The following two tables were compiled from various sources to help you research your Hispanic and Native American roots. To view the PDF files, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader.

List of Captive Indians Reported by Indian Agent Lafayette Head

A compiled list of the two reports of Indian captives held in Conejos and Costilla counties in 1865.

The SOURCE column includes the NARA microfilm citation for the Colorado Superindendency, 1865-1866, Roll 193. Frames 41-43 refer to Costilla County and Frames 127-128 refer to Conejos County.

Captive Indians by Owner

A compiled list of Indian captives found in various civil and church records. It includes captives in Conejos, Costilla, Huerfano, Las Animas, and Saguache counties.

For detailed information, refer to Survivors of Captivity: Genealogies of Known Captive Indians in Southern Colorado, 1860-1880, by Virginia Sanchez




Captive Indians in Las Animas County

A table listing captive Indians in Las Animas County. The table includes the Indian's name and tribe; the female or male owner's name; and the number of captives held by each owner. Footnotes and source citations provide researchers with genealogical and historical information.

 Back to Virginia's Website

Updated May 27, 2014

Indian Captivity in Southern Colorado

Documented instances of Indian captivity record an unfortunate yet essential account of co-existence on the western frontier. Indian and Hispano trade in captives was part of Southwest culture and norm.

Up until 1861, southern Colorado was part of the Territory of New Mexico. A few Anglos and many Hispanos, who had the same customs, religion, and language, brought captive Indians with them when they migrated north from New Mexico. As practiced in New Mexico during the Spanish, Mexican, and Territorial periods, captive Indians in southern Colorado went through an assimilation process through the act of a Catholic baptism. To eradicate a semblance of their native culture, he or she was adopted into a family, received a new name, and learned a new language.

Although by 1866, holding slaves was in violation of the U. S. Civil Rights Act, settlers continued to acquire Indian captives from illegal trade among the various Indian Nations. Virginia

Survivors of Captivity:
Genealogies of Known Captive Indians in Southern Colorado,
by Virginia Sanchez, 2014

This 450-page book includes 365 reports with detailed genealogical & historical source citations, an index, bios of some owners, a few photos, and more. (Photo courtesy of Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Department, X-33098.

Ask your local library to order a copy for $57 (includes shipping) contact Virginia Sanchez