Big Horn County, Montana Genealogy
Guide to Big Horn County, Montana ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.
- 1 County Information
- 2 Resources
- 2.1 Bible Records
- 2.2 Biographies
- 2.3 Business, Commerce, and Occupations
- 2.4 Cemeteries
- 2.5 Census Records
- 2.6 Church Records
- 2.7 Court Records
- 2.8 Directories
- 2.9 Emigration and Immigration
- 2.10 Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups
- 2.11 Funeral Homes
- 2.12 Genealogies
- 2.13 Guardianship
- 2.14 Land and Property Records
- 2.15 Local Histories
- 2.16 Maps and Gazetteers
- 2.17 Migration
- 2.18 Military Records
- 2.19 Naturalization and Citizenship
- 2.20 Newspapers
- 2.21 Obituaries
- 2.22 Other Records
- 2.23 Periodicals
- 2.24 Probate Records
- 2.25 School Records
- 2.26 Tax Records
- 2.27 Vital Records
- 3 Research Facilities
- 4 Societies
- 5 Websites
- 6 Research Guides
- 7 References
Big Horn County, Montana was founded in 1864 and the county seat is Hardin.  It is located in the southeastern area of the state. The county was named for the bighorn sheep in the Rocky Mountains. 
Big Horn County Courthouse
121 3rd Street West
Hardin, MT 59034
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
Big Horn County, Montana Record Dates
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.
Compliance for recording births was 1922 and 1915 for deaths.
There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.
The following are locations in the county from Wikipedia: 
The Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation is about equally divided in land area between Big Horn County and Rosebud County.
Business, Commerce, and Occupations
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. See links listed below.
Territory and State Censuses
- 1860 - United States Census, 1860 at FamilySearch Historical Records — index and images; Montana was included in the 1860 Washington and Nebraska Territory Censuses
- 1870 - United States Census, 1870 at FamilySearch Historical Records — index and images; Montana Territory Census
- 1880 - United States Census, 1880 at FamilySearch Historical Records — index and images; Montana Territory Census
Federal Census Records
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 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
- 1875-1940 - U.S., Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Records, 1875-1940 at Ancestry — ($); Index and images; Dates vary for each county
Emigration and Immigration
Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups
Land and Property Records
Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.
See Montana Land and Property for additional information about early Montana land grants. After land was transferred to private ownership, subsequent transactions were usually recorded at the county courthouse, where records are currently housed.
Online Land Records
- Land Patent Search - index to federal patents and homesteads on the Bureau of Land Management website, some images available
- 1796 - 1907 - U.S. General Land Office Records, 1796-1907 at Ancestry - index, info taken from Bureau of Land Management website
- 1861 - 1936 - U.S. Homestead Records 1861-1936 at Ancestry.com - ($), index and images
- 1908 - 2002 - Montana, Big Horn County Records, 1884-2011 at FamilySearch - Index and images; various land and property records from 1908-2002
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 Custer Battle: Brief Story of Indian Who Fought There; Combined with Three Poems by White Eagle. c1916. By Two Moons. N.p:n.p. At various libraries (WorldCat).
- Trails and Tales, South of the Yellowstone: An Unrecorded History of the Area South of Billings and the Yellowstone River. c1983. By Trails and Tales Historical Committee. Billings, Montana: Trails and Tales Historical Committee. At various libraries (WorldCat).
Online County Histories
- The Arikara Narrative of the Campaign Against the Hostile Dakotas, June, 1876. c1920. By Orin Grant Libby. North Dakota: Bismarck. Online at: Google Books; At various libraries (WorldCat).
- Custer Battlefield National Monument, Montana. c1949. By Edward S. and Evelyn S. Luce. Washington D.C:U.S. Department of Interior. Online at: FamilySearch Books Online; At various libraries(WorldCat).
- Hokahey! A Good Day to Die!: The Indian Casualties of the Custer Fight. c1993. By Richard G. Hardorff. University of Nebraska Press: Lincoln and London. Online at: Google Books; At various libraries (WorldCat).
Maps and Gazetteers
- Interactive Formation Boundary Map of Montana - shows boundary changes for Montana Counties
- Historical Maps and Atlases of Montana - maps and atlases of Montana
- 1890 United States Census of Union Veterans and Widows of the Civil War, 1890 at FamilySearch.— index
- 1890 - 1918 Montana Military Enlistments at Montana Memory Project
World War I
- 1917 - 1918 U.S. WW I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 at FamilySearch — Index and images
- Soldiers of the Great War from the State of Montana at USGenWeb.
- Military Enlistments Montana World War I at Montana Memory Project
World War II
- WWII Army and Army Air Force Casualties for Montana - Index only
For further information see Montana Military Records.
Naturalization and Citizenship
Online Naturalization Records
- 1791-1992 - U.S. Naturalization Record Indexes, 1791-1992 at Ancestry — ($), index only
- 1868-1999 - Montana Naturalization Records, 1868-1999 at FamilySearch — Browseable images only
- 1870-1999 - Montana, Federal Naturalization Records, 1870-1999 at Ancestry — ($), index only
- 1913-1956 - Montana, Big Horn County Records, 1884-2011 at FamilySearch - Index and images; various naturalization and citizenship records from 1913-1956
For more information, see Montana Newspapers.
Montana Newspapers Online
- GenealogyBank - ($), contains images of Montana newspapers
- Newspaper Archive - ($), contains images of Montana newspapers
- Chronicling America - contains images of some Montana newspapers; searching tips
- Elephind - Free; search engine that retrieves newspaper images from other free newspaper websites
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
- Obituary Daily Times - large obituary index from newspapers across the United States.(Ancestry)
See also United States Obituaries for more about finding United States obituaries.
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.
- 1831 – 1952 Montana Wills and Probate Records 1831-1952 at Ancestry.com — index and images $
- 1913 – 1947 - Montana, Big Horn County Records, 1884-2011 at FamilySearch - Index and images; various probate records from 1913-1947
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 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.
- 1840 - 2004 Montana, County Births and Deaths, 1840-2004 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1840 - 2004 Montana, County Births and Deaths, 1840-2004 at Ancestry ($) — index
- Montana Department of Health Department of Health Birth and Death Records
- 1899 - 1982 - Montana, Big Horn County Records, 1884-2011 at FamilySearch - Index and images; various birth records from 1899-1982
- 1800-1994 - Montana, United States Marriages at FindMyPast — index $
- Montana Marriage Records
- 1865 - 1950 Montana, County Marriages, 1865-1950 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1865 - 1950 Montana, County Marriages, 1865-1950 at Ancestry ($) — index
- 1889 - 1947 Montana Marriages, 1889-1947 at FamilySearch — index
- 1889 - 1947 Montana Select Marriages 1889-1947 at Ancestry ($) — index
- 1913 - 1996 - Montana, Big Horn County Records, 1884-2011 at FamilySearch - Index and images; various marriage records from 1913-1996
- Western States Marriage Index - Index, incomplete, list of counties included
- 1840 - 2004 Montana, County Births and Deaths, 1840 - 2004 — index and images
- 1840 - 2004 Montana, County Births and Deaths, 1840 - 2004 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1840 - 2004 Montana, County Births and Deaths, 1840 - 2004 at Ancestry ($) — index
- 1860 - 2007 Montana Death Index, 1860 - 2007 at FamilySearch — index
- 1868 - 2011 Montana, Death Index, 1868 - 2011 at Ancestry ($) — index
- 1909 - 2011 - Montana, Big Horn County Records, 1884-2011 at FamilySearch - Index and images; various death records from 1909-2011
- pre 1954 - 2002 Montana State Death Registry Index Pre 1954 & 1954 - 2002 at Montana State Genealogical Society — index
- 1954 - 2011 Montana Death Records at findmypast ($) — index
Family History Centers
Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes.
Big Horn County Historical Society
Hardin, Mt., 59034
- USGenWeb Big Horn County, Montana project. May have maps, name indexes, history or other information for this county.
- Genealogy-Big Horn County, Montana
- Kindred Trails-Big Horn County, Montana
- Big Horn County, Montana Family History Genealogy
- 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
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002).
- http://genealogytrails.com/mon/bighorn/ accessed 11/15/2016
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Horn_County,_Montana accessed 11/15/2016
- The Handybook for Genealogists : United States of America, 10th ed., (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002), p. 415.
- 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.
- Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Rev. ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 1992), 439.
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002).
- Wikipedia contributors, "Big Horn County, Montana," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Horn_County,_Montana, accessed 5 December 2016.
- ’'Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 409. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.