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United States Gotoarrow.png IllinoisGotoarrow.png Knox County

Guide to Knox County Illinois genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

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Online Records


Knox County, Illinois
Map
Map of Illinois highlighting Knox County
Location in the state of Illinois
Map of the U.S. highlighting Illinois
Location of Illinois in the U.S.
Facts
Founded: January 13, 1825
County Seat Galesburg
Courthouse
Knox County Courthouse.gif
Photo courtesy Illinois Regional Archives Depository, Illinois State Archives
Address Knox County Courthouse
200 S. Cherry Street
Galesburg, IL 61401
309-345-3815
Knox County Website

Contents

County Organization

Knox County's civil records start the following years:

                                     Beginning Dates for Knox County Records
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1877
1830
1877
1830
1818
1830

County records are most often kept at the County Courthouse or another local repository. For further information about where the records for Knox County are kept, see the Knox County Courthouse page.

Historical Facts

Henry Knox.JPG

The county is named for General Henry Knox (1750-1806), Revolutionary War hero, and the nation's first Secretary of War.[1]

Parent County

  • 1825--Knox County was created 13 January 1825 from Fulton County. County seat: Galesburg [2]

Boundary Changes

1810 - Knox County was part of St. Clair County.
1820 - Knox County was part of Madison County.
1825 - Knox County was created.

A part of Knox County was taken to create Stark County 2 March 1839.

For animated maps illustrating Illinois county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Illinois County Boundary Maps" (1790-1869) may be viewed for free at the MapofUS.org website.

Record Loss

For a list of record loss in Illinois counties see: Illinois Counties with Burned Courthouses

Places / Localities

Populated Places

Galesburg · Knoxville · Oneida · Abingdon · Altona · Appleton · Bridgeport · Burnside · Centerville · Dahinda · DeLong · Douglas · East Galesburg · Elba Center · Eugene · Gilson · Henderson · Henderson Grove · Hermon · Knox · London Mills · Maquon · Oak Run · Ontario · Rapatee · Rio · Saint Augustine · Saluda · Soperville · Trenton Corners · Truro · Uniontown · Victoria · Walnut Grove · Wataga · Willamsfield · Yates City

Neighboring Counties

Records and Resources

Biography

  • Portrait and Biographical Album of Knox County, Illinois, (Chicago : Biographical Pub., 1886). 1108 pages. BYU Archives.
  • The Family History Library has several other books and films with biographies and indexes to the biographies of people in Knox County.
  • The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois has a Knox County edition. This includes a state history section along with a county history and biographies of Knox County residents. See the wiki article for links to available copies and indexes.

Cemeteries

Illinois cemetery records often identify birth, death, relationship, and military information, as well as religious affiliation.

  • Find A Grave can be searched by the name of a person or family to find where a person is buried.  Usually gives birth and death dates often with a picture of the tombstone.  May give obituaries, names of family members and links to their information in Find A Grave.

Census

Historical populations
Census Pop.
190043,612
191046,1595.8%
192046,7271.2%
193051,3369.9%
194052,2501.8%
195054,3664.0%
196061,28012.7%
197061,2800%
198061,6070.5%
199056,393−8.5%
200055,836−1.0%
201052,919−5.2%
IL Counties 1900-1990

1800 - First federal census taken for Illinois. Unfortunately it was lost.
1810 - Knox County was part of St. Clair County. Unfortunately the census was lost.
1820 - Knox County was part of Madison County.  Census exists.
1830 - All federal censuses for Illinois were lost.
1840 through 1930 - Knox was its own county, and all censuses still exist.[3]

1840 Pensioners

  • A Census of Pensioners for Revolutionary or Military Services: With their Names, Ages, and Places of Residence, as Returned by the Marshalls of the Several Judicial Districts, Under the Act for Taking the Sixth Census. Washington, D.C., 1841. FHL 973 X2pc 1840; FHL 2321; digital version at Google Books. [See Illinois, Knox County on page 187.]

Church Records

Records

  • To see a list of church records and histories available through the Family History Library for Knox County and its communities, see the FamilyHistory Library Catalog.
  • Doubet, Mildred Cadwell, Church Records, Victoria, Knox County, Illinois: Copied from the Original Churches [sic] Records, (Galesburg, Ill.: Knox County Genealogical Society, 1992). Libraries with book (World Cat).
  • First Presbyterian Church (Knoxville, Ill.), Membership and Baptism Records of FIrst Presbyterian Church, Knoxville, Knox County, Illinois, 1835 to 1900: Copied from Original Church Records, (Williamsfield, Ill.: Spoon River Chapter NSDAR, 1983). Libraries with book (World Cat).


Histories

  • The Churches section of the Knox County, Illinois Genealogy and History site has pictures of the churches usually with brief histories.
  • Ontario Congregational Church, Ontario Township, Knox County, Ill., Ontario Congregational Church, Ontario Township, Knox County, Illinois. Centennial Celebration, 1848-1948, (n.p., 1948). Libraries with book (World Cat).


Lists of Churches

From Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and Knox County, the section on churches, starting on page 672, has short histories of the churches in Knox County as of 1899:

Baptist
-First Baptist Church, organized January 15, 1848
-Cherry Street Church, split from First Baptist in 1857; reunited November 9, 1864
-Second Baptist Church (African), organized in the fall of 1865
-Swedish Baptist Church, organized November 1888
Catholic
-St. Patrick's Church, started in 1857
Christian Church, organized April 11, 1872
Christian Scientist, meetings in Carr Hall
Congregational
-Old First Church, started about when Galesburg was founded; reunited January 1, 1895 with the First Congregational Church
-First Congregational Church, organized November 9, 1855
-Knox Street Church, organized August 1894
-East Main Street Church, organized August 8, 1894 as the Union Congregational Church of Galesburg; adopted name of East Main Street Church September 1895
-Central Church, organized January 1, 1895 by the reunion of the First and First Congregational Churches
Episcopal
-St. John's Church, organized in 1889 with about 250 members of the First Luthern Church of Gales burg
-Grace Church, organized spring of 1858
Lutheran
-First Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church, organized August 24, 1851
-Zion Lutheran, members started in first Lutheran Church, then went to St. John's Episcopal Church, then formed the Zion Lutheran Church
-German Lutheran Church, organized 1864
Methodist Episcopal
-First Methodist Episcopal, formed in 1847
-African Methodist Episcopal, edifice erected in 1876
-Swedish Methodist Episcopal, organized in 1851
-Swedish Mission, organized in August 1868 by members of the Lutheran Church
Presbyterian
-First Presbyterian Church - See Old First Church under Congregational
-Second Presbyterian Church, organized May 29, 1851; merged with Presbyterian Church March 1, 1870
-Presbyterian Church, organized December 30, 1894; merged with Second Presbyterian Church March 1, 1870
-Presbyterian Church of Galesburg, formed by union of the last two churches March 1, 1870
Salvation Army, in Galesburg
Universalist, organized in January 1855
Volunteers of America, organized in early part of 1896, when there was a split in the Salvation Army
Galesburg Mission Sunday School, founded in 1858 by members of the Presbyterian and Congregational churches
  • For a list of churches within 25 miles of Galesburg with addresses, phone numbers and maps, with many links to web sites, see Searchbug or Switchboard.

Court Records

Original court records are held in the office of the Circuit Court Clerk. See Illinois Court Records for more information about using court records.

The following copies of original records may be accessed through the Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD) located at the Western Illinois University (WIU) - search for Knox County records. For information on how to use IRAD see the WIU IRAD Wiki page.

  • 1857–1956 Justice of the Peace Dockets IRAD–WIU

Ninth Judicial Circuit Court, Knox County

Knox County Circuit Court
Knox County Courthouse
200 South Cherry Street, Galesburg, IL 61401
Phone: 309-345-3859 Fax: 309-345-0098 report corrections here

The Circuit Clerk is usually the person who genealogists would contact for historical Circuit Court records.

Knox County Clerk

Office of the Knox County Clerk
Knox County Courthouse
200 S. Cherry St.
Galesburg, IL 61401-4992
309/345-3815 (voice)
309/345-3801 (fax)
info@knoxclerk.org (e-mail)

The County Clerk has birth, marriage, and death records for Knox County. See the Genealogy page for specific information for genealogist about these records.

Ethnic Research

African American

The following have information concerning African American research.

Genealogy

To see a list of genealogical books available through the Family History Library for Knox County and its communities, see the FamilyHistory Library Catalog.

History

1809, Illinois became a territory. Until that time, the area of Knox County was Indian land.[4]
1809, Knox County land was part of St. Clair County.[5]
1812 (September 14), Madison County was created and included what is now Knox County.[6]
1818, Illinois became a state.[7]
1821 (January 31), Pike County split from Madison County and took the part with Knox County land.[8]
1823 (January 28), Fulton County split from Madison County and included the Knox County land.[9]
1825 (January 13), Knox County was created.[10]
1839 (March 2), part of Knox County was taken to create Stark County.[11]

See an interactive map of Knox County boundary changes.

Local Histories

County and town histories often have short biographies of people in their area.

  • Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and Knox County. (Chicago: Munsell Pub. Co., 1899), includes many short biographies and descriptions of places in alphabetical order. The Knox County section begins on page 665. Digital version at Internet Archive; Ancestry ($); USGenNet.
  • Perry, Albert J. History of Knox County, Illinois: Its Cities, Towns and People. (Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1912). Digital version at Ancestry ($); Google Books; Internet Archive.
  • Knox County, Illinois, the Honor Roll, 1917-1918-1919: Being a Record of What was Done in Knox County in Those Three Eventful Years and Who Did It. (Galesburg, Ill.: Wagoner Print. Co., 1920). Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • For a list of histories for the Knox County area available through the Family History Library, click here.

Land and Property

Original land records are held in the office of the County Clerk . See Illinois Land and Property for more information about using land records.

The following abstracts and copies of original records may be accessed through online sources, the Family History Library or the Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD) located at the Western Illinois University (WIU) - search for Knox County records. For information on how to use IRAD see the WIU IRAD Wiki page.

Online Resources

Maps

Ilknox.jpg

Military

Civil War, 1861-1865

Civil War service men from Knox County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies or regiments that were formed from men of Knox County.

- 1st Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Company D.
- 7th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Companies D and K.
- 10th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company C.
- 11th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Company C.
- 14th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Company A.
- 17th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies D and E.
- 33rd Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies E and H.
- 42nd Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company C.
- 45th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company K.
- 51st Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies C.
- 55th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company K.
- 58th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company G.
- 59th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company A.
- 64th Regiment, Illinois Infantry (Yates’ Sharpshooters), Company D.
- 66th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company F.
- 71st Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company E.
- 72nd Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company I.
- 77th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company A.
- 83rd Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies E, G, I and K.
- 84th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company G.
- 86th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company F.
- 89th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company G.
- 102nd Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies B, D, F, H, and I.
- 132nd Regiment, Illinois Infantry (100 days, 1864), Company G.
- 137th Regiment, Illinois Infantry (100 days, 1864), Company C.
- 138th Regiment, Illinois Infantry (100 days, 1864), Companies B and E.
- 139th Regiment, Illinois Infantry (100 days, 1864), Company D.
- 148th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company F.

Naturalization

Original naturalization records are held in the office of the County Clerk. See Illinois Naturalization Records for more information about using naturalization records.

The following copies of original records may be accessed through the Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD) located at the Western Illinois University (WIU) - search for Knox County records. For information on how to use IRAD see the WIU IRAD Wiki page.

  • 1848–1906 Naturalization Papers IRAD–WIU
  • 1856–1954 Naturalization Index Card File IRAD–WIU
  • 1856–1906 Naturalization RecordIRAD–WIU
  • 1859–1906 Naturalization Index Card FileIRAD–WIU
  • 1860–1890 Naturalization RecordIRAD–WIU
  • 1861–1899 Naturalization Record, FinalIRAD–WIU
  • 1865–1876 Naturalization Record of Soldiers and MinorsIRAD–WIU
  • 1866–1892 Naturalization Record of SoldiersIRAD–WIU
  • 1876–1897 Naturalization Declarations of Intent IRAD–WIU
  • 1876–1898 Naturalization Record of MinorsIRAD–WIU
  • 1876–1909 Naturalization Declarations of Intent IRAD–WIU
  • 1890–1906 Naturalization Record, final IRAD–WIU
  • 1891–1906 Naturalization Record of MinorsIRAD–WIU

Newspapers and Obituaries

  • The Galesburg Republican-Register started in the mid-1800s. In 1928, it merged with the Galesburg Daily Mail to become the Galesburg Register-Mail.
  • The Galesburg Daily Mail started in the mid-1800s. In 1928, it merged with the Galesburg Republican-Register to become the Galesburg Register-Mail.
  • The Zephyr started in 1989 and was published on Thursdays. It ended December 9, 2010. The archive of past articles is still available. Some of the articles are about historical events.

Poor House Records

  • 1932–1936 Poor relief emergency committee files IRAD–WIU

Probate Records

Original estates and wills are held in the office of the Circuit Court Clerk. See Illinois Probate Records for more information about using probate records.

The following abstracts and copies of original records may be accessed through the Family History Library or the Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD) located at the Western Illinois University (WIU) - search for Knox County records. For information on how to use IRAD see the WIU IRAD Wiki page.

  • 1832–1959 Probate Case Files Index IRAD–WIU
  • 1832–1922 Probate WillsIRAD–WIU
  • 1832–1922 Probate Wills, Non-Probated IRAD–WIU
  • 1960–1972 Probate Guardian's and Conservator's Case Files Index IRAD–WIU
  • Doubet, Mildred Cadwell, General Index to Estates, 1832-1900: as recorded in Knox County Courthouse, Galesburg, Illinois, (Galesburg, Illinois : Knox County Genealogical Society (Illinois), [19--?]), 85p. FHL book 977.349 R22d, other libraries with book (WorldCat).
  • Illinois. Probate Court (Knox County), Wills, 1830-1922. Microfilm copy of original records located at the Knox County courthouse, Galesburg, Illinois. Wills are filed alphabetically in each box but also includes indexes. On 22 FHL microfilms starting with 1403705 Items 2-3.

Repositories

See also a List of Illinois Archives, Libraries, Publications, Historical & Genealogical Societies

County Courthouse

County records are most often kept at the County Courthouse or another local repository. For further information about where the records for Knox County are kept, see the Knox County Courthouse page.

Family History Center

There are over 4500 Family History Centers in more than 80 countries offering public access to genealogical records from all over the world. Family History Centers provide patrons with access to over a billion online records and approximately 2.5 million circulating microfilms. Centers are staffed by local volunteers who are eager to provide genealogical research assistance. Currently there are no Family History Centers located directly in Knox County. To find the nearest Family History Center, check out the Family Search Centers page on the FamilySearch.org website.

The Family History Library has many books and filmed records about Knox County. Click on one of the types of records to see a list of specific records. Click on one of the titles to see the catalog entry describing the record with the book or microfilm numbers that are needed to use the book or film.

Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD)

IRAD is a system of Illinois Regional Archives Depositories managed by the Illinois State Archives, housing the archival records of local Illinois counties, townships, municipalities and school districts. The seven Regional Depositories are housed on state university campuses scattered throughout Illinois. Western Illinois University houses the records for Knox County.

Knox County, Illinois, USGenWeb

Knox County, Illinois, section of USGenWeb, provides histories, biographies, records, maps, lookups, queries and a connection to the Knox County WorldConnect Database.

Newberry Library

Newberry Library
60 West Walton Street
Chicago, IL 60610
Telephone: 312-943-9090
Telephone to reference desk: 312-255-3512

The Newberry Library has many records for Knox County, as well as other Illinois counties, Illinois, other states and other countries.

Public Libraries

Galesburg Public Library
40 East Simmons Street
Galesburg, Illinois 61401
Telephone: 309-343-6118
Hours: Mon.-Thurs. 9AM-8PM, Fri. 9AM-5PM, closed Sun.

The Galesburg Public Library has a fine collection of local and state histories, censuses, city directories, cemetery records, county plat books, maps, newspapers, journals, yearbooks, and photographs that reflect the history and heritage of Galesburg and the surrounding area. The collection includes many rare books and original manuscripts. The Library also houses the records of the Knox County Genealogical Society.

School Records

  • 1883–1889 School teachers' registers IRAD–WIU

Social Groups Online

Societies

Knox County Genealogical Society
40 East Simmons Street
Galesburg, IL 61401-0013

The Knox County Genealogical Society research collection is currently housed in the Galesburg Public Library

Knox County Historical Society
P.O. Box 1757
Galesburg, IL 61402-1757
Email: jward@knox.edu  

Taxation

  • 1902–1959 Tax Levy, Sale and Redemption Certificates IRAD–WIU
  • 1958–1962 Taxable Lands Lists IRAD–WIU

Vital Records

See Illinois Vital Records for more information about Vital records in Illinois. See also How to order Illinois Vital Records or order electronically online.


Vital records consist of birth, death, marriage and divorce records. Original birth and death certificates recorded until the year 1916 are kept by the Knox County Clerk while those recorded after 1916 are kept by the Illinois Department of Public Health with a copy to the County Clerk. Original marriage records are usually kept by the County Clerk from the establishment of the county to the present. Original divorce records are generally in the office of the Circuit Court Clerk.

The following abstracts and copies of original records may be accessed through online databases, the Family History Library and the Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD) located at the Western Illinois University (WIU) - search for Knox County records. For information on how to use IRAD see the WIU IRAD Wiki page.

Birth Records

  • Knox County (Illinois). Clerk of the County Court, Birth and Delayed Birth Records, 1877-1900. Microfilm copy of original records located at the Knox County courthouse, Galesburg, Illinois. On 13 FHL films starting with 1412074. Includes indexes.

Marriage Records

Internet Sites

1830s-1850s - Illinois Miscellaneous Genealogical Records: From Counties, Bond, Boone, Calhoun, Cook, Crawford, Du Page, Johnson, Knox, Lake, Will, Pope: Kentucky county, Mercer: Missouri county, Ralls. Evanston, Ill.: Illinois Society, D.A.R., 1946. Digital version at Ancestry ($). Includes marriages dated 1833-1838 and 1850-1852.

Books and Microfilms

  • Knox County Genealogical Society (Galesburg, Illinois),Index to Marriage Records, Knox County, Illinois, (Galesburg, Illinois : Knox County Genealogical Society (Illinois), [198-?]-1990), copied from original record books in Knox County courthouse, Galesburg, Illinois by members of Knox County Genealogical Society, Contents: v. 1. 1830-1878 -- v. 2. 1879-1904. FHL book 977.349 V22m, other libraries (WorldCat)
  • Knox County (Illinois). Clerk of the County Court, Knox County, Illinois Marriage Certificates, 1830-1922. Microfilm copy of original records located at the Knox County courthouse, Galesburg, Illinois. 46 FHL films starting with film 1404969

Death Records

Internet Sites

Books and Microfilms

  • Knox County Genealogical Society (Galesburg, Illinois), Index, Death Records, Knox County, Illinois 1878 through 1910, (Galesburg, Illinois : Knox County Genealogical Society [Illinois], [198-?]), copied from original records books in Knox County courthouse, Galesburg, Illinois by Ruth Herrick ... [et al.], 136 p. FHL book 977.349 V22i and FHL microfiche 6049238, other libraries (WorldCat)
  • Knox County (Illinois). Clerk of the County Court, Knox County, Illinois Death Records, 1877-1900; Index, 1878-1935. Microfilm copy of original records located at the Knox County courthouse, Galesburg, Illinois. On 4 FHL microfilms starting with 1412143 Item 20.

Web Sites

References

  1. "Henry Knox," Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Knox.
  2. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002), 195. (FHL Collection Ref Book 973 D27e 2002). WorldCat entry.
  3. William Thorndale and William Dollarhide. Map Guide to the U.s. Federal Censuses, 1790-1920. (Gnealogical Publishing Co.: Baltimore, c1987), p. 99-105.
  4. William Thorndale and William Dollarhide. Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses, 1790-1920, (Baltimore:Genealogical Publishing Co., 1987), p. 100.
  5. Thorndale, p. 100.
  6. The Handy Book for Genealogists, Ninth ed., (Logan, Utah: Everton Publishers, 1999), p. 112.
  7. Handy Book for Genealogists, p. 103.
  8. Handy Book for Genealogists, p. 113.
  9. Handy Book for Genealogists, p. 110.
  10. Handy Book for Genealogists, p. 111.
  11. Handy Book for Genealogists, p. 113.

 

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  • This page was last modified on 20 August 2014, at 16:42.
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