Idaho Land Records

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This entry was originally written by Dwight A. Radford for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
Idaho sil.png
the Idaho Family History Research series.
History of Idaho
Idaho Vital Records
Census Records for Idaho
Background Sources for Idaho
Idaho Maps
Idaho Land Records
Idaho Probate Records
Idaho Court Records
Idaho Tax Records
Idaho Cemetery Records
Idaho Church Records
Idaho Military Records
Idaho Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections
Idaho Archives, Libraries, and Societies
Idaho Immigration
Ethnic Groups of Idaho
Idaho County Resources
Map of Idaho

Idaho is a Public-Domain State.

Idaho was a public land state, created from land that was public domain. The federal government administered most of the land that was settled through the Government Land Office, which became the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). These land offices kept records of each land entry, including tract books and township plats. Tract books are records of transactions for each section of land. Township plat books are maps of land entries for each township.

Records for the BLM are on file at the National Archives—Pacific-Alaska (Seattle), and the BLM Office, Idaho State Office, 1387 S. Vinnell Way, Boise, ID 83706 BLM lands that went through the patent process are online at the BLM website (see page 6).

BLM land records cover the years 1868 to 1910. The following land office records are on microfiche in Seattle: Boise Land Office (1868–1910); Oxford Land Office (1879–1908); Oxford-Blackfoot Land Office (1879–1901); Blackfoot Land Office (1884–1940); Coeur d’Alene Land Office (1885–1908), Hailey Land Office (1883–1940), Lewiston (1874–1908); and Unidentified Land Office Records (1878–1917). Also on file, are records for the Office of Surveyor General of Idaho (1913–50). There were two types of land entries in Idaho: cash entries and homesteads. For a more detailed discussion of these two land entries, see Washington State—Land Records.

The above land office records include letters sent and received by state offices and sub offices, case files, township tract books, survey plats, registers, indexes of declaratory statements, entries, receipts, certificates for homesteads, mineral, and timber culture lands.

The custodian of land records on the county level in Idaho is the county recorder. The originals of these county records are on file at the local county courthouses. Many records in Idaho’s county courthouses are microfilmed and available through the FHL.