Illinois County Resources

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This entry was originally written by Carol L. Maki and Michael John Neill for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

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

Wills, administrations, and probate matters are at the office of the circuit court. Deeds, mortgages, and leases are the responsibility of the recorder of deeds. In mailing requests to any Illinois county office, use the title of the appropriate county officer and “County Courthouse,” with the address listed in the chart below.

For some counties there are two years for “Date Formed.” The first is the year the county was created. The second is the year it was fully organized if it differs from the creation year. Under the heading “Parent County/ies,” the name/s listed may be the county or counties from which the respective county was formed, or it may be the name by which the county was formerly known. “Unorganized” denotes that some formerly non-county area was included. A county name in parentheses is the county to which the unorganized land may have been attached at that time. Counties listed with an asterisk (*) are those in which you may also find records for the respective county since it may have been “attached” to that county for some period of time.

The date listed for each category of record is the earliest record known to exist in that county. It does not indicate that there are numerous records for that year and certainly does not indicate that all such events that year were actually registered.

The information on earliest dates of Illinois county births, marriages, deaths, land records, probate files, and county court records has been obtained through the courtesy of the Illinois Regional Archives. Karl R. Moore, supervisor of this repository, has been exceedingly kind in providing material for use in this publication. He was assisted in this project by Illinois Regional Archives Division staff members John Reinhardt and David Curtin. The basic sources of information used were the Historical Records Survey inventories, published and unpublished, which Moore feels are both thorough and accurate. The IRAD team used more recent data when available, comparing that with the Historical Records Survey findings, stating, “The sources cited in our report are always the most recent and authoritative that could be established without actually visiting the county courthouses and taking an inventory.” Moore also explains, “We also gave especially close scrutiny to records whose beginning date fell after the date of county organization. Since recording of births and deaths did not become mandatory in Illinois until 1877, these records would seldom appear before that date, but marriage, probate, land sale, and court records should have been created from the beginning of a county.” Many date discrepancies are explained, according to this report, by the loss of records in fires, floods, or other disasters. When this did not appear to be the explanation, the IRAD team again verified the accuracy of the beginning dates.

In regard to land records Moore states, “Deed records usually coincide with the beginning of a county, so earlier dates in the land sales column usually indicate transcribed records from a parent county, or land patent records that contain information on original land sales from the public domain.” He explains, in regard to court records, “The earliest court records for Illinois counties created after 1818 are invariably records of the circuit court. Chancery, civil, and criminal cases are usually filed together at first.” For counties created during the territorial period, the following gives the type of their earliest court: St. Clair: Court of the District of Cahokia; Randolph: French Provincial Council; Madison, Gallatin, and Johnson: court of common pleas; Edwards, White, Jackson, Pope, Monroe, Crawford, and Bond: county court; Franklin, Union and Washington: justices’ court. Jackson, Cook and Franklin counties lost early court records in fires.

Ernest E. East’s “Records Lost in Illinois Court House Fires,” Illinois Libraries (October 1951): 376-79, provides an interesting history of courthouse fires in the state, plus an informative chart listing the counties, dates, and extent of record loss.

Addresses in the following chart were based on Illinois County courthouse addresses from the Illinois Secretary of State website.


Map County County Address Date Formed Parent County(ies) Birth Marriage Death Land Probate Court
E2 Adams 507 Vermont , Box 1169, Quincy 62306 1825 Pike/unorganized 1877 1825 1877 1817 1826 1825
K5 Alexander 2000 Washington Ave., Cairo 62914 1819 unorganized (Union) 1877 1819 1878 1818 1819 1821
G4 Bond County Office Bldg. , 200 West College, Rm. 203, Greenville 62246 1817 Madison/Crawford/Edwards 1877 1817 1877 1817 1821 1817
A5 Boone 601 N. Main St., Belvidere 61008 1837 (1837) Winnebago/*Jo Daviess 1877 1838 1877 1838 1840 1838
E2 Brown Mt. Sterling 62353 1839 Schuyler 1878 1839 1878 1817 1839 1837
C4 Bureau 700 S. Main St., Princeton 61356 1837 Putnam 1878 1837 1878 1817 1837 1837
G3 Calhoun P.O. Box 187, Hardin 62047 1825 Pike 1878 1825 1878 1825 1833 1825
A3 Carroll 301 N. Main St., Mt. Carroll 61053 1839 Jo Daviess 1877 1839 1877 1837 1839 1837
E3 Cass Virginia 62691 1837 Morgan 1878 1837 1874 1826 1837 1837
E6 Champaign 1776 E. Washington, Urbana 61802 1833 Vermilion 1878 1833 1878 1833 1833 1836
F5 Christian P.O. Box 190, Taylorville 62568 1839 Montgomery/Sangamon/Dane 1877 1839 1877 1828 1839 1839
F7 Clark Marshall 62441 1819 Crawford 1865 1819 1865 1816 1820 1821
H6 Clay P.O. Box 160, Louisville 62858 1824 Fayette/Crawford/Wayne/Lawrence 1877 1825 1877 1825 1827 1825
H4 Clinton Courthouse Sq., Carlyle 62231 1824 Washington/Fayette/Bond 1877 1825 1877 1818 1825 1825
F6 Coles P.O. Box 227, Charleston 61920 1830 Clark/Edgar 1878 1831 1877 1830 1830 1831
B7 Cook 118 North Clark St., Room 402, Chicago 60602 1831 Putnam 1871 1856 1871 * * 1871
* Illinois Regional Archives Depositor states, “Most of the major records for the county (Cook) were destroyed in the Chicago Fire of 1871.… The Cook County Recorder’s Office has land records from 1871 onward. Prior to 1871, the Chicago Title Insurance Company has pre-fire tract and copy books as abstracted from the original documents filed in the Cook County Recorder’s Office and from the issuance of the first government land patents. The Illinois State Archives has the original documents related to the government land patents. Federal land sale began from the various land offices in Illinois in 1814…” According to Szucs (see Background Sources), a will index survives that begins in the year 1850. The Illinois Historical Records Survey lists a record series titled “Documented Record of Wills,” which begins in 1851 and a series titled “Abstract of Probate Proceedings” beginning in 1861. All other probate records begin in 1871.
G7 Crawford P.O. Box 602, Robinson 62454 1816 Edwards 1877 1817 1877 1816 1818 1817
G6 Cumberland P.O. Box 146, Toledo 62468 1843 Coles 1885 1880 1844 1885 1884 1885
Dane (see Christian)
B6 DeKalb 110 E. Sycamore St., Sycamore 60178 1837 Kane 1877 1837 1878 1838 1837 1838
E5 DeWitt 201 W. Washington St. , P.O. Box 439, Clinton 61727 1839 McLean/Macon 1877 1839 1878 1828 1839 1839
F6 Douglas 401 S. Center , P.O. Box 467, Tuscola 61953 1859 Coles 1877 1859 1877 1830 1859 1859
B6 DuPage 421 N. County Farm Rd., Wheaton 60189 1839 Cook 1877 1839 1877 1835 1839 1839
F7 Edgar 115 W. Court St., Paris 61944 1823 Clark 1877 1823 1877 1823 1823 1823
H7 Edwards Edwards County Courthouse, Albion 62806 1814 Gallatin/Madison 1877 1815 1877 1815 1815 1815
G6 Effingham 101 North 4th , P.O. Box 628, Effingham 62401 1831 (1833) Fayette/Crawford 1877 1833 1877 1833 1838 1833
G5 Fayette 221 S. Seventh St., Vandalia 62471 1821 Bond/Jefferson/Wayne/Crawford/Clark 1860 1821 1877 1816 1821 1821
D6 Ford 200 W. State St., Paxton 60957 1859 unorganized (Vermilion) 1878 1859 1878 1834 1850 1859
J5 Franklin Benton 62812 1818 White/Gallatin/Johnson 1877 1836 1877 1835 1837 1836
D3 Fulton 100 N. Main, Lewistown 61542 1823 unorganized (Pike) 1878 1824 1878 1817 1827 1824
J6 Gallatin P.O. Box K, Shawneetown 62984 1812 Randolph 1878 1813 1878 1813 1814 1813
F3 Greene 519 N. Main St., Carrollton 62016-1033 1821 Madison 1877 1821 1877 1821 1821 1821
C6 Grundy 111 E. Washington St., Morris 60450 1841 LaSalle 1876 1841 1878 1832 1841 1837
J6 Hamilton Hamilton County Courthouse, McLeansboro 62859 1821 White 1878 1821 1878 1823 1821 1821
D2 Hancock P.O. Box 39, Carthage 62321 1825 unorganized (Pike)/*Adams 1844 1829 1878 1817 1830 1829
K6 Hardin P.O. Box 187, Elizabethtown 62931 1839 Pope 1844 1884 1884 1814 1884 1878
D2 Henderson P.O. Box 308, Oquawka 61469 1841 Warren 1877 1841 1878 1818 1839 1841
C3 Henry 100 S. Main, Cambridge 61238 1825 (1837) unorganized (Fulton)/*Peoria/*Knox 1877 1837 1877 1836 1839 1837
Highland 1847 (eliminated 1848) Adams/Marquette
D7 Iroquois 1001 E. Grant St., Watseka 60970 1833 (1834) unorganized (Vermilion) 1878 1866 1878 1834 1834 1834
J5 Jackson Murphysboro 62966 1816 Randolph/Johnson 1877 1843 1877 1814 1840 1843
G6 Jasper 100 W. Jourdan St., Newton 62448 1831 (1835) Crawford/Clay 1877 1835 1877 1835 1835 1835
J5 Jefferson 100 S. 10th St., Mt. Vernon 62864 1819 Edwards/White 1877 1819 1877 1816 1820 1819
G3 Jersey 201 W. Pearl St., Jerseyville 62052 1839 Greene 1878 1839 1877 1822 1839 1839
A3 Jo Daviess 330 N. Bench St., Galena 61036 1827 Mercer/Henry/Putnam 1877 1830 1877 1828 1828 1827
K5 Johnson P.O. Box 96, Vienna 62995 1812 Randolph 1878 1835 1878 1809 1821 1812
A6 Kane 719 S. Batavia, P.O. Box 70, Geneva 60134 1836 (1836) unorganized (LaSalle)/Cook 1877 1836 1877 1836 1836 1836
C7 Kankakee 189 E. Court St., Kankakee 60901 1853 Iroquois/Will 1877 1853 1877 1832 1853 1853
B6 Kendall 111 W. Fox St., Yorkville 60560 1841 LaSalle/Kane 1877 1835 1877 1839 1847 1841
D3 Knox 200 S. Cherry St., Galesburg 61401 1825 Fulton/unorganized/*Peoria 1877 1830 1877 1818 1830 1836
A6 Lake 18 N. County St., Waukegan 60085 1839 McHenry 1877 1839 1877 1839 1839 1840
C5 LaSalle 707 Etna Rd., Ottawa 61350 1831 Putnam/unorganized 1868 1831 1870 1831 1831 1831
H7 Lawrence Lawrenceville 62439 1821 Crawford/Edwards 1878 1821 1878 1818 1821 1820
B4 Lee P.O. Box 385, Dixon 61021 1839 Ogle 1877 1839 1877 1838 1839 1840
C6 Livingston 112 W. Madison St., Pontiac 61764 1837 LaSalle/McLean/unorganized (Vermilion) 1877 1837 1878 1835 1837 1839
E4 Logan P.O. Box 278, Lincoln 62656 1839 Sangamon 1878 1857 1878 1829 1855 1857
E5 Macon 141 S. Main St., Decatur 62523 1829 unorganized (Shelby) 1877 1829 1877 1827 1831 1829
G4 Macoupin Carlinville 62626 1829 unorganized (Madison) unorganized (Greene) 1877 1829 1877 1829 1829 1829
G4 Madison 157 N. Main St., Ste. 109, Edwardsville 62025 1812 St. Clair/Randolph 1858 1813 1877 1802 1813 1803
H5 Marion P.O. Box 637, Salem 62881 1823 Fayette/Jefferson 1877 1823 1877 1819 1823 1823
Marquette 1843 (eliminated 1847) Adams
C4 Marshall 122 N. Prairie, Lacon 61540 1839 Putnam 1870 1830 1877 1839 1830 1840
E4 Mason P.O. Box 90, Havana 62644 1841 Tazewell/Menard 1878 1841 1877 1827 1841 1841
K6 Massac P.O. Box 429, Metropolis 62960 1843 Pope/Johnson 1877 1843 1877 1843 1843 1843
D2 McDonough Macomb 61455 1826 unorganized (Schulyer) 1870 1830 1870 1817 1833 1830
A6 McHenry 2200 N. Seminary Ave., Woodstock 60098 1836 (1837) Cook unorganized (LaSalle) 1877 1837 1877 1839 1840 1838
D5 McLean 104 W. Front, Bloomington 61701 1830 Tazewell/unorganized 1877 1831 1877 1831 1831 1831
E4 Menard P.O. Box 456, Petersburg 62675 1839 Sangamon 1877 1839 1877 1821 1839 1839
C3 Mercer 604 NE 5th Ave./P.O. Box 66, Aledo 61231 1825 (1835) unorganized (Pike)/*Schulyer/*Peoria/*Warren 1877 1835 1877 1834 1837 1836
J3 Monroe 100 S. Main St., Waterloo 62298 1816 St. Clair/Randolph 1877 1816 1878 1816 1820 1816
G4 Montgomery Hillsboro 62049 1821 Bond/Madison 1862 1821 1877 1819 1821 1821
F3 Morgan 300 W. State St., Jacksonville 62650 1823 Sangamon/unorganized (Greene) 1851 1827 1851 1824 1824 1827
F6 Moultrie Sullivan 61951 1843 Shelby/Macon 1877 1843 1877 1831 1845 1840
A4 Ogle Washington and S. 4th St. , P.O. Box 357, Oregon 61061 1836 (1839) Jo Daviess unorganized (LaSalle) 1878 1837 1878 1836 1836 1837
D4 Peoria 324 Main St., Peoria 61602 1825 Fulton/unorganized 1878 1825 1877 1818 1825 1825
J4 Perry 612 Virginia Ct., P.O. Box 438, Pinckneyville 62274 1827 Randolph/Jackson 1845 1827 1878 1817 1828 1827
E6 Piatt 101 W. Washington St. , P.O. Box 558, Monticello 61856 1841 DeWitt/Macon 1877 1841 1877 1840 1843 1841
F2 Pike Pittsfield 62363 1821 Madison/Bond/Clark 1876 1827 1877 1818 1821 1819
K6 Pope Golconda 62938 1816 Johnson/Gallatin 1877 1813 1877 1816 1816 1817
K5 Pulaski P.O. Box 109, Mound City 62963 1843 Johnson/Alexander 1882 1861 1882 1843 1862 1857
C5 Putnam Hennepin 61327 1825 (1831) unorganized (Fulton)/*Peoria 1877 1831 1877 1831 1831 1831
J4 Randolph #1 Taylor St., Chester 62263 1795 (territorial;became Illinois county 1809) Clair 1877 1724 1877 1724 1722 1722
H6 Richland 103 W. Main St., Olney 62450 1841 Clay/Lawrence 1877 1841 1877 1836 1841 1842
C2 Rock Island 1504 Third Ave., Rock Island 61201 1831 (1833) Jo Daviess 1861 1833 1877 1835 1835 1834
H4 St. Clair 10 Public Sq., Belleville 62220 1790 (territorial; became Illinois county 1809) unorganized 1830 1763 1832 1786 1772 1778
J6 Saline Harrisburg 62946 1847 (1852) Gallatin 1877 1845 1878 1817 1847 1848
F4 Sangamon 200 S.9th St. , Springfield 62701-1629 1821 Madison/Bond 1877 1821 1877 1822 1847 1821
E3 Schuyler P.O. Box 200, Rushville 62681 1825 unorganized (Pike)/Fulton 1877 1825 1877 1817 1825 1825
F3 Scott Winchester 62694 1839 Morgan 1877 1839 1877 1823 1839 1839
F5 Shelby Shelbyville 62565 1827 Fayette 1877 1827 1877 1827 1831 1827
C4 Stark 130 W. Main/Box 97, Toulon 61483 1839 Knox/Putnam 1877 1839 1877 1817 1839 1839
A4 Stephenson 15 N. Galena Ave., Freeport 61032 1837 (1837) Winnebago/Jo Daviess 1878 1837 1878 1837 1837 1837
D4 Tazewell McKenzie Bldg., 2nd Floor, 4th and Court St., Pekin 61554 1827 unorganized (Peoria) 1878 1827 1878 1825 1827 1827
K5 Union P.O. Box H, Jonesboro 62952 1818 Johnson 1867 1818 1877 1818 1818 1817
E7 Vermillion 6 N. Vermillion, Danville 61832 1826 unorganized (Clark)/unorganized (Edgar) 1877 1826 1877 1826 1826 1826
H7 Wabash 401 Market St., P.O. Box 277, Mt. Carmel 62863 1824 Edwards 1877 1857 1877 1857 1851 1857
D3 Warren 100 W. Broadway, Monmouth 61462 1825 (1831) unorganized (Pike)/*Schulyer/*Peoria 1877 1831 1875 1800 1830 1832
H4 Washington 101 E. St. Louis St., Nashville 62263 1818 St. Clair 1877 1831 1877 1815 1818 1818
Wayne, Indiana Territory 1803 (eliminated 1803) Knox/St. Clair
H6 Wayne P.O. Box 187, Fairfield 62837 1819 Edwards 1870 1850 1886 1865 1886 1819
J6 White P.O. Box 339, Carmi 62821 1815 Gallatin 1877 1816 1877 1816 1816 1816
B4 Whiteside 200 E. Knox St., Morrison 61270 1836 (1840) Jo Daviess/*Ogle 1877 1857 1877 1838 1839 1838
B6 Will 302 N. Chicago St., Joliet 60431 1836 Cook/Iroquois/unorganized (Vermilion) 1877 1836 1877 1835 1837 1836
K5 Williamson 200 W. Jefferson, Marion 62959 1839 Franklin 1877 1839 1877 1818 183 1840
A5 Winnebago 404 Elm St., Rockford 61101 1836 (1836) Jo Daviess/unorganized (LaSalle) 1877 1836 1877 1836 1837 1836
D5 Woodford 115 N. Main, Ste. 202, Eureka 61530 1841 McLean/Tazewell 1877 1841 1877 1831 1841 1841