Gem County, Idaho Genealogy

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Guide to Gem County, Idaho ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

Emmett, Gem Co., Idaho

Quick start:

Gem County, Idaho
Map of Idaho highlighting Gem County
Location in the state of Idaho, United States Genealogy
Map of the U.S. highlighting Idaho
Location of Idaho in the U.S.
Founded March 15, 1915
County Seat Emmett
Address Gem County Courthouse
415 E. Main
Emmett, ID 83617
Ph. 208-365-4561
FAX 208-365-7795

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The county was named for the state nickname, "Gem State,". The County Seat is Emmett and was founded March 15, 1915. It is located in the west central area of the state.[1]

Gem County, Idaho Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1911 1915 1911 1915 1915 1896 1870
*Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1911. General compliance in the 1920s.

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Gem County Courthouse
415 E. Main
Emmett, ID 83617
Ph. 208-365-4561
FAX 208-365-7795

County Clerk has marriage, divorce, court, land and military records from 1915 County magistrate has probate records. [3]

Quick Facts[edit | edit source]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1915--Gem County, Idaho was created 15 March 1915 from Boise and Canyon Counties. County seat: Emmett [4]

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Places/Localities[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit HomeTown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[5]

Unincorporated communities

The preceding list of places includes incorporated cities and towns, unincorporated towns and communities, and place names that may have been used in family histories. Some have well-organized records and even have web sites. Some are simply social communities with no official records, but which may be referenced in small-town newspapers. The list is provided to help researchers identify localities within the county. As records or histories of these localities are identified, a page will be added for each of these place names.

This list of places in Gem County, Idaho was compiled from the Lists of Places in Idaho in Wikipedia and from the map of Gem County in Virtual Earth.

Resources[edit | edit source]

The types of records that follow are used for genealogy and family history. Most tell what you may learn and how to locate the records. Links to Internet sites usually go directly to Gem County, Idaho Genealogy entries with names, images, or information.

Many of the older court, land, naturalization, probate, pension, and vital records for Gem County have been microfilmed and are available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and through their family history centers. They are also available at the Idaho State Archives in Boise. Details of the county records in these respective institutions can be obtained from their online catalogs or listings. Original records which have been microfilmed and more recent records are in the county courthouse in Emmett[6].

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Gem, Idaho online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See Idaho Cemeteries for more information

There are many cemeteries in Gem County. For a list of those that have been identified, and links to transcriptions and/or photographs of tombstones, go to Gem County, Idaho Cemetery Records.

For the cemeteries in or immediately adjacent to the cities, please see the city pages for the cities listed above.

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1920 6,427
1930 7,419 15.4%
1940 9,544 28.6%
1950 8,730 −8.5%
1960 9,127 4.5%
1970 9,387 2.8%
1980 11,972 27.5%
1990 11,844 −1.1%
2000 15,181 28.2%
Source: "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau.

The 1890 federal census for Idaho was destroyed. However, the Idaho State Historical Society Public Archives and Research Library is creating a list of 1890 Idaho residents by indexing a variety of records, 1885-1894. This reconstructed list will substitute for the destroyed 1890 federal census.

For a summary of census records for the state of Idaho, see Idaho Census Records.

 Church[edit | edit source]

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons)[edit | edit source]
Green check.png
The usage of "Mormon" and "LDS" on this page is approved according to current policy.

In 1930, Gem County was part of Boise Stake.

  • Emmett
  • Emmett 1
  • Emmett 2
Some Current Churches in Gem County[7][edit | edit source]

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (208)365-6142

Community Bible Church (208)365-3712

Emmett Christian Church (208)365-4416

First Baptist Church (208)365-4457

First Presbyterian Church (208)365-2360

First Southern Baptist Church (208)365-6568

Grace Baptist Church (208)365-5116

The Harvest Church (208)398-7584

Jehovah’s Witnesses (208)365-6446

Lutheran Church – Our Redeemer (208)365-5231

Nazarene Church (208)365-2215

New Life Christian Center (208)365-2918

Orchard View Church of God (208)365-7213

Sacred Heart Catholic Church (208)365-4320

Seventh-Day Adventist Church (208)365-6733

St. Mary’s Episcopal Church (208)365-2309

United Methodist Church (208)365-3242

List of Churches and Church Parishes

County Commissioners' Records[edit | edit source]

The minute books of the County Commissioners contain interesting tidbits of history about the county as well as the names of individuals appealing to the County Commissioners for action on issues of concern to them. Minutes of those meetings were recorded from the formation of the county, for most counties. Some counties now post the minutes of current meetings online.

Most of these records have been preserved in the county courthouses of the State of Idaho. Few have been microfilmed. Contact the county clerk for information about years covered and availability.

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Some of the early court records of Gem County, Idaho have been microfilmed and are available at the Idaho State Archives in Boise, Idaho. The records filmed include civil suits, divorce papers, judgment dockets, etc. Copies of these microfilmed court records are also available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah or at any of the Library's Family History Centers. Additional court records and more recent records are housed at the Gem County courthouse in Emmett, Idaho, and can be accessed by making a visit there.

Some of the records of the courts of Emmett County that have been microfilmed include:

  • Power of attorney, 1865-1956
Judgment Books[edit | edit source]
  • Judgment records, 1915-1935

Be sure to check the Gem County Miscellaneous Series.

History[edit | edit source]

A brief history of Gem County is available on the official website of the county. Also available at the Emmett FHC at 980 W Central Rd

  • Histories by Edith Scott (Copies of handwritten and typewritten genealogies, histories, biographies, and diaries, available at the BYU Library.)
  • Obituaries: Gem County plus some others: Emmett, Gem County, Idaho, obituaries from local papers up to June 1, 1991 by Edith Scott; Dorothy Kern (available at the BYU Library.)
  • The Idaho State Archives holds many oral interviews pertaining to Gem County, as well as manuscripts, and personal/family records.

Land and Property[edit | edit source]

Land and Property records are generally recorded in the county courthouse of the county in which the transaction took place. For original records of Gem County, Idaho, one may visit the courthouse in Emmett, Idaho.

The Idaho State Archives has microfilmed many county records of Gem County and among these records are Records of Declaration of Homesteads (1870-1971) which can be accessed by visiting the Archives in Boise, Idaho.

The Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah also has microfilm of the same which can be accessed at the Library in Salt Lake City or at any of its Family History Centers:

Maps[edit | edit source]

Washington CountyAdams CountyValley CountyBoise CountyAda CountyCanyon CountyPayette CountyID GEM.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Military[edit | edit source]

World War I draft registration cards, 1917-1918, for Gem County have been microfilmed. Copies of these records are available at the Family History Library (their microfilm number 1452215) and are also available online at, for a subscription fee. The original cards are maintained in the Southeast Regional Archives of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in East Point, Georgia and have been microfilmed by the National Archives as their Microcopy M1509.

Online Records[edit | edit source]

Miscellaneous Series[edit | edit source]

Often overlooked by the genealogist, this group of volumes may contain affidavits for citizenship, final disposition of estates, divorce decrees, and many other types of valuable documents. The content varies from county to county, year to year and from clerk to clerk. When the estate case files, civil or criminal files are not available or have been destroyed, you may find key documents recorded here. Most counties will have an index to this series and it is a must search if the information you are seeking is not found elsewhere.

Both the Idaho State Archives in Boise, Idaho, and the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah have copies of the miscellaneous record of Gem County. The originals are held in the Gem County courthouse in Emmett, Idaho and can be accessed by visiting there. Copies in the Idaho State Archives are available for viewing in Boise. Those held by the Family History Library can be viewed either at the Library in Salt Lake City or at any of its Family History Centers.

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Online Records

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Current[edit | edit source]
Historical[edit | edit source]

The Idaho State Archives has microfilmed the following Gem County newspapers which can be accessed at their facility in Boise:

Boise County Sentinel: 1909:4:15-1916:2:17
Boise County Sentinel: 1909:5:6, 9:2
Boise County Sentinel: 1909:04:29
Boise County Sentinel: 1912:7:11, 1916:3:16, 11:30
Boise County Sentinel: 1917:04:26
Emmett Examiner: 1910:4:7-1925:11:5
Emmett Index: 1893:11:4-1957:6:27
Emmett Index: 1901:02:22
Emmett Messenger: 1934:10:11-1957:6:27
Messenger-Index: 1957:7:4-9999

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Probate[edit | edit source]

Online Probate Indexes and Records

Any existing original probate records for Gem County should be located at the Gem County courthouse in Emmett, Idaho, and can be viewed by visiting there.

The Idaho State Archives has made microfilm copies of some of the early probate records in Gem County, and these can be accessed by visiting the Archives in Boise, Idaho.

The Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah has also made copies of earlier Probate records, 1896-1948; index, 1896-1948, and these can be viewed at the Library in Salt Lake City or in any of its Family History Centers.

Taxation[edit | edit source]

Any existing tax assessment rolls for Gem County should be in the courthouse in Emmett and would need to be accessed by visiting there.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Birth[edit | edit source]

Online Records

Birth records, 1911 to present, for individuals born in the Gem County area are included in and recorded at the state level. These records are restricted for a period of one hundred years from the time of the individual's birth but can be obtained by following the guidelines as issued by the State of Idaho. See the Vital Records section under the subject Idaho for more details.

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Online Records

Over 1300 marriages, 1915-1941, are listed on the Western States Marriage Index.

190 Gem County marriages are online at Idaho Vital Records.

Death[edit | edit source]

Online Records

Societies and Libraries[edit | edit source]

Many public libraries provide internet access to sites of value to the family historian. Some have special collections of historical and cultural interest, as well. The following libraries may have some resources of value, but use of some or all of them may require a visit to the library.

  • Emmett Public Library
    275 S Hayes Ave
    Emmett, ID 83617
    Phone: (208) 365-6057
  • Ola District Library
    11475 Ola School Rd
    Ola, ID 83657
    Phone: (208) 584-3589
  • Gem County Historical Museum Complex
    501 E. 1st Street
    Emmett, Idaho 83617
    Phone: (208) 365-9530 or 365-4340
  • State Historical Society
    2205 Old Penitentiary Rd
    Boise, Idaho
  • Idaho Historical Society Facebook Page Website

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries

  • Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
  • FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Genealogy Trails History Group, “Gem County, Idaho Genealogy and History”,
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Gem County, Idaho. Page 177-180 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 180-181.
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Gem, Idaho page 178, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Gem County, Idaho," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Idaho#Communities, accessed 4 June 2019.
  6. Idaho State Historical Society Reference Series, Number 10, Counties and County Seats, Reissued July, 1991.
  7. Gem County Idaho Official Website, Services Quick Guide, Churches