History: Montana was first settled in 1846. The western part of the state became part of Oregon Territory in 1846, and in 1860 became Missoula County in Washington Territory. By 1864, all of Montana was part of Idaho Territory, and in the same year of 1864, it became Montana Territory. Montana became a state in 1889.
Birth records: Some counties in Montana recorded births as early as 1878, though most did not. Statewide registration of births began in 1907 with complete records by 1920. Birth records from 1907 to the present can be obtained from the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.
Marriage records: Marriage records in Montana were generally kept soon after the organization of each county. Marriage records can be obtained from the county clerk of the district court in the individual county. Marriage records from 1943 to the present can be obtained from the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.
Death records: Some counties in Montana recorded deaths as early as 1884, though most did not. Statewide registration of deaths began in 1907 with complete records by 1920. Death records from 1907 to the present can be obtained from the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.
Divorce records: Divorce records can be obtained from the clerk of the district court of the individual counties.
Census records: The first federal census available for Montana is 1860. There are federal censuses publicly available for 1860 (listed with Dakota and Washington Territories), 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940, and 1950.
County records: Court, land, probate, naturalization, and tax records were kept by the individual counties.
Other records: Many cities and towns kept newspapers, churches kept records, and there are records of cemeteries, histories, schools, city directories, and other records that can be located by using the city pages on this site. Records specific to minority groups can be found in the Minority Records section.
All records: Use the links on this site to locate the online indexes and images of many of the above records.