Welcome to Yellowstone County


Pardon Our Dust.
This site is being updated so please check back soon.
Shirley Cullum
Yellowstone County Coordinator





When the Territory of Montana was established in 1864, the entire region was divided into nine political counties: Beaverhead, Big Horn, Chouteau, Deer Lodge, Edgerton, Gallatin, Jefferson, Madison and Missoula. Filing for land ownership was originally located in Helena, and then other locations as time progressed. Some records are housed at the Billings location and the balance of them at the BLM offices in Washington DC. A basic genealogical & historical trace of the county is located in the Yellowstone File. There are several diary records stating that the cliffs alongside BillingsMiles City regions were referred to as being “yellow” in color by early visitors; and one didn’t have to visit Yellowstone Park to see that color. However, the cliffs are generally considered to be tanner in color than yellow by most observers. During the 1873-1875 Riverboat Expeditions on the Yellowstone River, many local landmarks between the Missouri River Confluence and Coulson were identified and given a unique name. Most of these early names have disappeared. The “Big and Little Porcupine Rivers” location names, for example, were interchanged in early trapper days; and Belle Butte is now Sacrifice Cliff.


This site contains about 20,000 files and documents; some compiled from identified sources, others are source records of various types: scrap books, news articles, court and federal records, land records, vital records, wills and similar documents. Together they form the Yellowstone County MTGenWeb Project’s data base. To assist the researcher in locating these files, the content is “loosely” categorized into six subheadings, along with a photograph display of current Montana Local Area Landscapes, plus a grouping of typical areas of available research and some PowerPoint/PDF Presentations. This site is mainly dedicated to assist the researcher in locating various references and details of early Yellowstone County.



A Simple Collective Overview



Montana Monday’s

One Year of Photos  



Courtesy: Tim Urbaniak


List of Research Document & Land Title Extracts


Click on file to view






Click on file to view


Listing of a Few





Basic Research File Subheadings



Click on the file of interest after loading the Subheading

























Line Callout 3: Record Files submitted by Faith Barnwell – 2013

1894 Yellowstone Valley Registered Voters 

An Illustrated History of the Yellowstone Valley: Embracing the Counties of Park, Sweet Grass, Carbon, Yellowstone, Rosebud, Custer and Dawson, State of Montana

Yellowstone County Band in WWI led by Fred A Draper
Line Callout 2: http://www.genealogyinc.com/montana/society-archive/">Montana Archives Historical & Genealogical Societies List with links 
http://www.genealogyinc.com/montana/government/">Montana State, County & City Government Website Links
http://www.genealogyinc.com/montana/maps/">Montana Antique Maps & Atlases with links













Thanks for your patience in viewing, as I know it will take a long time to view all the individual files. Hopefully, you can locate the record paths you need in a somewhat informative manner.


Reference and Continuity Links


NOTE: These research files are too extensive to completely load into the current website, as they total over 200-GBytes in size. The file identifications are listed in the top row shown below; small examples of their contents are defined in the bottom row.



Index of

Various Hard Copy




Research Photo

Collection Files


Railroad Documents

And Map Files


[Raynold’s Survey Map]


Pioneer Record




In Montana Files


Josephine Riverboat Expeditions

On the Yellowstone & Missouri Rivers


Survey Record



Montana Trail



Vol 1 Early Years


Vol 13 Jim Bridger


Research Photo

Collection Example


Examples of NPR & Burlington Files


NPR Map Samples

Map Collection 1

Map Collection2

Map Collection 3


Pioneer Document Examples




File Examples


Survey File



Early Trail

File Examples


Manuel Lisa 1807

Fort Location (Book)


Yellowstone Stage Line - 1877


1877 Slang Term Phrases – from General Rusling

  1. The MTGenWeb Archives Table of Contents is located at: http://usgwarchives.net/mt/mtfiles.htm..
  2. The MTGenWeb County Selection site identifies information about other counties and related details available to the user.
  3. The Montana State Genealogy Society (MSGS) website is: http://montanamsgs.org/ygf.html.  From this site you can locate the other genealogy sites in Montana, including the Yellowstone Genealogy Forum (YGF).
  4. Query Pages for Yellowstone County specific requests. It is preferred that you utilize one of these automated query systems for specific requests:

    a - Ancestry/Rootsweb Message Boards
    b - GenForum
USGenWeb Project NOTICE:
In keeping with our policy of providing free information on the Internet, data may be used by non-commercial entities, as long as this message remains on all copied material. These electronic pages may not be reproduced in any format for profit, nor for commercial presentation by any other organization. 
Persons or organizations desiring to use this material for purposes other than as stated above, must obtain express written permission from the submitter and from the USGenWeb Project archivist. 
Yellowstone County MTGenWeb Coordinator: 


Website Release Dates and Changes Directory:




October 28, 2012

Initial release of revised website. Posted for verification of files as “indexnew.html”. Providing that most files are operative, it will replace the original “index.htm”.

February 2, 2013

Added county files 1894, from Faith Barnwell

February 8, 2013

Added Addendum section to Lisa Draft Book. This summarizes the most probable location of the fort; and identifies the Yellowstone River flows from available records. The aerial photos taken during the past decades parallel the actual land mass characteristics of water flow over the island surface in past times. The large Cottonwood trees, covering the island, had their start between 1860 & 1880; as defined by the BLM.

March 10, 2013

Added burial records of individuals in Yellowstone County through 1918.

April 10, 2013

Added note requesting site coordinator  & vital record search-site links from Brian Nichols (April 14, 2013)

May 21, 2013

Added WWI County Band - The band was sent overseas in December, 1917, and soon established an enviable reputation.  From among nearly four hundred American bands in France, it was selected for the concert music at the Inter-Allied games in Paris on the Fourth of July, 1918, and was the only band accorded the honor of a special invitation to play before the Supreme War Council at Versailles. 

Friday, May 31, 2013

Modified Manuel Lisa Location file The Big Horn River confluence with the Yellowstone” to more accurately describe the events of how and when the land containing the fort was depicted. With the superb deconstructionists’ efforts of several dedicated individuals, the many layers of truth covered by misinterpretation, misrepresentation and manipulation have been peeled away – leaving vestiges of the truth. The Manuel Lisa Book will be revised accordingly – but not before July 2013. Unearthing the fort’s precise positioning is very near. Please read the disclaimer before reading the Lisa Book.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Sunday, June 02, 2013

The Lisa Fort location files have been updated & chapters of my book are posted. These are located within the BASIN Sub-directory & presented in two formats: MSWORD.DOC and Adobe.PDF. The effort to pin-point the fort’s location has been transferred to Ralph Saunders and his team members. His area expertise is unquestionably the best in the USA!

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Added NPr construction references and information to the Addendum files on 1807 Fort Raymond (Lisa). Encompasses Npr activities on the tunnel and two bridges (RR & auto.) Added reference site to the NPR-Record files.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Added 1877 Slang Tern Phrases – for your enjoyment.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Added Yellowstone Stage Line – 1877 (Road to Tongue River) to the Index for ease in presentation. Format is not completely finished.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Added listing of a few ebooks to facilitate the reader in specific details about the early times.