Biographies provide useful genealogical information such as a person’s birth date and place; names of family members, including maiden names; education; occupation; and social, political, and religious affiliation. They may also contain a physical description of the person, previous residences, and immigration information. Biographies are the product of family knowledge or previous research about early settlers and prominent citizens of a state, county, or town. Local histories may contain biographical sketches of lesser-known people.
The Montana Historical Society has an extensive collection of biographical materials. There is no statewide biographical index or major manuscript collection. You may find information in the biographical sections of state, regional, and county histories.
Representative biographical encyclopedias for Montana are:
- Progressive Men of the State of Montana. Chicago, Illinois: A. W. Bowen and Company, 1901. FHL book 978.6 D3p; FHL film 1000176. Digtial version at: Internet Archive
- Stout, Tom. Montana, Its Story and Biography. . . . Three Volumes. Chicago, Illinois: American Historical Society, 1921. FHL book 978.6 H2s; FHL film 1000175. An every-name index is available on FHL film 1320700 item 3. Digital version at Internet Archive: (Vol. 1), (Vol. 2), (Vol. 3)
- Note: Volumes 2 and 3 contain biographical sketches.
- Sanders, James U. Society of Montana Pioneers: Constitution, Members and Officers, with Portraits and Maps. Volume 1. Akron, Ohio: Society of Montana Pioneers, 1899. FHL book 978.6 C4p; FHL film 1000177 item 3. Digital version at: Ancestry ($).
- Note: Contains brief biographies of settlers who arrived in Montana before the territory was established in 1864.
See the United States Biographies page for information on nationwide biographical collections. See also the Montana "History" and "Genealogy" sections for additional sources. You may wish to explore biography, history and genealogy sections in the wiki at county levels also.
Biographies can be found on state, county and local levels. The Family History Library has many collected biographies and local or county histories with biographical sketches on residents. Additional resources for Montana biographies may be found in the Montana-Biography topic page of the Family History Library catalog (FHLC).