Ravalli County, Montana Genealogy

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United States
Ravalli County

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


Ravalli County was founded on March 3, 1893. The County Seat is Hamilton. It 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

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

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

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

Boundary Changes

  • Ravalli County map
  • 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
    • Pyretees
    Census-designated places


    Bible Records


    Business, Commerce, and Occupations


    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

    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: [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

    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 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.

    • The Missoulian Souvenir of The National Irrigation Congress: Historic and Scenic Missoula and Ravalli Counties, Montana. c1968. By Wagner and Sevigne. Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah. At various libraries(WorldCat).

    Maps and Gazetteers

    Missoula CountyGranite CountyDeer Lodge CountyBeaverhead CountyLemhi County, IdahoIdaho County, IdahoMT RAVALLI.JPG
    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, Ravalli - 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.





    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.




    Bitterroot Genealogical Society
    702 S. Fifth Street
    Hamilton 59840

    Ravalli County Historical Society
    205 Bedford St
    Hamilton 59840-2853
    Phone:(406) 363-3338

    Victor Heritage Association
    125 N Blake St
    Victor 59875-9470


    Research Guides


    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.