Montana Land and Property
Federal Land Records
After 1862, settlers could apply for homestead land in Montana through the General Land Office in Washington, DC. Eventually they could apply for land through eight local land offices. The first local land office was established in Helena in 1867.
The land office records are at the National Archives Records Administration—Rocky Mountain Region (Denver). The county courthouses also have records of patents on homesteads. Tract books, township plats, and pre-1908 patent records are at the:
Montana State Office of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
5001 Southgate Drive
Billings, MT 59101
Telephone: 406 896-5000
Fax: 406 896-5299
The Family History Library has copies of the federal land tract books for Montana (Family History Library films 1444840-909). See the United States Research Outline for more information on these records.
County Land Records
After land was transferred to private ownership, it could be sold again, inherited, lost by foreclosure of a mortgage, or redistributed through a divorce. These transactions are recorded in the deed and mortgage records kept by the county recorder. The records usually have both grantee (buyer) and grantor (seller) indexes.
The county recorder also has records of patents on timber and mining claims as well as real property assessment books and plat books.
The Family History Library does not have copies of the county land records.
Flathead County: http://www.idreamof.com/land/mt.html
Montana Native American: http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/patent/
Montana Research Outline. Salt Lake City, Utah: Intellectual Reserve, Inc., Family History Department, 1998, 2001.