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
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/unorganized187718251877181718261825
K5 Alexander2000 Washington Ave., Cairo 62914 1819 unorganized (Union)187718191878181818191821
G4 BondCounty Office Bldg. , 200 West College, Rm. 203, Greenville 62246 1817 Madison/Crawford/Edwards187718171877181718211817
A5 Boone601 N. Main St., Belvidere 61008 1837 (1837) Winnebago/*Jo Daviess187718381877183818401838
E2 BrownMt. Sterling 62353 1839 Schuyler187818391878181718391837
C4 Bureau700 S. Main St., Princeton 61356 1837 Putnam187818371878181718371837
G3 CalhounP.O. Box 187, Hardin 62047 1825 Pike187818251878182518331825
A3 Carroll301 N. Main St., Mt. Carroll 61053 1839 Jo Daviess187718391877183718391837
E3 CassVirginia 62691 1837 Morgan187818371874182618371837
E6 Champaign1776 E. Washington, Urbana 61802 1833 Vermilion187818331878183318331836
F5 ChristianP.O. Box 190, Taylorville 62568 1839 Montgomery/Sangamon/Dane187718391877182818391839
F7 ClarkMarshall 62441 1819 Crawford186518191865181618201821
H6 ClayP.O. Box 160, Louisville 62858 1824 Fayette/Crawford/Wayne/Lawrence187718251877182518271825
H4 ClintonCourthouse Sq., Carlyle 62231 1824 Washington/Fayette/Bond187718251877181818251825
F6 ColesP.O. Box 227, Charleston 61920 1830 Clark/Edgar187818311877183018301831
B7 Cook118 North Clark St., Room 402, Chicago 60602 1831 Putnam187118561871**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 CrawfordP.O. Box 602, Robinson 62454 1816 Edwards187718171877181618181817
G6 CumberlandP.O. Box 146, Toledo 62468 1843 Coles188518801844188518841885
Dane (see Christian)
B6 DeKalb110 E. Sycamore St., Sycamore 60178 1837 Kane187718371878183818371838
E5 DeWitt201 W. Washington St. , P.O. Box 439, Clinton 61727 1839 McLean/Macon187718391878182818391839
F6 Douglas401 S. Center , P.O. Box 467, Tuscola 61953 1859 Coles187718591877183018591859
B6 DuPage421 N. County Farm Rd., Wheaton 60189 1839 Cook187718391877183518391839
F7 Edgar115 W. Court St., Paris 61944 1823 Clark187718231877182318231823
H7 EdwardsEdwards County Courthouse, Albion 62806 1814 Gallatin/Madison187718151877181518151815
G6 Effingham101 North 4th , P.O. Box 628, Effingham 62401 1831 (1833) Fayette/Crawford187718331877183318381833
G5 Fayette221 S. Seventh St., Vandalia 62471 1821 Bond/Jefferson/Wayne/Crawford/Clark186018211877181618211821
D6 Ford200 W. State St., Paxton 60957 1859 unorganized (Vermilion)187818591878183418501859
J5 FranklinBenton 62812 1818 White/Gallatin/Johnson187718361877183518371836
D3 Fulton100 N. Main, Lewistown 61542 1823 unorganized (Pike)187818241878181718271824
J6 GallatinP.O. Box K, Shawneetown 62984 1812Randolph187818131878181318141813
F3 Greene519 N. Main St., Carrollton 62016-1033 1821Madison187718211877182118211821
C6 Grundy111 E. Washington St., Morris 60450 1841LaSalle187618411878183218411837
J6 HamiltonHamilton County Courthouse, McLeansboro 62859 1821White187818211878182318211821
D2 HancockP.O. Box 39, Carthage 62321 1825unorganized (Pike)/*Adams184418291878181718301829
K6 HardinP.O. Box 187, Elizabethtown 62931 1839Pope184418841884181418841878
D2 HendersonP.O. Box 308, Oquawka 61469 1841Warren187718411878181818391841
C3 Henry100 S. Main, Cambridge 61238 1825 (1837)unorganized (Fulton)/*Peoria/*Knox187718371877183618391837
Highland1847 (eliminated 1848) Adams/Marquette
D7 Iroquois1001 E. Grant St., Watseka 60970 1833 (1834)unorganized (Vermilion)187818661878183418341834
J5 JacksonMurphysboro 62966 1816Randolph/Johnson187718431877181418401843
G6 Jasper100 W. Jourdan St., Newton 62448 1831 (1835)Crawford/Clay187718351877183518351835
J5 Jefferson100 S. 10th St., Mt. Vernon 62864 1819Edwards/White187718191877181618201819
G3 Jersey201 W. Pearl St., Jerseyville 62052 1839Greene187818391877182218391839
A3 Jo Daviess330 N. Bench St., Galena 61036 1827Mercer/Henry/Putnam187718301877182818281827
K5 JohnsonP.O. Box 96, Vienna 62995 1812Randolph187818351878180918211812
A6 Kane719 S. Batavia, P.O. Box 70, Geneva 60134 1836 (1836)unorganized (LaSalle)/Cook187718361877183618361836
C7 Kankakee189 E. Court St., Kankakee 60901 1853Iroquois/Will187718531877183218531853
B6 Kendall111 W. Fox St., Yorkville 60560 1841LaSalle/Kane187718351877183918471841
D3 Knox200 S. Cherry St., Galesburg 61401 1825Fulton/unorganized/*Peoria187718301877181818301836
A6 Lake18 N. County St., Waukegan 60085 1839McHenry187718391877183918391840
C5 LaSalle707 Etna Rd., Ottawa 61350 1831Putnam/unorganized186818311870183118311831
H7 LawrenceLawrenceville 62439 1821Crawford/Edwards187818211878181818211820
B4 LeeP.O. Box 385, Dixon 61021 1839Ogle187718391877183818391840
C6 Livingston112 W. Madison St., Pontiac 61764 1837LaSalle/McLean/unorganized (Vermilion)187718371878183518371839
E4 LoganP.O. Box 278, Lincoln 62656 1839Sangamon187818571878182918551857
E5 Macon141 S. Main St., Decatur 62523 1829unorganized (Shelby)187718291877182718311829
G4 MacoupinCarlinville 62626 1829unorganized (Madison) unorganized (Greene)187718291877182918291829
G4 Madison157 N. Main St., Ste. 109, Edwardsville 62025 1812St. Clair/Randolph185818131877180218131803
H5 MarionP.O. Box 637, Salem 62881 1823Fayette/Jefferson187718231877181918231823
Marquette1843 (eliminated 1847) Adams
C4 Marshall122 N. Prairie, Lacon 61540 1839Putnam187018301877183918301840
E4 MasonP.O. Box 90, Havana 62644 1841Tazewell/Menard187818411877182718411841
K6 MassacP.O. Box 429, Metropolis 62960 1843Pope/Johnson187718431877184318431843
D2 McDonoughMacomb 61455 1826unorganized (Schulyer)187018301870181718331830
A6 McHenry2200 N. Seminary Ave., Woodstock 60098 1836 (1837)Cook unorganized (LaSalle)187718371877183918401838
D5 McLean104 W. Front, Bloomington 61701 1830Tazewell/unorganized187718311877183118311831
E4 MenardP.O. Box 456, Petersburg 62675 1839Sangamon187718391877182118391839
C3 Mercer604 NE 5th Ave./P.O. Box 66, Aledo 61231 1825 (1835)unorganized (Pike)/*Schulyer/*Peoria/*Warren187718351877183418371836
J3 Monroe100 S. Main St., Waterloo 62298 1816St. Clair/Randolph187718161878181618201816
G4 MontgomeryHillsboro 62049 1821Bond/Madison186218211877181918211821
F3 Morgan300 W. State St., Jacksonville 62650 1823Sangamon/unorganized (Greene)185118271851182418241827
F6 MoultrieSullivan 61951 1843Shelby/Macon187718431877183118451840
A4 OgleWashington and S. 4th St. , P.O. Box 357, Oregon 61061 1836 (1839)Jo Daviess unorganized (LaSalle)187818371878183618361837
D4 Peoria324 Main St., Peoria 61602 1825Fulton/unorganized187818251877181818251825
J4 Perry612 Virginia Ct., P.O. Box 438, Pinckneyville 62274 1827Randolph/Jackson184518271878181718281827
E6 Piatt101 W. Washington St. , P.O. Box 558, Monticello 61856 1841DeWitt/Macon187718411877184018431841
F2 PikePittsfield 62363 1821Madison/Bond/Clark187618271877181818211819
K6 PopeGolconda 62938 1816Johnson/Gallatin187718131877181618161817
K5 PulaskiP.O. Box 109, Mound City 62963 1843Johnson/Alexander188218611882184318621857
C5 PutnamHennepin 61327 1825 (1831)unorganized (Fulton)/*Peoria187718311877183118311831
J4 Randolph#1 Taylor St., Chester 62263 1795 (territorial;became Illinois county 1809) Clair187717241877172417221722
H6 Richland103 W. Main St., Olney 62450 1841Clay/Lawrence187718411877183618411842
C2 Rock Island1504 Third Ave., Rock Island 61201 1831 (1833)Jo Daviess186118331877183518351834
H4 St. Clair10 Public Sq., Belleville 62220 1790 (territorial; became Illinois county 1809) unorganized183017631832178617721778
J6 SalineHarrisburg 62946 1847 (1852)Gallatin187718451878181718471848
F4 Sangamon200 S.9th St. , Springfield 62701-1629 1821Madison/Bond187718211877182218471821
E3 SchuylerP.O. Box 200, Rushville 62681 1825unorganized (Pike)/Fulton187718251877181718251825
F3 ScottWinchester 62694 1839Morgan187718391877182318391839
F5 ShelbyShelbyville 62565 1827Fayette187718271877182718311827
C4 Stark130 W. Main/Box 97, Toulon 61483 1839Knox/Putnam187718391877181718391839
A4 Stephenson15 N. Galena Ave., Freeport 61032 1837 (1837)Winnebago/Jo Daviess187818371878183718371837
D4 TazewellMcKenzie Bldg., 2nd Floor, 4th and Court St., Pekin 61554 1827unorganized (Peoria)187818271878182518271827
K5 UnionP.O. Box H, Jonesboro 62952 1818Johnson186718181877181818181817
E7 Vermillion6 N. Vermillion, Danville 61832 1826unorganized (Clark)/unorganized (Edgar)187718261877182618261826
H7 Wabash401 Market St., P.O. Box 277, Mt. Carmel 62863 1824Edwards187718571877185718511857
D3 Warren100 W. Broadway, Monmouth 61462 1825 (1831)unorganized (Pike)/*Schulyer/*Peoria187718311875180018301832
H4 Washington101 E. St. Louis St., Nashville 62263 1818St. Clair187718311877181518181818
Wayne, Indiana Territory1803 (eliminated 1803) Knox/St. Clair
H6 WayneP.O. Box 187, Fairfield 62837 1819Edwards187018501886186518861819
J6 WhiteP.O. Box 339, Carmi 62821 1815Gallatin187718161877181618161816
B4 Whiteside200 E. Knox St., Morrison 61270 1836 (1840)Jo Daviess/*Ogle187718571877183818391838
B6 Will302 N. Chicago St., Joliet 60431 1836Cook/Iroquois/unorganized (Vermilion)187718361877183518371836
K5 Williamson200 W. Jefferson, Marion 62959 1839Franklin18771839187718181831840
A5 Winnebago404 Elm St., Rockford 61101 1836 (1836)Jo Daviess/unorganized (LaSalle)187718361877183618371836
D5 Woodford115 N. Main, Ste. 202, Eureka 61530 1841McLean/Tazewell187718411877183118411841
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