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United States Gotoarrow.png Idaho Gotoarrow.png Bear Lake County

Contents

 
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County Courthouse

Bear Lake County Courthouse
7 E. Center
P.O. Box 190
Paris, ID 83261

Quick Facts

Parent County

5 January 1875: Bear Lake County, Idaho was created from Oneida County. County seat: Paris [1]

Boundary Changes

6 March 1893: A part of the county was taken to create Bannock County.

Record Loss

Places/Localities

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.

Resources

Many of the older court, land, naturalization, probate, pension, and vital records for Bear Lake County have been microfilmed and are available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and 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 Paris. [2]

Cemeteries

There are many cemeteries in Bear Lake County. For a list of those that have been identified, and links to transcriptions and/or photographs of tombstones, go to Bear Lake 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

For a summary of census records for the state of Idaho, see Idaho Census Records.

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. Bear Lake County is included in this reconstructed census.

Church History and Records

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

The following are local congregations (wards) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints which existed in Bear Lake County, Idaho prior to 1950. Many of the original records of these 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.

  • Alton
  • Bear Lake Stake
  • Bennington
  • Bern
  • Bloomington
  • Cokeville
  • Dingle
  • Fish Haven
  • Garden City
  • Geneva
  • Georgetown
  • Lade town
  • Lanark
  • Liberty
  • Meadowville
  • Montpelier
  • Montpelier 1
  • Montpilier 2
  • Montpelier 3
  • Montpelier 4
  • Montpelier 5
  • Mt. Sherman
  • Nounan
  • Ovid
  • Paris 1
  • Paris 2
  • Pegram
  • Raymond
  • Round Valley
  • St. Charles
  • Sharon
  • Wardboro

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.

Court Records

Judgment Books

History

A Brief History of the Bear Lake Valley is available on the official website for the county.

Another History of Bear Lake Valley is available on the website of the Bear Lake Valley Convention and Visitors' Bureau.

Land and Property

Maps

Military History and Records

World War I draft registration cards, 1917-1918, for Bear Lake County have been microfilmed. Copies of these records are available at the Family History Library (their microfilm number 1452108) 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.

Miscellaneous Series

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.

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. Six volumes of Bear Lake County naturalization records are included in a Naturalization Index at the Idaho State Archives in Boise, available online.

Newspapers

Current

Pension Records

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. Bear Lake County Mothers' Pensions are included in that index.

Probate Records

Early estate case files have been transferred to the Idaho State Archives in Boise.

Taxation

Any existing tax assessment rolls for Bear Lake County should be in the courthouse in Paris and would need to be accessed by visiting there.

Vital Records

Birth

The Birth Register for Bear Lake County, 1907-1911, has been microfilmed and is available at the Idaho State Archives in Boise and at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Birth records, 1911 to present, for individuals born in Bear Lake 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.

Marriage

2,489 marriages of Bear Lake County, 6 Mar 1866 to 16 Apr 1935, are available on the Western States Marriage Index.

Early marriage records for Bear Lake County have also been microfilmed and are available at the Idaho State Archives in Boise and at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. Included are:

  • Marriage Records Books, 1887-1935
  • Index to Marriage Records, 1875-1966
  • Register of Marriages, 1907-1923
Deaths

The Death Register for Bear Lake County, 1907-1911, has been microfilmed and is available at the Idaho State Archives in Boise and at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. After 1911, deaths occurring in Bear Lake 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 Archives 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, 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.

Bear Lake County Public Library

Websites

Reference

  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. Idaho State Historical Society Reference Series, Number 10, Counties and County Seats, Reissued July, 1991.

 

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