Idaho Death Records and Death Index

It may surprise you to learn how often genealogists face this particular set of circumstances. They are aware of when their ancestor was born, when they may have married, when their children were born but they just can’t find out when they died.

There are a fair few instances where the only information missing is the death date which can be very frustrating. This is why knowing what death records may be available to you can be vital in your research.

It is important to note that one of the biggest issues in finding a death record can be looking in the wrong place. You may be surprised how often people miss records because they are looking in the wrong county and sometimes even the wrong state.

In this post we will be looking at Idaho state death records and indexes to try and help you find those elusive ancestors. So if you are confident that your ancestor likely died in the state of Idaho then read on and hopefully we can help you out.

About Idaho

The 43rd state to be ratified for statehood on July 3rd 1890, Idaho is known for its scenic natural beauty and its booming agriculture. Twice the size of the six New England states combined, the state has an area of 83,568 square miles and a population over 1.6 million.

Idaho is famous for its potato production and in fact produces more of these staple vegetables than any other state in the union. It is lesser known that the state also is a leader in the supply of trout to the U.S.

Social Security Death Index 1935 – 2014

All American citizens, naturalized immigrants and resident aliens require a Social Security number for proof of identification and authorization to work. This number follows us throughout our life and when we die this nine digit code is very important.

The Social Security Death Index (SSDI) is a database of death records that was compiled from the United States Social Security Administration Death Master File. This was until 2014 when the rules changed and public access to the Death Master File had to take place through a certification program.

Those researching the deaths of ancestors in Idaho will likely find that most people who have died between 1936 and 2014 can be found on the Social Security Death Index. This does however only hold true if the person had a Social Security number when they died.

It is estimated that since 1973 the SSDI recorded 93% to 96% of the deaths of individuals aged 65 or over. The index was updated frequently and by June of 2011 there were 89,835,920 records available.

The index can be found on websites such as FamilySearch and Ancestry.com and offers details such as:

  • · Given name and surname (middle initial since the 1990s)
  • · Date of birth
  • · Month and year of death (Full date of death for accounts active after 2000)
  • · Social Security number
  • · State or territory Social Security number was issued
  • · Last place of residence when alive including ZIP code

Click here to search Ancestrydeathindex

U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007

This is more or less an extension of the information you can find from the Social Security Death Index. It has been extracted from the SSDI records but features more details. It does not include all of the names found in the SSDI however but there are at least 49 million names included.

In this record you may find additional information such as:

  • Date and place of birth
  • Parents' names who, if deceased, would be over 75 when you are viewing the records (may be redacted if under 75)
  • Citizenship status
  • Gender
  • Sometimes race or ethnic group

Click here to search AncestryDeathindex

Ancestry Indexes for Idaho

The genealogy website Ancestry.com has a couple of great indexes for death records that pertain to Idaho. You will need a paid subscription to get full use of these collections but you can search them prior to getting a membership to see if it’s likely you can find records that are useful to you.

Idaho Death Records, 1890-1969

This index from Ancestry includes both images of death certificates and indexes of recorded deaths. The available certificates date between 1911 – 1969 as previous to this vital records had only been mandatory since 1907.

Earlier death records were kept by churches, midwives, mortuaries and doctors. In the death certificates in this collection you can learn information such as:

  • Name of deceased
  • Place/date of death
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Marital status
  • Date/place of birth
  • Age
  • Occupation
  • Parents names/birth places
  • Name and address of informant
  • Date of death
  • Cause of death according to attending physician
  • Date and place of burial
  • Name and address of undertaker

Click here to search the Idaho, Death Records 1890 – 1969

Idaho Death Index, 1890-1964

This collection on Ancestry contains indexes of recorded deaths between 1890 – 1964 with no death certificates included. It has been compiled from reported deaths to the various counties by clergymen, doctors, coroners and undertakers.

After 1911 the county no longer received these records as they were instead directed to the state authorities. The information in these records may assist you in locating a death certificate if one exists or to at least potentially find a record of the death event.

Click here to search the Idaho Death Index 1890 – 1969

Familysearch Death Records for Idaho

Familysearch is a Utah based website which has been compiled by the Church of Latter Day Saints. It is completely free to use as long as you have a registered account and has an extensive collection of records.

Idaho Death Certificates, 1911-1937

This collection of death records for the state of Idaho have been listed by file number which makes them roughly chronological. This is not of course perfect however as some deaths may be recorded later than they occurred.

Gathered from the Department of Health and Welfare in Boise, Idaho these records are digital images of death certificates.

Click here to search Idaho Death Certificates, 1911-1937

Idaho Death Certificates Index, 1938-1961

This is a similar collection to the one above but covers the later years of 1938 – 1961. There are however no digital images of the certificates but pertinent details have been transcribed from the original documents.

Click here to search Idaho Death Certificates, 1938-1961

County Specific Obituary and Cemetery Indexes by County

Idaho as mentioned is a large state so it has a large number of counties. Many of these are very rural so as a result there are only a few counties that maintain online death records. Despite the limited availability it is worth noting the available indexes on the county level.

County Obituary and Cemetery Indexes by County
Ada
Bonneville
Canyon
Franklin
Jefferson
Nez Perce
Twin Falls
Valley

Conclusion

The state of Idaho is very accommodating with their vital records as long as they have reached a certain length of time since the event. It is not difficult to find death certificates for example from 1911 – 1937 as long as the death was recorded in the state.

Despite being a large state there are actually very few county specific death indexes available online. The information gathered from prior to 1911 has already been encapsulated into collections with the big genealogy websites and no one is working on the county level in most places to create local databases.

There may be more county specific collections that will arise in the future but as mentioned the very rural nature of the state means this might take some time.

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  • " Idaho Death Records and Death Index". NameCensus.com. Accessed on October 2, 2022. https://namecensus.com/blog/idaho-death-records-and-death-index/.

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