Montana Church Records

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Before 1900 the largest religious groups in Montana were the Roman Catholic, Methodist, Episcopal, and Presbyterian churches.[1] Each group arrived during the territorial period to proselyte among the Indians and the miners.

Missions[edit | edit source]

  • St. Francis Xavier Mission Jesuit mission 1887-1960
  • Holy Family Mission Jesuit mission 1890-1914  - Guide to records
  • Ignatius Mission 1854 Catholic on Flathead Reservation
  • St. Paul's Mission 1887 Catholic on Fort Belknap Reservation
  • St. Mary's Mission Jesuit 1841-1908
  • St. Paul's Mission Catholic 1887
  • St. Peter's Mission Jesuit 1859-1898

The Family History Library has a few church records for Montana. The collection includes histories of the United Methodists, United Brethren, and Roman Catholics.

Many denominations have gathered their records into central repositories. You can write to the following addresses to learn where their records are located.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons)[edit | edit source]

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The usage of "Mormon" and "LDS" on this page is approved according to current policy.

Early Montana ward and branch records are available on microfilm at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Find film numbers by searching the FamilySearch Catalog, or by refering to Jaussi, Laureen R., and Gloria D. Chaston. Register of Genealogical Society Call Numbers. 2 vols. Provo, Utah: Genealogy Tree, 1982. (FHL book 979.2258 A3j; fiche 6031507). These volumes contain the film numbers for many (but not all) membership and temple records.

Methodist[edit | edit source]

Montana Methodist Historical Society
Paul M. Adams Memorial Library
Rocky Mountain College
1511 Poly Drive
Billings, MT 59102
Phone: 406-657-1000 or 1-800-877-6259
Fax: 406-259-9751

Presbyterian[edit | edit source]

Presbyterian Historical Society
United Presbyterian Church in the United States
425 Lombard Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147-1516
Phone: 215-627-1852
Fax: 215-627-0509

Roman Catholic[edit | edit source]

Diocese of Great Falls—Billings
121 23rd Street South
P.O. Box 1399
Great Falls, MT 59403-1399
Phone: 406-727-6683
Fax: 406-454-3480

The diocese includes the counties of: Big Horn, Blaine, Carbon, Carter, Cascade, Chouteau, Custer, Daniels, Dawson, Fallon, Fergus, Garfield, Golden Valley, Hill ,Judith Basin, Liberty, McCone, Musselshell, Park, Petroleum, Phillips, Powder River, Prairie, Richland, Rosebud, Roosevelt, Sheridan, Stillwater, Sweet Grass, Toole, Treasure, Valley, Wibaux and Yellowstone

Diocese of Helena Archive
515 North Ewing
P.O. Box 1729
Helena, MT 59624-1729
Phone: 406-442-5820

The diocese includes the counties of: Beaverhead, Broadwater, Deer Lodge, Flathead, Gallatin, Glacier, Granite, Jefferson, Lake, Lewis and Clark, Lincoln, Madison, Meagher, Mineral, Missoula, Pondera, Powell, Ravalli, Sanders, Silver Bow, Teton, Wheatland

The following guides may help you find church records:

  • A Directory of Churches and Religious Organizations in Montana. Bozeman, Montana: Historical Records Survey, 1941. FHL Collection book 978.6 K24h; film 908039 item 8
  • Inventory of the Vital Statistics Records of Church and Religious Organizations in Montana. Bozeman, Montana: Historical Records Survey, 1942. FHL Collection book 978.6 V2hi; film 1036415 item 3; fiche 6046711. This gives the types of records available in 1942 and the years covered by the records.

A list of pre-1910 churches, their addresses, and dates they began keeping records is in Montana's Genealogical and Local History Records (see Montana For Further Reading).

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Sydney E. Ahlstrom, A Religious History of the American People (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1972). FHL Book 973 K2ah.