Lee County, Illinois Genealogy

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Lee County, Illinois
Boundary map of Lee County, Illinois
Map of the U.S. highlighting Illinois
Location of Illinois in the U.S.
Founded: February 27, 1839
County Seat Dixon
Lee County Courthouse.gif
Photo courtesy Illinois Regional Archives Depository, Illinois State Archives
Address Lee County Courthouse
P.O. Box 329
Dixon, IL 61021
Lee County Website


Template:Illinois-stub United States Gotoarrow.png Illinois Gotoarrow.png Lee County

County Organization

Lee County's civil records start the following years:

                                     Beginning Dates for Lee 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 Lee County are kept, see the Lee County Courthouse page.

Historical Facts

Richard Henry Lee.jpg

Lee County is named for Richard Henry Lee who was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Parent County

  • 1839--Lee County was created 27 February 1839 from Ogle County.  County seat:  Dixon [1]

Boundary Changes

See an interactive map of Lee County boundary changes.

Record Loss

Places / Localities

Populated Places

Neighboring Counties

Records and Resources


  • The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois has a Lee County edition. This includes a state history section along with a county history and biographies of Lee County residents. See the wiki article for links to available copies and indexes.


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.


Historical populations
Census Pop.
IL Counties 1900-1990

Church Records

Court Records

  • 1840-1940 Circuit Court Case Files IRAD-NIU; search for Lee County Records. (Learn more about IRAD.)
  • 1840-1934 Index to Circuit Court Case Files (Common Law) IRAD-NIU; search for Lee County Records. (Learn more about IRAD.)

Ethnic Research

African American

The following have information concerning African American research.



Land and Property

  • 1800s-Present - Use the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Land Patent Index to obtain original federal land transfer records including homestead, military warrants, and cash entry patents. These records help a research establish location and lead to National Archives' records which may include genealogical information. Earlier land transfer records are housed at the National Archives.
  • 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 www.ancestry.com ($)



Civil War

Civil War service men from Lee 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 Lee County.

- 7th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Company C (Also known as Morgan's Escort, Palmer's Escort, Smith's Escort) .
- 34th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies C and D.
- 89th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company I.


Newspapers and Obituaries

Probate 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 Lee County are kept, see the Lee County Courthouse page.

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.

You may search your address for a center near you on the FamilySearch site. The following center serves Dixon County:

Sterling Illinois Family History Center
2709 N 16th Avenue
Sterling, Illinois 61081
Telephone: (815) 625-1229

Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD)

The Illinois Regional Archives Depositories (IRAD), managed by the Illinois State Archives, houses 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 Northern Illinois University (IRAD-NIU) holds the records for Lee County. Learn more about finding and using their records.

Illinois Regional Archives Depository
c/o Regional History Center
Founders Memorial Library, Room 400
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115
Telephone: (815) 753-1807

Public Libraries


Vital Records

Birth Records

Marriage Records

Death Records

Web Sites


  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002), 195. (FHL Collection Ref Book 973 D27e 2002). WorldCat entry.