Place:Conejos, Colorado, United States

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Conejos County is one of the 64 counties of the State of Colorado in the United States. The county population was 8,400 at U.S. Census 2000. The county seat is the unincorporated community of Conejos.

Contents

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

The first European know to visit this area was Don Diego de Vargas in 1694, but he left behind no colonists. In 1708, Juan de Uribarri passed through searching for run away Indian slaves.

Conejos County was one of the original 17 counties created by the General Assembly of the Territory of Colorado on 1861-11-01, although it was originally named Guadalupe County and renamed Conejos County a week later, on November 7. Its name coming from the Spanish word "conejo", meaning rabbit, for the large abundance of rabbits in the area. Also early in its existence, the county seat was moved from the town of Guadalupe to Conejos. The original boundaries of the county included a large portion of southwestern Colorado.

In 1874, most of the western and northern portions of the county were broken away to form parts of Hinsdale, La Plata and Rio Grande counties, and Conejos County achieved its modern borders in 1885 when its western half was taken to create Archuleta County.

Religious history

The city of Conejos is the location of the oldest church in Colorado, called Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish. This church was constructed in 1856. The first settlers into the area were from New Mexico, primarily from Abiquiu, San Juan de los Caballeros and Santa Cruz. As more people arrived, mission churches were set up and all had the records housed with Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish.

When the neighboring town of Antonito was built, the Theatines, priests from Spain, came into the area and built St. Augustine church in 1880 within Antonito. The church records from Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish are now housed at the church offices of Saint Augustine. Conejos is approximately a mile northwest of Antonito.

Presbyterians came into Conejos County in 1880 establishing churches in Antonito, Alamosa, Cenicero, Del Norte, Mogote, San Rafael, and Monte Vista. They also established schools in the area and had a large number of Hispanic converts. A jacal went up in 1854 in Guadalupe, now known as Conejos, which was the beginning of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish.

There is also a large Mormon population within Conejos County. Settlers belonging to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) began settling in the towns of La Jara, Manassa and Sanford; each town currently has an LDS meetinghouse. Fox Creek, a village approximately 11 miles west of Antonito, is the newest community to have an LDS meetinghouse erected, although there had previously been meetinghouse there. Fox Creek, however, is not a predominantly Mormon population.

Genealogy

Records available for this area are marriage records, which are held by the county clerk. Divorce records are maintained by the clerk of the district court. Agencies that hold records for marriages and divorces from 1900 to 1939 are the Colorado State Archives and Denver Public Library Genealogy Department. Other records available are marriage records from 1871 and death records from 1877-1907. This also include land records from 1871, probate records from 1875, and court records from 1877. However, some records were lost due to a fire, but birth records for 1877-1907 are still preserved. Websites that will be of use when doing genealogical research are The Colorado Genealogical Society and Conejos County WW II Enlistments.

Religious History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia


Timeline

Date Event Source
1861 County formed Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources
1870 First census Source:Population of States and Counties of the United States: 1790-1990
1871 Land records recorded Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources
1871 Marriage records recorded Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources
1875 Probate records recorded Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources
1877 Birth records recorded Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources
1877 Court records recorded Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources
1920 No significant boundary changes after this year Source:Population of States and Counties of the United States: 1790-1990

Population History

source: Source:Population of States and Counties of the United States: 1790-1990
Census Year Population
1870 2,504
1880 5,605
1890 7,193
1900 8,794
1910 11,285
1920 8,416
1930 9,803
1940 11,648
1950 10,171
1960 8,428
1970 7,846
1980 7,794
1990 7,453

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