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To qualify for a First Family or Early Settler certificate, the applicant must prove direct descent: your ancestor need not have been born in Montana, may not have stayed here, but you must clearly prove they were once here, prior to one of the two deadline dates stated in the above paragraph. Applicant need not be a resident of Montana, nor have ever lived in Montana, and anyone may apply. A separate certificate will be issued for each ancestor or each married couple proven. Proof of descent needs to be sent only once, but if you make subsequent requests for certificates using the same pioneer, you must be sure to complete additional applications and refer to the proofs previously sent.


Each certificate issued is $10.00. If you order multiple certificates at one time, please issue just one check for the total amount due.


  1. Print and fill in the Application to the best of your ability & send, with pedigree chart, copies of proofs and sample certificate, to address below with check. 
  2. Print and complete the Pedigree Chart, starting at top of page with yourself as #1 and going back generation by generation. 
  3. Make COPIES of your acceptable source of proof. 
  4. Please indicate address to which you wish the certificate(s) to be mailed if different from your own, otherwise they will automatically be sent to address of applicant. 
  5. Please allow up to six weeks for delivery. 
  6. Make check payable to: Montana State Genealogical Society, First Families of Montana, 44 Wonder Road, Clancy, MT 59634. (Do not send cash through the mail.) 
  7. If photo available, please send now.  Don't send an original, but rather a clear, consise copy reporducted on a color laser copier.


Always use maiden names of females. Attach one COPY of document per generation to prove lineage. Family group sheets and pedigree charts are not proof unless accompanied by documented evidence.
  • Census: Need year, county, state. Photocopy or hand written. 
  • Land records: or plat books with complete dates and places. 
  • Birth: baptism certificate, church record, bible entry. 
  • Death: certificate, cemetery record, tombstone picture, obituary. 
  • Marriage: certificate, newspaper (named) & notice with date. 
  • Tax or school records: with dates and places. 
  • Immigration or Naturalization papers. 
  • News clippings if dated, published family histories, county histories, personal papers, diaries, letters, journals. Must have dates and places noted.
Thanks for participating in this project of the Montana State Genealogical Society. If you have any questions about this project that aren't answered in these pages, please contact Al Stoner at
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