Records are being posted online at an increasing rate by archives, libraries, societies, and by universities, commercial enterprise, and countless others.
The records online are only a fraction of the genealogy- and history-rich records available through archives and the local resources listed below.
Archives have the responsibility of preserving the historical records — our heritage — while allowing reasonable access to them. In the past few years, posting original records online has vastly increased both access and preservation.
The vast number of valuable records that are NOT online are virtually untapped and available for research through archives. These can be accessed through online catalogs or published guides to their collections.
- Illinois State Archives, Margret Cross Norton Building, Springfield, IL 62756. Phone: (217) 782-4682, Fax: (217) 524-3930. Internet
- Since the Illinois State Archives responds only by mail to inquiries, all fax, telephone, and e-mail inquiries must also contain a mailing address.
- See Descriptive Inventory of the Archives of the State of Illinois ref>Bailey, Robert E., and Elaine Shemoney Evans, eds. Descriptive Inventory of the Archives of the State of Illinois. 2nd ed. Springfield, Illinois: Illinois State Archives, 1997. WorldCat 678163486 FHL book 977.3 J53ir</ref> is a helpful guide to the holdings of the Illinois State Archives.
Most libraries have online catalogs and resources such as maps, gazetteers, and other place-finding aids to help you locate information about Illinois. Local libraries often have manuscript or published collections of previous research, such as family and local histories and biographies.
Libraries located near state boundaries usually collect records relating to the adjacent states.
- Volkel, Lowell M., ed. Illinois Libraries with Genealogical Collections
- Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, 112 N. Sixth Street, Springfield, IL 62701. Phone: (800) 610-2094 or (217) 782-5764.
- Holdings include: family genealogies; oral histories; county histories; cemetery inscriptions; atlases and plat books; indexes and transcriptions of census, vital records, and naturalization records for many counties.
- Records of the Grand Army of the Republic , the Civil War Union veteran's society, are also included. The online collection has a statewide obituary search for newspapers held at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library.
- Newberry Library, 60 West Walton Street, Chicago, IL 60610. Phone: (312) 943-9090, Reference desk: (312) 255-3512.
- This library has research guides on various subjects related to genealogy and library holdings cataloged from 1978.
- A surname index to genealogical periodicals and local history books in the Newberry Library was completed in 1915 and published as The Genealogical Index of the Newberry Library Since this index is old, be sure to use the online guide sheet to this collection before using the source.
- For further details see the Newberry Library Wiki page.
Major Online Library Catalogs
| Major catalogs for hard copy collections of Illinois items |
Books, microfilm, or manuscripts of genealogical records
| FamilySearch catalog
|| Select topics. To select towns, add a comma to the search box.
|| To find nearby libraries that have specific items, see WorldCat Online Catalog.
| Allen County Public Library
|| One of the largest collections for genealogy research. Located in Indiana.
Family History Centers
Family History Centers (FHCs) are branches of FamilySearch and the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah (United States). There are many centers located in Illinois. Their goal is to provide resources to assist you in the research and study of your genealogy and family history.
Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes. See Family History Centers for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.
See Family History Center Locator and search "Illinois."
In addition to artifacts that allow us to envision what life was like for our ancestors, museums often have records. They may have merchant ledgers with names of people and what they purchased, a doctor's log of patients, and any number of valuable items for research and interest.
Social Networking Groups
Share findings, scan through comments, ask questions. Let's learn from one another!
| Lists of Social Networking Options Pertaining to Illinois
|| search "Illinois" for a list of blogs with links to them
|| list resultant from the search "Illinois genealogy"
|| list resultant from the search "Illinois genealogy"
Chicago Historical Society
Genealogical, historical, lineage, veteran, and ethnic societies often collect, transcribe, and publish information that can be helpful to genealogists.
Lineage societies, such as the DAR, Colonial Dames, and the Sons of the American Revolution, require members to prove they are descended from people such as colonists or soldiers. National lineage societies such as the DAR are described in United States Societies.
Genealogical and historical societies can provide historical information about families in the area or ancestors of society members. They may sponsor such activities as The History of Illinois Centennial Farms and Applications for Illinois Prairie Pioneer Certificates, cited in Genealogy.
Genealogical and historical societies occasionally publish transcriptions of original records. Most publish quarterly periodicals, a few of which are listed in Periodicals. Use the Periodical Source Index (Persi) to find periodicals and articles for Illinois localities.
Many counties and some cities have historical and genealogical societies, most of which will be listed in the Directory of Illinois Museums and the book by Reithmaier, both cited in Illinois Archives and Libraries. See United States Societies for a national directory of genealogical and ethnic societies. Also see Illinois Ethnic Groups for additional ethnic organizations.
- Illinois State Genealogical Society, Illinois State Archives Building, 2nd Floor, Norton Building Capitol Complex, 400 E. Spring Street, Springfield, Illinois 62756. Mail P.O. Box 10195, Springfield, IL 62791. Phone: (217) 789-1968.
- The Society is active in preserving and making available data pertaining to individuals, families, and groups who lived in Illinois. They have lists of research resources and databases to find information on Illinois ancestors.
- Webinars by Illinois State Genealogical Society
- Illinois State Historical Society, 210 1/2 S. 6th Street, Suite 200, Springfield, Illinois 62701. Phone 217-525-2781. Mail: P.O. Box 1800, Springfield, Illinois 62705-1800.
- The Society promotes awareness, understanding, research, writing, preservation, and recognition of history in Illinois. The location and text of state Historical Markers are online at their website.
- Although independent of the Library and State, the Society was formed to support the Historical Library.
- See Collections of the Illinois State Historical Society.
- Grand Army of the Republic (GAR)
- The GAR is the largest Union veterans organization in the country. Over 715 post were organized in Illinois. In 1888 Illinos had 552 post with a membership of 30,293 veterans.
- See List of Illinois posts.
- Library of Congress has additional information on Illinois posts.
- Genealogical Society of Southern Illinois, John A. Logan College Library, 700 Logan College Road, Carterville, Illinois 62918. Telephone: 618-985-2828, Ext. 8338. Hours: vary by season, see website
- The Society focuses on Alexander, Clay, Clinton, Edwards, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Lawrence, Marion, Massac, Monroe, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Randolph, Richland, Saline, St. Clair, Union, Wabash, Washington, Wayne, White, and Williamson counties.
- The Society's book and microfilm collection is housed at the John A. Logan College Library. The Society publishes a newsletter (click here for recent issues) and a quarterly journal The Saga of Southern Illinois (click here for a topical index that breaks down what has been published county-by-county).
- Chicago Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 1160, Chicago, Illinois 60690-1160.
- The Society collects and preserves the records of Chicago ancestors, and is working to stimulate an interest in those who contributed to the establishment of Chicago and the surrounding area. The Society has extracted vital records from Chicago-area newspapers that are indexed online. They publish a quarterly Chicago Genealogist (click here for a topical index).
- This Society focuses on families in Southeast Illinois, Southwest Indiana, and Western Kentucky. The Tri-State Packet is published quarterly.
Additional Resources for Societies
Additional resources for Illinois societies may be found in the Illinois-Societies topic page of the FamilySearch Catalog . Copies of records on FHL microfilm and microfiche can be ordered for viewing at FamilySearch Centers . Also find Illinois society resources available at other libraries (WorldCat) . Explore how to search WorldCat and the FamilySearch Catalog .
- ↑ Bailey, Robert E., et al., eds. A Summary Guide to Local Governmental Records in the Illinois Regional Archives. Springfield, Illinois: Illinois State Archives, 1992. WorldCat 26342080 FHL Book 977.356/S1 J53s.
- ↑ Volkel, Lowell M., ed. Illinois Libraries with Genealogical Collections. Springfield, Illinois: Illinois State Genealogical Society, 1992. WorldCat 27373857 FHL Book 977.3 J53i.
- ↑ The Genealogical Index of the Newberry Library. Boston, Massachusetts: G.K. Hall, 1960. WorldCat 83367401 FHL films 928135–928137 and FHL book 973 D22n vols. 1–4
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