COGenWeb Project    USGenWeb Project

Welcome to Otero County, Colorado

A Part of the COGenWeb & USGenWeb Projects

Hello, my name is Alice Allen and I am your Otero County Coordinator. This web site is devoted to helping you find your family who resided in Otero County. You'll find links to query sites and Message Boards where you can leave messages about your family in Otero County. We also have a lookups page, where you can find people with Otero County resources who have indicated they are willing to use them to help you, our Otero County researcher. There are records and/or links to records for Otero County. The Otero County Archives pages contain biographies, cemetery records, census records, vital records, and so forth. A new project I've just introduced is a page for Otero County families, a mini-biography of sorts. If you would like to contribute a write-up of your Otero County families, contact me and I'll be happy to put it online. Not all the records are available, but we are working at adding them as we can. If you have anything to contribute, be sure to contact me. My email address is

Copy and paste my address into your email template, add something in the subject line related to Otero County so I'll be sure to notice it, and send it along.

Please note that I do not live in Otero County, and can't help you with local research.

Now, come along as we explore links for your research in Otero County.

History and Formation of Otero County

Otero County was formed in 1889 from the western part of Bent County, and named for Miguel Otero, a founder of La Junta and head of the mercantile firm of Otero, Sellers & Company. La Junta is the county seat. If your family was in the area prior to 1889, you should check for records in Bent County. La Junta was first founded in 1875 as a temporary station for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad, incorporated in 1881 and becoming a major commercial center in the following years. Another main town in Otero County was Rocky Ford, first founded in 1868 by Mr. A. Russell, moved to another location about 1877 and co-founded by Mr. Russell and George W. Swink. Agriculture was its principle industry, and the area was well known for its fine watermelon crop. Livestock was another industry prevalent in Otero County.

Otero County Links

USGenWeb Archives for Otero County

Records in the Archives for Otero County include the following

Tombstone Photo Project - Otero County
Tombstone Transcription Project - Otero County
Early Otero County Families - Otero County Cemeteries
Political Graveyard - Otero County
Colorado Photo Project - Otero County
Linkpendium - Otero County
Otero County Genealogy & History Contains links to such sources as Libraries, Funeral Homes, etc.
Libraries in Otero County
Colorado Military Project - Otero County Submit your military records here
Migrations Project - Otero County
Penny Postcards - Otero County
Fowler Tribune, Obituary Index Be sure to click the link back to the Colorado Obituary Project's main page if you'd like to order an obituary.
Recent La Junta Tribune Obituaries

Census Records

Census Guide for Otero County

Currently there are no free online census records for Otero County. If you have access to census records for Otero County and a little free time, consider volunteering to transcribe one (or more) censuses, or even a township or partial township. Here's a link to the USGW Census Project, look for the Volunteer Links and follow those to Otero County.
USGenWeb Census Project

More Records

We are planning to include more online records for Otero County. One project in the works is an Early Families page, where we look at early residents, where they came from, and if possible where they went if they did not remain in Otero County. You'll see the link above, as we have just begun this project, and we add to it as we can. Your submissions are certainly welcome, too. Just email me at allen.alice @ (copy this address to your email template).


We love the Mailing Lists and Message Boards. You will often meet someone who lives in the area (I do not live in Colorado) who may be able to help you with records and other information for your families. And if you are lucky, you'll meet new cousins here as well. Directions for joining the Otero County Mailing List on Rootsweb follow, as well as several Message Boards dedicated to Otero County, where you can leave your query.

Clicking on this link should bring up your email template. If it doesn't, just copy and paste it into your email template:

In the subject line and body of the email, type in the word subscribe then send it on its way.

Here are several Message Boards where you can leave a query:

Colorado Links

"The Fine Print"
USGenWeb and COGenWeb volunteers will not charge fees for services rendered, but may sometimes ask for reimbursement for postage and copies made or similar out-of-pocket expense.

ALSO: When contacted by someone offering info on your surname, make sure whether there are any charges involved before agreeing to have them do the research!

This WEB site and its contents, except where otherwise noted on the page, are copyrighted 2013, and may not be copied, altered, converted nor uploaded to any electronic system or BBS, nor linked from any pay-for-view site, linked in such a manner as to appear to be part of another site including frame capturing, nor included in any software collection or print collection of any type without the express written permission of the author of this site, namely: The COGenWeb and/or Alice Allen, Otero County Coordinator.

My thanks to those previous coordinators of Otero County who started this site.

Last Update: January 31, 2013

April 25, 2012

Colorado Leadership:
Gail Kilgore, State Coordinator
Billie Walsh, Asst. State Coordinator
Colleen Pustola, Asst. State Coordinator