Montana Church Records
Before 1900 the largest religious groups in Montana were the Roman Catholic, Methodist, Episcopal, and Presbyterian churches. Each group arrived during the territorial period to proselyte among the Indians and the miners.
- 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)
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 Family History Library 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.
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
Diocese of Great Falls—Billings
121 23rd Street South
P.O. Box 1399
Great Falls, MT 59403-1399
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
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).
- Ahlstrom, Sydney E. A Religious History of the American People (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1972).