Colorado Church Records

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Colorado Wiki Topics
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Beginning Research
Record Types
Colorado Background
Cultural Groups
Local Research Resources

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

Major religious affiliations of the people of Colorado are 64% Christian, of whom there are 44% Protestant, 16% Roman Catholic, 3% Mormon, and 1% Eastern Orthodox.

The largest denominations by number of adherents in 2010 were the Catholic Church with 811,630; non-denominational Evangelical Protestants with 229,981; and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with 151,433.[1]

Information Found in the Records[edit | edit source]

To effectively use church records, become familiar with their content. Click on these links to learn about a specific record type:

Finding the Records[edit | edit source]

Look for online records.[edit | edit source]

Ancestry.com, FindMyPast.com, and MyHeritage.com can be searched free of charge at your local family history center or the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Caution sign.png

Online databases are incomplete. This can lead to two common errors:

  1. Near matches: Researchers might mistakenly accept an entry very similar to their ancestor, thinking it is the only one available. Only use information that matches your ancestor in date, place, relationships, and other details.
  2. Stopping research: Researchers might assume the database proves church records do not exist. Actually the record is still out there, just not in this incomplete collection of records. Keep searching!

FamilySearch Historical Records[edit | edit source]

FamilySearch Digitized Records[edit | edit source]

Ancestry.com[edit | edit source]

Presbyterian[edit | edit source]
Lutheran[edit | edit source]
Dutch Reformed[edit | edit source]

Other Collections[edit | edit source]

Look for digital copies of church records in the FamilySearch Catalog.[edit | edit source]

Family History Library
Salt Lake City, Utah
  • The Family History Library (FHL) has a substantial collection of original church records and transcripts on microfilm for churches in the United States.
  • Online church records can be listed in the FamilySearch Catalog under the state, county, or town.
  • If you find a record that has not yet been digitized, see How do I request that a microfilm be digitized?
  • Some records might have viewing restrictions, and can only be viewed at a Family History Center near you, and/or by members of supporting organizations.
  • To find records:
a. Click on the records of United States, Colorado.
b. Click on Places within United States, Colorado and a list of counties will appear.
c. Click on your county if it appears.
d. Click on the "Church records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
e. Click on Places within United States, Colorado [COUNTY] and a list of towns will appear.
f. Click on your town if it appears, or the location which you believe was the parish which served your town or village.
g. Click on the "Church records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
h. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the listing for the record. FHL icons.png. The magnifying glass indicates that the record is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the records.

Consult available finding aids.[edit | edit source]

These aids generally provide lists of records that are known to exist and information on their location.

  • Guide to Vital Statistics Records in Colorado, Volume 2. Church Archives. Denver: Colorado Historical Records Survey W.P.A., 1942; FHL Collection book 978.8 A3h; film 897482 item 9. This book lists churches that existed about 1940.

Correspond with or visit the actual churches.[edit | edit source]

Some records are still held in the local churches. Contact the current minister to find out what records are still available.

  • Make an appointment to look at the records. Or ask the minister of the church to make a copy of the record for you.
  • To find church staff available, you might have to visit on Sunday.
  • Ask for small searches at a time, such as one birth record or a specific marriage. Never ask for "everything on a family or surname".
  • A donation ($25-$40) for their time and effort to help you would be appropriate.
  • If the church has a website, you may be able to e-mail a message.
  • See the Letter Writing Guide for Genealogy for help with composing letters.
  • Each denomination page offers an online address directory of local churches for that denomination.

Check the church records collections in archives and libraries.[edit | edit source]

Some church records have been deposited for preservation in government archives or in libraries. Watch for links to digitized, online records offered by the archives. Some archives provide research services for a fee. For others, if you cannot visit in person, you might hire a researcher.

Here you will find archive information unique to the state. Many more archives are kept by denomination. For denominational archives, go to Searching for Church Records by Denomination.

Episcopal[edit | edit source]

Diocese of Colorado
1300 Washington St
Denver, CO 80203-2008
Phone: (303) 837-1173

Contact local parish first. The diocese will only have records for closed churches.

Lutheran[edit | edit source]

South West California Synod / ELCA Region 2 Archives
1300 E. Colorado St.
Glendale, CA 91205
Phone:(818) 937-4761
E-mail: archives@socalsynod.org

  • Archives hold records for closed churches. For open churches write directly to the local church.

Methodist[edit | edit source]

Mountain Sky Archives and History Commission
Margaret E. Scheve Archives
Iliff School of Theology
2201 S. University Boulevard
Denver, CO 80210-4798
Phone: (303) 744-1287
Fax: (303) 777-3387 or (303) 777-0164
email: info@iliff.edu

Roman Catholic[edit | edit source]

Records remain with the local parishes.
Archives of the Archdiocese of Denver
1300 South Steele St.
Denver, CO 80210-2599
Phone: (303) 722-4687
Fax: (303) 331-8071

The Archdiocese includes the counties of: Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Clear Creek, Denver, Eagle, garfield, Gilpin, Grand , Jackson, Jefferson, Larimer, Logan, Moffat, Morgan, Phillips, Pitkin, Rio Blanco, Routt, Sedgwick, Summit, Washington, Weld and Yuma
Has microfilms of parish registers for the Archdiocese of Denver, including the Diocese of Colorado Springs and the Diocese of Pueblo.


Diocese of Colorado Springs - pre-1984 parish registers available on microfilm at the Archdiocese of Denver

The diocese includes the counties of: Chaffee, Cheyenne, Douglas, Elbert, El Paso, Kit Carson, Lake, Lincoln, Park and Teller


Diocese of Pueblo - pre-1984 parish registers available on microfilm at the Archdiocese of Denver

The diocese includes the counties of: Alamosa, Archuleta, Baca, Bent, Conejos, Costilla, Crowley, Custer, Delta, Dolores, Fremont, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Huerfano, Kiowa, Las Animas, Mesa, Mineral, Montezuma, Montrose, Otero, Ouray, Prowers, Pueblo, Rio Grande, Saguache, San Juan and San Miguel

Correspond with genealogical or historical societies.[edit | edit source]

Some church records have been given to historical societies. Also, historical societies may be able to tell you where the records are being held. To find a society near you, consult these lists:

Next, go to the Wiki article for your ancestors' denomination.[edit | edit source]

There are frequently additional, nationwide or regional archives and online collections for each denomination. Find the article for your ancestors' denomination and follow the instructions there to access these sources.

Wiki Articles for Records of Major Religious Denominations



Carefully compare any record you find to known facts about the ancestor[edit | edit source]

You will possibly find many different people with the same name as your ancestor, especially when a family stayed in a locality for several generations, and several children were named after the grandparents or aunts and uncles. Be prepared to find the correct church records by organizing in advance as many of these exact details about the ancestor as possible:

  • name, including middle name and maiden name
  • names of all spouses, including middle and maiden name
  • exact or closely estimated dates of birth, marriage, and death
  • names and approximate birthdates of children
  • all known places of residence
  • occupations
  • military service details


Dark thin font green pin Version 4.pngCarefully evaluate the church records you find to make sure you have really found records for your ancestor and not just a "near match". If one or more of the details do not line up, be careful about accepting the entry as your ancestor. There are guiding principles for deciding how to resolve discrepancies between records that are seemingly close. For more instruction in evaluating evidence, read the Wiki article, Evaluate the Evidence.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Colorado:Religion", in Wikiedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorado#Religion, accessed 28 June 2020.