Fergus County, Montana Genealogy

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United States
Fergus County

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


County Facts
County seat: Lewistown
Organized: March 12, 1885
Parent County(s): Meagher and Chouteau[1]
Neighboring Counties
Blaine  • Chouteau  • Golden Valley  • Judith Basin  • Musselshell  • Petroleum  • Phillips  • Wheatland
See County Maps
Fergus County Courthouse.jpg
Location Map
Map of Montana highlighting Fergus County.svg.png

County Information


The County was named for James Fergus. The County has Lewistown as its seat and the County was created 1885. The County is located in the central area of the state. [2]

County Courthouse

Fergus County Courthouse
712 W Main Street
Lewistown, MT 59457-2562
Phone: 406.538.5119
Fergus County Website

County Clerk has birth and death records;
Clerk Court has marriage, divorce, probate and court records;
County Assessor has land records[3]

Fergus 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.

Known Beginning Dates for Major Records[4]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1904 1885 1904 1885 1885 1885 1860
*State birth and death records began in 1907.
Compliance for recording births was 1922 and 1915 for deaths.[5]

Record Loss

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

Boundary Changes

Populated Places

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


Bible Records


Business, Commerce, and Occupations


Cemeteries of Fergus 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

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1890 3,514
1900 6,937 97.4%
1910 17,385 150.6%
1920 28,344 63.0%
1930 16,531 −41.7%
1940 14,040 −15.1%
1950 14,015 −0.2%
1960 14,018 0.0%
1970 12,611 −10.0%
1980 13,076 3.7%
1990 12,083 −7.6%
2000 11,893 −1.6%
2010 11,586 −2.6%
Source: [1]

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

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

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

Other Church Records
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Ward and Branch Records

  • Lewiston

Court Records


Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups

Funeral Homes



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

Local Histories

Local histories are available for Fergus 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.

  • From the Foothills to the Plains; History of Southeastern Fergus County. c1999. By Grass Range History Committee. [Montana?] : Grass Range History Committee. At various libraries(WorldCat).
  • Homestead Fever : History of Denton-Danvers-Coffee Creek. c1977. By Denton Heritage Committee. Great Falls, Montana : Blue Print & Letter Co. At various libraries(WorldCat).

Online County Histories

Maps and Gazetteers

Fergus CountyChouteau CountyBlaine CountyPhillips CountyPetroleum CountyMusselshell CountyGolden Valley CountyWheatland CountyJudith Basin CountyMT Fergus.png
About this image
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Military Records

Online Collections

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

Online Naturalization Records


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


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

Other Records


Probate Records

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, Fergus - Probate records.

Online Probate Records

School Records

Tax Records

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

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.

Central Montana Genealogical Society has marriage indexes, birth and mortuary records. They also have family histories. Please see entry under Libraries and societies.





Research Facilities


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.


Resources at the Lewistown Public Library include:
  • Central Montana Church Records
  • Cemetery and Mortuary Records
  • Birth and Marriage Records
  • Montana Census Films
  • Local Histories and Newspaper Microfilms
They are very knowledgeable and helpful.



Central Montana Genealogical Society
Located on the upper floor of the Lewistown Public Library
701 West Main
Lewistown, Montana, 59457
Telephone: 406–538–5212


  • USGenWeb Fergus County, Montana project. May have maps, name indexes, history or other information for this county.
  • 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
  • Kindred Trails separates the resource website links into categories.
  • Newspaperarchive.com ($) There are some Fergus county obituaries listed on this website.

Research Guides


  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Fergus County, Kentucky" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fergus_County,_Montana."
  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), Fergus 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), 406.
  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, "Fergus County, Montana," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fergus_County,_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.