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Welcome to the Idaho family history research page. Here you'll find record collection links, history, and genealogy resources to help you trace your Idaho ancestors.
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.
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. 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. See also Idaho History Page for more Details
Idaho was organized as territory on March 3, 1863 and entered the union as the 43rd state on July 3, 1890. It has 44 Counties. The capital is Boise and the official state website is http://www.idaho.gov/.
Idaho is bordered by Montana (east), Nevada (southwest), Oregon (west), Utah (southeast), Washington (west), Wyoming (east) and Canada (north). It has a land area of 83,574 square miles making it the 14th largest state. The 2010 population was 1,567,582 and the largest cities (2010) are Boise (Capital), 205,671; Nampa, 81,557; Meridian, 75,092; Idaho Falls, 56,813; Pocatello, 54,255; Caldwell, 46,237; Coeur d'Alene, 44,137; Twin Falls, 44,125; Lewiston, 31,894; Post Falls, 27,574.
Idaho was name is claimed to have been derived from a Shoshone language term meaning "the sun comes from the mountains" or "gem of the mountains". The nickname is the Gem State. The State Motto is "Esto perpetua" which translates to May it Endure Forever.
Idaho is located in the western part of the United States. It is on the eastern side of what is known as the Pacific Northwest. It is a state full of wonderful natural landscapes and its population is quite diverse. Many natural resources can be found in Idaho and they serve to support and expand upon the state's economy. The state's capital, which is also its biggest city, is Boise.
The Rocky Mountains run through Idaho. They are known for their forests, upland slopes, plateaus, and snow-covered mountain peaks. The mountains that divide the state from north to south and from east to west have caused communication problems throughout the state's history. An area of the state called the Panhandle is to the north of that mountainous divide. It is well-known for it's minerals, forests, and lakes.
Ever since the 1940s, Idaho's economy has developed at a very fast rate. The area is known mainly for its agriculture and farming industry. Wood product manufacturing, food processing, and technology industries have also grown. Not only that, but the tourist industry in Idaho has been a strong source of revenue for the state.
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:
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:
Additional state and local records can be found at the:
Finally, these websites provide a lot of state-specific details to those in search of facts for Idaho genealogy projects.