Q: How can I obtain an obituary for my genealogy project?
A: To obtain an obituary, complete the genealogy research request form and submit it via the Internet or mail it to the address below. Include the person's name, location and date of death if known.
Q: How can I obtain a copy of a birth, death, or marriage record?
A:The Research Center has marriage records for most counties; however, you should check with the reference staff before submitting a request. To date, the Research Center has birth and death records for only seven of Montana's fifty-six counties.
Q: What Census info is available?
A: The Research Center has the 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 U.S. Censuses, and all are indexed. The 1930 index can be searched on Ancestry.com, which does not provide an enumeration district but rather a page number. Montana never conducted a state census.
Q: Is there a Montana Newspaper Index?
A: No, unfortunately there is not a complete index to Montana newspapers. Only certain newspapers have been indexed and only for limited periods of time.
Q: I am adopted. Can you help me find my birth parents?
A: No, the Research Center does not have adoption records. However, if you were not adopted but were a resident of the Montana Children's Center at Twin Bridges, we can help you find information about your time there.
Q: Do you have a record of my family brand?
A: Yes, if it was recorded before 1951. We have records of brands recorded in Montana from 1873 through 1950. They are accessible either by the brand or by the name of the person to whom it was registered.
Q: Do you have a record of my family's homestead?
A: Federal Land Patents can be searched through the Bureau of Land Management General Land Office Records website.
Q: Can you tell me who built my house and when it was constructed?
A: If you're attempting to find the architect and builder of your historic home, the MHS Research Center is probably not going to be very helpful. Few if any communities in Montana required building permits until the 1960s, therefore there is no central repository for that specific information. The MHS Research Center has Sanborn Fire Insurance maps for most Montana towns and a good collection of city directories for the major cities, which might aid your research, but the primary source of information on individual properties resides with the Clerk & Recorder and Tax Assessor at the county courthouse.
Q: Can you tell me when my great grandfather died in Montana?
A: The Research Center has a microfiche copy of the Montana State Death Index from 1909 through 1969. The Death Index is also search in-house through our subscription to Ancestry.com. In addition to the Death Index we have miscellaneous cemetery records (mostly western Montana counties) and county histories that can sometimes help determine date of death. Once the date of death is known we can obtain an obituary and/or death notice through our extensive newspaper collection.
Q: Do you have photographs of historical buildings in my community?
A: We have photographs of many business and government buildings in towns throughout Montana. When you complete the photograph research request form, provide us with the names and locations of the buildings, the types of businesses or governmental agencies that occupied the buildings, and approximate dates.
Q: How do I locate photographs of specific individuals?
A: Complete the photograph research request form and include the person's name, location, occupation, and birth and death dates. Also, it is sometimes helpful to know if the person held a public office or was historically significant for any reason. If we have photographs of the individual, we will photocopy the images and mail you these photocopies with a form for ordering copy prints.