Butte County, Idaho Genealogy
Butte County Courthouse
Arco, ID 83213-0737
Phone: (208) 527-3021
Fax: (208) 527-3295
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.
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.
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.
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 are local congregations (wards) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints which existed in Butte 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.
- Lost River
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 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 records, v. 1, 1912-1963
Miscellaneous records are found listed under the Miscellaneous Series below.
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
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.
- A digital Butte County Idaho map is available online.
- Map of Butte County, Idaho is available online.
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.
This same record is available online at the Butte County genweb site.
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.
146 S. Front St.
Arco, ID 83213
The Idaho State Archives has microfilmed the following newspapers from Butte County, which can be viewed by visiting the Archives in Boise, Idaho:
Arco Arco advertiser Butte 1909:3:12- 9999
Arco Idaho Republican news Butte 1937:2:-1938:6
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.
Any existing tax assessment rolls for Butte County should be in the courthouse in Arco and would need to be accessed by visiting there.
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.
Over 670 marriages, 1917-1950, are listed on the Western States Marriage Index.
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
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
- Howe Branch Library
1523 Highway 22, Howe, ID 83244
- The Butte County Idaho GenWeb Project, a member of The IDGenWeb Project, an affiliate of The USGenWeb Project
- Family History Library Catalog
- Butte County, Idaho Genealogy and Family History (Linkpendium)
- 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.