Saline County, Illinois Genealogy

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Saline County

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


Saline County, Illinois
Boundary map of Saline County, Illinois
Map of the U.S. highlighting Illinois
Location of Illinois in the U.S.
Founded: February 25, 1847
County Seat Harrisburg
Saline County Courthouse.gif
Photo courtesy Illinois Regional Archives Depository, Illinois State Archives
Address Saline County Courthouse
10 E. Poplar Street
Harrisburg, Illinois 62946
(618) 253-8197

Saline County Organization

Saline County's civil records start the following years:

                                     Beginning Dates for Saline County Records
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1877 1845 1878 1850 1817 1847

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

Historical Facts


Saline County is named for the Saline River which flows through the county. The river produced numerous salt springs which was a source of salt that was commercially extracted and provided a major industry in this region.

Many pioneer settlers migrated into this area from places in Western Kentucky like Muhlenberg County.[1]

Parent County

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

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Places / Localities

To see a list of places in Saline County, click on [Show], in the bar above. The preceding list of places includes incorporated cities and towns, unincorporated towns and communities, and place names that may have been used in family histories. Some have well-organized records and even have websites. Some are simply social communities with no official records, but which may be referenced in small-town newspapers. The list is provided to help researchers identify localities within the county. As records or histories of these localities are identified, a page will be added for each of these place names.

Records and Resources



Cemeteries of Saline, Illinois online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
TombstoneTranscriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See Illinois Cemeteries for more information

There are more than 100 burial grounds in Saline County. To view a list, visit Saline County, Illinois Cemeteries.


Historical populations
Census Pop.
IL Counties 1900-1990[1]
1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 federal population schedules of Saline County are available online. For tips on accessing census records online, see Illinois Census. If you're having trouble finding your ancestors in online indexes, try checking printed indexes. Created by local experts familiar with the area's families, these indexes are often transcribed more accurately than online nationwide indexes.

See Illinois Population Schedule Indexes: Fiche, Film, or Book for more information about statewide printed indexes.
See Saline County, IL census assignments, including links to transcribed files (The USGenWeb Census Project®).


1850-1880 Mortality Schedules

Murphy abstracted Saline County's 1850 to 1880 mortality schedules:

Online transcripts:







Church Records

A chapter on early Saline County, Illinois church history appears in an 1887 local history, available for free online, beginning on page 224.



FamilySearch has made parish records from four Belleville Diocese Catholic churches in Saline County available online. The records include first communions, confirmations, marriages, and deaths:

Disciples of Christ


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.


  • 1845–1870 Brimm, Mary, Rebecca Schmook, and Saline County Genealogical Society. Early Saline County, Illinois court records, chancery records. Harrisburg, Illinois : Saline County Genealogical Society (Illinois), 1993-1994. Other libraries (WorldCat) FHL book 977.3992 P2bm v. 1–2
  • 1847–1855 Schmook, Rebecca and Saline County Genealogical Society. Early Saline County court orders, 1847-1855. [Harrisburg, Illinois] : Saline County Genealogical Society (Illinois), 1989. Other libraries (WorldCat) FHL book 977.3992 N2s

Copies of original records

Ethnic Research

African American

The following have information concerning African American research.


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


As of August 2010, a query for persons born in Saline County, Illinois at World Connect, results in more than 35,000 entries.

Saline County, ILGenWeb has a handy list of "Southern Illinois Genealogy Homepages with Saline County ancestors" on their website.

Compiled genealogies treating multiple Saline County families includes:

Message Boards and Lists



Local Histories


Early migration routes to and from Saline County for European settlers included: [3]

Land and Property

Because of Illinois’s history as an agricultural state many residents owned land. For more information about types of land records see Illinois Land and Property.


  • Boyd, Gregory A. Family maps of Saline Couny, Illinois : with homesteads, roads, waterways, towns cemeteries, railroads and more. Norman, Oklahoma : Arphax Pub. Co., 2009. FHL book 977.3992 E7b
  • 1908 Schmook, Rebecca and Geo. A. Ogle and Co. Standard atlas of Saline County, Illinois [1908] : including a plat book of the villages, cities and townships of the county ... patrons directory, reference directory Harrisburg, Illinois : Saline County Genealogical Society (Illinois), 1990. Other libraries (WorldCat) FHL book 977.3992 E7sr

Copies of original records

Online Resources




War of 1812

Blackhawk War

Mexican War

Civil War

Civil War service men from Saline 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 Saline County.

- 3rd Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Company E.
- 6th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Companies F and K.
- 29th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company E
- 31st Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies B and G.
- 56th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company E.
- 110th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company E.
- 120th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company F.
- 128th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company K.

For an extensive list, see Civil War Companies Organized in Saline County, Illinois (courtesy: ILGenWeb).


Newspapers and Obituaries


The Library of Congress has identified the following historic newspapers for Saline County, Illinois on their Chronicling America website. For publication details, including dates of publication, frequency, preceding and succeeding titles, and to find out which libraries have holdings, click on the newspaper title.




These periodicals regularly publish articles about Saline County:[4]


These periodicals occasionally publish articles about Saline County:[4]

Probate Records

Probate is the “court procedure by which a will is proved to be valid or invalid” and encompasses “all matters and proceedings pertaining to the administration of estates, guardianships, etc.”[5] Various types of records are created throughout the probate process. These may include, wills, bonds, petitions, accounts, inventories, administrations, orders, decrees, and distributions. For further information see probate records in State Probate Records.

Online Probate Records


Copies of original records


County Courthouse

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

Family History Centers

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 Center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.

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. Southern Illinois University houses the records for Saline County.

Public Libraries

Carrier Mills Public Library
109 Oak
Carrier Mills, IL 62917
Phone: 618-994-2011
Eldorado Memorial Public Library
1001 Grant
Eldorado, IL 62930
Phone: 618-273-7922
Harrisburg District Library
2 West Walnut St.
Harrisburg, IL 62946
Phone: 618-253-7455
Open Mon-Fri 9am-8pm, Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 1pm-5pm
Shawneetown Public Library
320 N. Lincoln
Shawneetown, IL 62984
Phone: 618-269-3761
Willard Library
Evansville, Ind.
The Library has many family files and published books about Saline County, Illinois genealogy and history.

Social Groups Online


Saline County Genealogical Society
PO Box 4
Harrisburg 62946


Tax-related records are kept by the offices of the county Assessor, Auditor, Sheriff, and Treasurer. Taxes were levied on real and personal property and can help establish ages, residences, relationships, and the year an individual died or left the area. They can be used as substitutes for missing or destroyed land and census records.

Newspapers include tax information. For example, Harrisburg taxpayers, 1862-1893 are included in newspapers held at the Illinois State Historical Library.[6]

Published abstracts

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 Saline County Clerk while those recorded after 1916 are kept by theIllinois 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 Southern Illinois University (SIU) - search for Saline County records. For information on how to use IRAD see the IRAD Wiki page.


Abstracts of Birth Records

Online abstracts of births from 1877 to 1903 are available online, courtesy: USGenWeb Archives. Abstracts of select records (beginning 1877) are also available online, courtesy: USGenWeb. See also Saline County Birth Records Index, 1866-1916, courtesy: USGenWeb Archives.

Copies of Original Birth Records


Abstracts of Marriage Records

During the first two decades of the twentieth century, (some) Saline County residents (eloped) to Piggot, Arkansas to get married.[7]

Copies of original Marriage Records

County marriage registration began in 1847. The original records are kept at the courthouse. Microfilm copies: FHL Films 965054-965062. Records from 1847 to 1900 are indexed in the online Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, courtesy: Illinois State Archives.

Online Resources



Abstracts of Death Records

  • 1850–1880 Mortality Schedules, courtesy: Ancestry ($)
  • 1862–1883 Ferrell, Ed. Index to death and administrator's notices found in Saline County, Illinois, newspapers, 1862-1883. Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1988. FHL Film 1320702 Item 8.
  • 1877-1922 Murphy, John V. Saline County, Illinois Deaths. 2 vols. Carrier Mills, Ill.: J. Murphy, 1984. World Cat 11399472; World Cat 11281467, FHL Collection - includes 1850-1880 mortality schedules
  • 1903-1912 Murphy, John V. Saline County, Illinois Death Record Book 2 (1903-1912), available online, courtesy: USGenWeb Archives.
  • 1912–1947 Moore, Bernard W. Funeral records, Gaskins funeral home, Saline County, Illinois. Hartford, Kentucky: McDowell Publications, 1978. Other libraries (WorldCat) FHL book 977.3992/H1 V3gf
  • 1947–1955 Reynolds, Marion Lavender, James Austin Rittenberry, and Shirley acummins Shewmake. Gaskins Funeral Home records, Harrisburg, Saline Co., Illinois (with obituaries and annotations), 1947–1955: volume II. Harrisburg, Illinois: M.L. Reynolds, 1993. Other libraries (WorldCat) FHL book 977.3992/H1 V3gfa

Saline County's USGenWeb page includes online transcripts and links to the 1850 mortality schedule, coroner's reports (1901-1919), obituaries (1917-1919, 1922), and statewide death indexes.

Copies of original Death Records

Online Resources

Web Sites

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Saline County, Illinois


  1. Nathan W. Murphy, Early Families of Muhlenberg County, Kentucky: Vincent, Wright, McElwain, Wilkins and Jarvis; Historical Information and Sources for More than 2,000 Descendants of Charles Vincent, William Wright, George McElwain, John Wilkins, and John Jarvis, Whose Numerous Progenitors [Descendants] Make Up a Large Portion of the Present Population of Muhlenberg County (Hanson, Ky.: David W. Murphy and Associates, 1999). FHL Book 929.273 V743m; Mary J. Black Peck, Saline County Cousins Illinois (Carrier Mills, Ill.: M.J.B. Peck, 1991, 1993). FHL Books 929.273 Sh27p v. 1-v. 2
  2. The FamilySearch Catalog, and the Topical Index of The Saga of Southern Illinois Volumes I-XXXVI (1974-2009) were consulted to develop this list of compiled genealogies of Saline County families.
  3. WorldCat 50140092 FHL Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed.] (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002)
  4. 4.0 4.1 PERSI, HeritageQuestOnline edition, accessed May 31, 2011.
  5. Henry Campbell Black, Black's Law Dictionary, 5th ed. (St. Paul, Minnesota: West Publishing Co., 1979), 1081, "probate."
  6. Ed. Ferrell, Index to Miscellaneous Genealogical Information in Southern Illinois Newspapers, 1862-1917 (n.p.: n.p., n.d.). FHL Book 977.3 A1 no. 284
  7. "Saline Co., IL People Married in Piggot, AR, 1902-1923," Shawnee, Vol. 19, No. 2 (Winter 2004).

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