Montana, County Births and Deaths (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: Montana,County Births and Deaths,1861-2004 .
The collection consists of images of registers and certificates of birth and death records acquired from county courthouses. The collection includes the following counties:
- Deer Lodge
- Lewis and Clark
- Silver Bow
Some counties began recording births and deaths as early as 1864. These records have usually been kept by the clerk of the court in each county. Statewide registration of vital statistics began in Montana in 1907 and was generally complied with by 1920.
For a list of records by localities and dates currently published in this collection, select the Browse.
The collection covers the years 1861 to 2004.
These records were created to keep track of the vital events happening in the lives of the citizens and to safeguard their legal interests.
These records are generally reliable but can vary depending on the knowledge of the informant.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the data and images published on FamilySearch.org Historical Records. It may include the author, custodian, publisher, or archive for the origianl records..
- Montana Bureau of Vital Statistics. Montana, county births and deaths. Courthouses throughout Montana.
The birth records contain the following information:
- Child’s name
- Child’s sex
- Birth date
- Birth place
- Whether stillborn or living
- Number of child in the family, 1st, 2nd, etc.
- Parents' names
- Parents' race
- Parents' residence
- Father’s occupation
- Name and address of person reporting the birth
The death records contain the following information:
- Name of deceased
- Death date
- Death place
- Age in days, months, and years
- Marital status
- Birth place
- Name of parents
- Birthplace of parents
- Occupation of father
- Name of spouse
- Cause of death
- Name of person reporting the death
- Address of person reporting the death
- Undertaker’s address
How to Use the Record
To search the collection, select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page ⇒ Select the County ⇒ Select the Record Type, Year Range, Volume number/letter which takes you to the images.
Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.
To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:
- The county where the birth or death occurred
- The approximate date the event occurred
- The place the event occurred
- The name of the individual such as the infant, or the deceased
Compare the information in the record to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination.
When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family.
- Use the birth record to find the parents' names.
- Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
- Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and land records.
- Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment records or military records.
- Use the parents' birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
- The name of the officiator may be a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county.
- The name of the undertaker or mortuary could lead you to funeral and cemetery records, which often include the names and residences of other family members.
- Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
- Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have been born or died in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
- When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
- Keep in mind there is also some variation in the information given from one record to another record.
If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, try the following:
- Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
- Check for an index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume.
- Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
Related Wiki Articles
Contributions to This Article
| We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records. |
Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.
Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.
Citation Example for a Record Found in a This Collection
"Montana, County Births and Deaths, 1840-2004," images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org https :acessed 22 May 2012), Warren L. McMillan, born 25 November 1903, citing Montana Bureau of Vital Statistics. Montana, county births and deaths. Courthouses throughout Montana.
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.