Illinois Maps

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Several types of maps are useful for genealogists. Some give the historical background of the area; others show migration routes such as roads, rivers, and railroads. Topographical maps show physical and manmade features, such as creeks, hills, trails, and roads used as persons came to Illinois. Sometimes maps also include cemeteries and churches. Plat and land ownership maps, as well as other types of maps, are described in United States Maps. In the Family History Library Catalog, atlases are listed in the Place Search under




A county-by-county list of land ownership maps is:

Conzen, Michael P., James R. Akerman, and David T. Thackery, comps. Illinois County Land Ownership Map and Atlas Bibliography and Union List. Springfield, Illinois: Illinois Cooperative Collection Management Coordinating Committee, Illinois Board of Higher Education, 1991. (FHL book 977.3 E73c)

The largest collections of Illinois maps are available at the Illinois State Library and the libraries of Southern Illinois University, University of Chicago, and University of Illinois, Urbana.

Statewide Atlases[edit | edit source]

Many of the maps at the Family History Library are in published atlases. For example, maps showing boundary changes in Illinois are found in:

Long, John H., ed. Illinois, Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. New York, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1997. (FHL book 977.3 E3L.) This atlas was compiled by Gordon DenBoer as a project of the Newberry Library. Counties are in alphabetical order, each with a chronology of boundary changes and detailed maps for various years.

Also included are territorial and state outline maps that match the censuses for 1800, 1807, 1810, 1818, 1820, 1830, 1835, 1840, 1845, 1850, 1855, 1860 to 1900, and outline maps of the Old Northwest (or the Northwest Territory) from 1787.

Long, John H., ed. Historical Atlas and Chronology of County Boundaries, 1788–1980. Boston, Massachusetts: G.K. Hall, 1984. (FHL 973 E7hL; fiche 6051426–430 [set of 21) Volume 2 contains Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio on fiche 6051427 [set of 6], with maps showing when and where each county changed boundaries.

Origin and Evolution of Illinois Counties. N.p.: State of Illinois, 1985. (FHL book 977.3 E7o; film 1321494, item 13.) This work includes maps that span the history of Illinois. Previous editions were issued by secretaries of state under the title Counties of Illinois; Their Origin and Evolution, with Twenty-three Maps Showing the Original and Present Boundary Lines of Each County.

County Atlases[edit | edit source]

Various publishers have issued atlases covering individual counties in Illinois. Among these are:

Atlas of Logan County and the State of Illinois: to Which Is Added an Atlas of the United States, Maps of the Hemispheres. Chicago, Illinois: Warner, Higgins, and Beers, 1873. (FHL film 934968, item 4)

Maps of Illinois Counties in 1876: Together with the Plat of Chicago and Other Cities and a Sampling of Illustrations. 1876. Reprint, Knightstown, Indiana: Mayhill Pub., 1972. (FHL book Folio 977.3 E7ma; film 908083, item4)

County or township maps are often included in published histories of the area.

City Maps[edit | edit source]

The Family History Library has city ward maps of Chicago for the years 1851, 1862, 1864, 1872, 1884, 1888, and 1890 included in:

Ward Maps of United States Cities: Microfilm Reproduction of 232 Maps Described in Ward Maps of United States Cities. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1975?. (FHL film 1377700; on 320 fiche beginning with 6016554.) Chicago is on fiche 6016613–619.

A more recent map of Chicago is:

Chicago (Illinois). Bureau of Maps and Plats. Atlas of City of Chicago. Chicago: The Bureau, 1980–81. (FHL book Q area 977.311 E7c)

See also Illinois Gazetteers, and United States Gazetteers and United States Maps for more resources regarding places in Illinois.

Maps of Illinois can be found in the Family History Library Catalog by using a Place Search under:




Web Sites[edit | edit source]