Adams County, Idaho Genealogy
- This article is about a western Idaho county. For other uses, see Adams.
Adams County Courthouse
Council, ID 83612
National Register of Historic Places. It has been replaced by a modern, more efficient courthouse which now serves the people of the county.
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.
Some early deeds and probate records, a marriage register from 1911-1984, and some other miscellaneous county records have been microfilmed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Copies are available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and through their family history centers 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 Council. 
There are many cemeteries in Adams County. For a list of those that have been identified, and links to transcriptions and/or photographs of tombstones, go to Adams 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 local congregation (ward) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints existed in Adams 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.
- Indian Valley
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.
Some of the early court records of Adams 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 in any of the Library's Family History Centers. Additional court records and more recent records are housed at the courthouse in Council.
Some of the records of the courts of Adams County that have been microfilmed include:
- District Court:
- Judgment Books, v. 1-2, 1911-1929
- Index to Judgment Books, 1911-1924
- Probate Court:
- Wills, 1889-1936
- Notice of Action, v. A, 1886-1911
- Judgment records, 1911-1924; index, 1911-1924
(Includes divorces, probate documents, civil and criminal actions, and many other court actions.)
A brief history of the county is available online at the Adams County website, including short histories of each of the major communities of the county.
A combined History of Washington County and Adams County was written by Frank Harris.
A History of the Council Valley Area is also available online at the Adams County Historical Preservation Commission website.
A brief history of the Meadows Valley, written by a high school class in 1945, is available online through the Council Valley Museum's website. It includes some brief interviews with residents of the valley.
Land and Property Records
Some of the early land records of Adams County have been microfilmed. Since Adams County was not created until 1911 from Washington County, some of these records are transcripts from those found in the parent county. Microfilm copies of the records are available at the Idaho State Archives in Boise 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 Adams County courthouse in Council.
Among the land records of Adams County which have been microfilmed are:
- Deeds, 1876-1907
- Index to Deeds, 1881-1935
- Possessory land claim records, v. A, 1884-1916
Some records of mining claims and other records pertaining to mining in Adams County, 1902-1927, have been microfilmed and are available at the Idaho State Archives in Boise and the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.
- A modern road map of Adams County is available online.
- A digital Adams County map of Idaho is available online.
- Map of Adams County, Idaho is available online.
World War I draft registration cards, 1917-1918, for Adams County have been microfilmed. Copies of these records are available at the Family History Library (their microfilm number 1452106) and are also available online at Ancestry.com, for a subscription fee. The Adams County GenWeb site also has these records available. 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. An index to these records is also available at the Idaho GenWeb Archives page.
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.
There do not appear to have any Miscellaneous Series in Adams County. Check the Adams County courthouse in Council, Idaho for current records and possible other records by visiting there.
Adams County Record
P.O. Box R
Council, ID 83612
The following newspapers have been published in Adams County, Idaho. Copies for the dates indicated are available at the Idaho State Archives in Boise.
|City||Title of Newspaper||Dates Available|
|Council||Adams County leader||1918:3:29 -1996:12:31|
|Council||Council journal||1901:7:13 -1902:2:1|
|Council||Council leader||1908: 10:9-1915:9:17|
|Council||Council record, 1979||1978:1:4 -1978:12:27|
|Council||Council record, 1990||1990:1:3 -1991:12:26|
|Meadows||Meadows eagle||1903:10:15, 1911:12:28, 1913:6:20|
|New Meadows||Adams County advance||1914:12:4|
|New Meadows||New Meadows tribune||1912:1:2, 3:7|
Abstracts of newspaper articles about the Council area, 1877-1950, are available of the Council Valley Museum website.
Some probate records for Adams County have been microfilmed and are available at the Idaho State Archives in Boise and at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City or at any of the Library's Family History Centers. Other probate files remain with the county courthouse in Council. Included among the records that have been microfilmed are:
- Wills, 1889-1936
- Notice of Action, v. A, 1886-1911
The Idaho State Archives in Boise, Idaho and the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah have copies of the Adams County School Census Marshall's Report 1913-1926. This School Census can be viewed at the Adams County courthouse in Council, Idaho by visiting there, or at the Idaho State Archives by visiting the Archives in Boise. The Family History Library can be viewed at the Library in Salt Lake City or at any of its Family History Centers.
Any existing tax assessment rolls for Adams County should be in the courthouse in Council and would need to be accessed by visiting there.
The Birth Registers for Washington County, 1907-1911, recorded the births of residents of what became Adams County in 1911. That volume has been microfilmed and is available at the Idaho State Archives in Boise and at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. Birth records, 1911 to present, are 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.
Several of the original marriage records of Ada 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. Included are:
- Register of Marriages, 1911-1984
- Marriage Licenses and Certificates, 1911-1929
Marriages from other sources:
- About 800 marriages of Adams County, 1900-1940, are available on the Western States Marriage Index.
The Death Register for Washington County, 1907-1911 recorded the deaths of members of families who became residents of Adams County when it was created in 1911. That volume has been microfilmed and is available at the Idaho State Archives in Boise and at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Death records, 1911 to present, 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. They may also be used on loan through local Family History Centers.
A state-wide index to Idaho Deaths, 1911-1956 is available online. Efforts to expand this index to 1960 are underway. Another version is the Idaho GenWeb 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.
Adams County Historical Society
P.O. Box 352
New Meadows, ID 83654
Council Valley Museum
P.O. Box 252
Council, ID 83612
located one block south of downtown, on Galena Street
- The Adams County ID GenWeb Project, a member of The IDGenWeb Project, an affiliate of The USGenWeb Project.
- Adams County Historic Preservation Commission
- Family History Library Catalog
- Adams County, Idaho Genealogy and Family History (Linkpendium)
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), [FHL book 973 D27e 2002].
- Idaho State Historical Society Reference Series, Number 10, Counties and County Seats, Reissued July, 1991.
- A History of the Council Valley Area, Adams County Historical Preservation web site.
- census.gov - Idaho population by county, 1900-90 accessed 2009-05-03
- quickfacts.census.gov - Canyon County accessed 2009-05-03