The best collection and index of biographical materials of Idaho residents is at the Idaho State Archives, formerly known as the Idaho State Historical Society Public Archives and Research Library (PARL). The Idaho Biographical Index (IBI) is available online and is an index of persons named in state, county and community histories, regional periodicals, and selected newspaper articles from around the state and throughout its history.
Statewide histories include Elliott's History of Idaho Territory (1884) and multi-volume histories by French (1914), Hawley (1920), Defenbach (1933), and Beal and Wells (1959), among others. Also indexed are biographical compendia such as Illustrated History of the State of Idaho (1899), Illustrated History of North Idaho (1903), and Progressive Men of Southern Idaho (1904). Please note that more recent histories and compendia are being indexed daily, and the IBI is growing all the time.
Some representative histories that are primarily biographical and held at the FHL are:
- Hawley, James H. History of Idaho: The Gem of the Mountains. Four Volumes. Chicago, Illinois: S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1920. (Family History Library book 979.6 H2h; Volumes 1-3 on film 1000165; Volume 4 on film 908926.)
- An Illustrated History of the State of Idaho. Four Volumes in 2. Chicago, Illinois: Lewis Publishing Company, 1899. (Family History Library book 979.6 H2ih; film 1000164.) The biographical sketches in this work are indexed in the Idaho Biographical Index (IBI) and are also available online through Access Genealogy.
For a complete list of the biographical holdings of the FHL, click here
A biographical index to several statewide and regional histories of Idaho is Marvin E. Wiggins, Mormons and Their Neighbors: An Index of Over 75,000 Biographical Sketches from 1820 to the present. Two Volumes. Provo, Utah: Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, 1984. (Family History Library book Ref 978 D32w.) This source is indexed on the Internet site of Brigham Young University - Idaho: www.byui.edu.
Brigham Young University has a collection, called:
- Trails of Hope: Overland Diaries and Letters, 1846-1869, which includes information about many Idaho families. It is searchable on their Internet site: http://overlandtrails.lib.byu.edu
Brigham Young University - Idaho has a project, Upper Snake River Valley Idaho Histories, in which many diaries and biographical sketches have been collected. These are indexed on their Internet site.