Cascade County, Montana GenealogyEdit This Page
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Guide to Cascade County Montana genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.
|Cascade County, Montana|
Location of Montana in the U.S.
|Founded||September 12, 1887|
|County Seat||Great Falls|
|Address|| Cascade County Courthouse|
425 2nd Ave N
Great Falls, MT 59401
Cascade County Website
|Beginning dates for major county records|
|* For earlier dates, try... Church | Obituaries | Cemeteries|
- Parent County: created 12 September 1887 from Chouteau, Meagher, and Lewis and Clark Counties.
- County seat: Great Falls 
- Neighboring Counties: Chouteau | Judith Basin | Lewis and Clark | Meagher | Teton
The Cascade Counties all known cemeteries have been as completely organized and placed online and indexed.
The website link is located through the USGenWeb Montana, Cascade County site. This is a great tool to located family members.
The names and dates are recorded according to the transcribed cemetery records, from the records or headstone. The sources were hard to read so the best guess is what had to be recorded online for the website.
Remember that headstone information was inscribed by a third person with information given a time of great stress. (Some headstones were homemade and placed at a grave site years after the death of a family member. My father Ernest Somppi made a headstone for his sister who died before he was born. These headstones are symbols of love and service, that are some times records of memory of someone life. My aunt's name and dates were a bit different than her death certificate so it took my family 100 years to obtain the death certificate.)
This website is a great service to people who have relatives placed in Cascade County graves.
There is additional information such as actual grave location, family members, birth and death dates, birth and death locations. This complete index is available thru the Great Falls Genealogy Society: www.gfgenealogy.org
- Highlands Cemetery, Old and New, Great Falls BillionGraves. So named because it was likely the cemetery shown on the Google map was at first somewhat smaller and was later expanded.
For tips on accessing Cascade County, Montana Genealogy census records online, see: Montana Census.
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.
Emigration and Immigration
Ethnic, Political or Religious Groups
Local histories are available for Cascade 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.
Many communities have published histories of the area. Example: Great Falls Memories, A Photo album - 1884 to 1939. A compilation of photo histories of the city, transportation, people, commerce, industry, education, community, disasters, recreation and celebrations, business profiles. This a typical type of project that cities and communities undertake to commemorate the subject.
Most Cascade County local histories have been indexed by the Great Falls Genealogy Society and are available to the the public on their web site: www.gfgenealogy.org
In each area photos from private and public collections have identified families members and people. Some books contain photos of people who were notable or have relatives still in the Great Falls area. Few family history might be related to the articles but historic color is very well illustrated in similar books. Archival photos do show decade styles of fashion, architecture, and social moments like baseball in 1914.
Smaller communities produce history books that seem to have more family histories of the the people who lived in the areas. These books are compiled by local groups and people usually by asking known relatives to write a family history for their family and include photos if they can. These books may also contain researched lists of teachers and ministers of churches that passed through the communities. Small histories may cover time periods from the end of the 19th Century: For example the history Valley Ventures for the Simms and Fort Shaw, Montana communities starts with the building of Fort Shaw established by the 13th US Infantry in 1868–1869 at the Sun River in the Missouri River Basin. (The Buffalo Soldiers were stationed at Fort Shaw later. Also my Grandfather Arthur Foxall was one of the men hired to dismantle the Fort in the mid 1920's.) This book has biographical family histories and copies of old letters. This book was a book produced by regular people before computers and personal printers. There are no dates when the book was printed. Dating the book is not important for this book because all histories have been authored.
Small community histories have recorded thousands family histories for people who were just a line on the US Census pages. This maybe the only record of these people.
While trying to locate some community histories do not mention the community in the title of the book so search for the books by subject or surname. Historical centers in local, county, states most likely have some reference to all communities planned or published histories. Families will only be mentioned in community histories if they were known by or had contact with a person related to the project editors.
The Salt Lake Family History Library has copies of many of the community history books. Most if not all of these types of books were on limited printings and were only published once. The undertaking to publish a community history is such a big project that a history of many communities are only published once. Many of the books might be available through inter-library loan service. Inter-library loan service can be checked out in any USA main county library.
A few communities histories do surface in used book sales online and in book stores. Most of the time these used books will cost far beyond the original price that they were sold for originally. So do not purchase the book unless you have checked the contents to see if the cost of the book warrants the possible family information that could be of use found in this type of history.
Land and Property
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.
- See an interactive map of Cascade County cemeteries and modern-day townships. (Histopolis)
Naturalization and Citizenship
Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Cascade County, Montana Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:
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, Cascade - Probate records.
County Clerk has birth, death and land records from 1917.
Clerk of the Court has marriage, divorce, probate and court records.
On September 12, 1887, "An Act Creating Cascade County, its Boundaries, provisions for its organization and the officers to fill the various positions until the first election," was passed by the Territorial Legislative Assembly. Cascade County had been formed from parts of Meagher, Choteau and Lewis and Clarke* Counties. Great Falls was designated as the County Seat until otherwise determined by law. Included in the Act were portions of debts incurred by the original counties that would be paid by Cascade County, money transfers from county treasurers to be paid to the Cascade County Treasurer for the support of schools in the new county, provisions for the election of county officials, and the powers and duties of the officials. 
*As was spelled in the 1887 Montana Code Book.
If you need to contact the current Clerk and Records or Clerk of Court you may use http://www.co.cascade.mt.us/contact
Cascade County Courthouse is located at 425 Second Ave North, old stone structure. The Clerk and Recorder office is located on the main floor in the east end of building. Local US Census film readers are availble. The deeds and land records office is also on the main floor.
Naturalization records are located at the History Museum. The complete index to the records is located at the Great Falls Genealogy Society Library.
Family History Centers
Family History Center is located 1401 Ninth Ave Northwest. The FHC is in the LDS Stake Center in an area on the West of the Missouri River and North of Central Ave West. The church building is blocks away from the CMR High School but may not be on any public transportation route. Call to make sure they are open, the phone number can be found on www.familysearch.org All FHC records vary from Library to Library and each Library has a different selection of books. No fee to use FHC for research.
The Great Falls Public Library is located at 301 Second Ave North on a one way street going west. This the main Cascade County Library. Historical books and records are located in the Montana Room. City directories, county histories, school annuals, and historic book collections are of local interest. The Montana Room is only open to the public Monday thru Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cascade County Historical Society Museum and Archive is located at 422 Second Street South, Great Falls, Montana
Relocated in the early 2000's to a larger restored warehouse. They have a large archives to research and holdings of artifacts. There is a fee. No website as of 2009. They stock community history books and local biographies to view and for purchase.
The Great Falls Genealogy Society Library is located at 301 Second Avenue North, on the third floor of the Public Library. The library is open to the public, Monday thru Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Over 10,000 resources are available covering local, national and international locations and volunteers are on hand to assist patrons with their family research. The Society holds monthly meetings featuring programs related to family research and conducts workshops and classes on a regular basis, also open to the public. Website: www.gfgenealogy.org
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 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.
- Western States Marriage Index marriages from 1887-1890
- Montana, Cascade - Marriage records, 1887-1950; Index 1887-1953
- Cascade County Montana Web Site
- USGenWeb project. May have maps, name indexes, history or other information for this county. Select the state, then the county.
- Family History Library Catalog
A wiki article describing an online collection is found at:
Great Fallsis the largest city in Cascade County and the County Seat. There are a number of small towns left in Cascade County: Armington, Belt, Black Eagle, Cascade, Centerville, Fort Shaw, Hardy, Monarch, Neihart, Portage, Sand Coulee, Simms, Stockett, Sun River, Tracy, Ulm, Vaughn.
Some small towns have vanished. Montana is a newer State, so land offices have a record of the populated or once populated towns. Many people homesteaded farms and did not live in towns records. Homestead records are part of the BLM or Bureau of Land Management and may not listed by county but by plot numbers. The County courthouse land records have several types of records, one type is plot.
- ↑ The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002).
- ↑ The Handybook for Genealogists : United States of America, 10th ed., (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002), p. 415.
- ↑ Information from http://www.co.cascade.mt.us/?p=aboutus