Idaho Fast Facts and Key Resources

By Leslie Stroope Premium

Statehood: 1890

US territory status: part of Oregon Territory in 1848; Washington Territory in 1859; Idaho Territory in 1863
First federal census: 1850 (as Oregon Territory)
Statewide birth and death records begin: 1911
Statewide marriage records begin: 1947
Counties: 44
Public-land state
Contact for vital records:

Idaho Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics
Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720
(208) 334-5988
<>: Click Certificates—Birth, Death, Marriage, Divorce.


Web Sites



  • The Family Tree Resource Book for Genealogists edited by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack and Erin Nevius (Betterway Books)
  • Footprints Through Idaho: A Centennial Tribute to the Pioneers by their Descendants, 2 volumes, by Ruby L. Ewart (Idaho Genealogical Society)
  • History of Idaho: A Narrative Account of Its Historical Progress, Its People, and Its Principal Interests, 3 volumes, by Hiram T. French (Lewis Publishing Co.)
  • Idaho Place Names: A Geographical Dictionary by Lalia Phipps Boone (University of Idaho Press)
  • In Mountain Shadows: A History of Idaho by Carlos Arnaldo Schwantes (University of Nebraska Press)
  • The Lolo Trail: A History and a Guide to the Trail of Lewis and Clark by Ralph S. Space (Historic Montana Publishing)

Organizations and Archives

  • Cenarrusa Foundation for Basque Culture, 611 Grove St., Boise, ID 83702, <>
  • Idaho State Historical Society Library and Archives, 2205 Old Penitentiary Road, Boise, ID 83712, (208) 334-3356, <>
  • Idaho State University Department of Special Collections and University Archives, Eli M. Oboler Library, Room B36, 850 S. Ninth Ave., Pocatello, ID, 83209, (208) 282-3249, <>
  • NARA Pacific-Alaska Region, 6125 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115, (206) 336-5115, <>
  • University of Idaho Libraries Special Collections and Archives, Box 442351, Rayburn Street, Moscow, ID 83844, (208) 885-7951, <>

1805 Meriwether Lewis and William Clark enter Idaho at Lemhi Pass
1843 Oregon Trail is established in Idaho
1862 Gold is discovered near present-day Warren
1867 Mount Rushmore sculptor and Idaho native Gutzon Borglum is born in Bear Lake County
1877 Nez Percé fight the US Army
1884 The Oregon Short Line Railroad is completed
1914 Moses Alexander becomes the United States’ first elected Jewish governor
1924 Craters of the Moon National Monument is established
1942 US places Japanese-Americans in a WWII internment camp near Eden
1995 Idaho native Picabo Street becomes the first American woman to win the World Cup in downhill skiing

From the March 2009 Family Tree Magazine

Get Your Free Essential Genealogy Research Forms

Sign up for the Family Tree Newsletter and receive 10 research forms as a special thank you!

Get Your Free Genealogy Forms

  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Find your American ancestors with State Research Guides for the Entire US!

Instantly download research guides for all 50 U.S. states, plus Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., for less than $1 each! Find new ideas and resources to research ancestors in each U.S. state.