Getting Started
Helpful Links
State Genealogy Guides

In 1673, Louis Joliet and Jacques Marquette became the first Europeans to visit the area that is now Illinois. Cahokia, which was located near what is now the eastern part of St. Louis, was established in 1699 by the French. It was the first permanent settlement in the area. When the French and Indian Wars came to a close, which was in 1763, Great Britain controlled the region. The Indian wars and the Revolutionary War had a major impact on the region throughout the early part of the 1800s. The Illinois Territory was organized on March 1, 1809. The State of Illinois was created as the 21st state on December 3, 1818. The capital is Springfield and the official state website is It has 102 Counties. Illinois borders Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Iowa and Wisconsin. Select a Illinois county to view information & records pertaining to each County

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Illinois Genealogy Record Guides

Getting Started with Illinois Genealogy and Family Trees

Set in the very heart of the United States, Illinois has seen a lot of different groups of people settle into its unique landscape. Cities and farmland fill this state, and it has seen a large number of people settle or pass through on their way to other destinations. This is why there is so much call for Illinois genealogy data, which the state is able to readily supply! Ways of Searching for Illinois Genealogy Information – Modern researchers now head to their computers before heading out to a library or archive when looking for Illinois genealogy. This is due to the simple fact that many of the state’s largest institutions are putting as many records online as possible, and this makes it easier than ever to find the data and order copies of materials for Illinois genealogy. This, however, does not mean that everything you need will be found online. Most researchers searching for Illinois genealogy will end up in a county clerk’s office or some library or archive because the materials are not yet digitized. What all of this adds up to is the simple fact that anyone doing research for Illinois genealogy will want to learn which sources will supply them with what they require. Searching for Illinois Genealogy Materials – Anyone looking for materials for Illinois genealogy is going to handle, seek, and use the following types of records:

  • State Records – from probate information to surname lists, state census information, private manuscripts, newspapers, military or veterans information, marriage details, maps, land records, genealogical folders, estate information, deeds, death records, cemetery information, birth certificates and more, these are records usually available as online and offline resources for Illinois genealogy.
  • Local Records – researchers looking for Illinois genealogy may need to visit a county clerk’s office at some point should data be unavailable in the online format. They may also have to head to the local genealogical societies, small local libraries, historical societies, and school or college libraries for Illinois genealogy information as these are the places that are usually offline and/or open only by appointment or special arrangement.
  • Vital Records – these include the birth, marriage, divorce and death records from county, state, and national archives, and can also contain census records, cemetery or obituary information, immigration and naturalization details, newspaper items, military records, passenger lists and records as well. These are available as online and offline resources for Illinois genealogy.

Popular Resources for Illinois Genealogy – Rather than putting a lot of emphasis on a list of small or general resources, we have listed some of the most targeted locations for Illinois genealogy data below:

  • Division of Vital Records, Illinois Department of Public Health, 925 E Ridgely Avenue , Springfield, IL 62702; Website: . This is where you will order birth, death, marriage and divorce records via a written request or online.

Additional state and local records can be found at the:

  • Illinois State Archives, Genealogy Section,  Norton Building, Capitol Complex, Springfield, IL 62756; Website: . This is a great resource for anyone seeking for Illinois genealogy details because it includes a bit of information about getting started in genealogy, and then goes on to an array of pamphlets for conducting genealogical research in their different collections of records.

Finally, these websites provide a tremendous amount of state-specific details to those in search of facts for Illinois genealogy projects.

Illinois Genealogy Databases and other Helpful Links

The websites below will provide state-specific details to those in search of information for Illinois genealogy work.