Ravalli County, Montana Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Hamilton
Organized: February 16, 1893
Parent County(s): Missoula[1]
Neighboring Counties
Beaverhead  • Deer Lodge  • Granite  • Idaho (ID)  • Lemhi (ID)  • Missoula
See County Maps
Location Map
Map of Montana highlighting Ravalli County.png

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Ravalli County is named after the Italian Jesuit priest Antony Ravalli, who arrived in the Bitterroot Valley in 1845. Located in the southwestern part of the state.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Ravalli County Courthouse
300 W River Road;
Hamilton, MT 59894
Phone: 406.822.3520
Ravalli County Website

County Clerk and recorder has birth and death records from 1911, land records from 1871 and voter registration from 1937;
Clerk Court has marriage, divorce and court records from 1893 and probate records from 1888[3]

Ravalli 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
1911 1893 1911 1893 1871 1888 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]

  • Ravalli County map
  • 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
    • Pyretees
    Census-designated places

    Resources[edit | edit source]

    Bible Records[edit | edit source]

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

    Biographies[edit | edit source]

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

    Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

    Cemeteries of Ravalli 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.
    1900 7,822
    1910 11,666 49.1%
    1920 10,098 −13.4%
    1930 10,315 2.1%
    1940 12,478 21.0%
    1950 13,101 5.0%
    1960 12,341 −5.8%
    1970 14,409 16.8%
    1980 22,493 56.1%
    1990 25,010 11.2%
    2000 36,070 44.2%
    2010 40,212 11.5%
    Source: "Wikipedia.org".

    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

    Presbyterian Church

    List of Churches and Church Parishes

    Court Records[edit | edit source]

    Directories[edit | edit source]

    • 1903-1904 Missoula and Ravalli Counties, Montana Directory, 1903-04. 1904. n.p.: n.p. Online at: Ancestry — index ($)
    • 1915-1916 Missoula and Hamilton City Directory and Missoula, Ravalli and Sanders County Directory: A Classified Business Directory, The Buyers' Guide 1915. Helena, MT: R.L Polk & Co. at FamilySearch Catalog — images (*)

    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 Ravalli 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.

    Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

    Missoula CountyGranite CountyDeer Lodge CountyBeaverhead CountyLemhi County, IdahoIdaho County, IdahoMT RAVALLI.JPG
    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, Ravalli - 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 Ravalli 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 Ravalli County. For state-wide library facilities, see Montana Archives and Libraries.

    Bitterroot Public Library
    306 State Street
    Hamilton, MT 59840
    Email: info@bitterrootpubliclibrary.org

    Darby Community Public Library
    101 1/2 South Marshall Street
    Darby, MT 59829

    North Valley Public Library
    208 Main Street
    Stevensville, MT 59870

    Museums[edit | edit source]

    Ravalli County Museum
    205 Bedford St
    Hamilton 59840-2853
    Email: museum@ravallimuseum.org

    Victor Heritage Museum
    125 Blake Street
    PO Box 610
    Victor MT 59875
    Email: victormuseum@cybernet1.com

    Societies[edit | edit source]

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

    Bitterroot Genealogical Society
    702 S. Fifth Street
    Hamilton, MT 59840

    Ravalli County Historical Society and Museum
    205 Bedford St
    Hamilton 59840-2853
    Phone:(406) 363-3338
    Email: museum@ravallimuseum.org

    Websites[edit | edit source]

    • Ravalli County at Cyndi's List — a comprehensive, categorized & cross-referenced list of links that point you to genealogical research sites online
    • Ravalli County at Genealogy Trails — volunteer transcriptions of genealogical and historical data
    • Ravalli County at Montana USGenWeb - free online resources for genealogical research
    • Ravalli County at Montana USGenWeb Archives - free online data for genealogical research
    • Ravalli County, Montana at Linkpendium - genealogy and family history
    • Ravalli County, Montana Genealogy at LDSGenealogy.com - 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. http://genealogytrails.com/mon/ravalli/ accessed 11/22/2016
    3. The Handybook for Genealogists : United States of America, 10th ed., (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002), p. 417.
    4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Ravalli County, Montana. Page 417. 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), 407.
    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, "Ravalli County, Montana," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ravalli_County%2C_Montana#Communities, accessed 1 Dec 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.