FAQ for Colorado Research
- How do I obtain a birth or death record before 1908 in Colorado?
- Is there an index to death records for Colorado?
- How do I obtain a birth or death record after 1908 in Colorado?
- How can I obtain a marriage certificate/license?
- How can I obtain divorce records?
- Where can I find naturalization records?
- How can I get an obituary?
Births and death in Colorado were not officially registered with the State until approximately 1908. Before that time there is no guarantee that a record of a birth or death even exists. A few counties recorded births during that time. Birth and death records, if they do exist, prior to 1908 are held by the Colorado State Archives.
There is NO master death index for Colorado available to the public. We are a closed records state. You will have to use other means to locate a death date (newspapers, Bibles, Find-a-Grave) before you can order a record. Otherwise you will pay an extra fee for searching larger time spans. There are societies and other groups working on alternative indexes.
After 1908 contact Certificates and Vital Records at Colorado Department of Public Health. You will have to have a death certificate to obtain a birth certificate over 50 years old. Other rules pertaining to obtaining birth records are here. You will have to provide a proof of relationship if the death record is less than 25 years ago. Older records can accept a "family tree" as proof. See this link for other rules.
Marriage records were held by each county. Counties have filed their records with the Colorado State Archives and their listing of records held can be seen here. (pdf) If they are not listed in the Archive holdings you will have to contact the specific county of interest.
Start by looking at the Colorado Divorce Index compiled by researchers at the Denver Public Library. Then you can check a listing of the counties and years of divorce records held by the Colorado State Archives. If the date and place of the divorce you are researching is listed on that pdf, you can contact the Archives for copies if you have the case number. If the record you are looking for (date and place) does not appear on the list it could still be held by the District Court or the County Clerk of your place. See Colorado State Archives for more information.
No master index of all naturalization records currently exists. Immigrants could file for citizenship in county, district or other courts between 1861 and 1906 in Colorado. Click here for a listing of naturalization records held at the Colorado State Archives (pdf). An index for Denver and Pueblo Naturalizations created in Colorado Federal District Courts is available at the Denver Public Library web site. An index for Declarations of Intention for the Arapahoe County Court (includes Denver), Books A-F, 1880-1906 is available in our Members Only section.
The Colorado Genealogical Society has a database listing of obituaries of some of the pioneers from all over the state of Colorado which also are housed at the Denver Public Library. You can send a request to search this database to our contact.