Family History & Genealogy Resources
This page is not finished and needs corrections and fine tuning.
Please be patient.
We are happy to include a genealogy local resource list on our site because we realize that genealogists leave no stone unturned and find just as many of their answers in the books and manuscripts in libraries or historical societies as they do in a genealogy library.
Northwest Montana Historical Society has very few books, documents, etc.,
that would be useful for such family research. Check the Libraries for local copies of resources.
Our goal for this page is to provide a directory which describes the resources available for the counties in Northwest Montana and includes links to local & national sites to help you locate available information and/or other researchers.|
Be aware that this Historical Society does not do genealogy research. Check Local Researchers and Lookups for any assistance you might need.
Counties included ~
Caution ~ Some parts of the Resource List are more complete than others
so updates are part of the plan.
USGS National Mapping Information for locations of cemeteries
Flathead county (GNIS) ~ 15 are listed ~ Baptiste Graye, Bethany, Bethel, Conrad Memorial, Creston, Demersville, Fairview, Glacier Memorial Gardens, Lonepine, St. Richard, Soldiers Home, Spring Creek, Trinity, Whitefish, and Woodlawn.
Lake County (GNIS) ~ 9 are listed ~ Hospital, Indian, Jocko Valley, Lakeview, Pleasant View, Polson Catholic, Ronan, St. Ignatius, St. Ignatius Old Catholic.
Lincoln county (GNIS) ~ 7 are listed ~ Boyd Mill, Eureka, Fortine, Larchwood, Leib (no information), Libby, and Troy.
Sanders County (GNIS) ~ 22 are listed ~ Camas Prairie, Dixon, Fraternal, Gingery, Heron, Homisto, Indian, Lynch, Maillet, Markle, Mcay, Moore, Murray Memorial, Niarada, Noxon, Paradise, Plains, Pluffe, VFW, Ventling, Whitepine, and Wild Rose.
Indexes & Records
Flathead County MTGenWeb Project ~ Indexes for these cemeteries are online: Bethany, Bethel (Somers), Conrad (Kalispell), Creston (Creston area), Demersville (south of Kalispell), Fairview (Kalispell - Columbia Falls), Glacier Memorial Garaens (Kalispell), Lone Pine (outside Bigfork), Soldier's Home (Columbia Falls), Springcreek (outside Kalispell), St. Richard's Catholic (Columbia Falls), Trinity Lutheran (northeast of Kalisipell), Whitefish (Whitefish), Woodlawn (Columbia Falls).
Lake County MTGenWeb Project ~ No cemeteries online. Has list of cemeteries: Hospital (Polson), Indian (Elmo), Jocko Valley (Arlee), Lakeview (Polson), Pleasant View (St. Ignatius), Polson Catholic (Polson), Ronan (Ronan), St. Ignatius (St. Ignatius), St. Ignatius Old Catholic (St. Ignatius). Includes photo of Ronan Cemetery.
Lincoln County MTGenWeb Project has the indexes for these cemeteries online: Eureka, Fortine, Libby City, Milnor Lake (aka Larchwood), Troy city, and Yaak (aka Boyd).
Sanders County MTGenWeb Project has partial transcriptions for some cemeteries. No online information.
Montana Tombstone Inscription Project ~
Lincoln County, and
Cemetery Transcription Library (Interment.net) ~
Key to the Census Information collected: 1790-1930
Once you are there, scroll down the page to find specific census years
The Soundex Indexing System ~ for researching the old fasioned way using the Soundex microfilms.
1930 Montana Census Enumeration Districts
Federal Census Maps 1790-1920 ~ Maps for up through 1880 are very helpful for locating the district where northwest Montana residents were (or were not) enumerated.
Current State maps showing counties (from the U.S. Census Bureau)
Census Indexes & Records
Please note ~ There are not very many census records online for Montana. This is partly due to the fact that statehood did not occur until 1889. Also, many counties were not formed until far into the 1900s. It is particularly important to look up the county formation dates so you will know the counties in which to search for records in earlier time periods.
1860 census ~ Bitterroot area of Montana included with Washington Territory but it is doubtful any census takers ventured into northwest Montana. See Ancestry.com ($) and Genealogy.com ($) for index and records.
1870 census ~ Montana Territory became a reality in 1864 and northwest Montana is included in the enumeration of Missoula County, however, there is no enumeration district which indicates an area in northwest Montana. See Ancestry.com (@) and Genealogy.com ($) for index and records.
1880 census ~ Northwest Montana counted as part of Missoula County with the following E.D.s (Enumeration Districts): Flat Head Agency; Flat Head Agency & Flat Head Mission; Flat Head Lake; and Flat Head Mission. (Note: this census uses Flat Head, not Flathead). These four E.D.s counted only white people and their Indian children. Full blood Indians were not counted on this census. See FamilySearch.org (free), Ancestry.com 1880 (only free census at this site), and Genealogy.com ($).
1900 census ~ Flathead County (formed from Missoula 1893; includes future Lincoln County and part of future Lake County) and Missoula County (includes future Sanders County and part of future Lake County). Everyone was counted on this census and for the Indians, there is an additional entry at the bottom of the page which gives tribe affiliation. Enumeration districts are:
Flathead County (Roll 911)
~ Flathead County (Roll 912)
~ Missoula County (Roll 913)
Flathead County 1900 census online ~
ED 32 part (Columbian),
ED 32 part (Columbian Twp),
ED 33 part (Flathead Twp),
ED 33 part (Flathead Twp),
ED 35 part (Kalispell City),
ED35 part (Kalispell City),
ED 35 part (Kalispell City), and
ED 36 part (Libby Twp) ~ See also Ancestry.com ($)and Genealogy.com ($)
1910 ~ Flathead County (includes part of future Lake County), Lincoln County (formed 1909 from Flathead), Missoula County (includes part of future Lake County), Sanders County (formed 1905 from Missoula).
1920 ~ Flathead (includes part of future Lake County), Lincoln COunty, Missoula County (includes part of future Lake County), Sanders County.
1930 ~ Flathead County, Lake County (formed 1923 from Flathead & Missoula), Lincoln County, and Sanders County.
Free Census records online ~ Many of these sites have been searched and only 1900 Flathead County is represented ~ see list for Flathead County 1900 census online (above). See Links lor a list of free census records sites.
Microfilms of census for the U.S., 1850-1920 ~ films are at the LDS Family History Center, Kalispell. See Libraries for address and hours.
Bethlehem Lutheran Church (1895) ~ Kalispell (603 S. Main, 406-752-6140)
Central Christian Church(1900) ~ Kalispell (248 Second Ave. East, 406-755-5265)
Christ Church Episcopal (1892) ~ Kalispell (215 Third Ave. East, 406-257-6182)
Epworth United Methodist Church (1892) ~ Kalispell (329 Second Ave. East, 406-257-6849)
First Baptist Church (1892) ~ Kalispell (301 W. Wyoming, 406-755-7343)
First Church of Christ Scientist (1903) ~ Kalispell (8 Third St. East, 406-752-5506)
First Presbyterian Church (1889) ~ Kalispell (540 Main St., 406-752-7488)
St. Matthew's Catholic Church (1893) ~ Kalispell (601 First Ave. West, 406-752-6788)
Seventh Day Adventist Church (1910) ~ Kalispell (there are two)
Stillwater Free Lutheran Church (1895) ~ Kalispell (1401 Church Dr., 406-257-4614)
Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church (1890) ~ Kalispell (400 W. California, 406-257-5683)
(included to let you know what is available)
Old Montana Maps
Explore these sites...
Lincoln County, and
Flathead County Courthouse: 800 S. Main St., Kalispell
County Clerk & Recorder, 406-758-5526, Courthouse, 800 S. Main, Kalispell.
Births, Deaths, Deeds, Mortgages
Clerk of District Court, 406-758-5870, Justice Center 3rd Floor, 920 S. Main, Kalispell.
Marriages, Divorces, Wills, Estates, Probates, and Naturalizations
Lake County Courthouse: 106 Fourth Ave. East, Polson
Clerk & Recorder, 406-883-7208
Lincoln County Courthouse:
Lincoln County Courthouse
Sanders County Courthouse:
Genealogy Directory for Flathead County
Genealogy Directory for Lake County
Genealogy Directory for Lincoln County
Genealogy Directory for Sanders County
1. Who came here (from birth locations on census)
2. How they got here
3. Why some moved on
4. Where they went
Mountain Men and the Fur Trade
Family of James Newham ~ b. 1833 Canada, d. c1896-1900 ?Montana? Wife died at Bigfork, Flathead County in 1933.
Family of Frank Jackson Bailey ~ 1886-1968; lived in Kalispell 1912-1918
Family of Leslie Chester ~ no dates ~ also Stringfellow Family.
Use these forums to correspond with others about your families or to post queries
Forums associated with Ancestry.com ~ Flathead County,
Sanders County, and don't forget Missoula County and Montana for the early days.
Forums associated with Genealogy.com ~ Flathead County,
Lincoln County, and
and...don't forget Missoula County for records, etc., before 1893 and Montana Genealogy Forum. Want to find other forums on Genealogy.com? Click Forum Finder Instructions to help you locate a particular forum for your other searches.
Flathead County Genealogical Society: disbanded in 1998 (organized in 1974)
Lincoln County Genealogical Society
Montana Genealogical Societies
Western Montana G.S. (Missoula)
Genealogy Societies in Montana
Town Name Search. Useful when you have a village and state but don't know the county. (Doesn't give you the township name if you have the village name and the county.)
Montana Geographic Names (GNIS). Search for churches, cemeteries, rivers, valleys, etc. Choose type of search from a lengthy list. (Search for an individual cemetery or church -- be forewarned -- not many are included. To find all cemeteries see Cemeteries section.)
Date Calculator. Useful when you have a death date and the age at death.
Free genealogy forms.
Local history from the pages of the Seeley Swan Pathfinder
Facts about Montana
History Time Line
Montana History Timeline
Northwest Montana Historical Society Home Page
Flathead County: Stumptown Historical Society, Whitefish
Sanders County: Hot Springs Historical Society, Hot Springs
Genealogy at Montana Historical Soc.
Great Northern Railway Historical Society ~
Flathead Reservation Historical Society
Immigration, Emigration, and Migration
Immigration. From the National Archives (NARA).
U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Series ~ History, Genealogy and Education. Some topics to click on are Historical Research Tools, Immigration Records, Naturalization Records, and Ports of Entry and their Records.
They came for a season... They left and went where? Why did they go and who went with them? Add your Montana families to the international database at Montana Migrations. (Choose another state at Migrations. You need to know where your family members were born or where they were living before turning up in Montana.
Land and Property
- Federal Land Patents Database. Federal land conveyance records for the Public Land States. Also gives image access to more than two million Federal land title records for Eastern Public Land States, issued between 1820 and 1908. Images of Serial patents (land titles issued between 1908 and the mid-1960s) have been added. Images related to survey plats, dating back to 1810, are added to the site state-by-state as each state's documents are completed. Due to organization of documents in the GLO collection, this site does not currently contain every Federal title record issued for the Public Land States.
- Land Patents for Flathead County ~ from the US GenWeb Archives ~ by letter of the alphabet ~
Q - R,
U - V,
Y - Z
- Early Land Records ~ Flathead County, published by the Flathead County Genealogical Society, vol. xx, xxxxxxx.
Libraries & Archives
Flathead County Library, 247 First Ave. E, Kalispell, MT 59901; 406-758-5820.
Bigfork ~ 525 Electric Ave.; mailing address: Box 472, Bigfork, MT 59911; 406-837-6976.
Columbia Falls ~ 130 Sixth St. W; 406-892-5919.
Marion ~ at Marion School, 205 Gopher Lane;
mailing address: P.O. Box 1048, Marion, MT 59925; 406-854-2333.
Whitefish ~ 9 Spokane Ave.; 406-862-6657.
Kalispell Hours at LDS Family History Center, 1380 Whitefish Stage Road, Kalispell. Call 406-752-5446 to verify hours open.
Jocko Valley Public Library ~ Arlee
Polson City Library ~ Polson
Ronan City Library ~ Ronan
Swan Lake Public Library ~ address?
Polson Hours at LDS Family History Center, 4th Ave. Hwy 93, Polson. Call 406-833-2565 to verify hours open.
Lincoln County Public Libraries ~ Libby
LDS Family History Centers ~
Eureka (406-296-3461) and
LDS Family History Center ~
Thompson Falls (406-827-9757)
The Montana Shared Library Catalog
Montana State Archives
Blackfeet Community College Library, Box 819, US Hwy2 & 89, Browning, MT 59417-0819.
The University of Montana, Mansfield Library, 32 Campus Drive #9936, Missoula, MT 59812-9936, 406-243-6800.
USGenWeb Project & Archives ~ A group of volunteers working together to provide Internet websites for genealogical research in every county and every state of the United States. This Project is non-commercial and fully committed to free access for everyone.The USGenWeb Digital Library (Archives) was developed to present actual transcriptions of public domain records on the Internet. See northwest Montana counties below.
MTGenWeb Project. With references to land, homestead and vital records, public documents, libraries and archives, this site is a resource for locating and obtaining historical and genealogical information for the state of Montana. See also MTGenWeb Archives
Flathead County MTGenWeb Project ~ Queries (now the Message Board associated with Ancestry.com), cemeteries, vital records, military, local history, yearbooks, researchers, resources, and additional links. See also Flathead County MTGenWeb Archives ~ Submitted biographies, book indexes, cemeteries, census, land records, military, obits, vitals, and yearbook indexes.
Lake County MTGenWeb Project ~ Message Board (associated with Ancestry.com), surnames list, history, resources, lookup volunteers, towns, cemeteries, geographical features, high schools, photographs, WWI draft registrations, and WWII casualties (Lake, Flathead, Lincoln, Missoul, and Sanders counties). See also Lake County MTGenWeb Archives ~ Submitted biographies, history book indexes, land records, and military.
Lincoln County MTGenWeb Project ~ Queries (now the Message Board associated with Ancestry.com), cemeteries, vital records, military, local history, yearbooks, researchers, resources, and additional links. See also Lincoln County MTGenWeb Archives ~ Submitted biographies, book indexes, cemeteries, land records, marriages, military, and yearbook indexes.
Sanders County MTGenWeb Project ~ Cemeteries, churches, cities & towns, wills, GenConnect Boards (CAUTION: BROKEN LINK!), history, links, lookups, marriages, newspapers & libraries, photos, surnames, and vital records (where to write). See also Sanders County MTGenWeb Archives ~ Submitted, book indexes, land records.
Accessgenealogy.com ~ A free genealogy resource.
Ancestry.com ~ fees for most databases ~ see what is available for Montana.
Census Finder ~ Montana
CyndisList.com ~ See also Montana &
Montana Localities ~ each of these lists is a categorized and cross-referenced index to genealogical resources on the Internet -- a list of links that point you to genealogical research sites online -- a free jumping-off point for you to use in your online research -- and a "card catalog" to the genealogical collection in the immense library that is the Internet.
FamilySearch.org ~ free site sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints (LDS)
Family Tree Magazine ~ has articles online ~ subscriptions are available.
Genealogy.com ~ some free searches but fees for most databases. See also Helpful Websites and Learning Center at Genealogy.com
Genealogy.org ~ A member of the MyFamily.com Network. See the Montana databases.
Kindred Trails ~
Worldwide genealogy and family history resources. See also
Linking people and information -- a directory of genealogical resources
Genealogy Research at NARA. Genealogical Resources at the National Archives do not include family trees or documents showing lineage of your ancestors and their descendants, but do have may types of records you can research to build your family's history and ideas for how you can start. Learn about the records to search online, about the many more records available at their facilities, and you can visit, order copies of records or microfilms that may contain information about your ancestors. (There are several web pages at this site that we've referenced for the state of Montana. If you want to see other states, check out this website.)
See also Montana at RootsWeb and Social Security Death Index (SSDI). It is the oldest and largest free genealogy site. It is funded and supported by Ancestry.com and the loyal RootsWeb community.
RootsWeb Websites for Montana These sites are state-specific resources hosted at RootsWeb.
Comprehensive list of research links, including many to history related sites: Montana
One source for names of volunteers and what they will do for you is
Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness
-- This site is free to use. However, you WILL be expected to reimburse expenses incurred: fresh video, postage, copy cost, print fee, etc. In some areas you will also be expected to pay for parking and/or fuel. You are NOT to be charged time. Read the site's FAQ page for full information.
Montana Genealogy Lookup Volunteers ~ includes Flathead County
1895 Flathead Valley (put info here to get to the big map) use small image here
Description of the valley here
Current county boundaries for area covered by 1895 map above
current montana map
Topographical Maps. Click on VIEW MAPS.
1883 Pensioners ~ Montana Territory
World War I Draft Registration Cards ~ Montana names are included ~ $
Montana in the Military
WWI Draft Registration Cards: National Archives film numbers
NARA -- Access to Service and Military Pensions
etc., etc., get more from Kindred Trails on passenger lists, etc.
The Heritage Museum ~ Libby
Native American Research
Native American Indian Genealogy
Researching Your Ancestry ~ Source: Association on American Indian Affairs
Native American Research at MTGenWeb.
Kutenai Indian Tribe
Salish Family History. Includes a list of resources.
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes
Flathead Indian Allotments in 1889
Canku Ota (Many Paths), an online newsletter celebrating Native America, Issue 69 (September 7, 2002)
Denver Public Library Photographic Collection ~ Many photos of the Flathead, Kutenai, and Salish Indians.
Lake County Leader, 213 Main, Polson, MT 59860; Phone: 883-4343.
Flathead.... Obituary Index, 1970 to present: Family History Center, Kalispell
see Genealogy Forums above
Fabulous Flathead, The
Lake County Misc. Cemetery Records
Sanders County Misc. Cemetery Records
Missoula County First Presbyterian Church Records - also Bozeman
Missoula County Marriage Records 1883-92
Missoula County Misc. Cemetery Records - film
Missoula County Misc. Church & Marriage Records
Missoula Valley History
Western Montana Genealogy Bulletin
Schools & School Records
Superintendent of Schools, 406-758-5720, County Blue Bldg., 935 First Ave. W, Kalispell, Mailing address: 800 S. Main, Kalispell.
Flathead County and Lake County School Districts:
#3. Fair-Mont-Egan, #5. Kalispell, #6. Columbia Falls,
#8. West Glacier, #9. Creston, #15. Helena Flats, #20. Kila,
#23. Polson, #29. Somers, #33. Dayton,
#50. Evergreen, #54. Marion, #89. Smith Valley,
Bigfork, Pablo, Whitefish, and ?any others?
Montana Genealogy Records
Births & Deaths: County Clerk & Recorder, Courthouse
Marriages & Divorces: Clerk of District Court, Justice Center
See Courthouses section
LDS Family History Library: Holdings for NW Montana
Locate the nearest Family History Library Center and order any of these films to research the records yourself.
|Church records of Ortis D. Harris, Minister of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
||2056002 item 5
2056002 Item 6
|Baptisms - Kalispell, MT, 1949
Marriages - Kalispell and Butte, MT, 1951-1963
|Cemetery inscriptions: Old Soldier's Cemetery, St. Richard's Cem. and Woodlawn Cem, all in Columbia Falls
||0824052 item 4
9082360 item 12
|Settlers and sodbusters, Hot Springs Historical Society. Short biog. of early residents of Flathead, Lake and Sanders counties
|Cemetery inscriptions: Bethany Lutheran Church, Bigfork
||0962289 Item 4
|Cemetery inscriptions: Bethel Cem
||0962287 Item 5
|Cemetery inscriptions: Spring Creek Cem
||0962287 item 6
|Cemetery inscriptions: Demersville Cem
||0962289 item 3
|Cemetery inscriptions: Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Cem
||0962287 item 7
|Flathead Valley cemeteries, Flathead Valley Genealogical Society, Kalispell
||1320911 item 8
1320632 item 15
|Kalispell (Flathead County) city directory. Library has 1934, 1936/37 (copy damaged), 1940/41, 1959, 1965, 1970, 1975, 1980, 1985
||call # 978.682 E4p
use these volumes at the main library in Salt Lake City
|Kalispell city directories. some volumes include Lincoln county
||2309348 item 1
2309348 item 2
2309348 item 3
2309348 item 4
2309349 item 1
2309349 item 2
2309349 item 3
2309349 item 4
2309350 item 1
2309350 item 2
2309350 item 3
2309350 item 4
2309350 item 5
|Trees and trails : Flathead genealogical bulletin, Flathead Valley Genealogical Soc. Library has vol 1 #1-3; vol 2 #1-3; vol4 #1 through vol 22 #4 (Dec 1997)
||use this set at the main library in Salt Lake City