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The Daily Genealogist Spotlight: Montana Resources

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Valerie Beaudrault

Valerie Beaudrault
Assistant Editor

The Missoula Cemetery, Missoula, Montana

The city of Missoula is located in western Montana. It is the county seat of Missoula County. A group of Missoula businessmen formed the Missoula Valley Improvement Company in December 1884. Not long thereafter land was surveyed for a cemetery. In 1901, the cemetery was sold to the city of Missoula. There have been nearly 21,000 burials in the cemetery. Missoula Cemetery is one of the largest cemeteries in the state.

Click on the first letter of the last name of the deceased to open a PDF file containing a list of all individuals buried in the cemetery whose surname begins with that letter. The data fields in the index include last name, first name, age, date of death, grave location (grave #, lot #, block #), and interment number. Please note that you will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the files. You may order a copy of the record by completing a Release Form. There is a link to the form on the Interment Listing page.

Parmly Billings Library, Billings, Montana

The City of Billings is located in south central Montana. It is the county seat of Yellowstone County. The Parmly Billings Library has made resources available on its website. They include the following:

Newspaper Indexes

There are two indexes to the Billings Gazette newspaper. The first is a vital statistics index of over 13,000 names, which covers the period from 1882 through 1902. It is organized alphabetically by last name. Click on the set of letters that includes the first letter of the surname of interest. The data fields in the index are full name, date, type of event, place, and newspaper title. As I looked through the index, I realized that it is an index of much more than just vital statistics. In addition to births, marriages, deaths (obituaries), and divorces, there are references to delinquent taxes, registered voters, students, naturalizations, business licenses, prisoners, pardons, and more. Please note that the index files are in PDF format and you will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the files.

The second Billings Gazette index covers 1930 through 1939. The typed index pages were scanned and uploaded to the site. The files are in PDF format. One file covers the entire period, and is extremely large. I had difficulty downloading it. There are three smaller files, each containing a portion of the index, that did not cause me any problems.

City Directories

The library has digitized and uploaded four Billings city directories for 1883, 1894, 1900–1901, and 1903–1904. These files are also in PDF format.

Petroleum County Cemeteries, Montana

Petroleum County is located in central Montana. Winnett is the county seat. It is about 95 miles north of Billings. According to the 2010 federal census, the county’s population was 494. This website contains a number of databases listing burials in Petroleum County cemeteries, including Ashley Cemetery, Flatwillow Cemetery, Shay Cemetery, Wallview Cemetery, Winnett Cemetery, and a number of private cemeteries. The data included in most records is full name, date of birth, and date of death. In some instances, there are photographs of the gravestones.

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