Carter County, Montana Genealogy

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United StatesGotoarrow.png Montana Gotoarrow.png Carter County

Guide to Carter County, Montana ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.


County Facts
County seat: Ekalaka
Organized: February 22, 1917
Parent County(s): Custer [1]
Neighboring Counties
Butte (SD)  • Crook (WY)  • Custer  • Fallon  • Harding (SD)  • Powder River
See County Maps
Location Map
Map of Montana highlighting Carter County.svg.png
This page is available for adoption

County Information


Carter County was formed in 1917. The county seat is Ekalaka.[2] Carter County was named for Thomas Henry Carter, the first congressman from Montana. It is located in the south eastern area of the state.[3]

County Courthouse

Carter County Courthouse
214 Park Street
Ekalaka, MT 59324
Phone: 406.775.8749
Carter County Website
County Clerk has birth, death and land records from 1917. Clerk Courts has marriage, divorce, probate, probate and court records[4]

Carter County, Montana Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
* For earlier dates, try... Church | Obituaries | Cemeteries

Record Loss

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Boundary Changes

Parent County: created 22 February 1917 from Custer County.
County seat: Ekalaka [1]

Populated Places

The following are locations in the county from Wikipedia: [5]

Unincorporated communites


Bible Records


Business, Commerce, and Occupations


Cemeteries of Carter County, Montana online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See Montana Cemeteries for more information

Census Records

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1920 3,972
1930 4,136 4.1%
1940 3,280 −20.7%
1950 2,798 −14.7%
1960 2,493 −10.9%
1970 1,956 −21.5%
1980 1,799 −8.0%
1990 1,503 −16.5%
2000 1,360 −9.5%
2010 1,160 −14.7%
Source: [1]

For tips on accessing Carter County, Montana Genealogy census records online, see: Montana Census.

Federal Census Records

Federal Censuses were taken for Montana starting in 1870. For links to federal census indexes, see "Montana Census" link above.

Church Records

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.

Court Records


Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups

Funeral Homes



Land and Property Records

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.

Online Land Records

Local Histories

Local histories are available for Carter 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.

Online County Histories

Maps and Gazetteers

Carter County


Military Records

Civil War

World War I

For further information see Montana Military Records.

Naturalization and Citizenship


Montana Newspapers Online

Montana Newspaper Catalogs

  • U.S. Newspaper Directory, 1690-Present on Chronicling America - contains a list of all known newspapers and the dates they cover; once you locate a newspaper name, contact the local library to see if they have copies of the newspaper

Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Carter County, Montana Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:


See also United States Obituaries for more about finding United States obituaries.

Other Records


Probate Records

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, Carter - Probate records.

School Records

Tax Records

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

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.





Research Facilities


Family History Centers

Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes.





  • USGenWeb Carter County, Montana project. May have maps, name indexes, history or other information for this county.
  • FamilySearch Catalog - The FamilySearch catalog contains descriptions and access information for all genealogical materials (including books, online materials, microfilm, microfiche, and publications) in their collection.  Use Historical Records to search for specific individuals in genealogical records

Research Guides


  1. 1.0 1.1 The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. accessed 11/15/2016
  3.,_Montana accessed 11/15/2016
  4. The Handybook for Genealogists : United States of America, 10th ed., (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002), p. 415.
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Carter County, Montana," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Montana, accessed 5 December 2016.