Census Records for Illinois
This entry was originally written by Carol L. Maki and Michael John Neill for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.
• Indexed—1810 (only Randolph County), 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850 (Edgar County lists county of birth), 1860, 1870, 1880, 1890 (only Mound Township of McDonough County survives), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930
• Soundex—1880, 1900, 1910 (Miracode), 1920
Industry and Agriculture Schedules
• 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 (agricultural)
• 1850, 1860, 1870 (only counties Ke–Z), 1880
Edgar County lists county of births on the 1850 census. In addition to the generally available indexes in print and online (see page 3), a card index for Cook County developed by Bernice C. Richard is at the Illinois State Archives with microfilm copies at Newberry Library and National Archives—Great Lakes Region. Printed indexes for the same census year have been published by local county organizations. Over 1,000 cards in the “O” section for the Soundex for the 1880 federal population schedules were omitted. All of the aforementioned are at the Illinois State Historical Library (see Archives, Libraries, and Societies). Only Mound Township of McDonough County survives from the 1890 census. Many larger genealogical libraries have print indexes to Illinois federal state censuses through 1870. See pages 16-17 for a full discussion of online sources.
Two territorial censuses were taken for the Illinois populace in 1810 (as Indiana Territory) and 1818 (as Illinois Territory). The 1810 extant returns only include Randolph County in the southern portion of the state. What remains of both censuses have been indexed by AISI (see page 3). Originals are at the Illinois State Archives.
The state censuses will list only the head of family by name, followed by numerical totals in age categories for the balance of the household. The following enumerations were taken by the state and remain extant.
1820—Eighteen counties, which included all of Illinois except Edwards County
1825—Edwards, Fulton, and Randolph counties only
1830—Morgan County only (includes present counties of Cass, Morgan, and Scott)
1835—Fayette, Fulton, Jasper, and Morgan counties (includes present counties of Cass, Morgan, and Scott)
1840—Thirty-five counties included. Consult Descriptive Inventory of the Archives of the State of Illinois (see Illinois Archives, Libraries, and Societies) for list of counties.
1845—Cass, Madison, Putnam, and Tazewell counties only
1855—For all counties except Carroll, Champaign, Franklin, Gallatin, Henry, Jefferson, Lake, Stark, Will, and Woodford
1865—For all counties except Gallatin, Mason, Monroe, and Tazewell (Elm Township in Tazewell County has survived)
The “Name Index to Early Illinois Records” (index to state and federal census records 1810–55 and other government documents) is available on interlibrary loan, by surname, from the Illinois State Library and through The Family History Library (FHL) in Salt Lake City.
Some city census enumerations were made in Illinois in the 1930s. There is also a microfilmed military census, enumerated in 1862, by county, which lists men eighteen to forty-five years of age. It can be borrowed on interlibrary loan from the Illinois State Archives.
There is an Illinois State Census Collection, 1825-1865 searchable at Ancestry.com. This database contains state censuses for the following years: 1825, 1830, 1835, 1845, 1855, 1865. There is also an Illinois Census, 1810-90 collection that contains the following indexes: 1810 Randolph County Census; 1818 State Census Index; 1820 Federal Census Index; 1820 State Census Index; 1825 State Census Index; 1830 Federal Census Index; 1830 Morgan County Federal Census Index; 1835 State Census Index; 1840 Federal Census Index; 1840 State Census Index; 1840 Pensioners List; 1850 Federal Census Index; 1855 State Census Index; 1860 Federal Census Index; 1870 Federal Census Index; 1880 Cook County Census; 1890 Veterans Schedule; Early Census Index.
- Illinois Census Records - free up-to-date guide to accessing Illinois census records. Identifies federal, state, and territorial censuses, as well as substitute records (FamilySearch Research Wiki).