Montana Vital Records

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Montana Birth, Marriage and Death Records[edit | edit source]

Introduction to Vital Records

Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents. United States Vital Records has additional research guidance on researching and using vital 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. See also Montana Statewide Indexes and Collections at the Family History Library.

Vital Records Reference Dates[edit | edit source]

Montana vital records start the following years:

Births Marriages Deaths
Earliest 1878* County Formation 1884*
Statewide Registration 1907 1907

* The Montana Legislative Assembly passed a law in 1895 requiring local physicians and midwives to register births. In addition, the law required clergymen, coroners, sextons, and undertakers were to register deaths. Statewide registration of births and deaths was not required until 1907. Although not required, a few Montana counties kept birth and death records prior to 1895. For instance, Silverbow County has births beginning in 1878, and Yellowstone County has deaths beginning in 1884.[1]

Montana Birth, Marriage and Death Records Online[edit | edit source]

The following is a list of online resources useful for locating Montana Vital Records which consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths.  Most online resources for Montana Vital Records are indexes. After locating a person in an index always consult the original record to confirm the information in the index.

Births[edit | edit source]

Marriages[edit | edit source]

Deaths[edit | edit source]

Divorce Records[edit | edit source]

Other[edit | edit source]

Montana Vital Records[edit | edit source]

For general questions on how to obtain a birth or death certificate, and individual marriage and divorce information, please contact:

Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services
Office of Vital Statistics
111 N Sanders, Room 209
Helena, MT 59604
Telephone: 1-888-877-1946
Email: (Note: Applications are not accepted via E-mail.)

The current fees for obtaining copies of the state's vital records are also listed at

Birth Records[edit | edit source]

Some counties recorded births prior to 1895. These records have been kept by the clerk of the court in each county. A few of the early county records have been transcribed and published, and these are available at the Family History Library. Statewide registration of vital statistics began in Montana in 1907 and was generally complied with by 1920. Delayed registrations of births are included in the indexes maintained by the state office.

Marriage Records[edit | edit source]

There is no centralized registration of marriage records. Each county generally began keeping marriage records soon after its organization. Write to the clerk of the district court for copies of marriage and divorce records.

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. The Family History Library has microfilm copies of many county marriage records.

Early marriages for many of the counties are searchable online at no cost on the Western States Marriage Index.

Gretna Greens. When a Montana couple's marriage is not in their home county, search for it in alternate places like Coeur d'Alene, Kootenai, Idaho.[2]

A wiki article describing an online collection is found at:
Montana Marriages - FamilySearch Historical Records

Divorce Records[edit | edit source]

Death Records[edit | edit source]

Montana, County Death (11-0696) DGS 398094 63.jpg

The Montana State Genealogical Society maintains the Montana State Death Registry Index, Pre-1954 1954-2002 online at Death Records. Scroll to the bottom of the page to link to the time period you want to search. This database covers over 650 thousand records reported to the State from the 1800s through 2002.

1840-2004 Montana, County Births and Deaths, 1840-2004 at FamilySearch - How to Use this Collection; index and images
1907-2016 Montana, State Deaths, 1907-2016 at ($) — index and images

Cause of Death[edit | edit source]

  • Causes of Death - use this resource when trying to interpret a disease or medical condition listed on a death record or certificate

Substitute Records[edit | edit source]

Montana Church Records

Montana Cemetery Records

Montana Census

Montana Newspapers

Montana Obituaries

Montana Military Records

Montana Periodicals

Montana History

Tips[edit | edit source]

  • Information listed on vital records is given by an informant. Learn the relationship of the informant to the subject(s) of the record. The closer the relationship of the informant to the subject(s) and whether or not the informant was present at the time of the event can help determine the accuracy of the information found on the record.
  • If you're unable to locate vital records recorded by governments, search for church records of christening, marriage, death or burial. A family Bible may have been used to record births, marriages and deaths.
  • Privacy laws may restrict your access to some vital records. Copies of some vital records recorded in the last 100 years may be unavailable to anyone except a direct relative.
  • Search for Vital records in the FamilySearch Catalog by using a Place Search and then choosing Vital Records. Search for Montana to locate records filed by the State and then search the name of the county to locate records kept by the county.

Archives, Libraries and Societies[edit | edit source]

Montana Archives and Libraries

Montana Societies

Inventory of Vital Records[edit | edit source]

More information about the history and availability of vital records is in Guide to the Public Vital Statistics in Montana [3]

References[edit | edit source]

A wiki article describing an online collection is found at:

Montana, Cascade County Records - FamilySearch Historical Records

  1. Alice Eichholz, ed. Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, 3rd ed. (Provo,Utah: Ancestry Publishing, 2004), 399, 406-407.
  2. "Have you searched and searched for a marriage without finding it?" Arlene H Eakle's Genealogy Blog, 19 February 2007 ( accessed 8 January 2011).
  3. Guide to Public Vital Statistics in Montana (Bozeman, Montana: Historical Records Survey, Montana State College, 1941); Family History Library book 978.6 V2h; film 1036403 item 7; fiche 6046712.