Big Horn County, Montana Genealogy

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Guide to Big Horn County, Montana ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, and military records.

County Facts
County seat: Hardin
Organized: January 13, 1913
Parent County(s): Rosebud and Yellowstone[1]
Neighboring Counties
Big Horn (WY)  • Carbon  • Powder River  • Rosebud  • Sheridan (WY)  • Treasure  • Yellowstone
See County Maps
Location Map
Map of Montana highlighting Big Horn County.jpg

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

It is located in the southeastern area of the state. The county was named for the bighorn sheep in the Rocky Mountains. [2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Big Horn County Courthouse
121 3rd Street West
Hardin, MT 59034
Phone: 406.665.1506
Big Horn County website

County Clerk has birth, death, naturalization and land records from 1913.
Clerk District Court has marriage, divorce, probate and court records[3]

Big Horn County, Montana Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major Records[4]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1913* 1913* 1913* 1913 1913 1913 1860
*State birth and death records began in 1907.
Compliance for recording births was 1922 and 1915 for deaths.[5]

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit Hometown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[7]

Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places

Indian Reservation
The Crow Indian Reservation is primarily located in Big Horn County, with a smaller portion in Yellowstone County.

The Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation is about equally divided in land area between Big Horn County and Rosebud County.

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Listed below are resources for Bible records specific to Big Horn County. To find more resources, go to the Montana Bible Records page.

Biographies[edit | edit source]

  • 1917-1919 Big Horn County, Montana in the World War. 1919. by J.P. Buschlen. Hardin, MT: Hardin Tribune. Online at: Google Books

Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Big Horn County, Montana online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See Montana Cemeteries for more information

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1920 7,015
1930 8,543 21.8%
1940 10,419 22.0%
1950 9,824 −5.7%
1960 10,007 1.9%
1970 10,057 0.5%
1980 11,096 10.3%
1990 11,337 2.2%
2000 12,671 11.8%
2010 12,865 1.5%
Source: "".

Before Montana was a state in 1889, the western portion of Montana was included in the 1860 Washington Territory and the eastern was in the unorganized parts of 1860 Nebraska Territory. The 1870 and 1880 Federal Censuses included Montana Territory. No state censuses have been taken.[8] See links listed below.

Territory and State Censuses[edit | edit source]

Federal Census Records[edit | edit source]

Federal Censuses were taken for the state of Montana starting in 1890, although no records survived. The 1900 Census is the next Federal Census available. For links to Federal Census indexes, see Montana Census.

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Church records vary significantly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. They may contain information about members of the congregation, such as age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information and maiden names; and death date. For general information about Montana denominations, view the Montana Church Records wiki page.

Online Church Records
Lutheran Church

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.

See Montana Land and Property for additional information about early Montana land grants. After land was transferred to private ownership, subsequent transactions were usually recorded at the county courthouse, where records are currently housed.

Online Land Records

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for Big Horn County, Montana Genealogy. County histories may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories, see the wiki page section Montana Local Histories.

  • The Arikara Narrative of the Campaign Against the Hostile Dakotas, June, 1876. c1920. By Orin Grant Libby. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press. Online at: Internet Archive
  • Custer Battlefield National Monument, Montana. 1969. By Edward S. and Evelyn S. Luce. Washington D.C: U.S. Department of Interior. Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Big Horn CountyPowder River CountyRosebud CountyTreasure CountyYellowstone CountyCarbon CountyBig Horn County, WyomingSheridan County, WyomingMT Bighorn.png
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Online Collections[edit | edit source]

These collections are unique to Montana. You will find nationwide databases for military records on U.S. Military Online Genealogy Records and Montana Military Records.
Civil War

World War I

World War II

For further information see Montana Military Records.

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Please see the Montana Naturalization and Citizenship page for state-wide information.

Online Naturalization Indexes and Records

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

For more information, see Montana Newspapers.

Montana Newspapers Online

Montana Newspaper Catalogs

  • U.S. Newspaper Directory, 1690-Present on Chronicling America - contains a list of all known newspapers and the dates they cover; once you locate a newspaper name, contact the local library to see if they have copies of the newspaper

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

See also United States Obituaries for more about finding United States obituaries.

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

In most counties in Montana, probate records have been kept by the county judge. They include wills, inventories, claim registers, inheritance records, probate packets, and dockets. The records are available at the county courthouse.

The FamilySearch Catalog lists films of probate records. To find the records for this county, use the Place Search for Montana, Big Horn - Probate records.

Online Probate Indexes and Records

School Records[edit | edit source]

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

Montana tax records complement land records and can be used to supplement the years between censuses. There may be gaps of several years in the records.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents. A copy or an extract of most birth and death original records can be purchased from the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services or the County Clerk's office of the county where the event occurred. For information about marriages, divorces, and requirements for obtaining any vital records, see the CDC Where to Write website.

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Death[edit | edit source]

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Voting Records[edit | edit source]

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Listed below are archives in Big Horn County. For state-wide archival repositories, see Montana Archives and Libraries.

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries

  • Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
  • FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Listed below are libraries in Big Horn County. For state-wide library facilities, see Montana Archives and Libraries.

Big Horn County Public Library
419 North Custer Avenue
Hardin, Montana 59034-1892

Museums[edit | edit source]

Big Horn County Historical Museum and Visitor Center
1163 3rd St. East
Hardin, MT 59034

Societies[edit | edit source]

Listed below are societies in Big Horn County. For state-wide genealogical societies, see Montana Societies.

Big Horn County Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 51
Hardin, MT 59034

Big Horn County Historical Society and Museum
1163 3rd St. East
Hardin, MT, 59034

Websites[edit | edit source]

  • Big Horn County at Cyndi's List — a comprehensive, categorized & cross-referenced list of links that point you to genealogical research sites online
  • Big Horn County at Genealogy Trails — volunteer transcriptions of genealogical and historical data
  • Big Horn County at Montana USGenWeb - free online resources for genealogical research
  • Big Horn County at Montana USGenWeb Archives - free online data for genealogical research
  • Big Horn County, Montana at Linkpendium - genealogy and family history
  • Big Horn County, Montana Genealogy at - collection of links by state, county, city, and record type
  • FamilySearch Catalog The FamilySearch catalog contains descriptions and access information for all genealogical materials (including books, online materials, microfilm, microfiche, and publications) in their collection. Use Historical Records to search for specific individuals in genealogical records.

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2.,_Montana accessed 11/15/2016
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists : United States of America, 10th ed., (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002), p. 415.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Big Horn County, Montana. Page 415 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 106.
  5. Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Rev. ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 1992), 439.
  6. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002).
  7. Wikipedia contributors, "Big Horn County, Montana," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Montana, accessed 5 December 2016.
  8. ’'Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 409. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.