Illinois Record Selection Table

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United States  Gotoarrow.png  Illinois  Gotoarrow.png  Record Selection Table

This table can help you decide which records to search. It is most helpful for post-1850 research.

  1. In column 1, select a research goal.
  2. In column 2, find the types of records most likely to have the information you need.
  3. In column 3, find additional record types that may be useful.
  4. Look in the section of this article that corresponds to the record type you chose. It explains what the records might tell you, how to search them, and how to find the records in the Family History Library Catalog using the Place-name Search. Some records are not at the library.
  5. If you do not find the desired information, see Illinois Search Strategies for more suggestions.
Note: Records of previous research (Genealogy, Biography, History, Periodicals, and Societies) are useful for most goals, but are not listed unless they are especially helpful.

1. If you need information about 2. Look first in 3. Then search
Adoptions Court Records, Vital Records Census, Probate Records
Age Census, Cemeteries, Obituaries Vital Records, Military Records, Naturalization and Citizenship
Birth date Vital Records, Social Security Death Index, Obituaries, Cemeteries Church Records, Military Records, Biography
Birth place Census, Vital Records, Obituaries Church Records, Military Records, Funeral Homes
Boundaries and origins Maps, Gazetteers History, Societies
Children Census, Probate Records, Obituaries, Genealogy Vital Records, Church Records, Land and Property
City or parish of foreign birth Vital Records, Obituaries, Biography Naturalization and Citizenship, Church Records, Funeral Homes
Country of foreign birth Census, Vital Records, Obituaries Natualization and Citizenship, Military Records,Ethnic Group Records
Death information Vital Records, Cemeteries, Obituaries, Social Security Death Index, Newspapers Probate Records, Funeral Homes, Church Records
Dissolution of marriage (Divorce)
Vital Records, Court Records Newspapers, Census
Emigration information Emigration and Immigration, Naturalization and Citizenship, Census Obituaries, Biography, Ethnic Group Records, Land and Property,Court Records
Ethnic background Census, African Americans, American Indians, Ethnic Group Records, Emigration and Immigration Naturalization and Citizenship, Church Records, Periodicals, Societies
Historical background History, Periodicals, Gazetteers
Maps, Land and Property, Church Records
Immigration date Emigration and Immigration, Census, Naturalization and Citizenship Court Records, Biography, Obituaries, Periodicals
Living relatives Obituaries, Probate Records, Census Funeral Homes, Land and Property, Biography, Newspapers
Maiden name Vital Records, Obituaries, Probate Records Church Records, Funeral Homes, Bible Records
Marriage information Vital Records, Obituaries, Census, Genealogy Church Records, Probate Records, Military Records
Naturalization Naturalization and Citizenship, Census, Voting Registers Court Records, Land and Property, Periodicals
Occupations Occupations, Census, Obituaries Biography, Directories, History
Other family members Census, Obituaries, Probate Records Funeral Homes, Vital Records, Church Records, Genealogy
Parents Vital Records, Obituaries, Census, Genealogy Probate Records, Funeral Homes, Church Records, Biography
Physical description Military Records, Naturalization and Citizenship, Emigration and Immigration Biography, Occupations
Place-finding aids Maps, Gazetteers Archives and Libraries, History, Societies
Places of residence Census, Military Records, Obituaries, Directories, Taxation Land and Property, Naturalization and Citizenship, Voting Registers
Place of residence when you know only the state Census, Vital Records, Military Records Naturalization and Citizenship, Taxation
Previous research Genealogy, Biography, Periodicals History, Archives and Libraries, Societies
Record-finding aids Archives and Libraries, Church Records, Periodicals Societies, For Further Reading
Religion Church Records, Vital Records, Obituaries Biography, Cemeteries, Funeral Homes
Social activities Societies, Obituaries, Biography Cemeteries, Directories, Newspapers