Illinois Compiled Genealogies

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Thorp School Sewing Group, Chicago, Illinois circa 1900

Online Resources[edit | edit source]

Introduction[edit | edit source]

Most archives, historical societies, and genealogical societies have special collections of previous research and indexes of genealogical value. To begin the search of an ancestor in these collections, you may wish to begin with available published indexes, both on a national level as well as a local level. Many genealogy databases are on line through various websites.

Nationwide Indexes[edit | edit source]

  • FamilySearch™ Internet Genealogy Service - Trees contains lineages organized into family groups and pedigrees with an every-name index. This was created from a database formerly known as Ancestral File.
  • The Family History Library has an extensive collection of almost 50,000 published U.S. family histories and newsletters. Copies at the library are listed in the Surname Search of the FamilySearch Catalog.
  • National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (NUCMC). "The National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections, established in 1959, is a cooperative cataloging program in which repositories from all over the United States open to the public report their holdings of manuscript collections to the Library of Congress. Staff members of the Manuscripts Section of the Library's Special Materials Cataloging Division prepare catalog entries for these reports, which are published annually in book form by the Library of Congress"--Index to personal names in the National Union Catalog of manuscript collections, 1959-1984, p. vii. An index is available at the Family History Library FHL book 016.091 N21 1959 to 1984
  • World Connect includes hundreds of thousands of ancestors in pedigrees and family trees with an easy to use index.
  • Periodical Source Index (PERSI). There are more than 126,000 surnames included in the PERSI database which is available on the Internet at as well as at Both are subscription websites, but often available at local libraries.

Statewide Indexes[edit | edit source]

Family History Library Family Group Collections

The Family History Library has some important collections of compiled genealogies and genealogical source material for Illinois.

  • Champaign County Historical Archives. Family Files. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1978. (Family History Library films 1026779 (first of 12). This alphabetical collection of family group records, typescript genealogies, and newspaper clippings was microfilmed in 1978 at the Champaign County Courthouse.
  • Hart, Virginia and Illinois State Genealogical Society,Illinois State Genealogical Society Ancestor Charts of Members. Seven volumes. Springfield, Illinois: Illinois State Genealogical Society, 1988–1992. Other Libraries (WorldCat);  FHL book 977.3 D2i. Indexed five-generation pedigree charts of members of the Illinois State Genealogical Society.
  • Mathis, Linda Gale. Surname Index of the Genealogy Society of Southern Illinois.Carterville, Illinois: The Society, 1986. Other Libraries (WorldCat) FHL film 977.3 A3s. This index to the ancestors of members of the society includes the names of the submitters. It contains dates and places of birth, marriage, and death, and names of spouses.
  • Genealogy Society of Southern Illinois Ancestor Charts. Carterville, Illinois: The Society, 1994–95. Other Libraries (WorldCat); FHL book 977.3 C4g.) Pedigree charts of the ancestors of members of the society from 28 southern Illinois counties are included in this work.
  • Ross, Harvey Lee. An index to the early pioneers and pioneer events of the state of Illinois. Havana, Illinois: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Havana, Illinois, 1985. Other Libraries (WorldCat) FHL book 977.3 H2rh
  • Soll, Richard and Audrey. Genealogical surname index, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri. Whittier, California : Whittier Area Genealogical Society (California), 1988. FHL book 979.493/W1 D4so

Databases[edit | edit source]

  • As mentioned above in Nationwide indexes: public and private trees, World Connect and Trees
  • Illinois gedcom index. Gedcoms come from individual computer databases and this website has them indexed by town.
  • To find additional "genealogies" in the FamilySearch Catalog, use the Place-Names Search function. For example:

1. Access the FamilySearch Catalog
2. Type the word "Illinois" in the place-names search; then click, Search.
3. Locate the topic, Genealogy.
4. OR, type in a county in Illinois in the place-names search; then click, Search
5. Locate the topic, Genealogy.
6. To explore each genealogy title, click on the highlighted blue title.


Pioneers Certificate Applications[edit | edit source]

The Illinois State Genealogical Society compiled the following:

  • Applications for Illinois Prairie Pioneer Certificates. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1987–89. On 27 Family History Library microfilms beginning with FHL film 1513611 item 2. This collection contains two series of applications alphabetized by the surname of the pioneer ancestor. "Pioneers" are defined as those who arrived in Illinois before 1880. It includes lineage charts tracing the applicant’s pedigree to pioneer ancestors and shows supporting documents such as marriage and death certificates, obituaries, and census abstracts.
  • Applications for Illinois Prairie Pioneer Certificates: Certificates Issued on Previously Approved Pioneers. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1987. FHL film 1514164 item 3 (first of 9 films).

Centennial Farms[edit | edit source]

A "centennial farm" is one owned for 100 years or more by lineal descendants of the same family. Histories of families who owned centennial arms in Illinois can be found in:

Illinois Centennial Farm Heritage Association. The History of Illinois Centennial Farms. Dallas, Texas: Curtis Media, 1986. Other Libraries (WorldCat); 977.3 D2h. This book gives a short history of farming in Illinois and contains family histories and property descriptions of the centennial farms.

Websites[edit | edit source]
Newberry Library genealogy/collections
Free Illinois Genealogy Databases
Illinois Genealogy (Genealogy Inc)
Illinois Genealogy (Linkpendium)
Illinois Genealogy (Access Genealogy)
Illinois Genealogy (RootsWeb)

Research Guidebooks[edit | edit source]

Several handbooks give further information about research, records, and record-finding aids in Illinois. Among these are:

Beckstead, Gayle, and Mary Lou Kozub. Searching in Illinois: A Reference Guide to Public and Private Records. Costa Mesa, Calif.: ISC Publications, 1984. This is a source for locating federal, state, county, and city or town records and resources. It also gives lists of cemeteries, libraries, and newspapers and shows addresses of genealogical and historical societies. This guide has a special emphasis for adoptees. FHL book 977.3 D27b

Clements, John. Illinois Facts: A Comprehensive Look at Illinois Today, County by County. Dallas, Tex. Clements Research II, 1989. This book gives details on the government offices and their functions and provides descriptions of each county, its location, climate, people, economy, and transportation. FHL book 977.3 B5if

DuMelle, Grace. Finding Your Chicago Ancestors: A Beginner's Guide to Family History in the City and Cook County. Chicago, Illinois: Lake Claremont Press, 2005. FHL book 977.311 D27d

Eichholz, Alice, ed. Red Book : American State, County, and Town Sources. 3rd ed. Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004. Contains bibliographies and background information on history and ethnic groups. Also contains maps and tables showing when each county was created. Free online version; FHL book 973 D27rb 2004; WorldCat entry

Genealogical Sources in Chicago, Illinois 1835–1900. Chicago: Chicago Genealogical Society, 1982. This contains Chicago maps and a list of ward boundaries in addition to suggesting sources for Chicago research. FHL book 977.311 D27g; FHL fiche 6051029

Gooldy, Pat, and Ray Gooldy. Manual for Illinois Genealogical Research. Indianapolis, Ind.: Ye Olde Genealogie Shoppe, 1994. The source gives addresses of county courthouses, genealogical societies, and record repositories and gives Illinois locations of record categories such as census, land, military, and church records. FHL book 977.3 D27g

O'Hara, Margaret. Finding Your Chicago Ancestor. 2nd ed. N.p.: M. O’Hara, 1982. This includes a list of the churches in Chicago by denominations and ethnic groups, suggests sources for research, and gives addresses of various archives. FHL film 1597813 Item 12; FHL book 977.311

Schweitzer, George K. Illinois Genealogical Research. Knoxville, Tennessee: Geo. K. Schweitzer, 1997. Includes types of records, research procedures, and county listings. FHL book 977.3 D27s

Szucs, Loretto Dennis. Chicago and Cook County: A Guide to Research. Rev. ed. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1996. Ancestry is a trademark of Ancestry, Inc. Chapters describe record types and the major archives and libraries in Chicago and Cook County holding such records. Selected bibliographies are found at the end of some chapters. FHL book 977.31 D27sL

Walsh, Diane Renner. Research in Illinois. Arlington, Virginia: National Genealogical Society, 2007. Part of the "Research in the States Series," this book provides a guide to repositories and records. FHL book 977.3 D27w

Online digital versions of Illinois state resources can often be found by conducting a search engine search for "Illinois" plus a related word or phrase to narrow down the search (such as "Illinois Biography"). Similar searches can be conducted in specific resources such as Google Books and Internet Archive.

WorldCat can help you identify a library with a copy of a specific book.

Additional resources can be found in the FamilySearch Catalog by using a Place Search under: ILLINOIS - GENEALOGY - HANDBOOKS, MANUALS, ETC.