|McHenry County, Illinois|
Location in the state of Illinois
Location of Illinois in the U.S.
|Founded:||January 16, 1836|
|Address|| McHenry Co. Government Ctr|
2200 North Seminary Avenue
Woodstock, IL 60098
|Named for: William McHenry|
- 1 Civil Records
- 2 Birth
- 3 Marriage
- 4 Death
- 5 Census
- 6 Court
- 7 Land
- 8 Military
- 9 Probate
- 10 Taxation
- 11 Voter Registration
- 12 Community Records and Resources
- 12.1 Biography
- 12.2 Ethnic Research
- 12.3 Cemeteries
- 12.4 Church Records
- 12.5 Local Histories
- 12.6 Maps
- 12.7 Libraries and Societies
- 12.8 Newspapers
- 12.9 Obituaries
- 13 History and Geography
- 14 Web Sites
- 15 References
| Records Begin:
- Birth Certificates, Delayed - 1849-1900
- Birth Records, 1877-1902
- Birth Record Index, 1849-1916
|1837-1900|| Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, 1763-1900|
|1837-1923|| Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD) - Northern Illinois University|
|1877-present|| McHenry County Clerk - Vital Records Information and Request Form|
Marriages in McHenry County may also have been mentioned in area newspapers.
An Index to McHenry County Death records from 1916-1950 is available as part of the Database of Illinois Death Certificates, 1916-1950 on the Illinois State Archives web site. Use the index to discover the death date and death certificate number for an ancestor, then contact the McHenry County Clerk to order the corresponding death certificate.
McHenry County death certificates prior to 1916 are not included in the Illinois Statewide Death Index, Pre–1916 on the Illinois State Archives web site (as of July 2011).
|Source: "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau.|
22nd Judicial Circuit Court, Public Case Access to search for family court cases. Database also includes traffic violations, small claims, and criminal complaints.
McHenry County Recorder
667 Ware Rd.
Woodstock, IL 60098
McHenry County Recorder
2200 N. Seminary Ave.
Woodstock, IL 60098
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.
-3rd Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Company A (at right, 1863).
-36th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company H.
-52nd Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company I.
-95th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies A, C, D, F, H, and I.
World War II
Draft cards have been digitzed and indexed, and are available at FamilySearch.org.
An unspecified number of McHenry County probate records are available in the FamilySearch collection Illinois, Probate Records, 1819-1970. Records include Non-Probated Wills 1886-1976, Probate Records 1840-1843, Probate Records v. 4 1844-1985,and overlapping collects of Will Records: 1898-1923 and 1915-1919.
The 1877 Biographical Directory of the Tax-payers and Voters of McHenry County 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.
Community Records and Resources
The following have information concerning African American research.
- African American Research (US) has more information about the kinds of records
- Illinois State Archives pamphlet on African American Research describes what records are at the State Archives with an online method for ordering records.
- African-American Resources for Illinois
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.
- Find A Grave also gives a list of cemeteries in McHenry County and links to the information for the individuals buried there.
- McHenry Co. IL USGenWeb Tombstone Project usually gives the names of the deceased in alphabetical order by last name with birth and death dates plus any remarks.
- Illinois Cemeteries by county.
- The Family History Library Catalog lists some records of cemeteries in McHenry County. Some of the books or others may be on Google Books or available at public libraries.
- ePodunk list of McHenry County cemeteries gives the names of the cemeteries in the county with a link to more information such as address, phone number, and web site.
McHenry County has had congregations of the following Christian denominations at some point in time:
An index to the Early Records of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Johnsburg, McHenry County, Illinois, Volume I, 1852-1868 has been created by the McHenry County Illinois Genealogical Society.
The Baptist church of Woodstock was organized in the old court house on May 12, 1847, Elder Adams officiating. The society started with about twenty members and erected their first house of worship in 1858. Unable to manage the debt, the property was sold first to the Methodists, then to the Universalists, and eventually to the German Lutherns. That church burned in 1893. In 1866 the Baptist society built a church west of the court house. 
History of McHenry County, Illinois : together with sketches of its cities, villages and towns, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history, portraits of prominent persons, and biographies of representative citizens : also a condensed History of Illinois, embodying accounts of pre-historic races, aborigines, Winnebago and Black Hawk wars, and a brief review of its civil and political history. Chicago: Inter-State Pub. Co., 1885, 991 pgs. (Heritage Quest)
History of McHenry County, Illinois; Chicago: Munsell Pub. Co., 1922, 1076 pgs. (Heritage Quest)
Libraries and Societies
Algonquin Area Public Library
2600 Harnish Dr.
Algonquin, IL 60102
Genealogy and Local History collections at the Algonquin Area Public Library are described in the document Genealogy Pathfinder for Algonquin Library. Digital resources include the Algonquin Area Obituary Index, a searchable listing of selected obituaries mentioning Algonquin or Lake in the Hills from from the Daily Herald and Elgin Courier News beginning January 1, 2005.
Crystal Lake Family History Center
480 N Walkup Ave
Crystal Lake, IL 60014
Family History Centers are branches of FamilySearch's Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah and circulate microfilm and microfiche from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. Contact the Crystal Lake Family History Center to learn more about their facilities and resources.
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.
Crystal Lake Public Library
126 Paddock Street
Crystal Lake, IL 60014
Illinois State Historical Society
P.O. Box 1800
Springfield, IL 62705-1800
Illinois Heritage (1997-2008)
200 S. State St.
Marengo, Illinois 60152
Woodstock Public Library
Woodstock, IL 60098
A significant genelogical resource available through the Woodstock Public Library's Genealogy and Local History web site is the on-line searchable Woodstock Surname Index, an every-name index of 13 local history publications.
Many of the library's local history pamphlets and local ephemera have been digitized are available on the LookAtIllinois web site. How to Research Your Old House is an excellent research guide to library collections and county records.
The library has made its local historic photos collection available on-line through Flickr, in the Woodstock Illinois Historic Photographs collection.
Reference librarians are very knowledgeable about Woodstock-area genealogical resources, and are accessible through the library's Contact Us on-line reference request form.
Crystal Lake Herald
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
- Issue date and page
Elgin Courier News
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.
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.
Index to Deaths Appearing in the Nunda (Crystal Lake) Herald
Index to Deaths Appearing in the Crystal Lake Herald
History and Geography
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 the counties listed above.
Places / Localities
To see a list of places in McHenry 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 web sites. 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. Localities listed in red have no wiki page yet. As records or histories of these localities are identified, a page will be added for each of these place names.
McHenry County borders the following counties:
- "Illinois Statewide Marriage Index-Counties and Date Span Included." The Official Web site for Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 July 2011. <http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/archives/marrlst.html>.
- "Woodstock Illustrated; Being a Brief Resume of the Early History, Social and Educational, Industrial, and Business and Professional Interests of the County-seat of McHenry County Illinois, Page 11 | www.lookatillinois.info." www.lookatillinois.info. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 July 2011. <http://lookatillinois.info/content/woodstock-illustrated-being-brief-resume-early-history-social-and-educational-industrial-a-10>.
- "McHenry County Fact Sheet."