Claire V. Brisson-Banks, BS, MILS, AG
Colorado’s culture has influences from its earliest inhabitants, Native Indians, and the Spanish explorers. Spain sold a vast area of Colorado in 1800 to Napoleon Bonaparte and the French who then three years later, sold the same piece of land to the United States as part of the ‘Louisiana Purchase’. This state has a history rich with many events that helped to shape it to what we know it as today.
Being the 38th state to be admitted to the Union in 1875, means that earlier census records would have included this area as part of Kansas, Nebraska, and New Mexico territories. This is important to know if your ancestors were part of the early settlers to this area.
The FamilySearch Research Wiki provides a table showing all of the “Online Statewide Genealogical Records” to aid researchers, click here to view it. If one has Native Americans in their ancestry, it is worth noting there is a whole section covering 14 different tribes from this area, click here to view it. The information covers Allotment records, Indian Schools, vital records and much more.
The Colorado State Archives has a large variety of records in different formats. From birth records to school records, this is a good resource to begin a search. They have a great resource that covers what they have available here.
Newspapers play an important part in recording genealogical events. The Colorado State Library and the Colorado Historical Society along with generous donors worked together to publish the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection which covers 1859 to 1923.
There are many historical and genealogical societies that have collections to aid research with compiled genealogies. The DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) and the Spanish-American Mission Collections, are two of these collections. The DAR is on FHL film number 849910-13 and the Spanish-American Collection is on FHL film 94001-5. One can order these films through a Family History Center.
A few additional links to check out for those researching in Colorado.
- Colorado Genealogy
- Swedish Genealogical Society of Colorado
- Denver Public Library, Digital Collections
- Pension Project
- Colorado Blacksheep Ancestors
Don’t forget that FamilySearch has 6 online databases to search, Ancestry.com has 102 online databases one can search all specific to Colorado.
With a little bit of effort, one can find much to aid their researching in Colorado.