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State of Idaho Genealogy

The State of Idaho was organized as territory on March 3, 1863 and entered the union as the 43rd state on July 3, 1890. It has 44 Counties.

The State of Idaho is bordered by Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming and Canada. It has a land area of 83,574 square miles making it the 14th largest state. The 2010 population was 1,567,582 and the largest cities (2010) are Boise (Capital), 205,671; Nampa, 81,557; Meridian, 75,092; Idaho Falls, 56,813; Pocatello, 54,255; Caldwell, 46,237; Coeur d'Alene, 44,137; Twin Falls, 44,125; Lewiston, 31,894; Post Falls, 27,574. The capital is Boise and the official state website is

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Idaho History

The State of Idaho was name is claimed to have been derived from a Shoshone language term meaning "the sun comes from the mountains" or "gem of the mountains". The nickname is the Gem State. The State Motto is "Esto perpetua" which translates to May it Endure Forever.

Idaho is located in the western part of the United States. It is on the eastern side of what is known as the Pacific Northwest. It is a state full of wonderful natural landscapes and its population is quite diverse. Many natural resources can be found in Idaho and they serve to support and expand upon the state's economy. The state's capital, which is also its biggest city, is Boise.

The Rocky Mountains run through Idaho. They are known for their forests, upland slopes, plateaus, and snow-covered mountain peaks. The mountains that divide the state from north to south and from east to west have caused communication problems throughout the state's history. An area of the state called the Panhandle is to the north of that mountainous divide. It is well-known for it's minerals, forests, and lakes.

Ever since the 1940s, Idaho's economy has developed at a very fast rate. The area is known mainly for its agriculture and farming industry. Wood product manufacturing, food processing, and technology industries have also grown. Not only that, but the tourist industry in Idaho has been a strong source of revenue for the state.

Boise, Idaho was home to the area's first district land office, which was established in 1866. A similar office also opened in Lewiston that year. Later, the following land offices were established: Oxford in 1879, Hailey in 1883, Coeur d'Alene in 1884, Blackfoot in 1886.

Confederate refugees came to Idaho when the Civil War ended. A new mining boom in the late 1800s and the addition of railroads in the southern Idaho farmland also attracted new groups of settlers to Idaho.

It took a long time for Idaho Territory to be recognized as a U.S. state. There were several disputes over state borders and whether or not northern Idaho should be considered part of Washington Territory. Then, in 1889, the Idaho Constitution was signed and compromises were soon reached. By July 3, 1890, when Idaho became a state, all of the boundary disputes had been settled.

Several different ethnic groups settled in Idaho at different times. One of those groups was the Finns, who settled near Payette Lakes in the mountain valleys of Idaho. Another group consisted of the converted Scandinavian Mormons. Immigrants from the Balkans and Wales also came to the area because of the draw of the Coeur d'Alene mines. Many hundreds of Chinese workers also came to work in the mining colonies from the1860s through the 1870s. Basque sheepherders also came to the area. They traveled from the Spanish Pyrenees and then settled in California, Oregon, Nevada, and Idaho. Before the start of World War II, Japanese immigrants had also come to southwestern Idaho. Pocatello and Idaho Falls were also home to Japanese settlements. Desert lands were opened up for farming use during the early 1900s, which caused even more immigrants to come from the state. Many migrated to Idaho from Utah.

There are also 4 Native American reservations in Idaho. They are: Nez Perce Reservation, Coeur d'Alene Reservation , Fort Hall Reservation, Duck Valley Reservation

Enclaves of Native Americans exist in Cusick and Bonner's Ferry. The first is home to Kalispell Tribe members, while the second is home to Kootenai Tribe members.

The development of Idaho was tolerant and peaceful at times, but turbulent and difficult at other times. Three very different cultures, the northern miners, eastern Mormons, and western non-Mormons, all formed in the area. Eventually, they all came together to form Idaho as it exists today.

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