Idaho Court Records – A Guide to Courthouse Research

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State Courthouse RecordsIdaho Government records cover a broad range of genealogy subject areas that can help you as part of your research, such as land ownership, courts, taxes, and naturalization’s. Given that Idaho court records cover such a wide selection of topics, they could aid you in many different ways. As an example, they could aid you in finding ancestors’ residences, identify occupations, locate financial information, determine citizenship status, or shed light on relationships between individuals. The whole thing relies upon on the type of court records that the ancestors” names show up in. For Definitions of all court terms see the Genealogy Encyclopedia.

Idaho Courthouse records change extensively from county to county in both level of quality and volume. You will find different kinds of court records that are most likely to possess information related for your genealogical research below.


State Court Records

Idaho Court Records

The district courts had some appellate jurisdiction, as well as bout criminal and civil jurisdiction in each county. The probate courts were responsible for minor civil cases, adoptions, and probate cases until 1971, when all probate courts in the state were dissolved. Then those cases and records were handled by the district court magistrate divisions. Justice of the peace courts, which were also dissolved in 1971, handled minor petty cases. Then the district courts took over those cases.

District court magistrate divisions are responsible for handling court cases that are doled out to them by the district courts. Juvenile cases, probate cases, and minor criminal and civil cases are among those that are usually designated for magistrate divisions.

Each county courthouses holds Idaho court records for that county. However, the FHL also has many of those records on file. Also, 1,200 boxes of case files from state and territorial supreme courts can be found at the Idaho State Historical Society. They span the years of 1863 through 1970. See also U.S. Court Records Research Guide


State Land Records

Idaho Land Records

The land in Idaho was under public domain. So, it was known as a public land state. The Government Land Office was in charge of distributing most of the land in Idaho. Later, the GLO changed into the BLM (Bureau of Land Management). Every single land entry was recorded by the GLO/BLM. That included township plats, as well as tract books. Land entries and maps are called plat books, while records of land transactions for each bit of land are known as tract books.

The BLM Office, Idaho State Office and the National Archives-Pacific-Alaska (Seattle) each have Idaho BLM records on file. The BLM website also lists many land records in which patents were involved.

The BLM land records span the years 1868 through 1910. Seattle has all of the following records on microfiche: Boise Land Office (1868-1910), Oxford Land Office (1879-1908), Oxford-Blackfoot Land Office (1879-1901), Blackfoot Land Office (1884-1940), Coeur d’Alene Land Office (1885-1908), Hailey Land Office (1883-1940), Lewiston (1874-1908), Unidentified Land Office Records (1878-1917)

The Idaho Surveyor General’s records from 1913 to 1950 are also on file. Both homesteads and cash entries were recorded as Idaho land entries.

All of those land records contain useful information for genealogical researchers. Some of that information includes: Letters And Correspondence From State And Sub Offices, Case Files, Township Tract Books, Survey Plats, Registers, Declaratory Statement Indexes, Entries, Receipts, Homestead Certificates, Timber And Mineral Culture Lands

The county recorder in each county is responsible for keeping Idaho land records. County courthouses have those original records on file. However The FHL has also placed many of those records on microfilm. See Also Guide to U.S. Land Records Research


State Probate Records

Idaho Probate Records

After Idaho gained its statehood, probate courts were established in the state. Records from probate courts include: Appraisals, Claims, Estate Cases, Fee Books, Final Accounts, Guardianships, Inheritance Tax Records, Inventories, Letters, Wills

Those records can be found on file at the FHL, in county courthouses, and at the Idaho State Historical Society’s Library and Archives. See Also Guide to U.S. Probate Records Research


State Tax Records

Idaho Tax Records

After Idaho gained its statehood, probate courts were established in the state. Records from probate courts include: Appraisals, Claims, Estate Cases, Fee Books, Final Accounts, Guardianships, Inheritance Tax Records, Inventories, Letters, Wills

Those records can be found on file at the FHL, in county courthouses, and at the Idaho State Historical Society’s Library and Archives. See Also Guide to U.S. Tax Records Research


State Immigration Records

Idaho Immigration & Naturalization Records

There were no emigration trails or particular railroads that brought immigrants to Idaho. There was also no specific port where they all came from. Therefore, most immigrants to Idaho remained isolated and independent. However, there was one Canadian border point where many immigrants came to the state.

The Office of the Bureau of Immigration in Spokane, Washington took over jurisdiction of Idaho in 1924. Eastport, Idaho became the port of entry at that point. The National Archives has those records on file, along with passenger lists from Seattle for the years 1890 to 1957. Although all of those records are available on microfilm, there is no existing index of them. There is an indexed collection known as the St. Albans, Vermont District Records, which may contain more information about immigrants arriving in Idaho via the Eastport, Idaho entry port. See Also Guide to U.S. Immigration Records Research


State Government Records

Idaho County & City Government Links

Idaho contains 44 counties. Each county is the local level of government within its borders. The links in the table below link to county and city government offices and is limited to government-maintained websites. If you know of a Idaho county that has an official government web site but is not linked, or if the link is in error, please contact us so we may edit our database. Idaho State Government is located in Boise..

State of Idaho County & City Government Links
County
Government
County Seat
Government
County
Government
County Seat
Government
Ada Boise Gem Emmett
Adams Council Gooding Gooding
Bannock Pocatello Idaho Grangeville
Bear Lake Paris Jefferson Rigby
Benewah St. Maries Jerome Jerome
Bingham Blackfoot Kootenai Coeur d’Alene
Blaine Hailey Latah Moscow
Boise Idaho City Lemhi Salmon
Bonner Sandpoint Lewis Nezperce
Bonneville Idaho Falls Lincoln Shoshone
Boundary Bonners Ferry Madison Rexburg
Butte Arco Minidoka Rupert
Camas Fairfield Nez Perce Lewiston
Canyon Caldwell Oneida Malad City
Caribou Soda Springs Owyhee Murphy
Cassia Burley Payette Payette
Clark Dubois Power American Falls
Clearwater Orofino Shoshone Wallace
Custer Challis Teton Driggs
Elmore Mountain Home Twin Falls Twin Falls
Franklin Preston Valley Cascade
Fremont Saint Anthony Washington Weiser