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Butte County, Idaho Genealogy

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

Landscape near Arco, Butte CO., Idaho, by Peg Owens


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Butte County, Idaho
Map
Map of Idaho highlighting Butte County
Location in the state of Idaho
Map of the U.S. highlighting Idaho
Location of Idaho in the U.S.
Facts
Founded February 6, 1917
County Seat Arco
Courthouse
IDbuttecourthouse.jpg
Address Butte County Courthouse
602 Butte
248 West Corand
Arco, ID 83213-0737
Phone: (208) 527-3021
Fax: (208) 527-3295


County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The county was named for the buttes that rise from the Snake River plain and served as landmarks to trappers and pioneers who traveled through the area. The County Seat is Arco and was founded February 6, 1917. It is located in the central area of the state.[1]

Butte 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 1895 1890 1917 1870
Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1911. General compliance in the 1920s.

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Butte County Courthouse
248 West Corand
Arco, ID 83213-0737
Phone: 208-527-3021
Fax: 208-527-3295
Butte County Website

County Clerk has marriage, burial, divorce, probate and school records from 1917, court records from 1895, and land records from 1890. [3]

Quick Facts[edit | edit source]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1917--Butte County, was created 6 February 1917 from Bingham, Blaine and Jefferson Counties. County seat: Arco [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]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

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

Cities
Unincorporated communities
  • Darlington
  • Lost River


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 Butte County, Idaho was compiled from the Lists of Places in Idaho in Wikipedia and from the map of Butte 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 Butte County, Idaho Genealogy entries with names, images, or information.


Many of the older court, land, naturalization, probate, pension, and vital records for Butte 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 Arco[6].

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county
Findagrave.com Family History Library Findagrave.com
IDGenWeb WorldCat Billion Graves
IDGenWeb Archives
Tombstone Project
Idaho Gravestones
Billion Graves
See Idaho Cemeteries for more information.

There are many cemeteries in Butte County. For a list of those that have been identified, and links to transcriptions and/or photographs of tombstones, go to Butte 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.
19202,940
19301,934−34.2%
19401,877−2.9%
19502,72245.0%
19603,49828.5%
19702,925−16.4%
19803,34214.3%
19902,918−12.7%
20002,899−0.7%
sources:[7][8]


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.


  • The following are local congregations (wards) which existed in Butte County, Idaho prior to 1950.
  • Arco
  • Ballard
  • Darlington
  • Lost River
  • Moore

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.

Online County Records

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Some of the early court records of Butte 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 Butte County courthouse in Arco, Idaho, and can be accessed by making a visit there.

Some of the court records of Butte County that have been microfilmed are:

  • District court minutes, v. 1, 1917-1947
  • Orders and decrees, v. 1, 1918-1930
  • Power of attorney, v. 1, 1881-1967
  • U. S. patent record, 1889-1933; general index, 1889-1974
Judgment Books[edit | edit source]
  • Judgment records, v. 1, 1912-1963



Miscellaneous records are found listed under the Miscellaneous Series below.

History[edit | edit source]

Butte County was established February 6, 1917 with its county seat at Arco. It was named for the buttes that rise from the Snake River plain and served as landmarks to trappers and pioneers who traveled through the area. The first white men in the region were thought to be Donald Mackenzie and his Northwest Fur Company trappers in 1818.

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 Butte County, Idaho, one may visit the courthouse in Arco, Idaho.

The Idaho State Archives has microfilmed some of the early county records of Butte County and these can be accessed by visiting the Archives in Boise, Idaho.

Maps[edit | edit source]

Custer CountyLemhi CountyClark CountyJefferson CountyBingham CountyBlaine CountyID BUTTE.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Military[edit | edit source]

World War I draft registration cards, 1917-1918, for Butte County have been microfilmed. Copies of these records are available at the Family History Library (their microfilm number 1452111) 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.

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 Butte County. The originals are held in the Butte County courthouse in Arco, 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]

Arco Advertiser
146 S. Front St.
P.O. 803
Arco, ID 83213

Historical[edit | edit source]

The Idaho State Archives has microfilmed the following newspapers from Butte County, which can be viewed by visiting their facility in Boise, Idaho:

Arco Advertiser: 1909:3:12- 9999
Idaho Republican News: 1937:2:-1938:6

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Probate[edit | edit source]

Online Probate Records

The existing original probate records for Butte County should be housed at the county courthouse in Arco, Idaho and can be accessed by visiting there.

The Idaho State Archives has microfilmed the Probate Docket Book 1 (1886-1956) of Butte County and is available for viewing at the Archives in Boise, Idaho.

The Family History Library in Salt Lake City has the same film of the Probate Docket Book 1 of Butte County and it is available for viewing at the Library in Salt Lake City or at any of its Family History Centers.

Taxation[edit | edit source]

Any existing tax assessment rolls for Butte County should be in the courthouse in Arco 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 Butte 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 670 marriages, 1917-1950, are listed on the Western States Marriage Index.

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Online Records

Deaths[edit | edit source]

Online Records


Deaths occuring in Butte 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.

Deaths from other sources.
A significant source of death and related information for eastern Idaho families can be found at the following website Eastern Idaho Death Index

Societies and Libraries[edit | edit source]

Idaho State Archives

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.

  • Lost Rivers Community Library‎
    Frnt, 130 West Arco Avenue, Arco, ID 83213
    (208) 527-8511‎
    Website
  • Howe Branch Library‎
    1523 Highway 22, Howe, ID 83244
    (208) 767-3018‎

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

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.

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Genealogy Trails History Group, “Butte County, Idaho Genealogy and History”, http://genealogytrails.com/ida/butte/
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Butte 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), Butte, Idaho page 177, 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, "Butte County, Idaho," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butte_County,_Idaho#Communities accessed 6 April 2019.
  6. Idaho State Historical Society Reference Series, Number 10, Counties and County Seats, Reissued July, 1991.
  7. census.gov - Idaho population by county, 1900-90 accessed 2009-05-03
  8. quickfacts.census.gov - Canyon County accessed 2009-05-03

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