Some counties began recording births and deaths as early as 1864. These records have usually been kept by the clerk of the court in each county. Statewide registration of vital statistics began in Montana in 1907 and was generally complied with by 1920. These records were created to keep track of the vital events happening in the lives of the citizens and to safeguard their legal interests. They are generally reliable but can vary depending on the knowledge of the informant.
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