Gem County, Idaho Genealogy
Guide to Gem County, Idaho ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.
|Gem County, Idaho|
Location in the state of Idaho
Location of Idaho in the U.S.
|Founded||March 15, 1915|
|Address|| Gem County Courthouse|
415 E. Main
Emmett, ID 83617
- 1 County Information
- 2 County Courthouse
- 3 Quick Facts
- 4 Places/Localities
- 5 Resources
- 6 Cemeteries
- 7 Census
- 8 Church
- 9 County Commissioners' Records
- 10 Court Records
- 11 History
- 12 Land and Property
- 13 Maps
- 14 Military
- 15 Miscellaneous Series
- 16 Newspapers
- 17 Obituaries
- 18 Probate
- 19 Taxation
- 20 Vital Records
- 21 Societies and Libraries
- 22 Websites
- 23 References
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.
Gem County, Idaho Record Dates
Gem County Courthouse
415 E. Main
Emmett, ID 83617
County Clerk has marriage, divorce, court, land and military records from 1915 County magistrate has probate records. 
There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.
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.
|Don't overlook Gem County, Idaho Genealogy items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see Archives and Libraries.|
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.
|Tombstone Transcriptions Online||Tombstone Transcriptions in Print||List of Cemeteries in the county|
|Findagrave.com||Family History Library||Findagrave.com|
|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.
|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.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons)
In 1930, Gem County was part of Boise Stake.
- The following are local congregations (wards) which existed in Gem County, Idaho prior to 1950.
- Emmett 1
- Emmett 2
Some Current Churches in Gem County
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
County Commissioners' Records
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.
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 records, 1915-1935
Be sure to check the Gem County Miscellaneous Series.
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
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:
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 Ancestry.com, 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.
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.
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
Online Probate Records
- 1857 – 1989 Idaho Wills and Probate Records 1857-1989 at Ancestry.com $
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.
Any existing tax assessment rolls for Gem County should be in the courthouse in Emmett and would need to be accessed by visiting there.
- 1861-1911 - Idaho, Birth Index, 1861-1911 at FamilySearch — index
- 1883-1929 - Idaho County Birth and Death Records 1883-1929 at FamilySearch
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.
- 1800-1987 - Idaho, United States Marriages at FindMyPast — index $
- 1864-1976 - Idaho Church Marriages, 1864-1976 at FamilySearch — index
- 1864-1950 - Idaho County Marriages, 1864-1950 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1878-1898; 1903-1942 - Idaho Marriages, 1878-1898; 1903-1942 at FamilySearch — index
- 1947-1963 - Idaho Marriage Index, 1947-1961 at FamilySearch — index
Over 1300 marriages, 1915-1941, are listed on the Western States Marriage Index.
190 Gem County marriages are online at Idaho Vital Records.
- 1883-1929 - Idaho County Birth and Death Records 1883-1929 at FamilySearch.
- 1938-1961 - Idaho Death Certificates, 1938-1961 at FamilySearch — index
Societies and Libraries
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
Family History Centers
Family history centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes. See family history center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.
- The Gem County Idaho GenWeb Project, a member of The IDGenWeb Project, an affiliate of The USGenWeb Project
- Gem County, Idaho Genealogy and Family History (Linkpendium)
- Genealogy Trails History Group, “Gem County, Idaho Genealogy and History”, http://genealogytrails.com/ida/gem/
- Alice Eichholz, Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources, Revised ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1992), 123-139. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27rb 1992
- 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.
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
- Idaho State Historical Society Reference Series, Number 10, Counties and County Seats, Reissued July, 1991.
- Gem County Idaho Official Website, Services Quick Guide, Churches