El Paso County, CO, Genealogy Resources
Welcome! We hope this page:
- Helps you find your El Paso County, Colorado, ancestors and their history.
- Helps local residents learn how and where to do genealogy.
If you are not local and would like lookups in Pikes Peak Library District's Special Collections or other local repositories, see Research Help
. If you know of other useful sources to add to this page or can report a broken link, please let us know
El Paso County
was formed in 1859 from old Arapahoe County in Kansas Territory. On 1 November 1861 it became one of 17 original counties in Colorado Territory. On 23 March 1899, what is now Teller County was separated from El Paso County. The county seat is Colorado Springs. One of the best online sources for the county is the Pikes Peak NewsFinder
, a Pikes Peak Library District index with some links to document images.
- 1885 Colorado State Census. Free at FamilySearch, also on Ancestry.com
- 1860–1940 federal censuses are available for Colorado on FamilySearch, Ancestry.com, HeritageQuest, Fold3, Mocavo. In 1860, what is now El Paso County was enumerated in Arapahoe County, Kansas Territory. Before 1899, El Paso County included nearly all of what is now Teller County.
- Catholic Church: The Diocese of Colorado Springs maintains within the Office of the Chancellor records for Roman Catholic churches across central Colorado. Archivist Raymond Kelley, (719) 636-2345, accepts research requests over the telephone and will provide telephone replies after examining the microfilm and extracting the information as time is available. There is currently no charge for this service. Individuals may not access the microfilm/books to do their own research.
- The weekly Intermountain Catholic newspaper, 1899-1910, held online by Chronicling America, Library of Congress, includes a column of news from the Colorado Springs Catholic community.
- Episcopal Church: Epiphany Parish Register, Good Shepherd Parish Register, Grace Church Parish Register, St. Stephen's Parish Register; mostly baptism, marriage, burial entries for various years. Registers are indexed and images viewable at Pikes Peak NewsFinder.
- First United Methodist Church, archivist Brenda Hawley, 420 N. Nevada Ave., Colorado Springs, CO 80903. Founded 1871, first church in Colorado Springs.
In addition to providing names and addresses of residents, city directories also usually offer street guides, information on city, county, and state governments, election precincts, lists of churches and clergy, hospitals and sanitariums, schools and colleges, businesses, labor organizations, clubs, societies, and secret organizations. The Colorado Springs directory often also contains Manitou Springs and Colorado City.
Court Records / Law Enforcement
- Colorado Springs city directories, PPLD, online all extant editions, 1879–1922.
- HeritageQuest has online most Colorado Springs city directories, 1897–1963. If you hold a Pikes Peak Library District library card, select "HeritageQuest" on this page, [enter password], then click "City Directories."
- Special Collections, PPLD, 20 N. Cascade, Colorado Springs, CO, paper and/or microfilm copies for all extant editions, 1879–present.
- El Paso County (Including Teller County) Rural Directory (microfilm reel for the year 1937-38 also contains: 1947, 1949, 1951, 1955, 1962, and 1969; 1972 as book on shelves), Special Collections, PPLD.
- Ancestry.com ($) has most Colorado Springs editions, with some breaks, through 1961.
- Telephone books, most years from 1907 to present, PPLD Special Collections microfilm, 384.6 C7192CM; covers county addresses not included in city directories.
Funeral Homes and Mortuaries
- List of funeral homes, mortuaries, and undertakers. Compiled by the El Paso County Cemetery Project, the list includes facilities throughout Colorado. Some may no longer be in business.
- Colorado Springs Funeral Home records, Colorado Springs: mostly operated by the Beyle family: roll 1: 1906-17, roll 2: 1897-1914, roll 3, 1910-37; PPLD Special Collections microfilm: 363.75 N787F R.1-3. PPGS is currently indexing these records; the index will be placed in Pikes Peak Newsfinder.
- Colorado Funeral Service History to 1997
- History of El Paso County, Colorado.
- Colorado Encyclopedia
- Colorado Springs Century Chest (time capsule sealed August 1901, opened January 1, 2001; resealed for another century April 20, 2001, with new contents): View letters to descendants, photos, documents, local history.
- "The White Plague, Woodmen, and Great Uncle Hubert," pages 8-9, Columbine Genealogical & Historical Society Newsletter, July 2015, has information about the treatment of tuberculosis in Colorado Springs, letters from a patient at Woodmen Sanitorium, and photos of the TB huts.
- Pikes Peak Regional History Symposium books for purchase from Clausen Press.
Land and Property Records
- Bureau of Land Management General Land Office homestead records
- United States Bureau of Land Management Tract Books, 1820-1908, FamilySearch
- Record Book of the El Paso County Claim Club, 1859-61, PPLD Digital Collections, a typed transcription of the registered land claims of the earliest settlers in El Paso County. Partial index on final two pages.
- El Paso County grantor/grantee index, deed, mortgage records on microfilm, Citizens Service Center, 1675 W. Garden of the Gods Rd., Colorado Springs.
- El Paso County clerk's office is scanning deed books; currently they have scanned and linked deed images to a digital index, 1861 (inception of county) to about 1891. The index is used by the clerk and recorder's office at Citizens Service Center, 1675 W. Garden of the Gods Road, Colorado Springs. Copies are 25 cents each.
- The El Paso County Assessor's Office mapping room on the second floor of the Citizen's Service Center has very large indexes showing land transactions by section. They appear to start about 1890s.
- Current El Paso County property owners: El Paso County Public Record Real Estate Property Search
- El Paso County Grantor/Grantee Index online, January 1, 1984 to present, El Paso County Clerk & Recorder’s Office, Colorado Springs.
Copies of original records are available for 25 cents per page. They may be viewed for free at the clerk and recorder's office.
El Paso County is or has been home to many U.S. military installations, including:
- Camp Carson (also a World War II prisoner-of-war camp)
- Fort Carson
- U.S. Air Force Academy
- Schriever Air Force Base
- Peterson Air Force Base
- North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)
- Ent Air Force Base
- Index of Soldier Separation documents held by El Paso County Clerk & Recorder, 1944 to present. To narrow search select "Soldier Separation" under Document Type field. Includes members of the armed forces who have recorded their military separation documentation with the county for safe keeping. These documents are available only to the veteran or next of kin. But this index does provide evidence of full name, connection to county at date of registration, and separation from military before that date.
- Fort Carson: Post Guide & Telephone Directory, held by PPGS, Special Collections: 1962, 1964, 1965, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 2001, 2009, 2016
- PPLD Pikes Peak NewsFinder index with Gazette 1871–present, Colorado City [now part of western Colorado Springs] Iris, Weekly Gazette, Colorado Springs Independent, Colorado Springs Sun, Denver Post, El Paso County Democrat, Free Press, Out West, Manitou Journal, Pueblo Chieftain, Rocky Mountain News, Security Advertiser & Fountain Valley News, and seven early Cripple Creek newspapers. Various years are indexed and may not be complete. Request free copies of articles online from PPLD Special Collections. Some article images are linked to the index.
- PPLD has the Colorado Springs Gazette, 1988–present online; access is free with library card. From PPLD.org, select "Magazines/Newspapers," then "America's News," a GenealogyBank product. Enter login. Select Gazette, then desired source, usually "Newspaper." Highly configurable text searches are allowed, or a particular newspaper may be selected by date.
- Ancestry.com ($) has Colorado Springs Gazette, 1873-78, 1878-87, 1887-94, 1900-15; Weekly Gazette, 1879-82, 1884-86, 1888-95, 1897-1900; Out West, 1872.
- GenealogyBank.com ($) has Colorado Springs Gazette, 1896–1922 and Eastonville World, 1894-95. Searchable on all words.
- Newspapers.com ($) has Weekly Gazette, 1872-1906, incomplete, and Colorado Springs Gazette-Telegraph, 1960-1978, incomplete. Searchable on all words.
- NewsBank has the Colorado Springs Gazette, 2 Apr 1988–present. Free access with Denver Public Library card, which is available free to anyone with a library card from any Colorado public library. (Click www.denverlibrary.org, Research Sources, Newspapers, Access World News, Colorado, Gazette.)
- Colorado Historic Newspapers has Gazette, 1873-78; Out West, March–December 1872; Colorado Mountaineer, 1876–77. Free.
- Colorado Springs Gazette Archive ($), www.gazette.com; from the Gazette's webpage: "The Gazette archive contains text-only archives from April 2, 1988, to November 30, 2002. Beginning December 1, 2002, the archive was expanded to include an electronic edition of the newspaper, which features searchable PDFs. These more recent issues are fully text searchable and reflect the full content and layout of the printed Gazette." Available to e-subscribers.
- Special Collections, Tutt Library, Colorado College, has bound volumes of El Paso County Democrat, which has news from rural El Paso County communities. Not indexed, but easily searchable by community for a given period.
- Current El Paso County newspapers include: Colorado Springs Gazette, Pikes Peak Bulletin (Manitou Springs, 2001- ), Tri-Lakes Tribune (Monument), Colorado Springs Independent.
- African American Voice (1991-present), monthly, Colorado Springs, includes links to archival issues from 2007.
- PPLD Pikes Peak NewsFinder index with Gazette 1871–present; some years from the 1970s are not fully indexed; Colorado City [part of Colorado Springs since 1917] Iris, Colorado Springs Sun, and other newspapers. Request free copies of articles online from PPLD Special Collections.
- FamilySearch, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980-2014, index
Occupations and Businesses/Organizations
- Look up Colorado licensed professionals or organizations at DORA, the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies: accountants, medical/dental/mental health/veterinary, trades (plumbing, electrical, barbers/cosmetology), funeral homes, architecture, and more. Includes current, expired, cancelled, and revoked licensees. Searchable by name or portion of name. Licensee mailing address available from occupation download link.
- Colorado business search: includes images of historic and current reports for businesses and nonprofit organizations. Click on "Filing history and documents" to see principles' names and addresses.
- Used bookstores specializing in local historical materials:
Links to information on prominent people in the Pikes Peak region
- District 11 is the largest and oldest public school district in Colorado Springs. Report cards and school census info is available.
- Colorado Springs High School/Palmer High School Alumni Association
- El Paso County School Census, District 3, 1911, Historical Records Index Search, Colorado State Archives
- El Paso County School Census, District 11, 1910, 1920, Historical Records Index Search, Colorado State Archives
- Digital Archives of Colorado College
- Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind, Colorado Springs. Archival records exist.
- Birth certificates, State of Colorado
- Birth certificates, El Paso County Health Department
- Pikes Peak NewsFinder: Search for births by parents’ last name(s). Not yet complete for some years, but names are continuing to be added. Digital images of microfilmed copies may be requested for free from the library if not already available.
- Entries in the Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 at Ancestry.com ($) include date and place of birth (usually a town or county) and parents' names. You can search on selected fields, including names and place of birth.
- Pikes Peak NewsFinder, marriages reported in various newspapers.
- 1858–1939, Colorado Marriage Index, WPA project, with some later, FamilySearch
- 1 Jan 1940 – 30 April 1991, El Paso County Official Public Records Search page
- May 1, 1991 – present, El Paso County Marriage and Civil Union Records Search
- If you don't find a marriage where you expect in southern Colorado, look in Raton, Colfax Co., New Mexico. Many couples in the mid-1900s went there for a fun road trip with their friends and/or to avoid blood tests.
- Colorado Statewide Divorce Index, 1900-39
- El Paso County Divorces, 1903-41, Historical Records Index Search, Colorado State Archives; others may appear in Historical Records Index Search
- District Court Divorce Decrees, 1940-55, Colorado State Archives, Colorado State Archives Finding Aids Quick Index
- Pikes Peak NewsFinder, divorces reported in newspapers for various periods.
- Colorado Vital Records has a statewide index to divorces, 1900-1939 and 1975-present. Divorce decrees are held in the county courts in which they were filed or an archive.
- MyHeritage.com, available for free at Family History Centers or by subscription, has a database "Colorado Divorces, 1878-2004" with 1.4 million records. It does not appear to have entries between 1940 and 1967.
Death certificates are available for $20 from the state or the El Paso County Health Department. Certificates for deaths older than 75 years are public record. Certificates 25 to 75 years old require a simple family tree to demonstrate some kinship to deceased. Certificates for deaths less than 25 years old have more stringent requirements; see instructions on back of form.
- Death Certificates, State of Colorado
- Death Certificates, El Paso County Health Department
- Pikes Peak NewsFinder has death announcements and obituaries from area newspapers.
- 1870 El Paso County Mortality Schedule extraction
- 1880 El Paso County Mortality Schedule extraction
- 1885 El Paso County Mortality Schedule, available at U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules, 1850-1885, Ancestry.com
- El Paso County autopsy reports from 1971 to present are public records and can be requested by e-mail. It's best to have evidence (death certificate, newspaper account) that an autopsy was performed before requesting one. The coroner's office says autopsy reports before 1971 were destroyed, but El Paso County coroner's reports 1882-1942 are at the Colorado State Archives.
- Homicides of the Colorado Springs Area, 1872 to Present, vols. 1-6, compiled by Dwight Haverkorn, Special Collections, PPLD, 20 N. Cascade, Colorado Springs. Call no.: SC 364.152 H767, indexed at Pikes Peak NewsFinder.
- El Paso County Coroner's Record, 1882-1933, 1933-42 at Colorado State Archives: Colorado State Archives Finding Aids Quick Index
- Colorado Springs Death Register, 1871-1920, Pikes Peak NewsFinder, has information on people who died in Colorado Springs and were buried here or shipped elsewhere, as well as people who died elsewhere and were shipped in for burial in city-owned Evergreen Cemetery. Some of the later years have information on people who died in other parts of El Paso County.
- The Social Security Death Index is an online searchable database of names of deceased individuals whose deaths were reported to the Social Security Administration. It has been kept since 1962, when operations were computerized. The index includes about 50 percent of deceased persons from 1962 to 1971 and about 85 percent of deceased persons from 1972 to 2005. It also includes a few deaths from 1937 to 1961. Beginning in 2014, rules governing the SSDI changed. Records for the most recent three years are not available.
- Special Collections, PPLD, has a good collection of Colorado Springs high school and college yearbooks.
- Can you donate a yearbook? Here's a list of local yearbooks Special Collections lacks for its collection.
- Ancestry.com ($) has a number of yearbooks from Colorado Springs high schools and college. See U.S. Yearbook Collection.
- Special Collections, Penrose Library, Pikes Peak Library District, Colorado Springs. Also has archives.
- Databases available from home with a library card include HeritageQuest, 19th Century U.S. Newspapers, and Newspaper Archive.
- Databases available at any PPLD branch library include Ancestry.com Library Edition and Fold3. You may also log on to these databases with your laptop computer from the branch libraries.
- American Ancestors database from New England Historic Genealogical Society may be accessed only on computers at PPLD's Special Collections.
- Special Collections, Tutt Library, Colorado College, Colorado Springs.
- Tutt Library has on microfilm Rocky Mountain News, 1859--Dececember 1964, and Denver Post Jan. 1965--2012. Microfilm is held offsite. Make an appointment with periodicals coordinator Pam Willock to pull the film you need before you arrive. Special Collections is on the Garden Level.
- Stephen H. Hart Library, History Colorado, Denver; has the best collection of microfilmed Colorado newspapers in state.
- U.S. Air Force Academy Libraries
Family History Centers
Subscription databases available for free at all Family History Centers include Ancestry.com, FindMyPast.com, Fold3.com, MyHeritage.com, Access Newspaper Archives.
| Family History Center Hours
Call to verify holiday and snow closures.
*Closed first Thursday.
†Pikes Peak Library District is a FamilySearch affiliate library. Rent microfilm from the Family History Library and view it at Special Collections. PPLD has its own set of online genealogy resources, not the same as those offered by Family History Centers.
Snow Days: If inclement weather should cause District 12 (Cheyenne Mountain) or District 11 (Colorado Springs) to close, the Family History Center will also close. On days when a 2-hour delay is called by either of those school districts, the morning shift of the FHC will be closed (this applies to Tuesdays and Fridays only).
Closed the week of Thanksgiving. Closed two weeks Christmas through New Year's Day. Closed for inclement weather according to local school district closings.
Societies: Historical, Genealogical, and Ethnic
Colorado Native Club, call Dan & Ruth Tapio, 719-632-8117. Meets fourth Thursday.
Jamestowne Society, Colorado
- DNA Study Group, fourth Wednesday, Carnegie Meeting Room, Penrose Library; all welcome; free
Pikes Peak Posse of Westerners International, a western-history organization. Meets second Monday (except July, August, December) at Masonic Temple, Panorama Dr., Colorado Springs, CO. Sheriff & "Rep" Doug Clausen, 622 N. Custer, Colorado Springs, CO 80903, (719) 633-1222, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ethnic Research Groups at Denver Public Library:
Germanic Genealogical Society of Colorado, 10:15 a.m., first Tuesday, Denver Public Library
French Genealogy Study Group, 10:30 - noon, fourth Tuesday, Denver Public Library
Hispanic Legacy Research Center, open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., second Saturday, Denver Public Library
El Paso County Genealogy Links
Subject Index, Vols. 1-75 (1939-2014)
; periodical available at PPLD Special Collections, among other libraries.
- Pikes Peak Library District Genealogy Classes
- Fountain Branch Library, first Thursday, 7-8:45 p.m., "Genealogy on the Internet"
- High Prairie Branch Library, second Saturday, 1-3 p.m., "The Genealogist's Internet"
Planning a Trip to Colorado Springs