Idaho counties were not required to record deaths and births until 1907. Up until that point, some records were kept, but only by doctors, midwives, morticians, and churches. Those records that still exist are incomplete.
The same year that counties were required to record deaths and births, physicians and midwives also started to be required to do the same. Physicians and clergymen who attended dying people, or undertakers or coroners who took care of the dead bodies, were responsible for death registrations and, in many cases, making burial plans. The county recorder was responsible for keeping records of that information.
As of 1911, the state took over keeping records of deaths and births, all of which had to be reported directly to them. Most of the death and birth records for the years 1907 to 1911 have been microfilmed. They are available at the Family History Library (FHL).
There were no laws regarding divorces and marriages in Idaho Territory until 1864. Around that time, the Legislative Assembly ordered marriage contract and certificate record books to be kept. However, the law didn’t specify that marriage contracts had to be in writing. Not only that, but even written marriage records didn’t need to be recorded in public records or files. Therefore, some early Idaho Territory marriage records were matters of public record, but many were never recorded publicly at all.
County courthouses hold all records from years before 1895. Many county marriage records are also on file in microfilmed form at the FHL. The “Western States Historical Marriage Record Index” is an excellent Idaho marriage license resource. It can be found on the website for the Brigham Young University-Idaho. Records covered in the index span from the days when Idaho was a territory up until the 1930s. There are even some records for as late as the 1950s included in the index.
The first Territorial Legislative Assembly passed an act in 1864. That act gave the Idaho district court system jurisdiction over all cases involving divorces. Annulment and divorce documents were filed along with other court cases involving civil matters.
Starting in 1911, death and birth certificates were recorded in Idaho at the state level. That practice wasn’t started for divorce and marriage records until 1947. Researchers must write to Vital Statistics Unit, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare for that information. Microfilmed death certificates from 1911 to 1937 and death indexes from 1911 to 1950 can be found at the FHL. The Idaho GenWeb website also lists an index of all deaths in Idaho from 1911 to 1950.