Gallatin County Montana Genealogy and History


Welcome to Gallatin County Montana, part of the American History and Genealogy Project. It is our desire to provide you with the best information possible when searching for your Gallatin County Montana genealogy. we are Judy White and Dennis Partridge and we are your MT AHGP host for Gallatin County, Montana. We do not live in Gallatin county and cannot assist with local searches. We suggest you try the Gallatin County MT Genealogical Society, Thanks!

Gallatin County, Montana, derives its name from the Gallatin River, one of the forks of the Missouri River that rises in Yellowstone Park, the three rivers, Gallatin, Jefferson and Madison, being named by Lewis and Clark, famous explorers, on their expedition to this part of the world in 1805. The Gallatin River was named for Albert Gallatin, at that time secretary of the United States Treasury under President Thomas Jefferson. Albert Gallatin was a native of Switzerland. He was graduated from the Academy of Geneva in 1778, and came the following year to the United States, where he became a great American statesman and one of the foremost financiers of the country. The Gallatin River has its source in Gallatin Lake among mountain peaks with an elevation of more than 9,000 feet in Yellowstone National Park.

The other rivers uniting with the Gallatin to form the Missouri River, a few miles from the present town of Three Forks, are the Jefferson, named in honor of Thomas Jefferson, then president of the United States, and the Madison, named in honor of James Madison, then Secretary of State. It was in July 1805, that Lewis and Clark reached the three forks of the Missouri, and they spent considerable time in exploring the three streams and the territory immediately tributary. These streams have retained the names designated at that time.

In the southwestern part of the state, Gallatin Co. was one of 9 original counties formed in 1865 by the Territorial Legislature. Parts of Gallatin County have been used to form Yellowstone and Park Counties.

Bozeman was named for John Bozeman, who brought the first wagon train of cattle to the Gallatin Valley. The Trail he blazed became a highway for settlers and miners but also a flashpoint between the Indians and Whites. Three years after bringing settlers to the valley, John was killed by the Sioux and his trail remained unused for nine years because of repeated Indian attacks.

Gallatin County Genealogy

Gallatin County Online Resources

Montana Resources

Surrounding Counties

Jefferson, Broadwater and Meagher counties on the North, Madison County on the West, Park County on the East, Yellow Stone National Park on the Southeast, and the state of Idaho on the Southwest

Please stop back and visit us again!!

Vital Records of Gallatin County Montana

Researchers can apply for birth and death certificates in person at the Clerk and Recorder’s Office or marriage licenses from the Clerk of District Court, both found in Bozeman, Montana. If you are unable to visit the offices of either in person then visit the following links for additional information on…

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Gallatin County Montana Genealogy and History

Gallatin County Montana Genealogy, part of the American History and Genealogy Project. It is our desire to provide you with the best information possible when searching for your Gallatin County Montana genealogy.
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Railroads and Electricity

The Northern Pacific Railroad, the first to reach this part of the northwest, arrived in Bozeman, March 21, 1883, and the arrival was celebrated as an important event in the history of the city. In the parade from the court house to the depot during the afternoon of that day,…

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Public Enterprises

Gallatin Canyon Road It was about 1898 that the first wagon road was built up the Gallatin River as far as Taylor’s Fork, the intention being to connect with a National Park wagon road at Swan Lake Basin. James M. Moore, a pioneer who celebrated his eighty-fifth birthday anniversary in…

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Pioneer Churches

The first church service held in Gallatin County was by W. W. Alderson, a pioneer farmer, who had been licensed to preach in Illinois, and whose license was also issued in Montana. This service was at the cabin of Merritt W. Penwell and Oscar Penwell on East Gallatin, about 12…

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Montana Made a Territory

When Montana was made a Territory, May 26, 1864, the pioneers began to plan for a legislative session, in accordance with the act creating the territory. Sidney Edgerton was the first governor of Montana, being appointed by President Lincoln while he was on the way home from Washington, D. C.,…

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1 thought on “Gallatin County Montana Genealogy and History”

  1. I love this website and I’m trying to find out who Taylor’s Fork in Gallatin County is named after. Could you help? Thank you!

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