Claire V. Brisson-Banks, BS, MLIS, AG®
When conducting research in Idaho one can’t but stop and admire the landscape wherever you go, it is breathtaking. Originally it was part of the Oregon Territory and became a state in 1890. There are 44 counties and four Indian reservations, the Coeur d’Alene, Duck Valley, Nez Perce and Fort Hall. Idaho is one of the states included in the Mountain States Region for testing.
With most of the 1890 US census destroyed in 1921 by fire, The Idaho State Historical Society reconstructed the Idaho 1890 Census. According to their website, “The Idaho State Archives holds both the only original hard-copies and copies on microfilm of the 1870 and 1880 Agricultural, Industrial, Mortality, Prison, Social Statistical and Supplemental Schedules for Idaho.” Additional collections available from the Idaho State Historical Society are Biographical Index, Civil War Veterans Index, Inmate Catalog, Naturalization Records, Mothers’ Pension Records and Old Age Pension Records.
Special Collections at BYU-Idaho contains an index of the Japanese Immigrants to Utah, Idaho and Wyoming from 1887-1924, the Western States Marriage Record Index, Idaho State Death Index 1911-1956, Eastern Idaho Death Records, Progressive Men of Southeast Idaho, and Upper Snake River Valley Histories.
The IdahoGenWeb Project also contributes with additional resources. Their Idaho Mysteries are where unsolved events, incidents, and family stories can be located, additional resources are found by the county of residence. For those Black Sheep that show up or disappear in your tree, check out blacksheepancestors.com, this site also includes those who were institutionalized for a wide variety of things.
Additional research tips and strategies can be found on the FamilySearch Research Wiki, Cyndi’s List and Facebook groups. There are many other Facebook groups listed either by the area and Family History or Genealogy, they are easy to find. Each of these groups help one another through various research problems.
Enjoy these resources as you search for your ancestors from Idaho.