Madison County, Idaho Genealogy
Madison County Courthouse
134 E. Main
Rexburg, ID 83440-0389
Phone: (208) 356-3662
Fax: (208) 356-8396
1913--Madison County was created by the legislature on 18 February 1913 from Fremont County. The formal organization of the Madison County government took place on 5 January 1914 when the appointed officers met to take the oath of office. Researchers seeking information on early settlers must also search Bingham County records from 1883 to 1893 as it was the pioneer county for the entire upper Snake River valley. Fremont County was created from Bingham County in 1894 and is the successor record keeper for early Madison County residents.
26 January 1915 -- a portion of the eastern part of Madison County was removed and became part of Teton County.
A significant event occurred in 1976 which has an effect on historical records in this county. The Teton Dam broke early on Saturday morning, June 6th, and flooded much of Madison County. Among other areas affected was the basement of the county courthouse. It was engulfed and anything stored there was soaked with flood waters. Among other items destroyed were the probate case files and the early tract books.
The flood also destroyed church, family and Rexburg and Sugar City records.
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 Madison 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 Rexburg.
There are many cemeteries in Madison County. For a list of those that have been identified, and links to transcriptions and/or photographs of tombstones, go to Madison County, Idaho Cemetery Records.
For the cemeteries in or immediately adjacent to the cities, please see the city pages for the cities listed above.
The Eastern Idaho Death Index also has an exhaustive listing of all of the cemeteries in Madison County. The local chapter of the Sons of Utah Pioneers have a project to attach a digital photograph of each gravestone as time and seasons permits. Burton, Rexburg and Sugar City have many images included.
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 Madison 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 and at at the BYU-Idaho Library in Rexburg.
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 Madison 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 Madison County courthouse in Rexburg, and can be accessed by making a visit there.
Some of the records of the courts of Madison County that have been microfilmed include:
- Judgments, 1912-1937; index, 1914-1964
The Idaho State Archives has a collection of city, county, state and regional directories.
One local history written by a Ricks College history professor can be found at this citation. Crowder, David L., Rexburg, Idaho: The first one Hundred years 1883 – 1983 (Caldwell, Idaho: Caxton Printers ltd, 1983) The Book may be hard to find.
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 Madison County, Idaho, one may visit the courthouse in Rexburg, Idaho.
Deeds and other land records of Madison County start in 1914 when it was formed. Some early deeds recorded in Fremont County (pre-1914) for land now located in Madison County were transcribed and are listed in the early volumes in Madison County.
- A digital Madison County Idaho map is available online.
- Map of Madison County, Idaho is available online.
World War I draft registration cards, 1917-1918, for Madison County have been microfilmed. Copies of these records are available at the Family History Library (their microfilm number 1452219) 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.
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 Madison County. The originals are held in the Madison County courthouse in Rexburg, 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.
Copies of issues of many Idaho newspapers are in the collections of the Idaho State Archives.
The Original of the following record is found in the Madison County Courthouse in Rexburg. It has been microfilmed and copies can also be found at the Idaho State Archives in Boise, Idaho or at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, or in any of the Library's Family History Centers:
Women's pensions, 1914-1934 Idaho. Probate Court (Madison County)
Estate case files from 1914 to 1976 were destroyed in the Teton Flood. Fortunately, the Probate Register: Estates and claims (Index) did survive and can be searched at the district court office in the main courthouse building (second floor). The five volume set lists the name of the decedant, date of petition for probate and other key items involved in probation.
Any existing tax assessment rolls for Madison County should be in the courthouse in Rexburg and would need to be accessed by visiting there.
Note: Many early births and deaths for residents of eastern Idaho were not recorded in Boise and it wasn't until the 1950's that the majority of these events are included in the Statewide collection.
Birth records, 1911 to present, for individuals born in Madison 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. .
All of the early marriage records for Madison County have been microfilmed and are available at the Idaho State Archives in Boise (PARL), the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah and the BYU-Idaho Library in Rexburg. Included are:
•Marriage Records Books, 1915-1936 •Index to Marriage Records, 1915-1986.
Marriages from other sources.
Over 2,286 marriages from 14 Jan 1914 to 14 Feb 1950 are listed on the Western States Marriage Index.
Deaths occurring in Madison County after 1911 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 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.
- Madison District Library
73 N Center St
Rexburg, ID 83440
Phone: (208) 356-3461
- Sugar Salem School/Community Library
1 Digger Dr
Sugar City, ID 83448
Phone: (208) 356-0271
- McKay Library
Brigham Young University - Idaho
525 South Center St.
Rexburg, Idaho 84440-0405
Website: BYU-Idaho Library
The Library and its Special Collections Department provide access to a large collection of original research material on Utah and Eastern Idaho settlers. It is especially comprehensive for materials relating to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). The Upper Snake River Family History Center is hosted in the Library.
- Upper Snake River Valley Historical Society
51 North Center Street, Rexburg, ID 83440-1539
- The Madison County ID GenWeb Project, a member of The IDGenWeb Project, an affiliate of The USGenWeb Project
- Family History Library Catalog
- Madison County, Idaho Genealogy and Family History (Linkpendium)
- Idaho State Historical Society Reference Series, Number 10, Counties and County Seats, Reissued July, 1991.