Pondera County, Montana Genealogy

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United States Gotoarrow.png Montana Gotoarrow.png Pondera County

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


Pondera County, Montana
Map of the U.S. highlighting Montana
Location of Montana in the U.S.
Founded February 17, 1919
County Seat Conrad
Address Pondera County Courthouse
20 4th Ave SW
Conrad, MT 59425-2340
Phone: 406.278.4000
Pondera County Website

Historical Facts

Beginning dates for major county records
* For earlier dates, try... Church | Obituaries | Cemeteries

Boundary Changes

The Montana legislature created Pondera County in 1919 from Chouteau and Teton Counties with Conrad as the county seat. Local lore suggests that Pondera is either the phonetic spelling of the French word “Pend d’Oreille” meaning hanging earring or “pain d’or” meaning golden bread for the color of the native grasses in the area. Wheat production remains the main industry for the county.

Record Loss

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


At FamilySearch Pondera County Records, 1910-2012



Pondera County Cemeteries

Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county
Findagrave.com Family History Library Findagrave.com
MTGenWeb WorldCat Billion Graves
Billion Graves Hom Town Locator
Tombstone Project
See Montana Cemeteries for more information.

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 or Religious Groups




Local histories are available for Pondera 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.

Land and Property

On line at FamilySearch: Grantee and Granto index 1919-1950, Deeds Vol 1-12 (1910-1932), and Patents Vol 1-5 (1910-1974)

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.


Mtpondera.jpg See an interactive map of Pondera County cemeteries and modern-day townships. (Histopolis)



There are many online sources out there for Military records because they provide invaluable detailed records for those that have served. accessgenealogy provides a jumping off place for information.

Naturalization and Citizenship

On Line at FamilySearch Petition for naturalization 1914-1945, Naturalization cards 1913-1945, and Petition evidence 1913-1945


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



Online 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, Pondera - Probate records.

Probate Case files 1919-1930 and Probate Court Minutes 1919--1930 on Line at FamilySearch

Public Records



County Clerk has birth, death and land records from 1919; Clerk Court has marriage, divorce, probate and court records [2]

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. See Family History Center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.



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.




Brady Glacier (North) Teton (South)
Chouteau (East) Heart Butte Toole (North)
Conrad Ledger Valier
Dupuyer Liberty (East) Williams
Flathead (West) Manson
Fowler Robare

Indian Reservation

A small portion of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation is located in Pondera County. The larger part of the Reservation is in Glacier County.


  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. The Handybook for Genealogists : United States of America, 10th ed., (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002), p. 417.