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Guide to Mason 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

Mason County, Illinois
Boundary map of Mason County, Illinois
Map of the U.S. highlighting Illinois
Location of Illinois in the U.S.
Founded: January 20, 1841
County Seat Havana
Mason County Courthouse.gif
Photo courtesy Illinois Regional Archives Depository, Illinois State Archives
Address Mason County Courthouse
100 N. Broadway
Havana, Illinois 62644
(309) 543-6661
Mason County Website


Mason County Organization

                                     Beginning Dates for Mason County Records
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate

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

Historical Facts

Large numbers of Kentuckians settled in frontier Mason County, Illinois. The name of the county (Mason) is reminiscent of Mason County, Kentucky - the previous residence of many pioneer settlers.[1]

Parent County

  • 1841--Mason County was created 20 January 1841 from Tazewell and Menard Counties.  County seat: Havana [2]

Boundary Changes

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

Record Loss

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

Places / Localities

Populated Places

Neighboring Counties




Illinois cemetery records often identify birth, death, relationship, and military information, as well as religious affiliation. . See the Illinois Cemeteries state wiki page for more information.

Published Records

Online Gravestone Transcriptions

Cemetery Gazetteers


Historical populations
Census Pop.
IL Counties 1900-1990

Church Records

Church records may give birth, death and marriage information as well as indictate family relationships. See Illinois state wiki article Church Records for more ideas about how to use church records in your research. Many libraries( WorldCat) and the Family History Library hold abstracts of church records for Mason County. Learn more about how to search WorldCat and the FamilySearch Catalog.

The first preachers in Mason were the circuit riders: The Methodist and Baptists came early in the 1820s. Permanent churches in the area trace their origins to congregations orgnozed in the mid- 1800s.

A list of churches and a brief history of the churches in Mason County is at the Genealogy Trails website.



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

Copies of Original Records

  • 1830-1853 Circuit Court Dockets IRAD-UIS
  • 1839-1860 Circuit Court Execution Dockets IRAD-UIS
  • 1839-1860 Circuit Court Judgment Dockets IRAD-UIS
  • 1961-1963 Justice of the Peace Dockets IRAD-UIS


  • 1839-1963 Weaver, Jeanne Crain, Betty Gronewald, Susan Gronewald County Court records [Menard County, Illinois] (Petersburg, Illinois:Weaver Genealogical Publications, 1989) Other Libraries; FHL Book 977.3555 P22c
  • 1839-1971 Weaver, Jeanne Crain and Menard County (Illinois) Clerk of the Circuit Court Chancery court records, 1839-1971, Menard County, an index [Illinois] (Petersburg, Illinois:Weaver Genealogical Publications, 1991) Other Libraries; FHL Book 977.3555 P2c

Ethnic Research

African American

The following have information concerning African American research.



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 online, through the Family History Library or the Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD) located at the University of Illinois at Springfield - search for Mason County records. For information on how to use IRAD see the UIS IRAD Wiki page.

Online Resources

  • BLM GLO Records. Search original land patents for Mason County from the Govenment Land Office (GLO) or Eastern States Office. Some searches include images of the original warrants. All search results include the patant details needed for requesting copies of the land entry files at the National Archives.  The GLO is the custodian of millions of land title documents. The General Land Office Automated Records Project is responsible for making these important documents available to the public.
  • Illinois Public Domain Land Tract Sales. The Illinois State Archives has an online index to the records of Public land sales held by the State Archives. The indexes are by purchasers name and by legal description. This is a statewide collection with nearly 550,000 land sales fro 54740 square miles.
  • 1796–1907 U.S. General Land Office Records found at ($)

Illinois Public Land Purchase Records This record extract includes over 538,000 land sales from the 19th Century. Each entry includes the purchaser's name, purchase date, number of acres, price per acre, and in some cases the purchaser's sex and residence. Available at ($)

  • Mason County Federal Township Plats
  • Sheldon, Theodore. Land registration in Illinois. Chicago: Callaghan Co., 1901. Digital book. Expains the laws regarding land and the land systems used in Illinois. Includes court cases involving land issues. In addition to being on Ancestry, this book is available online at no cost at Internet Archives and Google Books.

Copies of original records

Additional Resources

Additional resources for Mason County land and property may be found in the FamilySearch Catalog. Copies of records on FHL microfilm and microfiche can be ordered for viewing at Family History Centers. Copies of books found in the FamilySearch Catalog may be found in WorldCat catalog and ordered from your local library through interlibrary loan. Explore how to search the FamilySearch Catalog and the Worldcat Online Catalog.



Civil War

Civil War service men from Mason 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 Mason County.

- 2nd Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Companies C and M.
- 11th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Company L.
- 17th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company K.
- 27th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company E
- 28th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company A
- 38th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company G.
- 51st Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company F.
- 53rd Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company E.
- 85th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies A, B, C, D, and K.
-108th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company F.
- 139th Regiment, Illinois Infantry (100 days, 1864), Company I.


Newspapers and Obituaries

Probate Records

Original probate records are held by the circuit court clerk. Probate records include wills, inventories, settlements, and guardianship records. No copies of probate records are held at IRAD. Explore how to search IRAD–UIS. The following copies are available online and in the FamilySearch Catalog:


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

Family History Center

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.

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. Currently there are no Family History Centers located directly in Mason County.

You may search your address for a center near you on the FamilySearch site.

The following centers are located in surrounding counties. Their wiki pages may supply hours and other information.

Peoria Illinois Family History Center
3700 W. Reservoir Blvd.
Peoria, Illinois 61615

Macomb Illinois Family History Center
2000 W. Adams
Macomb, Illinois
Phone: 309-836-3201

Springfield Illinois Family History Center
3601 Buckeye Dr.
Springfield, Illinois 62707

Jacksonville Illinois Family History Center
1053 E. Vandalia Rd,
Jacksonville, Illinois 62650

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.

The University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS) houses the records for Mason County. This link will help you find and use the records. There address is:

Illinois Regional Archives Depository
University of Illinois at Springfield Region
One University Plaza, MS BRK 140
Springfield, Illinois 62703-5407

Public Libraries

Havana Public Library District
201 West Adams Street
Havana, IL 62644
Phone: (309) 543-4701

Forman Valley Public Library
404 1/2 South Harrison Street
Manito, IL 61546
Phone: (309) 968-6093

Mason City Public Library District
820 West Chestnut Street
Mason City, IL 62664
Phone: (217) 482-3799

Social Groups Online



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 (1877) and death (1877) records are kept by the Mason 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 1829 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 the University of Illinois–Springfield(UIS). Search Mason County records in the Local Governmental Records Holdings Database. For information on how to use IRAD see the IRAD–UIS Wiki page.

Explore Mason County vital records and Mason County vital records indexesfound in the FamilySearch Catalog. Other libraries(at WorldCat) also hold copies of abstracted Mason County vital records. (How to explore WorldCat).




Mason County records are not included in th Pre–1916 Statewide Death Index at IRAD.

Web Sites


  1. Hardin County Fact Sheet, Illinois State Archives, accessed May 28, 2011.
  2. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002), 196. (FHL Collection Ref Book 973 D27e 2002). WorldCat entry.


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  • This page was last modified on 7 April 2015, at 18:30.
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