GenTraveling – In Illinois


Hello GenTravelers!

So, who is researching ancestors from Illinois? I thought this quote from the referenced article below was great! GenTraveling takes you places that “hold secrets to the past”!

“Repositories in small towns and bustling cities hold secrets to the past, alongside online resources, microfilmed records, and manuscripts in the state’s archives and courthouses.” – Diane Renner Walsh, CG

This quote comes from the excellent article by Diane Renner Walsh, CG in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly in 2006 (Vol. 94, No. 1, March 2006) entitled “Genealogical Research in Illinois”.  Diane gives researchers detailed information on where to find records in a variety of record-set categories.  She starts out by giving some website addresses to four online catalogs; however, since this article is a decade old, I wouldn’t depend on those URL’s still being current! Yet, I’m sure most of the information is still valuable.  When Diane mentioned you can find about three thousand maps from the 1700s in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, there’s a very good chance you still can. She lists all of the major archives, libraries, and societies – as well as tells you where to find the following:

Transportation Guides

Federal Township Plats

County Plats and Landownership Maps

Place Name Information (Illinois Place Names and Indian Place Names in Illinois)

Origin and Evolution of Illinois Counties

Adoption Records

Birth and Death Records

Cemetery Location and Inventories

Divorce Records

Marriage Records

Business Records

Census Records (French and Territorial  Enumerations, State Censuses, Military Census, and Federal Schedules)

Church and Religious Records (information on a variety of specific denominations)

Court and other Legal Records

Ethnic Records

Land Records (County, Public Land Sales, Land granted before 1814, Internal Improvements, Military Tract)

Military and Veterans’ Records



Prison Records

School Records

Tax Records

Yes, we know the thorough family historian will need to go GenTraveling…eventually. This article gives you a good idea of the many repositories that are available should you find yourself GenTraveling to Illinois.

So, are you planning your GenTraveling yet? Where do you plan to go? Be sure to share your GenTraveling Bucket list on our Bucket List Page.  GenTraveling: It’s the Real Deal Thrill!

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