Montana, County Births and Deaths (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: Montana, County Births and Deaths,1840-2004 .
The collection consists of images of registers and certificates of birth and death records acquired from county courthouses for the years 1840 to 2004. 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.
These records were created to keep track of the vital events happening in the lives of the citizens and to safeguard their legal interests. They are generally reliable but can vary depending on the knowledge of the informant.
For a list of records by localities and dates currently published in this collection, select the Browse link from the collection landing page.
Birth records usually contain the following information:
- Child’s name, gender and race
- Child’s birth date and place of birth
- Whether child was stillborn or living
- Number of child in the family, 1st, 2nd, etc.
- Names of parents, including maiden name of mother
- Parents' residence
- Father’s occupation
- Birth place of father
- Birth place of mother
Death records usually contain the following:
- Name and age of deceased
- Date and place of death including county, township and city/village
- Age in days, months, and years
- Gender, race, marital status, occupation and residence of deceased
- Birth place of deceased
- Name of parents and their birth place
- Name of spouse
- Cause of death
- Name and address of person reporting death
- Burial information
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.
Search the collection by image 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.
As you are searching it is helpful to know such information as your ancestor’s given name and surname, some identifying information such as residence and age, and family relationships. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as your ancestor and that your ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times.
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.
|FHL Place United States, Montana items or FHL Keyword Montana items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see Montana Archives and Libraries.|
Known Issues with This Collection
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Contributions to This Article
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Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Records collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.
- "Montana, County Births and Deaths, 1840-2004." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013.
- This page was last modified on 26 August 2014, at 17:08.
- This page has been accessed 8,406 times.
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