Montana, County Marriages - FamilySearch Historical Records
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Montana, County Marriages, 1865-1950
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|Flag of Montana|
|Location of Montana|
|Multiple county courthouses, Montana.|
What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]
This collection consists of marriage licenses and certificates, including a few marriage declarations and marriage stubs for the years 1865 to 1950. The records are arranged by county, then by volume and year range. The form type varies between register style and certificate style. County clerks usually used the same printed form during the same time periods. Marriage records were generally well preserved, although fires, floods, or other disasters may have destroyed some records.
The earliest marriage bonds and licenses were usually handwritten on loose papers that were later bound into lettered volumes. Some marriage records had multiple entries on each page, while others had single records per page.
Marriages were recorded by the clerk of the district court for each county from the time the county was formed. Persons desiring to marry obtained a license that they presented to the minister or other person authorized to marry, such as a justice of the peace. Once the marriage was performed, the officiator sent a return to the clerk confirming that the marriage had occurred. Montana does not have a centralized registration of marriage records.
A copy or an extract of most original records can be purchased from the Montana Vital Records State Department of Health or the county clerk’s office of the county where the event occurred. The State Department of Health has an index to marriages beginning in 1943. This index helps to identify the county in which the marriage occurred. The original records are available only in the county.
Civil marriage records were created to legalize marital relationships and to protect the interests of the wife and other heirs to legal claims on property. The marriage date, place, residence of the bride and groom, and occupations are relatively reliable. Other information, such as age or birthplace, is dependent on the knowledge, memory, and accuracy of the informants, usually the bride and groom.
Image Visibility[edit | edit source]
Whenever possible FamilySearch makes images and indexes available for all users. However, rights to view these data are limited by contract and subject to change. Because of this there may be limitations on where and how images and indexes are available or who can see them. Please be aware some collections consist only of partial information indexed from the records and do not contain any images. For additional information about image restrictions see Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.
What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]
The following information may be found in these records:
- Groom's name, age, race and residence
- Date and place of marriage
- Groom's birth place
- Groom's parents' names including maiden name of mother
- Bride's name, age, race and residence
- Bride's birth place
- Bride's parents' names including maiden name of mother
- Names of witnesses
- Name of the officiator at marriage ceremony
Collection Content[edit | edit source]
Sample Image[edit | edit source]
Coverage Table[edit | edit source]
A coverage table for this collection is available in the wiki article Montana County Marriages Coverage Table - FamilySearch Historical Records.
Digital Folder Number List[edit | edit source]This collection was published as a DGS browse collection. The list does not contain any description of the DGS folder's content. A table listing each DGS number and its contents can be found at Montana, County Marriages Digital Folder Number List.
How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]
Before searching this Collection, it is helpful to know:
- The name of your ancestor
- The approximate date of the marriage
- The place where the marriage occurred
- The name of the intended spouse
Search the Index[edit | edit source]Search by name on the Collection Details Page.
- Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
- Click Search to show possible matches
View the Images[edit | edit source]To view images in this collection:
- Look at the Digital Folder Number List article to determine the folder/film number for the images you want to see
- Go to the Browse Page
- Select the Film number to view the images
|More images are available in the FamilySearch Catalog Montana, County Marriages, 1865-1950. Some catalog records link to multiple references. In this case, click on a reference to find a camera icon to see images.|
How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]
Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.
What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]
I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]
- Add any new information to your records
- Use the information to find vital records such as birth, and death
- Search for the family in census records
- Search the county where the couple married for church, land, and probate records
I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]
- Try viewing the original record to see if there were errors in the transcription of the name, age, residence, etc. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name
- Collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you identify possible relations that can be verified by records
- If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby locality
- Standard spelling of names typically did not exist. Try variations of your ancestor’s name while searching the index or browsing through images
- Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names
Research Helps[edit | edit source]
The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the state of Montana.
- Montana Guided Research
- Montana Research Tips and Strategies
- Step-by-Step Montana Research, 1880-Present
Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]
Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.