Adams County, Colorado Genealogy
This article is about a northeast Colorado county. For other uses, see Adams.
Guide to Adams County, Colorado ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.
- 1 County Information
- 2 Resources
- 2.1 Bible Records
- 2.2 Biographies
- 2.3 Business, Commerce, and Occupations
- 2.4 Cemeteries
- 2.5 Census Records
- 2.6 Church Records
- 2.7 Court Records
- 2.8 Directories
- 2.9 Emigration and Immigration
- 2.10 Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups
- 2.11 Funeral Homes
- 2.12 Genealogies
- 2.13 Guardianship
- 2.14 Land and Property Records
- 2.15 Local Histories
- 2.16 Maps and Gazetteers
- 2.17 Migration
- 2.18 Military Records
- 2.19 Naturalization and Citizenship
- 2.20 Newspapers
- 2.21 Obituaries
- 2.22 Other Records
- 2.23 Periodicals
- 2.24 Probate Records
- 2.25 School Records
- 2.26 Social Security Records
- 2.27 Tax Records
- 2.28 Vital Records
- 3 Research Facilities
- 4 Societies
- 5 Websites
- 6 Research Guides
- 7 References
The County was named for Alva Adams, a former Governor of Colorado. The County is located in the northern area of the state.
Adams County Courthouse
450 S 4th Avenue
Brighton, CO 80901-3196
Adams County Website
County Clerk / Recorder
4430 S. Adams County Pkwy.
Brighton, CO 80601
County Clerk has marriage and land records from 1902, some burial records, some land records from Arapahoe County prior to 1901, school census 1902-1964 and military discharge records,
17th Judicial District Court Clerk has divorce records;
Probate Court has probate records; Hall of Justice has court records 
Adams County, Colorado Record Dates
Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.
There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.
For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit Hometown Locator. Hometown Locator The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county: 
The Colorado State Archives has the following records available for Adams County, Colorado Genealogy in this online database Archives Search. For a full list of online holdings, click here.
1880-1939 Divorce Index
1883-1900 Mine Accidents, Non - fatal
1936-1942 Civilian Conservation Corps Enrollments
1966-1968 Vietnam Deaths 1904-1913 Adams County Divorces 1929-1943 Adams County Inheritance Tax 1933-1936 Adams County Old Age Pension 1913-1935 Adams County Teachers 1903-1938 Adams County Wills
Business, Commerce, and Occupations
In 1860, present-day Colorado was enumerated in the Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Utah Territories. Colorado Territory was created in 1861 and was enumerated as such in the 1870 Census. A state census was taken in 1885 for Colorado. See links listed below.
Federal Census Records
Colorado was settled in the latter half of the 19th Century, so the state won't be in censuses prior to 1860. Additionally, the Colorado territory wasn't organized until 1861, so people residing in the area of Colorado, during the 1860 Census, will either be listed under the Colorado, Kansas, or Nebraska territory. For links to federal census indexes, see Colorado Census
Territorial and State Census Records
State censuses were taken at the state-level and territorial censuses were taken by the federal government. See Colorado Census for more information about censuses taken in Arkansas.
Church records vary significantly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. They may contain information about members of the congregation, such as age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information and maiden names; and death date. For general information about Colorado denominations, view the Colorado Church Records wiki page.
Online Church Records
- 1692-1942 - Colorado, Church Records, 1692-1942 at FamilySearch — index - How to Use this Collection
- 1743-1970 - U.S., Presbyterian Records, 1743-1970 at Ancestry — ($); Index and images; Dates vary for each county
List of Churches and Church Parishes
Numerous records are available at Colorado Archives. To use this link scroll down the page to where it asks for Record Type. Click there and scroll down the list to the records you want and select. The next field asks for county. Select the county you want and then click on Search. You can narrow the search by adding the additional information it asks for.
Emigration and Immigration
Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups
Land and Property Records
Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.
See Colorado Land and Property for additional information about early Colorado land grants.
After land was transferred to private ownership, subsequent transactions were usually recorded at the county courthouse, where current records are also housed.
Online Land Records
- Colorado DPA Land Records - Index only; Choose Record Type, and search either "Land Patents" or "Land Records."
- Land Patent Search - index to federal patents and homesteads on the Bureau of Land Management website, some images available
- 1796-1907 - U.S. General Land Office Records, 1796-1907 at Ancestry - index, info taken from Bureau of Land Management website
- 1863-1908 - U.S. Homestead Records 1863-1908 at Ancestry.com - ($), index and images
- 1862-1908 - Denver Land Office Records, 1862-1908 at Ancestry.com - ($), index only
For more information see Colorado Land and Property
Maps and Gazetteers
- Interactive Formation Boundary Map of Colorado - shows boundary changes for Colorado Counties
- Colorado Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library
- Map of Adams County, Colorado - on the Adams County website
- FamilySearch Places:Cities and Towns- How to Use FS Places
- Colorado State Archives Veterans Grave Registration Index at the Colorado State Archives website - Index only; In the Record Type field, select, Military - Grave
- Colorado Civil War Casualties Index at the Colorado State Archives website - Index only; In the Record Type field, select, Civil War Casualty
- 1861-1865 - Colorado State Archives Volunteers Transcript of Record Index (1861-1865) at the Colorado State Archives website - Index only; In the Record Type field, select, Transcript of Record
Spanish-American War (1898)
- 1898 - Colorado Volunteers in the Spanish American War, 1898 - at the Colorado State Archives website - Index only; In the Record Type field, select, Span-Am War Soldiers
World War I
- 1916-1919 - Colorado State Archives Denver War Risk Insurance Applicants, 1916-1919 - at the Colorado State Archives website - Index only; In the Record Type field, select, War Risk Insurance
- 1917-1922 - Colorado State Archives World War I Civilian Service Questionnaires, 1917-1922 - at the Colorado State Archives website - Index only; In the Record Type field, select, WWI Questionnaire
- 1917-1918 - Colorado Soldiers in WWI, 1917-1918 at Ancestry.com — ($), index
World War II
- 1940-1945 - Colorado, World War II Draft Registration Cards,1940-1945 at FamilySearch — index and images - How to Use this Collection
- 1966 & 1968 - Colorado State Archives Vietnam War Casualties - June-December 1966 & January-December 1968 - at the Colorado State Archives website - Index only; In the Record Type field, select, Vietnam Deaths
For further information see Colorado Military Records.
Naturalization and Citizenship
- 1868-1990 - Colorado, State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1868-1990 at Ancestry ($); Index and images
- 1876-1990 - Colorado Naturalization Records, 1876-1990 at FamilySearch — index and images; - How to Use this Collection - District Court records
For more information, see Colorado Newspapers.
Colorado Newspapers Online
- Colorado Online Historical Newspapers online - in the Colorado Historic Newspaper Collection by the Colorado State Library
- Colorado Newspapers at Ancestry.com - ($)
- GenealogyBank - ($), contains images of Colorado newspapers
- Newspaper Archive - ($), contains images of Colorado newspapers
- Chronicling America - contains images of some Colorado newspapers; searching tips
- Elephind - Free; search engine that retrieves newspaper images from other free newspaper websites
- Aurora Sentinel
Colorado Newspaper Catalogs
- U.S. Newspaper Directory, 1690-Present on Chronicling America - contains a list of all known newspapers and the dates they cover; once you locate a newspaper name, contact the local library to see if they have copies of the newspaper
- 1800s-1999 U.S., Newspapers.com Marriage Index, 1800s-1999 at Ancestry - index ($)
- 1933-1936 Adams County Old Age Pension 1933-1936 at Colorado State Archives - index, select record type for search
Probate records have been kept by the county courts. Colorado probate records include bonds, affidavits, letters, claims, appraisals, fee accounts, minutes, judgments, dockets, calendars, case files, and wills. The Family History Library does not have copies of probate records from Colorado.
You may obtain copies of documents from the clerk's office in the county courthouse.
- 1875 – 1974 Colorado Wills and Probate Records 1875-1974 at Ancestry.com — index and images $
- 1903-1938 Adams County Wills 1903-1938 at Colorado State Archives - index, select record type for search
- 1913-1935 Adams County Teachers 1913-1935 at Colorado State Archives - index, select record type for search
Social Security Records
- 1935-2014 United States Social Security Death Index at FamilySearch - How to use this collection; index. Also at Ancestry, findmypast, Fold3, GenealogyBank, MyHeritage, and Steve Morse. Click here for more information.
- 1936-2007 U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 at Ancestry ($) — index, click here for more information.
Colorado tax records complement land records and can be used as supplements to censuses. There may be gaps of several years in the records. To find tax records in the FamilySearch Catalog, do a Place Search for the county.
- 1929-1943 Adams County Inheritance Tax 1929-1943 at Colorado State Archives - index, select record type for search
Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents. A copy or an extract of most original records can be purchased from the Vital Records Section Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment or the County Clerk's office of the county where the event occurred.
For some online statewide indexes, see the FamilySearch Historical Record Collections for Colorado.
Birth records may become public records when 100 years have elapsed after the date of birth. EXCEPTION: The birth record of any individual who is known to be currently alive will remain confidential even if they are 100 years of age or greater. 
To obtain a recent birth certificate for yourself or a near relative, contact the Tri-County Health Department by calling 303-220-9200 or visiting:
6162 S. Willow Drive #100
Greenwood Village, CO 80111
The Adams County Recorder's office will search their indexes if you call or come in to the office. If a record is found, a copy can be purchased in person or by mail. Call 720-523-6020.
- 1784 - 2007 - Colorado, United States Marriages at FindMyPast — index $
- 1809 - 2011 - Western States Marriage Index, 1809-2011 - Index, incomplete, list of counties included
- 1853 - 2006 - Colorado Statewide Marriage Index, 1853-2006 at FamilySearch.org - Index and images - How to Use this Collection
- 1858 - 1939 Colorado Marriages 1858-1939 at Denver Public Library - index
- 1862 - 2006 - Colorado, County Marriages and State Indexes, 1862-2006 at Ancestry ($), Index and images
- 1864 - 1995 - Colorado, County Marriages, 1864-1995 at FamilySearch - Index and images - How to Use this Collection
- 1900 - 1939 - Colorado, Statewide Marriage Index, 1900-1939 at Ancestry.com - ($); Browseable images of original index
- 1960 - 2010 - Adams County, Colorado, U.S., Marriage License Index, 1960-2010 at Ancestry - index and images, ($)
- 1975 - 2004 Colorado, Marriages, 1975 - 2004 at MyHeritage - index and images ($)
Death records may become public records when 75 years have elapsed after the date of death. 
To obtain a recent death certificate for yourself or a near relative, contact the Tri-County Health Department by calling 303-220-9200 or visiting:
6162 S. Willow Drive #100
Greenwood Village, CO 80111
- 1851-1985 Colorado, Divorce Index, 1851-1985 at Ancestry - ($); Index only
- 1861-1941 Denver Public Library Colorado Divorce Index 1861-1941 at Denver Public Library - index
- 1878 - 2004 Colorado, Divorces, 1878 - 2004 at MyHeritage - index ($)
- 1900-1939 - Colorado Statewide Divorce Index, 1900-1939 at FamilySearch - - How to Use this Collection - Browseable images of original index
- 1904-1913Adams County Divorces 1904-1913 at Colorado State Archives - index, select record type for search
For information regarding other divorce documents, please contact the Adams County Court System at 303-659-1161.
Listed below are archives in Adams County. For state-wide archival repositories, see Colorado Archives and Libraries.
Family History Centers
Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries
- Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
- FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.
Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries
- Arvada Colorado Family History Center
- Aurora Colorado Family History Center
- Brighton Colorado Family History Center
- Denver Colorado North Family History Center
Listed below are libraries in Adams County. For state-wide library facilities, see Colorado Archives and Libraries.
Listed below are societies in Adams County. For state-wide genealogical societies, see Colorado Societies.
Adams County Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 1254
East Lake,CO 80614
Aurora Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 31732
Aurora, CO 80041-0732
- Adams County COGenWeb Project
- FamilySearch Catalog - The FamilySearch catalog contains descriptions and access information for all genealogical materials (including books, online materials, microfilm, microfiche, and publications) in their collection. Use Historical Records to search for specific individuals in genealogical records
- Adams County, Colorado Genealogy and Family History (Linkpendium)
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002).
- Genealogy Trails History Group, "Adams County, Colorado Genealogy and History", http://genealogytrails.com/colo/adams/ 6/27/2017.
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Adams County, Colorado. Page 97At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Adams County, Colorado. Page 97 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 92.
- The Red Book, American State, County, and Town Sources. Edited by Alice Eichholz. (Ancestry, Provo; 3d ed, 2004.) Colorado article by Birdie Monk Holzclaw and Marsha Hoffman Rising. page 92.
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002).
- Wikipedia contributors, "Adams County, Colorado," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adams_County,_Colorado, accessed 05/10/2017.
- William Thorndale and William Dollarhide, Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses (Bountiful, UT: American Genealogical Lending Library, 1985), page 51-54; Alice Eichholz, ‘’Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources,’’ 3rd ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 2004), 86. Free online version; FHL Book 973 D27rb 2004; WorldCat entry.
- Letter from Colorado State Registrar, Dated September 1, 2011. Policy Number 2011- 08. http://www.colorado.gov