Montana, Sanders County Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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United States Gotoarrow.png Montana Gotoarrow.pngSanders County

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Montana, Sanders County Records, 1866-2010 .
This article describes a collection of records at
Sanders, Montana, United States
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Location of Sanders County, Montana
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Location of Montana
Record Description
Record Type County Records
Collection years 1866-2010
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites

What is in the Collection?

The collection consists of images of county birth, death, marriage, veteran burials, voter, naturalization, land and probate records located in the county courthouse in Thompson Falls. This collection is being published as images become available. The death certificates have been indexed. This collection includes records from 1866 to 2010.

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Montana, Sanders County Records, 1866-2010.

Coverage Map

To see a coverage map of FamilySearch's holdings of Montana marriages click here.

Collection Content

Sample Images

Records may contain any of the following information:

  • Name of primary individual or individuals
  • Ages
  • Date and place of birth, death, or marriage
  • Names of parents, siblings, family members, witnesses, or heirs
  • Residences
  • Occupations
  • Place of origin
  • Estate inventories
  • Property descriptions
  • Amount of monies transacted

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:

  • Name of the ancestor
  • Type of event such as marriage or naturalization
  • Approximate date of event

Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page:
Fill in your ancestor’s name in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about those in the list to what you already know about your own ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person.

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select the "Record Category"
⇒Select the "Record Type, Record Description, and Year Range" category which takes you to the images

Look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.

With either search keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.

For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

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. Add this new information to your records of each family. The information may also lead you to other records about your ancestors. The following examples show ways you can use the information:

  • Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church, land, and census records.
  • Use ages to determine approximate birth dates.
  • Use will filing or probating dates as approximate death dates.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Some counties were subdivided or the boundaries may have changed. Consider searching neighboring counties as well since that courthouse may have been more convenient for the person.
  • Witnesses and neighbors, even those with a different surname, may have been relatives, in-laws, or even a widowed mother who has remarried. You may want to check the records of these witnesses and neighbors, especially if they are frequently found in your ancestor’s land records.
  • The information in the records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1900.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another record.
  • Search for records of people in the county who shared a surname. These may have been the couple’s parents, uncles, or other relatives. Your ancestor may have been an heir who sold inherited land that had belonged to parents or grandparents.
  • To find later generations, search the land records a few years before and after a person’s death. Your ancestor may have sold or given land to his or her heirs before death, or the heirs may have sold the land after the individual died. For daughters, the names of their husbands are often provided. For sons, the given names of their wives may be included. Heirs may have sold their interest in the land to another heir even though the record may not indicate this. Continue this process for identifying each succeeding generation.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.

I Can't Find Who I'm Looking for, What Now?

  • Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
  • Check for indexes. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume.
  • Search the indexes for the “parent” county to find the original purchase of a parcel of land. You may also need to search a neighboring county since that courthouse may have been more convenient for the person to record the deed.
  • Make a list of all residences mentioned in the records within a year or two of when your ancestors came to the county—regardless of surname. Then search the records of places that seem likely or that occur frequently.
  • Create a database for other people with the same surname who lived in the county. Doing this may help you identify which individuals were related. If your ancestor’s records do not contain the information you need, a county database might give you a more complete picture.

Citing this Collection

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information; that is, cite your sources. This will help people find the record again and evaluate the reliability of the source. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records. Citations are available for the collection as a whole and each record or image individually.

Collection Citation:

"Montana, Sanders County Records, 1866-2010." Database with Images. FamilySearch. : accessed 2016. Citing County Clerk. Sanders County Courthouse, Thompson Falls, Montana.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for Montana, Sanders County Records, 1866-2010.

Image Citation:

The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Montana, Sanders County Records, 1866-2010.

How You Can Contribute

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

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