Resources for Illinois Genealogy Research

Research Resources within GenWeb Projects

Earliest Records in County Courthouses For a table by county of vital and court record start dates

ILGenWeb Archives Gateway to files containing Illinois-specific transcriptions and images

ILGenWeb County Projects Table containing links to each county home page as well as military-related links

ILGenWeb Special Projects

Genealogy & Historical Societies Lists organizations focusing on state-wide, county-specific, military-specific, ethnic and/or religious-specific.

USGenWeb Gateway to neighboring states

Research Resources Outside GenWeb Projects

Links to web sites that are not part of GenWeb are provided for your convenience and do not imply any endorsement of the web sites or their contents by GenWeb.

Books & Newspapers



  • Federal Census – The first Federal Census for the state of Illinois was taken in 1820. The census records for 1810-1840 list only the head of household by name. Starting with the 1850 census, members of each household were enumerated. The type of information recorded on each individual varies from year to year. The 1890 census was destroyed by a fire in the Washington, D.C. repository where it was being stored. If your ancestors were in Illinois in 1807, check the Indiana Territory census for that year.
  • Military Census – During the Civil War, state law mandated that township assessors enumerate every male between the ages of 18 and 45 who were fit for military service. These military census lists were compiled from 1861 to 1863, and record each person’s name, age, birthplace, and occupation. This series of records is organized by county and township, but has not been indexed. This record series is held at the Illinois State Archives. In addition, it is available through the Family History Library and Heritage Quest.
  • State Census – The state of Illinois conducted its own census enumeration in 1820, 1825, 1830, 1835, 1840, 1845, 1855, and 1865. Each of these enumerated only the head of household. The only census years for which nearly all the records still exist are 1820, 1855, and 1865. The other years are missing some or all of the records. For a more complete description of extant records, check the Genealogical Research Series Pamphlet No. 5: State Census Records from the Illinois State Archives.
  • Illinois State Census 1855 An index
  • Illinois State Census 1865 To see census images
  • US Census Bureau – Illinois Quickfacts
  • Illinois Census Information




National Archives

Other Free Genealogy-Focused WebSites

Social Security Death Index

Research Resources at Physical Archives