Ada County, Idaho Genealogy
County CourthouseAda County Courthouse
Ada County Clerk Auditor Recorder
200 W. Front Street
Boise, Idaho 83702
Courts Phone: 208-287-6900
Recorder Phone: 208-287-6840 The County Clerk has divorce, probate, and court records from 1864. The Recorder has marriage and land records from 1864.
Named for Ada Hobbs Riggs, first pioneer child born in the area, daughter of Henry C. and Mary E. (Lipscombe) Riggs, founder of city of Boise. Miss Riggs was married to John Riggs Coon 26 February 1884 at Caldwell, Canyon, Idaho
7 February 1889: Elmore County set off from a portion of Ada and Alturas Counties.
7 March 1891: Canyon County set off.
The above list of places includes 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.
Many of the older court, land, naturalization, probate, pension, and vital records for Ada County have been microfilmed and are available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and at the Idaho State Archivesin Boise. Details of the records in the Family History Library can be obtained from their online catalog. More recent records are in the county courthouse in Boise, as are some of the original manuscript records of those which have been microfilmed. Some of the older county records have be transferred to the State Archives.
There are many cemeteries in Ada County. For a list of those that have been identified, and links to transcriptions and/or photographs of tombstones, go to Ada County, Idaho Cemetery Records.
For the cemeteries in or immediately adjacent to the cities, please see the city pages for the cities listed above.
The 1890 federal census for Idaho was destroyed. However, the Idaho State Archives 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. Ada County is included in this reconstructed census.
Church History and Records
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons)
County Commissioners' Records
Several volumes of County Commissioners' Minute Books, 1865-1899, have been microfilmed and are available at the Idaho State Archives in Boise. The originals of these and later records of the County Commission are in the county courthouse in Boise.
Some of the early court records of Ada County, Idaho have been microfilmed and are available at the Idaho State Archives in Boise. The records filmed are for about 1865 through 1940 and include civil suits, divorce papers, and judgment dockets. Copies of these microfilmed court records are also available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City or at any of the Library's Family History Centers. Additional court records and more recent records are housed at the courthouse in Boise.
Some of the records of the courts of Ada County that have been microfilmed include:
Includes divorces, probate documents, civil and criminal actions and many other court actions.
Among the records on microfilm are:
Note: Overlapping years may be a cataloging error as the volumes may be for different local courts. Most volumes individually indexed.
The Gem State Rural's 1917-18 Farm Directory of Ada County, Idaho is available at the Idaho State Archives and at the Albertson Library at Boise State University. It lists landowners by town, including those owning land in these two counties, but residing elsewhere. The size of the family, amount of acreage owned, the location of the land, and a list of crops and livestock raised on each farm is also included.
The Ada County Historic Preservation Council has published a brochure entitled 2006 Preservation Plan. Included in this brochure are several pages (pp. 11-36) of the history of Ada County, including a detailed timeline of historic events in Ada County and the State of Idaho. Several photographs of historic sites in the county are also included.
The Idaho State Historical Society Reference Series includes a short history of Ada County as well, available at the Idaho Digital Resources website.
Land and Property Records
Many of the early land records of Ada County have been microfilmed, including homestead records (1865 to 1911) and deeds (1865-1901). Microfilm copies of the records are available at the Idaho State Archives in Boise, Idaho and at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah or at any of the Library's Family History Centers. Original copies of these and later records are housed at the courthouse in Boise.
Among the land records of Ada County which have been microfilmed are:
In addition to the land records, some records of water rights for Ada County, 1865-1943, have been microfilmed and are available at the Idaho State Archives in Boise.
Early migration routes to and from Ada County, Idaho Genealogy for European and African American settlers included:
Military History and Records
The 1890 Census Veterans Schedules for Boise Barracks (Fort Boise) are available on roll 118 of "Special Schedules of the Eleventh Census (1890) Enumerating Union Veterans and Widows of Union Veterans of the Civil War" (NARA M123). The schedules list veterans and their widows who served as Union soldiers in the Civil War. For more information on the 1890 Veterans Schedules see Union Census Records.
World War I draft registration cards, 1917-1918, for Ada County and for Boise City have been microfilmed. Copies of these records are available at the Family History Library (their microfilm number 1452106 for Ada County and microfilm numbers 1452109 and 14521106 for Boise City). They are also available online at Ancestry.com, for a subscription fee for both Ada County and for Boise City. 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.
Among the records which have been microfilmed are:
Naturalization and Citizenship
Records of the naturalization of people born outside of the United States were often kept in the county courthouses of the respective counties of Idaho. Three volumes of Ada County naturalization records are included in a Naturalization Index at the Idaho State Archives in Boise, and available online.
Also in the holdings of the Idaho State Archives and the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah or at any of the Library's Family History Centers are the following microfilmed naturalization records for Ada County:
The following newspapers are currently being published in Ada County:
Copies of many newspapers published in Ada County, 1867 to present, are part of the collections of the Idaho State Archives in Boise. Included are newspapers from the following cities in Ada County:
Mothers' Pensions were provided by the State of Idaho for widows and/or orphans, under certain conditions. Petitions for those pensions were filed with the probate court in each county. The original papers for several counties have been transferred to the Idaho State Archives in Boise and have been indexed. Ada County Mothers' Pensions are included in that index.
Old Age Pensions were also provided by the State of Idaho from 1931 to 1936. The original records for these pensions in the Idaho State Archives have also been indexed. Ada County Old Age Pensions are included in that index.
Some probate records for Ada County have been microfilmed and are available at the Idaho State Archives in Boise, Idaho and at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah or in any of the Library's Family History Centers. Other probate files remain with the county courthouse in Boise. Included among the records that have been microfilmed are:
The tax assessment rolls, 1865-1890, and the delinquent tax lists, 1878-1890, for Ada County have been microfilmed. Copies are available at the Idaho State Archives in Boise and at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. Original tax records for Ada County for additional years may be in the county courthouse in Boise or at the Idaho State Archives.
The birth registers for Ada County, 1907-1911 have been microfilmed and are available at the Idaho State Archives in Boise and at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. Birth records, 1911 to present, for individuals born in Ada County 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.
The Family History Library has made available online Idaho Births and Christenings, 1856-1965, and Ada County has 11,044 births recorded there.
The Family History Library has also made available online Idaho Marriages, 1878-1898, 1903-1942, and there are 21,691 Ada County marriages therein.
Marriages from other sources. Over 21,000 marriages for Ada County residents from 1864-1949, are available on the Western States Marriage Index
After 1911, deaths occuring in Ada County are included in the state-wide registration program. These records are restricted for a period of fifty years from the time of the individual's death but can be obtained by following the guidelines as issued by the State of Idaho. See the Vital Records section under Idaho for details.
Copies of death certificates from 1911-1954 are on microfilm and can be viewed at the Idaho State Archives, the Family History Library, BYU-Idaho University Library in Rexburg and several other locations.
The Family History Library has also made available online Idaho Deaths and Burials, 1907-1965, and there are 1069 Ada County deaths listed.
Deaths from other sources.
Idaho Statesman Obituary Index, 1967 to present.(2011)
Societies, Libraries and Museums
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.
There are several Family History Centers in the Boise area. The largest is just off Overland and near the Boise Temple. It has a large collection of books and microfilm plus they can assist patrons as they order and use microfilm from the main library in Salt Lake City. They maintain a large collection of local records for research purposes.
Family History Centers