Genealogy Research Requests
The Research Center of the Montana Historical Society maintains a large collection of library, archival, and photographic materials that may be used in compiling family histories.
If you are unable to visit our Library to conduct your own research, the staff of the Library/Archives will answer genealogical research requests for a fee, which includes research, postage, and copies. The fee must be prepaid and is nonrefundable:
MHS Members: Free
- initial search as defined below; includes up to 10 copies
- $20 per hour plus copies after that
- Become an MHS Member now!
Montana residents: $5 per search
Non-Montana residents: $20 per search
Fees are charged for the staff time involved in doing the research, whether or not an answer is found. Patrons will receive a written summary of research performed.
An example of one genealogy search includes up to three of the following:
a search for a surname in a local county history for one county
a search for a household or individual in a city directory
a search for one household in a census
a search for one obituary
a search for one marriage license.
Please fill in the attached Genealogy Research Request Form (Word document) and mail it to us with your prepayment. If you cannot access this electronic form please let us know. We'd be happy to mail it to you. We must have the following information before we can answer your request:
Your mailing address
Your telephone number
Your email address (optional)
A clear and concise question
Because of limited staff time, we can do searches in our collections only if your query is concise, clear, and specific. Letters that do not indicate what specific information you seek cannot be answered and will be returned.
**Please note: We do not have birth and death records for the state of Montana. These records can be obtained from the county in which the event occurred or the Montana Office of Vital Statistics.**
A second genealogy request may be sent after your receive a response to your first request.
While there are many types of services that we can provide by correspondence, there are others that we cannot provide. For example we cannot:
Compile your family genealogy or complete pedigree charts
Answer requests for any and all information on an individual or family; requests must be for specific information
Speculate why an ancestor did what they did, or describe in detail what life in Montana was like for your ancestor
Analyze long and detailed family histories and determine what searches to do for you
All reference requests are handled in the order they are received. Turn-around time is 15-20 business days, dating from the receipt of payment.
Providing research information does not imply permission to publish. The research assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of libel, privacy, and copyright that may be involved in use of the collections. For more information about reproduction policy please send your queries to firstname.lastname@example.org.