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United States Gotoarrow.png Illinois Gotoarrow.png McHenry County

Guide to McHenry County, Illinois ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

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Online Records


McHenry County, Illinois
Map
Map of Illinois highlighting McHenry County
Location in the state of Illinois
Map of the U.S. highlighting Illinois
Location of Illinois in the U.S.
Facts
Founded: January 16, 1836
County Seat Woodstock
Courthouse
McHenry County Courthouse.gif
Photo courtesy Illinois Regional Archives Depository, Illinois State Archives
Address McHenry County Government Center
2200 North Seminary Avenue
Woodstock, Illinois 60098
(815)334-4000
McHenry County Website

Contents

McHenry County Organization

The County Clerk maintains birth, death and marriage records, as well as voter registration. The Circuit Clerk maintains the court records of the 22nd Judicial Circuit, including probate and divorce records. The County Recorder manages real estate records, documents and plats of subdivisions.

                                     Beginning Dates for McHenry County Records
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1877
1837
1877
1840
1830
1840

For more information about McHenry County governmental records, see the McHenry County Courthouse page.

Historical Boundaries

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.

Exchange Hotel, Woodstock, Illinois, 1847
McHenry County was created 16 January 1836 from Cook County.

Historically, all or part of the present county were parts of the following counties[1]: If your ancestor lived in what is now McHenry County prior to the county formation in 1836, you may find records mentioning your ancestor in one of these counties.

1831–1836 Cook 1821–1823 Pike 1812–1815 Madison
1831–1836 LaSalle 1819–1821 Clark 1801–1812 St. Clair
1825–1831 Putnam 1816–1819 Crawford 1795–1801 Knox
1823–1825 Fulton 1815–1816 Edwards Northwest Territory
IL-mapMcHenry.png
McHenry County borders the following counties:

Boone
Cook
DeKalb
Lake
Kane
Kenosha County, Wisconsin
Walworth County, Wisconsin


Records Loss

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

Records and Resources

Biography

Some McHenry County histories include biographies of the local citizens.  See McHenry County History. See also the  Illinois Biography wiki page for more biographical links. Other groups of compiled biographies include:

Cemeteries

Illinois cemetery records often identify birth, death, relationship, and military information, as well as religious affiliation. The Illinois Cemeteries page provides general explanations of the following online McHenry County resources:

Published Records Online Gravestone Transcriptions Cemetery Gazetteers
FamilySearch Catalog County list ePodunk
WorldCat US Genweb McHenry County Cemeteries by Township ISGS Cemetery Location Project
Google Books Illinois Gravestones  
  • Obenchain, Elaine. McHenry County, Illinois Cemeteries.   McHenry, Illinois : McHenry County Illinois Genealogical Society, 1990-2000.  Other libraries(WorldCat) FHL Book 977.322 V3o, 4 vols. Contents: vol. 1. Northwest townships: Alden, Chemung, Dunham, Greenwood, Hartland & Hebron -- v. 2. Southwest townships: Coral, Dorr, Grafton, Marengo, Riley & Seneca -- v. 3. Northeast townships: Burton, Mchenry, Richmond -- v. 4. Southeast townships: Algonquin, Nunda.

Individual Cemeteries

St. Patrick's Cemetery, McHenry BillionGraves

Census

Historical populations
Census Pop.
18404,457
18507,21661.9%
186012,20569.1%
187017,32942.0%
188019,32411.5%
189022,22615.0%
190027,79625.1%
191045,09862.2%
192061,09235.5%
193053,880−11.8%
194051,424−4.6%
195048,621−5.5%
196046,117−5.2%
197049,0216.3%
198056,53815.3%
199057,7332.1%
200061,2966.2%
201066,3578.3%


Federal Census
Federal population schedules 1830-1930 for McHenry County are available online. For tips on accessing census records online, see Illinois Census. See McHenry County, IL census assignments, including links to transcribed files. The USGenWeb Census Project.
Locally abstracted census indexes are often more accurate than national indexes. Abstracted indexes for federal census records in McHenry County are as follows:

Non-Population Schedules

1850–1880 agricultural, industry and manufacturing schedules were kept for McHenry County in addtion to the population schedules.  See Illinois Census for more information. Selected copies are available at Ancestry ($). See McHenry Deaths for information about the mortality schedule.

State Census

A census for the state of Illinois was taken in McHenry County in 1855 and 1865. For information about Illinois state census records, see Illinois Census. Available on Ancestry ($).

Church Records

Church records may give birth, death and marriage information.  The following copies or indexes are available:

  • Johnson, Martin William. Church Records from Four McHenry County, Illinois Churches and one Kane County, Illinois church: Abstracts of Surnames, Villages, Towns or Cities, Deaths and Confirmations. Salt Lake City, Utah: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1992. Microproduction of original manuscripts.  Includes the following churches: Trinity Lutheran Church, Hampshire, Kane Co.; St. John's United Church of Christ (formerly a Lutheran Church) Harmony, McHenry Co.; Trinity Lutheran Church, Huntley, McHenry County; Zion Lutheran Church, Marengo, McHenry Co.; St. John's Lutheran Church, Union, McHenry Co. FHL Fiche 6075868  Partial online transcription of Zion's Lutheran Church only courtesy of Illinois Trails.

Other libraries also hold copies of abstracted McHenry County church records. (How to explore WorldCat).

Court Records

See Illinois Court Records for information about how to use county court records.


22nd Judicial Circuit Court, Public Case Access to search for family court cases.  Database also includes traffic violations, small claims, and criminal complaints.

Ethnic Research

African American

This database includes approximately 3,400 names found in governmental records involving the servitude and emancipation of Africans and, occasionally, Indians in the French and English eras of colonial Illinois (1722–1790) and African-Americans in the American period of Illinois (1790–1863). The Archives extracted the names of servants, slaves, or free persons and masters, witnesses, or related parties from selected governmental records to produce this database. Courtesy of the Illinois State Archives.

The following have information concerning African American research.

German

Early German immigrants to the Algonquin area. Courtesy of the Algonquin Historic Commission. 

Genealogy

It is anticipated that this bibliography will eventually identify all known family histories published about residents of this county. Use this list to:

  1. Locate publications about direct ancestors
  2. Find the most updated accounts of an ancestor's family
  3. Identify publications, to quote Elizabeth Shown Mills, about an ancestor's "FAN Club" [Friends, Associates, and Neighbors]

History

A short McHenry County history is found on the McHenry County Government site. Scroll to the heading "McHenry County's Early History."  An additional online McHenry County history and town and township histories courtesy of Illinois Trails.

Land and Property

1830–present Original land and property records for McHenry County are available at the County Recorder's Office. This office is offsite from the McHenry County Government Building. See Illinois Land and Property for more information.

Land records are extraordinarily accessible in McHenry County.  The County Recorder's web site includes a free web search.  The index to deeds, mortgages, affidavits, liens, and more can be searched by name and/or document type and/or date.  The system can return a maximum of 200 hits, and begins with the most recent transactions first. Because the index contains thousands of entries, searchers may need to include a date range as well as surname, to ensure that the oldest records are included in the results.

Records from the original leather-bound first volume of the McHenry County Commissioners’ Court Minutes from 1837 - 1848 are available in PDF format online at the County Recorder's site, as well.  This Board established precincts (townships would come later), set the rate for taxable property, and began the process of laying out roads and determining the location for the county seat. Because Lake County wasn't divided off until March of 1839, early Lake County information is included.

Copies of the original records are available as follows:

  • Illinois Public Domain Land Tract Sales Each purchase entry includes the purchaser's name, purchase date, number of acres, price per acre, numeric code indicating the county in which the land is located, legal description (township, section, range), volume and page numbers of original entry, and variously, the sale type, and the purchaser's sex and residence. Courtesy of the Illinois State Archives.

Maps

Ilmchenry.jpg

Military Records

Multiple Wars

Veterans Databases Courtesy of the Illinois State Archives. Includes War of 1812, Indian Wars, Mexican War and various other databases.

Civil War
3rd Regiment IL Infantry Co G.jpg
Civil War service men from McHenry 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 McHenry County.
3rd Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Company A (at right, 1863)
8th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Company G, H, I.
9th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Company G.
-15th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies A, D, and F.
17th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Company G.
15th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies A, D, and F.
36th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company H. Diary of Wallace P. Benson courtesy of the Algonquin Historic Commission. 
47th(Consolidated) Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company E.
52nd Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company I.
95th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies A, C, D, F, H, and I.
141st Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company F.
147th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company I.
153rd Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies B and K.
World War I
  • [1917–1918] World War I Draft Registration Cards Ancestry($)
World War II

Naturalization

Naturalization records may give immigrant information including hometown, arrival in the U.S., marriage and family data. See Illinois Naturalization and Citizenship for more about these records.

For each of these online records:

  1. Select View Browsable Images
  2. Select McHenry County
  3. Select the correct span of years and record title

Newspapers and Obituaries

McHenry County obituary index spans 1884–2009.  This index is provided by the McHenry County Historical Society and Museum.  The organization's website states that not all people buried in McHenry County are included in the index.  Copies of obituaries may not name the newspaper where the obituary was originally printed.

County-wide

  • [2003–2006] Northwest Herald incomplete Ancestry ($)

Algonquin

[2005–present] The Algonquin Area Newspapers Index includes obituaries appearing in the Northwest Herald and Algonquin/Lake in the Hills Countryside from January 1, 2005 - Present. Selected obituaries mentioning Algonquin or Lake in the Hills from the Daily Herald and Elgin Courier News are also included.

  • [1997–2006] Algonquin CountrysideGenealogy Bank ($).
  • [2006–present] Algonquin Countryside with News of Lake in the Hills Genealogy Bank ($).

Cary/Fox Grove

Crystal Lake/Nunda

Crystal Lake Herald

  • [1880–1979] Marriages, 1880-1979 These indexes represent a list of couples whose notice of marriage license issued, or marriage performed or wedding conducted, or news items for anniversaries celebrated, appeared in the weekly Crystal Lake Herald newspaper. Information was not necessarily limited to residents of Crystal Lake and/or Nunda Township. Researchers should look for variant spellings within each index.

The Index, broken down by 10 year intervals, gives: Bride’s name, Groom’s name, and Issue date and page.

  • [1880–1945] Index to Deaths Appearing in the Nunda (Crystal Lake) Herald. The McHenry County Genealogical Society has created an index to the names of deceased individuals whose notice of death appeared in the weekly Crystal Lake Herald newspaper. Information was gleaned from obituaries, death notices, police reports, and newspaper articles and is not necessarily limited to residents of Crystal Lake and/or Nunda Township. It was not unusual for a death notice to appear months and even years after the event, particularly in the case of war dead. Researchers should scan several indexes when searching for the name of a specific individual and look for variant spellings within each index.
1880-1890 1896-1900 1904-1905
1891-1895 1901-1903 1906-1910
  • Index to Deaths Appearing in the Crystal Lake Herald
1911-1915 1931-1935 1951-1955 1970-1973
1916-1920 1936-1940 1956-1960 1974-1976
1921-1925 1941-1945 1961-1965 1977-1979
1926-1930 1946-1950 1941-1945


Elgin
Daily Herald,  Elgin Courier News

Marengo

Republican

  • [1872–1989] Index to Deaths appearing in the Marengo Repubican.  Courtesy of the McHenry County Illinois Genealogical Society. Not all years are included in this index.
1872-1874 1901–1909 1930–1934 1950–1954
1881–1888 1914–1918 1934–1939 1970-1979
1890–1894 1919–1923 1940–1944 1980–1989
1895–1900 1924–1929 1940–1949


Woodstock

Woodstock Sentinel

  • [1865–1889] Death Notices Index
1856-1869 1880-1884 1890–1894
1870-1979 1885–1889

Woodstock Independent

  • [2003–2008] (Incomplete) Ancestry ($)

Periodicals

Local periodicals can be rich with county information.  Read more about periodicals on the Illinois state and U.S. wiki pages.

Probate Records

Gotoarrow.png Illinois Probate Records for more information. Probate records may give death and family relationship information. Probate records include wills, inventories, settlements, and guardianship records.

Original McHenry County probate records are available at the McHenry County Courthouse by the circuit court clerk. See Illinois Probate Records wiki page for more information about using probate records. The following copies of probate records are available:

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 McHenry County are kept, see the McHenry County Courthouse page.

Family History Centers

Family History Centers (FHCs) are branches of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah (United States) and are located all over the world. Their goal is to provide resources to assist you in the research and study of your genealogy.

The FHC center in McHenry County is located in Crystal Lake. Be sure to call and visit its wiki page for hours of service and other information.

Crystal Lake Illinois Family History Center
480 N. Walkup Avenue
Crystal Lake, Illinois
815-459-7475

You may search your address for a center near you on the FamilySearch site, if you live outside the area.

Illinois Regional Archives Depositories (IRAD)

The Illinois Regional Archives Depositories (IRAD), managed by the Illinois State Archives, houses 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.

The Northern Illinois University (IRAD-NIU) holds the records for McHenry County. Learn more about finding and using their records.

Illinois Regional Archives Depository
c/o Regional History Center
Founders Memorial Library, Room 400
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115
Telephone: (815) 753-1807

Public Libraries

Algonquin Area Public Library
2600 Harnish Dr.
Algonquin, IL 60102
(847) 458-6060

Crystal Lake Public Library
126 Paddock Street
Crystal Lake, IL 60014
815.459.1687
815.459.9581 fax

The Cystal Lake library has a genealogy collection that is helpful in McHenry County research. On-line resources include indexes to the the Lake Avenue, Mt. Thabor, and Union cemeteries.

The McHenry County Genealogcial Society houses a portion of its collection at this library.

Harvard Diggins Library
900 East McKinley Street
Harvard, IL 60033
Telephone: (815) 943-4671

Local history collection includes Harvard and Hebron newspapers on microfilm from 1860 through 1986 (some early issues are not included.)

McHenry Public Library
809 N. Front St. (Route 31)
McHenry IL 60050
(815) 385-0036

The McHenry County Genealogcial Society houses a portion of its collection at this library.

Marengo-Union Library
200 S. State St.
Marengo, Illinois 60152
(815) 568-8236

Woodstock Public Library
Woodstock Public Library.jpg

414 W. Judd Street
Woodstock, IL 60098
(815) 338-0542

Reference librarians are very knowledgeable about Woodstock-area genealogical resources, and are accessible through the library's Contact Us on-line reference request form.

Social Groups Online

Illinois Research Community  Facebook group which discusses Illinois resources and search strategies.

Message Boards You may subscribe to an online message board which focuses on the following areas in or near McHenry County.

IL-BARRINGTON (town of Barrington and surrounding areas)Message Board. Scroll to information about the IL-BARRINGTON message board.

IL-NORTHERN (Northern Illinois)    Scroll to information about the Il-Northern message board

GenForum McHenry County Message Board.

Rootsweb McHenry County Message Board.

McHenry County Illinois Genealogical Society Surname List

Societies

McHenry County Illinois Genealogical Society
PO Box 184
Crystal Lake, Illinois 60039 McHenry County Illinois Historical Society and Museum
6422 Main Street
PO Box 434
Union, Illinois 60180
(815) 923-2267
Email: info@mchsonline.org

Reservations must be made in advance to use the McHenry County Historical Society and Museum's collection. Call at least 24 hours in advance to make an appointment. Research fees apply unless you are a member of the society.


Cary–Grove Historical Society
P.O.Box 483
Cary IL 60013
(847) 639-3790


Crystal Lake Historical Society
PO Box 1151
Crystal Lake, IL  60039-1151

The Crystal Lake Historical Society is located in the Colonel Palmer House at the intersection of Illinois Route 176 and Terra Cotta Road in Crystal Lake. Their Research/Archives Room resources include newspapers from 1875, published county and local histories, atlases, maps and family files. On-line resources include the Index to Death Notices/Obituaries in the Nunda/Crystal Lake Herald, which provides details of name, age, date of death and date of burial for more than 33,000 people, dating back to 1875.


Fox Lake–Grant Township Historical Society
411 Washington St. PO Box 224
Ingleside, IL 60041
(847)587-0544
e-mail:FLGrantHall@yahoo.com


Lake County Genealogical Society
1170 North Midlothian Road
Mundelein, Illinois 6009


Illinois State Historical Society P.O. Box 1800
Springfield, IL 62705-1800
217/525-2781

The Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society (1950-2006)

Illinois Heritage (1997-2008)

Taxation

This book includes listings of men registered to vote or who paid taxes in 1877.  Some listings include brief biographies giving his occupation, the date and place of birth for both the man and his wife, their marriage date, and the number of children.

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 since 1877 are kept by the McHenry 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 kept by the County Clerk from 1837 to the present. Original divorce records are generally in the office of the Circuit Court Clerk.

Copies of original records may be accessed through the Family History Library and the Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD) located at Northern Illinois University (NIU). Search McHenry County records in the Local Governmental Records Holdings Database . For information on how to use IRAD see the IRAD–NIU Wiki page.

Explore McHenry County vital records found in the FamilySearch Catalog. Other libraries (WorldCat) also hold copies of abstracted McHenry County vital records. (How to explore WorldCat).

Births

  • 1877–present - McHenry County birth records 1877-present are housed at the County Clerk's office. Original records are to 1916; copies are after 1916. Additional copies are available as follows:
  • 1849-1900–Birth Certificates, Delayed IRAD–NIU. Search for McHenry records. Information about how to use IRAD.

Delayed birth records include submissions by individuals who were born before the state officially collected birth records, but who are in need of a birth record for identification.These may include affidavits by family members or Bible records.

Marriages

The original McHenry County marriage records are held by the McHenry County Clerk and the Illinois Department of Health.

The following indexes to McHenry marriages are available:


Copies of McHenry County marriage records are available as follows:


The following abstracts of marriage records are available:

  • 1878–1899–Stengele, Linda, et al. McHenry County, Illinois, Marriages . Crystal Lake, Illinois: McHenry County Illinois Geneal. Society, 2003–2006. Other libraries (WorldCat)FHL Book 977.322 V2m Vols. 2-4 FHL lacks volume 1 and it is no longer in print.
  • 1880-1979 Crystal Lake Herald Marriage Index  These indexes represent a list of couples whose notice of marriage license issued, or marriage performed or wedding conducted, or news items for anniversaries celebrated, appeared in the weekly Crystal Lake Herald newspaper. Information was not necessarily limited to residents of Crystal Lake and/or Nunda Township. Researchers should look for variant spellings within each index.

Deaths

1877–present - The McHenry County death records 1877-present are housed at the County Clerk's office. Original records are to 1916; copies are after 1916. The following copies and indexes are available:

  • 1850–1880 US Census Mortality Schedule. Only those persons dying in the 12 months prior to the census are listed on this schedule. Browse for McHenry County. Ancestry ($).

Additional death information can be found in indexed newspaper obituaries found in the Nunda Township/Crystal Herald.

Voter Registration

This book includes listings of men registered to vote or who paid taxes in 1877.  Some listings include brief biographies giving his occupation, the date and place of birth for both the man and his wife, their marriage date, and the number of children.

Places / Localities

McHenry County Townships

Township Offices

Alden Coral Greenwood McHenry Seneca
Algonquin Dorr Hartland Nunda
Burton Dunham Hebron Richmond
Chemung Grafton Merengo Riley

McHenry County Villages and Cities Link
Name Index to Local Governments Courtesy of IRAD.

Village of Algonquin Village of Huntley Village of Port Barrington
Village of Barrington Hills Village of Island Lake Village of Prairie Grove
Village of Cary Village of Johnsburg Village of Richmond
City of Crystal Lake Village of Lake in the Hills Village of Ringwood
Village of Fox Lake Village of Lakemoor Village of Spring Grove
Village of Fox River Grove Village of Lakewood Village of Trout Valley
Village of Greenwood City of Marengo Village of Union
City of Harvard City of McHenry Village of Wonder Lake
Village of Hebron Village of Oakwood Hills City of Woodstock

Historic Areas:

Bull Valley

Harmony

Web Sites

References

  1. "McHenry County Fact Sheet."

 

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  • This page was last modified on 21 November 2014, at 22:26.
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