MT State Vital Statistics Office
Different Type of Montana Marriage Records
When you start digging into genealogy you'll learn that in the world of looking up ancestry information, marriage records are some of the most important documents you find. Why are they so important, and what, exactly, can you find on marriage records? First, let's discuss what marriage records are.
Before 1200 AD, a couple was not required to have any sort of specific documentation to prove they were married. If the couple wanted to get married, they simply did so. The church, however, realized that it was impossible to accurately tell whether couples had been actually married without any documentation, so it instituted banns, a publicly read declaration that informed entire congregations for weeks before a marriage was to take place of the impending nuptials. This practice was to ensure that the couple getting married was free to do so. In the 1400's, marriage licenses were officially instituted.
Types of Records
There are three different types of marriage records. First is a marriage license. A marriage license is what needs to be obtained by a couple before being wed. A wedding ceremony is not considered legal if there is not marriage license. The license is returned to the clerk in the district or town where the marriage was performed for filing purposes. If you're married in Montana, your Montana marriage license will need to be returned to the clerk in that Montana town or city after it is filled out during the wedding ceremony.
Next is a marriage register. A marriage register is the recorded information taken from the completed license delivered to the clerk. The register has simple information, including the name of the couple, the date and place where the marriage took place, and the name of the person who officiated the ceremony.
Third is the marriage certificate. The marriage certificate is the physical piece of evidence the couple will have that proves that they were married. This is what you'll find when you're looking for Montana marriage records. These certificates have a lot of information, including the name of the couple's parents, the location and date of the wedding, and, of course, information about the new couple as well.
Finding What You Need
If you're searching for Montana marriage records to help you fill in your family tree, then you should definitely locate as many marriage records as possible because of the vast wealth of information available on them. Many times people are able to fill in huge gaps that are missing from their ancestral tree simply from the information that they get on these records. Keep in mind that it may be necessary to look for a few different names; if you can't find the record under one name you'll likely find it under another.
One last important note: remember that a marriage license is not the same as a Montana marriage record; when you're searching, you won't be looking for a marriage license, but rather marriage records.
Anaconda-Deer Lodge County
Big Horn County
Deer Lodge County
Deaths, Divorces, Marriages 1893-1899
Golden Valley County
Judith Basin County
Lewis and Clark County
Powder River County
District Clerk of Court
Silver Bow County
Stillwater County Vital Records from newspapers
Sweet Grass County
Abstraction/ transcription of vital records - birth, marriage, divorce, death
Wheatland County District Court Clerk
Yellowstone CountyCraves, Nettie M. - Zimmerman, Joseph March 1896Goss, Ruth E. - Kennison, Will R. November 1908Mills, Ella E. - Sanford, Fred I. December 31, 1895
Misc. / Statewide