Background Sources for Colorado

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This entry was originally written by Birdie Monk Holsclaw and Marsha Hoffman Rising CG, FUGA, FASG for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of

the Colorado Family History Research series.
History of Colorado
Colorado Vital Records
Census Records for Colorado
Background Sources for Colorado
Colorado Maps
Colorado Land Records
Colorado Probate Records
Colorado Court Records
Colorado Tax Records
Colorado Cemetery Records
Colorado Church Records
Colorado Military Records
Colorado Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections
Colorado Archives, Libraries, and Societies
Colorado County Resources
Map of Colorado


  • Abbott, Carl, et al. Colorado: History of the Centennial State. Boulder: Colorado Associated University Press, 1982.
  • Atheran, Robert G. The Coloradans. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1976.
  • Baker, James H., and LeRoy R. Hafen. History of Colorado. 3 vols. Denver: Linderman Co., 1927. Two of these volumes are biographies.
  • Colorado Genealogical Society, comp. Colorado Families: A Territorial Heritage. Denver: Colorado Genealogical Society, 1981. These family pedigrees and histories of families in Colorado by or before 1876 include maps and an every-name index.
  • Gannett, Henry. A Gazetteer of Colorado. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1906. Helps in locating Colorado towns, villages, and sites.
  • Hafen, LeRoy R. Colorado and Its People: A Narrative and Topical History of the Centennial State. 4 vols. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1948.
  • Hinckley, Kathleen W. “Genealogical Research in Colorado,” National Genealogical Society Quarterly 77 (June 1989): 107-27. Provides a current survey of resources in the state.
  • Joy, Carol M., and Terry Ann Mood, comps. Colorado Local History: A Directory. Denver: Colorado Historical Society, 1986. Contains descriptions of over 100 smaller repository collections.
  • Ubbelohde, Carl, et. al. A Colorado History. 6th ed. Boulder: Pruett Publishing Co., 1988.
  • Wynar, Bohdan S., and Roberta J. Depp, eds. Colorado Bibliography. Littleton: Libraries Unlimited, Inc., for the National Society of Colonial Dames of America in the State of Colorado, 1980.

The Colorado Historical Society has a card index of some names that have been extracted from Colorado published histories. The staff will check the index by mail for specific names.

References for early Colorado records include these:

  • Blodgett, Ralph E. “Colorado Territorial Board of Immigration,” Colorado Magazine 46 (Summer 1969): 345-56.
  • Noel, Thomas J, ed. The W.P.A. Guide to 1930s Colorado. Reprint. Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 1987.
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