Colorado Map & Atlas Guide

Any Historical Colorado Map can indicate who owned specific property in the state and which towns held the county seat at the time.  This information is a valuable starting point for your research pointing you to the right location of records.

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Solving Research Problems with a Colorado Maps – If you have started your family research, you might have experienced trouble with trying to identify Colorado city borders and names that have changed over the course of time. This can make it difficult to understand where your ancestors’ information is kept.

Because Colorado historic maps were usually commissioned by the county seat, they often display information about the county, including town names. Reading a Colorado map from the time period you are researching can help tremendously in solving these problems by leading you to the correct town records. It can also give you other leads, such as the location of city directories or old post offices in Colorado.

Choosing the Best Colorado Map – If you have a large source of maps to choose from, try starting with the area where your ancestors resided and looking for the maps with the most detail.  You can determine a lot by seeing if the area was still rural or more developed, and how far it was to the nearest city.  This can shed light on your family’s lifestyle and occupation. Were they farmers who lived in the country, or merchants who traveled often to a nearby city?  A map can give you an idea of what occupations were possible.

Colorado Geological Survey Maps are available from the Rocky Mountain Mapping Center. The Western History and Genealogy Department at the Denver Public Library has an extensive collection of over 2,000 maps, which includes explorations, surveys, railroad maps, trails, mining expeditions, and land grants. Good map collections are also located at the University of Colorado map libraryColorado State Archives and the School of Mines’ Arthur Lakes Library.

Colorado Map of County Formations For The Years 1877-1988

These Colorado maps shows the historical changes to Colorado counties from 1877 to 1988.

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Colorado Map Abbreviations
unorg. = unorganized
g. = gained
w. = with
fr. = from
atmt. = attachment
exch = exchanged
nca.= non county area
ch. = changed
Ad - Adams
Al - Alamosa Co.
Ara - Arapahoe Co.
Arc - Archuleta Co.
Ba - Baca Co.
Be - Bent Co.
Bo - Boulder Co.
CC - Clear Creek Co.
Cha - Chaffee Co.
Che - Cheyenne Co.
Con - Conejos Co.
Cos - Costilla Co.
Cr - Crowley Co.
Cu - Custer Co.
Del - Delta Co.
Den - Denver Co.
Dol - Dolores Co.
Dou - Douglas Co.
Ea - Eagle Co.
Elb - Elbert Co.
EP - El Paso Co.
Fr - Fremont Co.
Ga - Garfield Co.
Gi - Gilpin Co.
Gra - Grand Co.
Gun - Gunnison Co.
Hi - Hinsdale Co.
Hu - Huerfano Co.
Ja - Jackson Co.
Je - Jefferson Co.
KC - Kit Carson Co.
Kio - Kiowa Co.
LA - Las Animas Co.
Lak - Lake Co.
Lar - Larimer Co.
Li - Lincoln Co.
Lo - Logan Co.
LP - La Plata Co.
Me - Mesa Co.
Mgn - Morgan Co.
Mi - Mineral Co.
Mof - Moffatt Co.
Mtr - Montrose Co.
Mtz - Montezuma Co.
Ot - Otero Co.
Ou - Ouray Co.
Pa - Park Co.
Ph - Phillips Co.
Pi - Pitkin Co.
Pr - Prowers Co.
Pu - Pueblo Co.
RB - Rio Blanco Co.
RG - Rio Grande Co.
Ro - Routt Co.
Sag - Saguache Co.
Se - Sedgwick Co.
SJ - San Juan Co.
SM - San Miguel Co.
Su - Summit Co.
Te - Teller Co.
Wa - Washington Co.
We - Weld Co.
Yu - Yuma Co.

Colorado Maps & Atlases

1866 Colorado MapThe David Rumsey Historical Colorado Map Collection is scanned from original copies so you can see Colorado as our ancestors saw them over a hundred years ago.

Some Colorado map years (not all) have cities, railroads, P.O. locations, township outlines and other features useful to the Colorado researcher.

Colorado D.O.T. County Road and Highway Maps

Colorado County DOT MapThe Colorado Highway Department has prepared a series of county road maps. These maps contain more detailed information about man-made features than the geological survey maps. In addition to roads and boundaries these maps include rural communities churches and cemeteries.

These maps are downloadable and are in PDF format. The main use of these are the locations of all known cemeteries in a county and of course the various roads and church locations. These Maps are Free to Download

External Links for Colorado Maps

U.S. State Map Guides