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Rock Island County, Illinois
Map
Boundary map of Rock Island County, Illinois
Map of the U.S. highlighting Illinois
Location of Illinois in the U.S.
Facts
Founded: February 9, 1831
County Seat Rock Island
Courthouse
Rockisland County Courthouse.gif
Photo courtesy Illinois Regional Archives Depository, Illinois State Archives
Address Rock Island County Courthouse
1504 Third Avenue
Rock Island, Illinois 61201
(309) 558-3570
Rock Island Website
  United States Gotoarrow.png Illinois Gotoarrow.png Rock Island County

Contents

Rock Island County Organization

Rock Island County's civil records start the following years:

                                     Beginning Dates for Rock Island County Records
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1861
1833
1877
1840
1835
1835

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

Historical Facts

Rock Island is named for the largest island in the Mississippi River formerly known as Rock Island, but now is called Arsenal Island. [1]

Parent County

  • 1831--Rock Island County was created 9 February 1831 from Jo Daviess County.  County seat: Rock Island [2]

Boundary Changes

See an interactive map of Rock Island County boundary changes.

Record Loss

Places / Localities

Populated Places

Neighboring Counties

Records and Resources

Biography

  • The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois has a Rock Island County edition. This includes a state history section along with a county history and biographies of Rock Island 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

Church Records

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 Rock Island County records. For information on how to use IRAD see the WIU IRAD Wiki page.

Copies of original records

Online Resources

Ethnic Research

African American

The following have information concerning African American research.

Genealogy

History

Local Histories

  • The Past and Present of Rock Island County, Ill. : containing a history of the county, its cities, towns, &c., a biographical directory of its citizens, war record of its volunteers in the late rebellion, portraits of early settlers and prominent men, general and local statistics, map of Rock Island County, history of Illinois, Constitution of the United States, miscellaneous matters, etc., etc.. Chicago: H.F. Kett & Co., 1877. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Portrait and Biographical Album of Rock Island County, Illinois: containing full-page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county : together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States : also containing a history of the county, from its earliest settlement to the present time. Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1885. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • The Biographical record of Rock Island County, Illinois. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1897. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Meese, William A. Early Rock Island. Moline, Ill.: Press of Desaulniers & Co., 1905. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Historic Rock Island County : history of the settlement of Rock Island County from the earliest known period to the present time : embracing references of importance, and including a biography of Rock Island County's well-known citizens. Rock Island, Ill.: Kramer & Co., 1908. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Rock Island County. Chicago: Munsell Pub. Co., 1914. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • The Early Day of Rock Island and Davenport: The Narratives of J.W. Spencer and J.M.D. Burrows. Chicago: Lakeside Press, R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co., 1942. Digital version at Ancestry ($).


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 Rock Island County records. For information on how to use IRAD see the WIU IRAD Wiki page.

Copies of original records

Additional Resources

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

Online Resources

Maps

Military

Civil War

Civil War service men from Rock Island 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 Rock Island County.

- 17th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Company L.
- 19th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company H.
- 37th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies A and H.
- 43rd Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company E.
- 45th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company H.
- 51st Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company H.
- 58th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company K.
- 65th Regiment, Illinois Infantry (Scotch Regiment), Company B.
- 66th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company C.
- 71st Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company D.
- 89th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company F.
- 93rd Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company A.

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

Online Resources

  • 1872–1962A naturalization index for Rock Island County is available in Illinois, Probate Records, 1819-1970. Click on the browse through images link, select Rock Island County, and select the record type you are interested in.
  • 1872–1878 Some declarations of intentions for Rock Island County are available in Illinois, Probate Records, 1819-1970. Click on the browse through images link, select Rock Island County, and select the record type you are interested in.

Original records

  • 1937–1959 Repatriation Record IRAD–WIU
  • 1842–1962 Naturalization Record Index IRAD–WIU
  • 1854–1864 Naturalization Record of Minors IRAD–WIU
  • 1854–1898 Naturalization Record, Final IRAD–WIU
  • 1854–1962 Naturalization Declarations of Intent IRAD–WIU
  • 1860–1883 Naturalization Record IRAD–WIU
  • 1865–1899 Naturalization Record of Soldiers and Minors IRAD–WIU
  • 1872–1906 Naturalization Record Index IRAD–WIU
  • 1872–1883 Naturalization Record IRAD–WIU
  • 1872–1906 Naturalization Record, Final IRAD–WIU
  • 1872–1906 Naturalization Declarations of Intent IRAD–WIU
  • 1896–1906 Naturalization Record of Minors IRAD–WIU
  • 1906–1962 Naturalization Petition Record IRAD–WIU
  • 1910–1962 Naturalization Card File Index IRAD–WIU
  • 1918 Naturalization Petition Record of Soldiers IRAD–WIU
  • 1930–1962 Naturalization Order Books IRAD–WIU

Newspapers and Obituaries

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 Rock Island County records. For information on how to use IRAD see theWIU IRAD Wiki page.

Online Resources

  • 1837–1923 The guardianship records, probate index, and wills for Rock Island County probate records are also available in Illinois, Probate Records, 1819-1970. Click on the browse through images link, select Rock Island County, and select the record type you are interested in.

Copies of original records

Additional Resources

Additional resources for Rock Island County probates may be found in the Illinois, Rock Island – Probate topic page of the Family History Library catalog (FHLC). Copies of records on FHL microfilm and microfiche can be ordered for viewing at Family History Centers. Copies of books found in the FHLC may be found in WorldCat catalog and ordered from your local library through interlibrary loan. Explore how to search the Family History Library Catalog and the Worldcat Online Catalog.

Repositories

County Courthouse

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

Family History Center

Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD)

Public Libraries

Social Groups Online

Societies

Rock Island County Historical Society – Research Library and Museum is located at 822 11th Ave. Moline, IL 61265-1221. Phone: 309-764-8590 for hours of operation as they are open (in 2010) 9 -4 on Wed, Thurs, Fri and Sat.
They have a very good research library containing almost all the local newspapers both in bound volumes and some on microfilm. They also have a large selection of books and surname index cards cross referenced to newspaper articles. Many filing cabinets contain local genealogies, histories, government records, military records, historical documents, church records, etc.

Taxation

Vital Records

The website of the Rock Island County Clerk's Office explains how to order birth, marriage, civil union, and death records.

See Illinois Vital Records for more information about Vital records in Illinois.

Vital records consist of birth, death, marriage and divorce records. Original birth and death certificates recorded until the year 1916 are kept by the Rock Island 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 Rock Island County records. For information on how to use IRAD see the IRAD Wiki page.

Births:

Copies of Original Birth Records

Marriages:

Copies of original Marriage Records

Deaths:

Copies of original Death Records

Additional Resources

Additional resources for Rock Island births, marriages and deaths may be found in the Illinois, Rock Island – Vital Records topic page and the Illinois, Rock Island – Vital Records - Newspapers topic page of the Family History Library catalog (FHLC). Copies of records on FHL microfilm and microfiche can be ordered for viewing at Family History Centers. Copies of books found in the FHLC may be found in WorldCat catalog and ordered from your local library through interlibrary loan. Explore how to search the Family History Library Catalog and the Worldcat Online Catalog.

Web Sites

References

  1. Rock Island Arsenal, www.wikipedia.org
  2. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).

 

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