From 1805 to 1806, the area now known as Idaho was explored by Lewis and Clark. At that time, however, it was considered to be a portion of Oregon country. Both Great Britain and the United States had joint control of Oregon country until 1846. At that point, the Oregon Treaty was enacted, making borders clearer. Franklin, which was located in Cache Valley, was home to a group of Mormons who established the first white settlement in the area.

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Most white settlers of that time, however, came to the area in search of gold. Gold was discovered in the area in 1860 and by 1863 Idaho Territory was formed and divided into 10 counties. Idaho Territory included most of what is now Wyoming and all of what is now Montana. Idaho Territory was home to as many as 70,000 white settlers during the height of the mining craze in the area. However, by 1870, only about 15,000 were still living in the state. The mining industry was replaced by the agriculture industry as Idaho’s primary revenue source in the early 1900s.

Idaho Counties – The Idaho Territory was organized on March 3, 1863. The State of Idaho was created as the 43rd state on July 3, 1890. The State of Idaho is bordered by Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming and Canada. It has 44 Counties. The capital is Boise and the official state website is

Select a Idaho county to view information & records pertaining to each County

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Idaho Genealogy Record Guides

Searching for Idaho Genealogy Details

Idaho is a bit of a mystery to many people; many are more familiar with the unique shape that the state takes than its fascinating and colorful history. Today it is still a place of natural beauty and successful agricultural establishments, but it is also a location where many Americans have settled or passed through, and this means that it is a state with a need for a lot of genealogical material. Fortunately, there are excellent resources for those looking for Idaho genealogy data.

Sources for Idaho Genealogy Information – If you need to find an answer you probably head to your computer, and you don’t have to change this habit when looking for Idaho genealogy data. This is because there are many different records and resources that are entirely digital or able to be ordered from archives or libraries via an Internet request.

This doesn’t mean that you won’t soon find yourself in a county clerk’s office somewhere in Idaho seeking a bit of information, but it is useful to know that many groups and organizations are rapidly digitizing collections, archives, and records as well.

What all of this means is that anyone doing research for Idaho genealogy will want to identify which resources are going to give them what they require.

A Modern Method for Idaho Genealogy Research – People seeking materials for Idaho genealogy will have to become familiar with the following types of records:

  • Local Records – anyone looking for Idaho genealogy may need to visit a county clerk’s office at some point (if the data is not digitized). They may also have to head to the small local libraries, historical societies, local genealogical societies, and school or college libraries for Idaho genealogy information since these are places that are usually offline and open only by appointment or special arrangement.
  • Vital Records – these include the birth, marriage, divorce and death records from county, state, and national archives, and can also contain immigration and naturalization details, newspaper items, military records, census records, cemetery or obituary information, passenger lists and records as well. These are available as online and offline resources for Idaho genealogy.
  • State Records – from probate information to birth certificates, cemetery information, death records, deeds, estate information, genealogical folders, land records, maps, marriage details, military or veterans information, newspapers, private manuscripts, state census information, surname lists and more, these records are available as online and offline resources for Idaho genealogy.

The Most Current Sources for Idaho Genealogy – Rather than pointing you towards “general” sources, we have listed some of the most effective sources for Idaho genealogy below:

  • Vital Records Unit, Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics, P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720-0036; Website:
    This is where you can order birth, death, marriage and divorce records via a written request or even online.

Additional state and local records can be found at the:

  • Idaho State Historical Society, Idaho State Archives, 2205 Old Penitentiary Road, Boise, ID 83712; Website:
    A major resource for those looking for Idaho genealogy; it has a specific Genealogy section that includes books such as family histories, emigration records, state histories, regional and local histories, atlases and gazetteers, public records, and much more.

Idaho Genealogy Databases and other Helpful Links

Finally, these websites provide a lot of state-specific details to those in search of facts for Idaho genealogy projects.