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United States Gotoarrow.png Illinois Gotoarrow.png Illinois Biography

Ronald Reagan with family - 1916-1917
Biographies provide useful genealogical information such as a person’s birth date and place; names of family members, including maiden names; education; occupation; and social, political, and religious affiliation. They may also contain a physical description of the person, previous residences, and immigration information. Biographies are the product of family knowledge or previous research about early settlers and prominent citizens of a state, county, or town. Local histories may contain biographical sketches of lesser-known people.

Contents

Major Biographical Collections

Two major archives and libraries in Illinois have biographical indexes to local histories and other sources in their collections. The Illinois State Archives has card indexes to biographies (not every name) found in selected local histories. The archives also have most of the collection of county biographical volumes edited by Newton Bateman, titled Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois (subtitles, places, and dates of publication vary by county). Many of these are also at the Family History Library. See Illinois History for more information about this source. Listing of available counties and where to access the respective volumes.


The Illinois State Historical Library, a division of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, has an extensive collection of local histories. It has a biographical card index to about 10,000 Illinoians featured in local histories and other sources. The library also has every-name indexes to some of the histories. Many of its printed sources are available through interlibrary loan, and the library will do limited searches for a fee. Excellent collections are also at the Newberry Library. See Illinois Archives and Libraries for addresses.

Biographical Encyclopedias

Examples of statewide biographical encyclopedias are:

Statewide Collections

Further Reading

See theUnited States Biographies for information on nationwide biographical collections. See also the "History" and "Genealogy" sections for additional sources. You may wish to explore biography, history and genealogy sections in the wiki at county levels also.

Biographies can be found on state, county and local levels. The Family History Library has many collected biographies and local or county histories with biographical sketches on residents. Links to county pages appear below. Additional resources for Illinois biographies may be found in the Illinois-Biography topic page of the FamilySearch Catalog . Copies of records on FHL microfilm and microfiche can be ordered for viewing at Family History Centers. Also find Illinois Biography resources available at other libraries (WorldCat). Explore how to search WorldCat and the FamilySearch Catalog.

To find biographies and published family histories on specific surnames in the FamilySearch Catalog, use a Last names Search.



 

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  • This page was last modified on 18 July 2014, at 23:38.
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