Lewis and Clark County, Montana Genealogy
Guide to Lewis and Clark 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
Lewis and Clark County Courthouse
316 N Park Avenue
Helena, MT 59624
Lewis and Clark County Website
County Clerk has birth records from 1907, divorce records from 1895 and land records from 1865
Clerk District Court has marriage, divorce, probate and court records 
Lewis and Clark 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.
Parent County: created 2 February 1865 as an original county
County seat: Helena 
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:
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 — ($); Index and images; Dates vary for each county
Other Church Records
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Ward and Branch Records
Emigration and Immigration
Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups
Land and Property Records
Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.
See Montana Land and Property for additional information about early Montana land grants. After land was transferred to private ownership, subsequent transactions were usually recorded at the county courthouse, where records are currently housed.
- 1869-1888 Helena Town Site, Lewis and Clark County, Montana, deed records, 1869-1888
- 1865-1940 Lewis and Clark County, Montana, deed records ; indexes, 1865-1940
- 1865-1963 Lewis and Clark County, Montana, mining deed records ; indexes, 1865-1963
Online Land Records
- Land Patent Search - index to federal patents and homesteads on the Bureau of Land Management website, some images available
- 1796 - 1907 - U.S. General Land Office Records, 1796-1907 at Ancestry - index, info taken from Bureau of Land Management website
- 1863 - 1908 - U.S. Homestead Records 1863-1908 at Ancestry.com - ($), index and images
Local histories are available for Lewis and Clark 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.
- In the Shadows of the Rockies : A History of the Augusta Area. c 1978. By the Augusta Heritage Committee (Augusta, Montana). [Montana?] : Fairfield Times. At various libraries(WorldCat).
Online County Histories
- Valleys of the Prickly Pear: (Helena, Lewis & Clark County, Montana). c1988. By Floy Synness Peterson. Helena, Montana : The Little Red Schoolhouse Inc. Online at FamilySearch Online Books; At various libraries(WorldCat).
Maps and Gazetteers
- See an interactive map of Lewis and Clark County cemeteries and modern-day townships. (Histopolis)
- 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
- 1904 - 1918 Lewis and Clark County, Montana, military records, 1904-1918
World War I
- 1904 - 1918 - Montana, Military Records, 1904-1918 at FamilySearch — index
- 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
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 — ($), index only
- 1866-1929 - Montana Naturalization Records, 1856-1979 – Browseable images only; County records for Lewis and Clark County have various naturalization records from 1866-1929.
- 1870-1999 - Montana, Federal Naturalization Records, 1870-1999 at Ancestry — ($), index only
- 1933-1993 Montana Naturalization Records, 1868-1999 – Browseable images only; U.S. Circuit Court covering Lewis and Clark County containing various naturalization records from 1933-1993.
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
- Butte and Helena newspapers. This database is sometimes free at libraries.
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.
See also United States Obituaries for more about finding United States obituaries.
- 1882-1915 Lewis and Clark County, Montana, election register, 1882-1915
- 1897-1926 Lewis and Clark County, Montana, school census, 1897-1926
- 1882-1924 Lewis and Clark County, Montana, school census, 1882-1924
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, Lewis and Clark - Probate records.
Online Probate Records
- 1831 – 1952 Montana Wills and Probate Records 1831-1952 at Ancestry.com — index and images $
- 1904-1962 Lewis and Clark County, Montana, wills and probate proceedings indexes 1904-1962
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
- 1841 - 1830, 1841 - 2001 Lewis and Clark County, Montana, death records, 1869-1950; birth records, 1841-1930; indexes, 1841-2001 Viewable
- 1800 - 1994 - Montana, United States Marriages at FindMyPast — index $
- 1865 - 1859, 1865 - 1975 Lewis and Clark County, Montana, marriage records, 1865-1959 ; Index, 1865 - 1975 Viewable
- 1865 - 1950 Montana, County Marriages, 1865 - 1950 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1865 - 1950 Montana, County Marriages, 1865 - 1950 at Ancestry ($) — index
- 1866 - 1985 Lewis & Clark County, Montana, marriages, 1866 - 1985 indexes
- 1889 - 1947 Montana Marriages, 1889 - 1947 at FamilySearch — index
- 1889 - 1947 Montana Select Marriages 1889 - 1947 at Ancestry ($) — index
- Western States Marriage Index - Index, incomplete, list of counties included
- 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
- 1869 - 1950, 1841 - 1930, 1841-2001 Lewis and Clark County, Montana, death records, 1869-1950; birth records, 1841-1930; indexes, 1841-2001 Viewable
- 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.
Upper Blackfoot Historical Soiecty
P.O. Box 922
Lewis and Clark County Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 5313
120 South Last Chance Gulch
Helena, MT 59601
Meetings are held at The Library is located on the mezzanine of the Lewis and Clark Library
- Genealogy Inc Lewis and Clark County, Montana
- Genealogy Trails Lewis and Clark County, Montana
- Montana Genealogy
- USGenWeb Lewis and Clark 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
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002).
- http://genealogytrails.com/mon/lewisandclark/ accessed 11/18/2016
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_and_Clark_County,_Montana accessed 11/18/2016
- The Handybook for Genealogists : United States of America, 10th ed., (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002), p. 416.
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Lewis and Clark County, Montana. Page 416. 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.
- 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, "Lewis and Clark County, Montana," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_and_Clark_County,_Montana, accessed 7 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.