Union County, Illinois Genealogy

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Union County, Illinois
Boundary map of Union County, Illinois
Map of the U.S. highlighting Illinois
Location of Illinois in the U.S.
Founded: January 2, 1818
County Seat Jonesboro
Union County Courthouse.gif
Photo courtesy Illinois Regional Archives Depository, Illinois State Archives
Address Union County Courthouse
309 W. Market
Jonesboro, IL 62952
(618) 833-5711
Union County Website

Template:Illinois-stubUnited States Gotoarrow.png Illinois Gotoarrow.png Union County

Union County Organization

Alexander County's civil records start the following years:

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

Historical Facts

Union County is named for the union of the American states.

Many early residents of Union County came into the area from Rowan County, North Carolina.[1]

Parent County

  • 1818--Union County was created 2 January 1818 from Johnson County.  County seat:  Jonesboro [2]

Boundary Changes

See an interactive map of Union County boundary changes.

Record Loss

Records and Resources



The Illinois Cemeteries page provides general explanations of the following online Union County resources:

Bibliography Online Gravestone Transcriptions Cemetery Gazetteers
FHLC Find A Grave | national search | county list ePodunk
WorldCat USGenWeb Tombstone Transcription Project  
  Illinois Cemeteries  
  USGenWeb Archives  


Historical populations
Census Pop.
IL Counties 1900-1990
For tips on accessing census records online, see Illinois Census.

1840 Pensioners

  • A Census of Pensioners for Revolutionary or Military Services: With their Names, Ages, and Places of Residence, as Returned by the Marshalls of the Several Judicial Districts, Under the Act for Taking the Sixth Census. Washington, D.C., 1841. FHL 973 X2pc 1840; FHL 2321; digital version at Google Books. [See Illinois, Union County on page 188.]

Church Records


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

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 or the Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD) located at the Southern Illinois University (SIU) - search for Unions County records. For information on how to use IRAD see the SIU IRAD Wiki page.

  • 1820-1824 Circuit Court Execution Dockets - IRAD-SIU
  • 1818-1848 Circuit Court Record - IRAD-SIU
  • 1818-1965 County Court and Probate Index - IRAD-SIU S
  • 1861-1873 County Court Execution Dockets - IRAD-SIU
  • 1827-1851 Justice and Constable Appointment Record - IRAD-SIU
  • Order book, 1818-1848 FHL Film 963335 First of 2 films.
  • Records of Justices of the Peace by the Clerk County Commissioner, 1827-1851 FHL Film 964133 item 8
  • Darrell Dexter abstracted nineteenth-century guardianship records. His compilation is available online, courtesy: Genealogy Trails.

Ethnic Research

African American

The following have information concerning African American research.



Local Histories

The online Shawnee Community College Local History Project includes a dozen personal interviews that give you a taste of historic Union County. Was your relative one of the interviewed individuals?

Land and Property

Jeana Gallagher compiled a list of Original Settlers of Union County, Illinois - Preemption before 1817. The list is available online, courtesy: Genealogy Trails.

Family Maps of Union County, Illinois (2005) plats the land of many Union County residents. The publisher's bookstore includes a free online surname index. FHL Book 977.3995 R22b

1818-1887 Deeds FHL Film 963158 First of 21 films.



  • Civil War
    Civil War service men from Union 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 Union County.
- 30th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company B.
- 31st Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies E and H.
- 60th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies A, B, and F.
- 81st Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company E.


Newspapers and Obituaries

Probate Records

  • 1850-1854 Probate Administrator's and Guardian's Accounts - IRAD-EIU
  • 1818-1965 Probate and County Court Index - IRAD-EIU S
  • 1845-1869 Probate Dockets - IRAD-EIU S
  • 1818-1885 Probate Minutes - IRAD-EIU
  • 1856-1891 Probate Will Record - IRAD-EIU


County Courthouse

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

Family History Center

Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD)

Public Libraries

Social Groups Online


Genealogical Society of Southern Illinois has a page with details about its' activities.


Vital Records




Places / Localities

To see a list of places in Union 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. As records or histories of these localities are identified, a page will be added for each of these place names.

Web Sites


  1. Don Patterson, "From old Rowan County, NC to Union County, IL," Rowan Roots, accessed 6 July 2011.
  2. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).