball
  • Leighton
  • Louis
  • Madison
  • Malpaiz
  • Mansker
  • Miera
  • Moses
  • North Desmoines
  • Otto
  • Patterson
  • Pennington
  • Penrith
  • Pleasant
  • Sampson
  • Santander
  • Sierra Grande
  • Smith
  • Sofia
  • Spring Hill
  • Staunton
  • Stonehaven
  • Tate
  • Telesfora
  • Thomas
  • Towanda
  • Tramperas
  • Travesilla
  • Valley
  • Vance
  • Vargas
  • Veda
  • Wanette
  • Willow
  • Willow Springs

Interactive Map, Town Details Historic Post Offices; All Post Offices
List of Place Names
List of Historic Places of Union County, National Register

Towns or Places with Name Changes

The Older name will be listed first and generally followed by the more current name.

1. Capulin = Dedman = Capulin

Neighboring Counties



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

Search by Name
Amistad Cemetery, Antioch Cemetery, Brown Cemetery, Burchard Cemetery,  Capulin Cemetery, Centerville Cemetery, Clayton Cemetery, Clayton Memorial Cemetery, Corrumpa Cemetery, Creeds Chapel Cemetery, Dempsey Cemetery, Des Moines Catholic Cemetery, Des Moines Cemetery, Drew Cemetery, Fairmount Cemetery, Fairview CemeteryFolsom Catholic Cemetery, Folsom Cemetery, Garcia Plaza Cemetery, Giles Cemetery, Gladstone Cemetery, God's Acre Cemetery, Grandview Cemetery, Grenville Cemetery, Hardesty Cross L Ranch Cemetery, Hayden Cemetery, Hereford Park Ranch Cemetery, Independent Order of Oddfellows Cemetery, Knollwood Cemetery, La Morada Cemetery, Maplewood Cemetery, Martinez Cemetery, Moses Cemetery, Newkirk Family Cemetery, Obar Cemetery, Ojo Bonito Cemetery, Ojo del Pinaveta Cemetery, Old Clayton Cemetery, Otto Cemetery, Padilla Cemetery, Pedernal Cemetery, Perschbacher Ranch Cemetery, Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Puertocito Cemetery, Rinker Cemetery, Rivera Cemetery, Sanchez Cemetery, Sedan Cemetery, Shaha Cemetery, Sofia Cemetery, St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, Thomas Cemetery, Wanette Cemetery, YL Bar Ranch Cemetery

Search by location
Amistad, Capulin, Centerville, Clayton, Des Moines, Folsom, Gladstone, Grenville, Hayden, McNees Crossing, MieraObar, Pennington, Sofia, Thomas.


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1910 11,404
1920 16,680 46.3%
1930 11,036 −33.8%
1940 9,095 −17.6%
1950 7,372 −18.9%
1960 6,068 −17.7%
1970 4,925 −18.8%
1980 4,725 −4.1%
1990 4,124 −12.7%
2000 4,174 1.2%
2010 4,549 9.0%
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.


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.



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.

Online Land Records

Local Histories

Local histories are available for Union 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.

List of Settlers, 1880

     1. Upper and Lower Dry Cimarron , click here

Online information about Pioneers and Settlers listed by surname

      1. A-E   2. F-L  3. M-R   4. S-Z




Revolutionary War
Civil War
World War I
World War II



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.


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.

Vital Records


Societies and Libraries

Folsom Historical Society
Main Street
Folsom, New Mexico, 88419

Herzstein Memorial Museum
22 South Second
Clayton, New Mexico, 88415
Telephone: 505-375-2977

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.



  1. 1.0 1.1 Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Union County, New Mexico page 475, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. http://genealogytrails.com/newmex/union/ accessed 09/29/2016
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_County,_New_Mexico#Communities