Idaho Genealogy Resources

Idaho History Timeline

  • 1803 – The area that became State of Idaho was part of the Louisiana Purchase.
  • 1805: Lewis and Clark Expedition passes through.
  • 1809 – First fur trading post built by David Thompson.
  • 1820 – Fort Boise established.
  • 1834 – Fort Hall trading post was founded on the Snake River near the site of present-day Pocatello. It became a major way station for those who passed through Idaho over the Oregon Trail during the 1840’s and 1850’s.
  • 1846 – Oregon Treaty settled boundary.
  • 1848 – Oregon Territory Established which included what is now State of Idaho
  • 1853 – Washington Territory was established and included the northern portion of current State of Idaho.
  • 16 July 1855 – Through the Treaty of Hell Gate the Salish and Kutenai (Kootenai) Indians ceded their lands.
  • 1859- Washington Territory was expanded to include what is now State of Idaho.
  • 1860 – The Mormon community of Franklin in Cache Valley became the first permanent white settlement in Idaho.
  • 1860-1863 – Gold discoveries in the river valleys of northern Idaho attracted temporary settlement.
  • 1861 – Lewiston became first incorporated town.
  • 1863 – Nez Perce Indians ceded land.
  • 29 January 1863 – 224 Shoshone Indians were massacred when they were attacked by the U.S. army while they were camped at confluence of Bear River and Beaver (now Battle) Creek.
  • March 1863 – Idaho Territory was established and included what is now all of Montana and most of present day Wyoming.
  • 1866 – The first District Land Office in Idaho opened in Boise.
  • June-October 1877 – Nez Perce Indians went to ware with the United States. The war ended when federal troops captured Chief Joseph and evacuated the Indians to a reservation in Oklahoma.
  • 1879 – Oxford Land Office opened
  • 1883 – Hailey Land Office opened
  • 1884 – Coeur d’ Alene Land Office opened
  • 1886 – Blackfoot Land Office opened
  • 1887 – The Bannock Indians ceded land.
  • 3 July 1890 – Idaho became a state
  • 1895 – The Bannock Indians left Fort Hall Reservation to hunt in Wyoming under the provisions of the 1868 treaty. The cavalry overtook them and escorted them back to the reservation.
  • 1900-1910 – Reclamation projects brought another wave of settlement to the former desert lands of southern Idaho.

Idaho Vital Statistics

  • 1907 – Beginning in 1907 the state of Idaho required birth and death records.  Prior to that time, the only birth and death records were kept by churches, midwives, mortuaries and physicians.  Beginning in 1907 Idaho required that professional midwives and physicians record births. The registration of deaths was the responsibility of any clergyman, coroner, physician, or undertaker who had cared for the deceased during the last sickness or made arrangements for the burial. This information was reported to the county recorder. 
  • 1864 – The first laws in Idaho Territory concerning marriages and divorces were enacted. The first Territorial Legislative Assembly made provisions for books in which to record certificates issued by the person performing the marriage ceremony as well as contracts made by individuals. Under the law, the marriage contract did not have to be a written contract. If it was a written contract, there was no compulsion about making a public record of it. Although some early Idaho Territorial marriage contracts were recorded, most were not. Pre- 1895 record are located in the county courthouses. An essential research tool for Idaho marriages is the ‘Western States Historical Marriage Record Index,’ which is online at the Brigham Young Univerisity Idaho website at This index covers marriages from the territorial days primarily through the 1930s, although some counties have marriages up through the 1950s represented.
  • 1864 – District courts in Idaho were given jurisdiction in divorce cases.
  • 1911 – Statewide records of Idaho’s birth and death certificates began. The law governing the registration of births and deaths was changed in 1911, at which time the county recorder was relieved of this responsibility. After 1911 all births and deaths were registered directly with the state. 
  • 1947 – Marriage and divorce records began. 1

Idaho Counties Map

Idaho Counties Map
Idaho Counties Map

Idaho Census Records

Federal Population Schedules

Federal Mortality Schedules

  • 1870, 1880 (both indexed)
In 1860, Idaho north of 46 degrees north latitude was part of Spokane County, Washington Territory. The 1860 federal census appears to reflect no white population, and the 1860 federal census of Cache County, Utah Territory, included some persons living in what is now the southawestern corner of the Bear Lake area. The 1870 Idaho territorial census is extant for all counties and has been indexed, although the unorganized area of Kootenai was enumerated with Nez Perce County. A portion of Bear Lake and the franklin County area was enumerated with cache County, Utah. An index has been compiled by the Idaho State Historical Society entitled ‘Missing 1870 Census of Franklin and Bear Lake Counties Idaho Found in 1870 Census of Utah’ (kBoise, Idaho: Williams Printing, Co., 1982). Any population in the Yellowstone National Park area of Idaho for 1880 was enumerated in the Wyoming census. An index to the 1910 federal population schedule was published by the Idaho Genealogical Society. 1

Idaho Genealogy Resource Links

Brigham Young University Special Collections & Family History  – Search for Marriage Form.

Idaho GenWeb Project Links
Idaho Data Collections
Idaho Marriages, 1842-1996:
Idaho County Free Press, Vital Records, 1886-1903
Idaho, Death Index, 1890-1964 Resource Links
Idaho Online Genealogy Records
Idaho, United States Genealogy,_United_States_Genealogy
Idaho Vital Records:
Idaho, Births and Christenings, 1856-1965:
Idaho, County Birth and Death Records, 1883-1929:
Idaho, County Marriages, 1864-1950:
Idaho Marriages, 1878-1898; 1903-1942:
Idaho Marriage Index, 1947-1961:
Idaho Divorce Index, 1947-1963:
Idaho Deaths and Burials, 1907-1965:
Idaho Death Certificates, 1911-1937: – Idaho Obituary and Death Notice Archive – Library of Files – Idaho Genealogy Data

Genealoger – Idaho Genealogy Resources

Access Genealogy – Idaho Genealogy


  1. Third Edition Red Book, American State, County, and Town Sources, Edited by Alice Eichholz Ph.D., C.G., Ancestry Publishing,The Generations Network, Inc.1989, 1992, 2004.