Illinois Ancestors: Government records listed in newsletter

Illinois Ancestors: Government records listed in newsletter

The Illinois State Archives has listed the local government records it acquired in 2012 in its newsletter, For the Record (winter 2013), and they include the following:

— Adams County: Burton Township: Assessor's Books 1861-, Election Papers 1955-, Voter Registers 1912-; County Clerk, Election Papers 1920.

— Alexander County: Justice of the Peace Dockets 1895-.

— Boone County: Circuit Court, Records 1838-.

— Ford County: Village of Piper City, Village Trustees' Minutes 1888-.

— Fulton County: County Clerk, Assessor's Books 1845; County Superintendent of Schools, School District Records 1906-1936.

— Hancock County: St. Mary's Township, Assessor's Books 1852-1853; Highway Commissioner's Records 1859-; Village of Plymouth, Village Trustee's Minutes 1889-1920.

— Henderson County: County Home, Poor Farm Inventory and Account Record 1860-.

— LaSalle County: Bruce Township, Township Auditors' Record 1916-1942.

— McDonough County: County Home, Almshouse Registers 1863-1890; County Superintendent of Schools, School Teacher's Daily Registers 1918-1936; Macomb Township, Highway Commissioner's Records 1858-1883; Sciota Township, Assessor's Books 1876, 1888; Village of Bardolph, Village Trustees' Minutes 1880-1900.

— McHenry County: Circuit Court, Naturalization Declaration of Intent 1851-1894, 1910-1940; Naturalizations Order Books 1929-1947, Naturalization Petition Records 1906-1955, Naturalization Records Final 1851-1888, Naturalization Records of Soldiers & Minors 1869-1899 (minors), 1869-1880 (soldiers); County Court, Naturalization Declarations of Intent 1858-1906, Naturalization Records 1899-1906.

List to be continued in a future column.

Archives' other holdings

It should be remembered that the Illinois State Archives has a vast amount of local records in addition to those listed above. They are maintained in one of the seven depositories of the Illinois Regional Archives Depository system around the state.

For example, the archives' collection of Adams County records includes 83 titles in addition to those mentioned above. Adams County records are maintained at Western Illinois University in Macomb.

To learn more about IRAD and/or conduct a search within a county or statewide, visit

To contact IRAD by mail or for a hard copy listing of county, township, and municipal records held at the regional depositories, contact IRAD, Illinois State Archives, Margaret Cross Norton Building - 3E, Capitol Complex, Springfield, IL 62756; phone 782-3645.

From the website mentioned above, at the bottom of the page, there is a link to the 360-page "Local Government Records Listings," available in .pdf format, which should be bookmarked or downloaded to be part of every Illinois researcher's library. (Be sure to read the instructions for using this work.)

There is an especially informative section, Family Research Tips, on pages 7-8 in this guide. The "list suggests some of the ways in which various types of IRAD records may be used by family historians."

For example, "To find date and place of birth and names of parents (consult) birth certificates (beginning 1877), birth registers (beginning 1877), delayed birth certificates."

Naturalization records

As noted in the McHenry County records above, naturalization records were kept in the county court as well as the circuit court. And although naturalizations were to be processed in federal courts rather that at the county level starting in 1906, some of that county's naturalization records go beyond that year.

For example, a search for "naturalization" at the website above indicates the years included for various types of naturalization records and many of them extend beyond the 1906 date in many counties, indicating that some counties continued naturalization procedures. In addition to the county and circuit courts, some naturalizations were processed in a criminal court, superior court, and even a city court (Mattoon, West Frankfort, Canton, LaSalle, Litchfield, Duquoin, Moline and East St. Louis). Researchers need to check all possible sources for naturalization records — in all states.

Queries, genealogical questions from researchers and genealogical materials readers would like to share will be printed in this column free. Joan Griffis may be reached via email at or by sending a letter to Illinois Ancestors, c/o The News-Gazette, P.O. Box 677, Champaign, IL 61824-0677.

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