Nez Perce County, Idaho Genealogy
Nez Perce County Courthouse
Lewiston, ID 83501-0896
Phone: (208) 799-3020
Fax: (208) 799-3070
1864--Nez Perce County was created 4 February 1864 as an original county. County seat: Lewiston 
22 December 1864 -- Kootenai County created from part of Nez Perce County
14 May 1888 -- Latah County created from part of Nez Perce County
3 March 1911 -- Lewis County created from part of Nez Perce County
The above 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.
Many of the older court, land, naturalization, probate, pension, and vital records for Nez Perce 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 Historical Society's Library 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 Lewiston.
There are many cemeteries in Nez Perce County. For a list of those that have been identified, and links to transcriptions and/or photographs of tombstones, go to Nez Perce County, Idaho Cemetery Records.
For the cemeteries in or immediately adjacent to the cities, please see the city pages for the cities listed above.
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)
The following is the only local congregation (ward) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints which existed in Nez Perce County, Idaho prior to 1950. Many of the original records of church units are in the Historical Library in Salt Lake City. Many of the membership records covering these units from the date of their creation to about 1948 have been microfilmed and are available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.
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.
A brief history of county is available online a the Nez Perce County Historical Society's website.
- An 1895 map of Nez Perce and surrounding counties is available online.
- A digital Nez Perce County Idaho map is available online.
- Map of Nez Perce County, Idaho is available online.
World War I draft registration cards, 1917-1918, for Nez Perce County have been microfilmed. Copies of these records are available at the Family History Library (their microfilm numbers 1452219 and 1452220) 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.
The original naturalization records of Nez Perce County that have been transferred to the Idaho State Historical Society' Library in Boise have been indexed in their Index to Naturalizations.
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 Historical Society Public Archives and Research Library (PARL) in Boise. Those at PARL have been indexed. Nez Perce County Mothers' Pensions are included in that index.
Nearly 9300 marriages, 1863-1941, are listed on the Western States Marriage Index.
The Death Registers for Nez Perce County, 1907-1911, have been microfilmed and are available at the Idaho State Historical Society Library in Boise and at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. After 1911, deaths occuring in Nez Perce 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 mandated 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 used at the Idaho State Historical Society (PARL) Library in Boise, the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, BYU-Idaho University Library in Rexburg and several other locations.
A state-wide index to Idaho Deaths, 1911-1956 is available online. Efforts to expand this index to 1960 are underway. Another version is Idaho Death Index 1911-1956.
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.
- Lewiston City Public Library
428 Thain Rd
Lewiston, ID 83501
Phone: (208) 743-6519
- Prairie-River District Library
103 N Main St
Lapwai, ID 83540
Phone: (208) 843-7254
- Nez Perce County Historical Society, Inc. and Museum
0306 Third Street
Lewiston, ID 83501
- The Nez Perce County ID GenWeb Project, a member of The IDGenWeb Project, an affiliate of The USGenWeb Project
- Family History Library Catalog
- 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.