Edwards County, Illinois Genealogy

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Guide to Edwards County, Illinois ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

Edwards County, Illinois
Map of Illinois highlighting Edwards County
Location in the state of Illinois, United States Genealogy
Map of the U.S. highlighting Illinois
Location of Illinois in the U.S.
Founded: November 28, 1814
County Seat Albion
Edwards County Courthouse.gif
Address Edwards County Courthouse
50 E. Main Street
Albion, Illinois 62806
(618) 445-2115

County Organization[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1877 1815 1877 1815 1827 1827 1810
*Statewide registration for births and deaths started 1916. General compliance by 1922.

County records are most often kept at the County Courthouse or another local repository. For further information about where the records for Edwards County are kept, see the Edwards County Courthouse page.

Historical Facts[edit | edit source]

Ninian Edwards.png

Edwards County is named for Ninian Edwards who was the Governor of the Illinois Territory (1809-1818) and third Governor of the State of Illinois (1826-1830). His son Ninian Edwards Jr., is married to Elizabeth Todd, sister of Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of Abraham Lincoln.

Description[edit | edit source]

The county was named for Ninian Edwards, the Territorial Governor of Illinois. The county seat is Albion and the county was organized on 1814.[2] The County is located in the south-eastern part of the state.[3]

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

For animated maps illustrating Illinois county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Illinois County Boundary Maps" (1790-1869) may be viewed for free at the MapofUS.org website.

  • 28 November 1814: -- Edwards County was created 28 November 1814 from Madison and Gallatin Counties. [4]

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Records and Resources[edit | edit source]

Biography[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Edwards County, Illinois online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See Illinois Cemeteries for more information

Census[edit | edit source]

For information and tips on accessing census records online, see Illinois Census.

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1820 3,444
1830 1,649 −52.1%
1840 3,070 86.2%
1850 3,524 14.8%
1860 5,454 54.8%
1870 7,565 38.7%
1880 8,597 13.6%
1890 9,444 9.9%
1900 10,345 9.5%
1910 10,049 −2.9%
1920 9,431 −6.1%
1930 8,303 −12.0%
1940 8,974 8.1%
1950 9,056 0.9%
1960 7,940 −12.3%
1970 7,090 −10.7%
1980 7,961 12.3%
1990 7,440 −6.5%
2000 6,971 −6.3%
2010 6,721 −3.6%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

Federal[edit | edit source]



  • 1880 census by the United States of America of Edwards County Illinois, pub. 1981 WorldCat 8343939

State[edit | edit source]


Centennial Celebrations, etc[edit | edit source]

Edwards County sesquicentennial 1814-1964; pub. 1964?; Edwards County Historical Society FHL Book 977.3791 H2e

Church History[edit | edit source]

Churches of Edwards County; pub. 19??; WorldCat 38125327, FHL Book 977.3 A1 no. 127, FHL film 983673 Item 3

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

Ethnic Research[edit | edit source]

African American[edit | edit source]

The following have information concerning African American research.

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Ingram Funeral Home records, 1939-1971, Albion, Illinois; filmed 2005 FHL Film 1426344-1426345
note: the records were filmed in Wayne County, Illinois courthouse.

Genealogy[edit | edit source]

A History of Edwards County, Illinois; pub. 1980, 1993 FHL Books 977.3791 H2h v. 1 and 2

Mailing Lists[edit | edit source]

Message Boards[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Land and Property[edit | edit source]

Original land records are held in the office of the County Clerk . See Illinois Land and Property for more information about using land records.

The following abstracts and copies of original records may be accessed online, through the Family History Library or the Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD) located at Eastern Illinois University - search for Edwards County records. For information on how to use IRAD see the EIU IRAD Wiki page.

Unlike most Illinois counties, Edwards is divided into Road Districts, as opposed to Townships found in other counties.

Copies of Original Records

  • 1815–1888 Deed Indexes, Deed Record 1815-1890 FHL 16 films
    Deed records
    Warranty deeds
  • 1815-1978 Deed Record IRAD-EIU
  • 1888–1900 Grantee and Grantor Index FHL film 1418412 Items 2-3
  • 1888-1899 Deed Index IRAD-EIU
  • 1890-1902 Land and Deed Records FHL films 1418412-1418414
    Deed records
  • 1855–1874 Land Records, 1855-1874 FHL film 1688788 Item 1 Record of swamp and overflow lands
  • 1874 Plat Record, Original Survey IRAD-EIU


  • 1814 Edwards County Historical Society. Original Land Sales, Edwards County, Illinois, beginning 1814. Albion, Illinois: Edwards County Historical Society (IL), 1983. WorldCat 13860466, FHL book 977.3791 R2

Online Resources

  • 1816–1865 Deed Grantee Index Genealogy Trails
  • 1800s – Present - Use the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Land Patent Index to obtain original federal land transfer records, including homestead, military warrants, and cash entry patents. These records help a researcher establish location and lead to National Archives’ records which may include genealogical information. Earlier land transfer records are at the National Archives.

Maps[edit | edit source]

Richland CountyLawrence CountyWabash CountyWhite CountyWayne CountyIndianaIL EDWARDS.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Military History and Records[edit | edit source]

War of 1812[edit | edit source]

Some Military Land Grants USGenWeb Archives

Blackhawk War[edit | edit source]

Detachment of Capt. Hunter's Company, Detachment of Capt. Champion S. Mading's Company, Captain Solomon Hunter's Detachment USGenWeb Archives

Indian Wars[edit | edit source]

Some Military Land Grants USGenWeb Archives

Civil War[edit | edit source]

Civil War service men from Edwards County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies or regiments that were formed from men of Edwards County.

- 6th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Company E.
- 7th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Company E.
- 26th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company G.
- 38th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company I.
- 40th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company I.
- 56th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company H.
- 63rd Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company B.
- 87th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies B and H.
- 136th Regiment, Illinois Infantry (100 days, 1864), Company H.
- 152nd Regiment, Illinois Infantry (1 year, 1865), Company F.

World War II[edit | edit source]

Army Enlistment Records USGenWeb Archives

Pensions[edit | edit source]

1883 Pension Roll USGenWeb Archives

Cemetery Records[edit | edit source]

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Online Records

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Photographs and Post Cards[edit | edit source]

Places and Localities[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit Hometown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[5]

Unincorporated communities
Ghost towns

‡This populated place also has portions in an adjacent county or counties

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Online Probate Indexes and Records

For information and tips about records, see IRAD-EIU

1817–present — The original Edwards county probate records are housed at the County Courthouse.

  • 1815–1916 Probate Will Record; IRAD-EIU
  • 1815–1871 Probate Case Files; IRAD-EIU
  • 1831–1885 Probate Record; IRAD-EIU

Guardianships[edit | edit source]

Repositories[edit | edit source]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

County records are most often kept at the County Courthouse or another local repository. For further information about where the records for Edwards County are kept, see the Edwards County Courthouse page.

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries

  • Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
  • FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

There are over 4500 Introduction to Family History Centers worldwide which serve as branch facilities of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. Volunteers provide research assistance to help patrons identify their ancestors. Some microfilms may be available to view at various family history centers. Locate your nearest Family History Center at the FamilySearch website. Call ahead to verify operating hours. All are welcome.

The following centers are accessible to residents of Edwards County, Illinois:

Centralia Illinois Family History Center
Leafland & 3rd Street
Centralia, Marion, Illinois
Phone: 618-532-3482
Hours: Wednesday 2-6pm
Attention: We have temporarily moved to this new location while our building is being remodeled.

Eldorado Illinois Family History Center
103 Grayson Rd
Eldorado, Saline, Illinois
Phone: 618-273-8172
Hours: By appointment. Please call 618-276-4283

Evansville Indiana Family History Center
8020 E Covert Ave
Evansville, Vanderburgh, Indiana
Phone: 812-471-0191
Hours: First Wednesday of every month 10:00 - 12:00, Tues & Wed evening 6:00 - 8:00; other times by appointment
Closed: Closed Major Holidays

Vincennes Indiana Family History Center
1940 N Old Hwy 41
Vincennes, Knox, Indiana
Phone: 812-882-4022
Hours: T, Thu 9am-12:30pm, 5pm-8:30pm
Closed: Closed 1 1/2 weeks for Christmas

Please note: Addresses posted are not mailing addresses. Due to limited staff, Family History Centers are unable to respond to mail inquiries.

Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD)[edit | edit source]

The Eastern Illinois Regional Archives Depository is located at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston. See the IRAD–EIU wiki page for more about this depository and its holdings.

Public Libraries[edit | edit source]

Albion Public Library
6 North 4th Street
Albion, IL 62806
Phone: (618) 445-3314

West Salem Public Library
112 West South Street
West Salem, IL 62476
Phone: (618) 456-8970

SILNET (Southern Illinois Library Network)

The following libraries are outside of Edwards County, containing genealogical collections pertaining to the county.

Schools[edit | edit source]

Social Groups Online[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Taxation[edit | edit source]

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Gotoarrow.png Illinois Vital Records have more information.

See also How to order Illinois Vital Records or order electronically online.

Births[edit | edit source]

1877–present - The original Edwards County birth records 1877-present are housed at the County Clerk's office. The following copies are available:

Marriages[edit | edit source]

For information and tips about records, see IRAD-EIU

1815–present — The original Edwards County marriage records 1815-present are housed at the County Clerk's office. The following copies are available:

  • 1815–1968 Marriage Record; IRAD-EIU
  • 1815–1968 Index; IRAD-EIU

The following abstracts are available:

  • 1815–1844 Early marriages, includes index to 1831, and bride's index to 1844 FHL book 977.3791 V29
  • 1845–1855 Goodson, Lois Jean. Marriage Book B, Edwards County Illinois, 1845–1855: Complete Alphabetical Listing of Males and Females. Albion, Illinois: Edwards County Historical Society, 1992. FHL book 911.3791 V29
  • USGenWeb Archives

Deaths[edit | edit source]

For information and tips about records, see IRAD-EIU

1877-present - The original Edwards County death records 1877-present are housed at the County Clerk's office. The following copies are available:

The following abstracts are available at state IRAD site:

Online Resources

Voting Registers[edit | edit source]

Websites[edit | edit source]

     Links to several state wide and larger databases, Edward county atlas, 1907, Combined history of Edwards, Lawrence and Wabash counties, Il 1883, and more.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Edwards County, Illinois. Page 192-199 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 194-197.
  2. Genealogy Trails History Group, “Edwards County, Illinois Genealogy and History”, http://genealogytrails.com/ill/edwards/ accessed 04/12/2017.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Edwards County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwards_County,_Illinois 04/012/2017.
  4. WorldCat 50140092, FHL Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed.] (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002)
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Edwards County, Illinois," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwards_County,_Illinois, Last accessed 2 January 2020.