Idaho Counties and Historical Facts

Idaho County records vary widely from county to county in both quality and quantity. Some have been carefully preserved while others have been much abused and neglected. Some Idaho records have simply disappeared.

For genealogists doing research in Idaho there is no effective replace for an on-site search of county courthouse records.

Idaho Map of Counties
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Idaho Counties Map

Idaho County Records

There are 44 counties that exist in Idaho.

Each one holds records that may include: Land, Estates, Taxes, Vital Records, Divorces, Naturalizations, Voter Registration, Court Records. The county seat holds many county historical resources.

The county recorder’s office has land records on file. Probate records can be accessed through the probate clerk. The district court clerk, meanwhile, holds court records.

Some counties have vital records on file from before the time when it was mandatory to record such records.

Court records, including minutes and judgments, from before the counties were formed are also available, along with some land records.

The district court clerk’s office holds naturalization records, which generally start at the time when the county was founded.

See also a list of links to county and county seat government run websites.

List of Idaho Extinct Counties

Idaho has counties that no longer exist because they were discontinued, renamed or merged with another county.

A lot of these counties were established and disbanded within the 19th century; county borders have changed very little since 1900.

These are important for genealogy research purposes. Pay attention where the courthouse records went to if the county was eliminated or joined with some other county.

See the History of Idaho Counties for more details.

List of Idaho Counties with Burned Courthouses

Idaho burned county courthouse
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The damage to courthouses greatly has a bearing on genealogists in every way.

Not only are these historic structures torn from our lifetimes, so are the records they housed: marriage, wills, probate, land records, and others.

Once destroyed they’re lost forever. Although they have been placed on mircofilm, computers and film burn too.

However, not all records were damaged or lost in some counties.

County Date Formed Parent County County Seat
Ada 1864 Boise County Boise
Adams 1911 Washington County Council
Bannock 1839 Bingham County Pocatello
Bear Lake 1875 Oneida County Paris
Benewah 1915 Kootenai County St. Maries
Bingham 1885 Oneida County Blackfoot
Blaine 1895 Alturas Hailey
Boise 1863 Original county Idaho City
Bonner 1907 Kootenai County Sandpoint
Bonneville 1911 Bingham County Idaho Falls
Boundary 1915 Bonner Bonners Ferry
Butte 1917 Bingham, Blaine, and Jefferson counties Arco
Camas 1917 Blaine County Fairfield
Canyon 1891 Ada County Caldwell
Caribou 1919 Bannock County Soda Springs
Cassia 1879 Owyhee County Burley
Clark 1919 Fremont County Dubois
Clearwater 1911 Nez Perce County Orofino
Custer 1881 Alturas and Lemhi counties Challis
Elmore 1889 Alturas Mountain Home
Franklin 1913 Oneida County Preston
Fremont 1893 Bingham County Saint Anthony
Gem 1915 Boise and Canyon counties Emmett
Gooding 1913 Lincoln County Gooding
Idaho 1864 Original county Grangeville
Jefferson 1913 Fremont County Rigby
Jerome 1919 Gooding and Lincoln counties Jerome
Kootenai 1864 Nez Perce County Coeur d'Alene
Latah 1864 Nez Perce County Moscow
Lemhi 1869 Idaho County Salmon
Lewis 1911 Nez Perce County Nezperce
Lincoln 1895 Logan Shoshone
Madison 1913 Fremont County Rexburg
Minidoka 1913 Lincoln County Rupert
Nez Perce 1861 Original county Lewiston
Oneida 1864 Original County Malad City
Owyhee 1863 Original county Murphy
Payette 1917 Canyon County Payette
Power 1913 Bingham, Blaine, and Oneida counties American Falls
Shoshone 1864 Original county Wallace
Teton 1915 Bingham, Fremont, and Madison counties Driggs
Twin Falls 1907 Cassia County Twin Falls
Valley 1917 Boise and Idaho counties Cascade
Washington 1879 Ada County Weiser
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