Illinois Genealogy

This guide contains a sample of The Newberry’s resources on this topic. To locate additional resources, please check our catalog or consult a reference librarian.

This research guide is also available as a PDF file.

Vital Records

Illinois Statewide Death Index, Pre–1916.

Illinois Statewide Death Index, 1916 - 1950.

Death index by name: Illinois deaths [1916-1947]. Springfield, Illinois: Illinois Dept. of Public Health, 2000. Call # Local History Ref Microfiche 1153 (behind 2nd floor reference desk).

Marriage record index. 4th edition. Springfield, Illinois: Illinois State Archives & Illinois State Genealogical Society, 1992. Call # Microfiche 1144. Not comprehensive. Consult catalog for counties and years covered. See also the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, 1763 – 1900.

Census

U.S. population schedules 1820-1880, 1900-1930 (complete). Entire census available on the computer through Ancestry.com and HeritageQuest in the library. Entire census on microfilm available at the Genealogy Reference Desk, 2nd floor. Soundex indexes for 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920.

Printed statewide indexes 1820-1860 on census index shelves, Local History Ref 2nd floor open shelves. Many transcriptions and indexes arranged in alphabetical order by county, Call # range: Local History Ref F547.A2 through Local History Ref F547.W8 (2nd floor open shelf).

Illinois state census. 1825, 1830, 1835, 1845, 1855, 1865. See the State Census binder at the 2nd floor reference desk for call numbers and reel numbers. Note: Only heads of household are listed by name in the state census schedules. Index is only available for 1855.

Periodicals

Illinois State Genealogical Society Quarterly. Volume 1 (1969)- currently received. Call # Local History Ref F536.I177 (2nd floor open shelf).

Land Records

Public domain sales land tract record listing. Springfield, Illinois: Illinois State Archives Division, 1984. Call # Microfiche 623. These are only the original land sales made by the federal government, and thus are largely limited to the period of early settlement and development in any given county. See also Public Domain Land Sale Records database.

Local Histories and Genealogical Source Material

Consult both the computer and card catalogs under the subject headings for the county of interest. Sometimes there may also be materials listed under a subject heading for a village, town or city. For Chicago and Cook County research, consult the Chicago Genealogy Sources instruction sheet before using the catalogs.

Maps and Gazetteers

Adams, James N. Illinois Place Names. Springfield, Illinois: Illinois State Historical Society, 1989. Revised edition. Call # Local History Ref F539.A3 1989 (2nd floor open shelf).

Conzen, Michael P., James R. Akerman, David T. Thackery (compilers). Illinois County Landownership Map and Atlas Bibliography and Union List. Springfield, Illinois: Illinois Board of Higher Education, 1991. Call # Local History Ref GA421.C66 1991 (2nd floor open shelf).

Library of Congress Land Ownership Maps. Call # Microfiche 583. For listings of Illinois maps consult Land Ownership Maps: A Checklist of Nineteenth Century United States County Maps in the Library of Congress. Washington: Library of Congress, 1967. Call # Local History Ref Z6027.U5 U54 (2nd floor open shelf).

Maps of Illinois Counties in 1876 … reprinted from Illustrated Historical Atlas of the State of Illinois published by the Union Atlas Co., Chicago. Knightstown, Indiana: Mayhill, 1972. Call # G1406.G46 1876 U5 (atlas counter, 2nd floor General Reading Room).

Military Records

Illinois. Adjutant General. Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Illinois. Springfield, Illinois: Adjutant General, 1886. Call # Local History Ref E505.2.I66 (2nd floor open shelf). Civil War rosters. Unindexed.

Illinois. Veterans’ Commission. Honor Roll (1956). Call # Local History Ref E181.I34 (2nd floor open shelf). Multivolume set of Illinois veteran grave registrations organizations arranged by county (though some counties missing) and then alphabetically by cemetery. Military unit given if known. Unindexed.

Index to Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Illinois. Call # Microfilm 547 (specify surname on call slip).

Northcott, Dennis and Thomas Brooks. Grand Army of the Republic, Department of Illinois : Transcription of the Death Rolls, 1879-1947. St. Louis, Mo. : Dennis Northcott, 2003. Call # Local History Ref E505.3 .N67 2003 (2nd floor open shelf.).

See also the Illinois State Archives’ military databases:

  • Database of Illinois Civil War Veterans
  • Database of Illinois Spanish-American War Veterans
  • Database of Illinois Black Hawk War Veterans 

Guides and General Works

Beckstead, Gayle and Mary Lou Kozub. Searching in Illinois: a reference guide to public and private records. Costa Mesa, CA: ISC Publications, c1984. Call # Local History Ref F540 B42 1984 (2nd floor open shelf).