Colorado Land Records

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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


Colorado is a Public-Domain State.

Records of the Spanish and Mexican land grants are located in the Denver Public Library Western History and Genealogy Department. Once the area fell under U.S. jurisdiction, land was transferred from the federal government to individuals. The Homestead Act of 1862, along with other federal statutes, provided for the disposal of most of Colorado’s land.

Land offices existed in Central City, Del Norte, Denver/Golden City, Durango, Glenwood Springs, Gunnison, Hugo, Lamar, Leadville/Fairplay, Montrose/Lake City, Pueblo, Akron, and Sterling. Some early land records of Denver were lost to floods, while others have survived. The Homestead Tract Books and Register of Homestead Entries are found at the National Archives—Rocky Mountain Region in Denver. While some early land records of Denver were lost in the Cherry Creek flood of 1864, others have survived. The patent case files are located at the National Archives, Washington, D.C. The researcher must know the legal description of the land of interest.

Once granted, transactions of land are recorded at the county level in deed books. These land records, including mortgages and land plats, are the responsibility of the county clerk and recorder’s office. In some cases, indexes are found in a different location from the files.

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