Fayette County, Illinois Genealogy

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

Fayette County, Illinois
Map of Illinois highlighting Fayette 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: February 14, 1821
County Seat Vandalia
Address Fayette County Courthouse
221 South 7th Street
Vandalia, Illinois 62471
(618) 283-5000
Fayette County Website

County Organization[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1877 1821 1877 1821 1821 1821 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 Fayette County are kept, see the Fayette County Courthouse page.

Historical Facts[edit | edit source]

Marquis de Lafayette.JPG

The county is named after Revolutionary War hero, the {{wpd|Gilbert du Motier, marquis de Lafayette] (1757-1834).

Description[edit | edit source]

The county was named for Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, the famous French General who fought for the colonies in the Revolutionary War. The county seat is Vandalia and the county was organized on February 14, 1821.[2] The County is located in the central 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.

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]

  • The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois has a Fayette County edition. This includes a state history section along with a county history and biographies of Fayette County residents. See the wiki article for links to available copies and indexes.

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Fayette 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.

Federal[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1830 2,704
1840 6,328 134.0%
1850 8,075 27.6%
1860 11,189 38.6%
1870 19,638 75.5%
1880 23,241 18.3%
1890 23,367 0.5%
1900 28,065 20.1%
1910 28,075 0.0%
1920 26,187 −6.7%
1930 23,487 −10.3%
1940 29,159 24.1%
1950 24,582 −15.7%
1960 21,946 −10.7%
1970 20,752 −5.4%
1980 22,167 6.8%
1990 20,893 −5.7%
2000 21,802 4.4%
2010 22,140 1.6%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

1840 Pensioners[edit | edit source]

  • A Census of Pensioners for Revolutionary or Military Services: With their Names, Ages, and Places of Residence, as Returned by the Marshalls of the Several Judicial Districts, Under the Act for Taking the Sixth Census. Washington, D.C., 1841. FHL 973 X2pc 1840; FHL 2321; digital version at Google Books. [See Illinois, Fayette County on page 186-187.]

State[edit | edit source]

Church Records
[edit | edit source]

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Timeline of early churches in Fayette County [5] :

  • 1818 - Methodists were preaching in the county since the state was admitted to the Union.
  • 1824 - Methodist church and grave yard in Sharon Twp
  • 1825 - Methodists first preach in Wilberton Twp.
  • 1828 - First Presbyterian Church organized in Vandalia
  • 1830 -Regular Baptists organized a church in Otego Twp
  • 1831 - Methodist church first built in Vandalia
  • Early 1830s - Baptist put up first church in Hurricane Twp. They were followed by Iniversalists and Methodists
  • 1834 - Methodists organized in Sefton Twp.
  • 1836 - Baptists built first church house in Wilberton Twp.
  • 1843 - Methodists organized in Otego Twp, though a preacher had been there since 1825.
  • 1844 - Lutheran Church  with both English and German members organized in Vandalia
  • 1845 - Mother of Sorrows Catholic Church celebrated first Mass in the courthouse
  • 1846 - Presbyterians organized in Otego Twp.
  • 1846 - Regulat Baptists was the first church organized in Ramsey Twp. followed by Methodists the same year.
  • 1846 - German Methdists gained strength in Sefton Twp.
  • 1850 - First Church in Shelbyville, Aventa Twp. built by Methodists though the first sermons were probably preached on homes in early to mid 1830s
  • 1851 Lutheran Church in Wheatland Twp. By then there were other churches in the townshp - German Reformed, Methodist, United Brethern, and Christian Churches.
  • 1851 - Christian Church organized in Ramsey Twp.
  • 1850s - Church building erected in Kaskaskia Twp. that served Methodists, Baptists, and Presbyterians
  • 1855 - Catholics built a church in Avanta Twp.
  • 1857 - Cumberland Presbyterians organized in Lone Grove Twp.folloef by other dchurches in that twp.
  • 1859 - Methodist church organized in La Clede, La Clede Twp., though first preachers were Baptists in the mid 1830s.
  • 1867 - Catholics organized in Ramsey Twp.
  • 1875 - Comberland Presbyterians organized in La Clede Twp.
  • 1894 - Baptist Church established in Vandaila

For an list of current churches in Fayette County with links to their websites Click Here.

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Original court records are held in the office of the Circuit Court Clerk. See Illinois Court Records for more information about using court records.

The following copies of original records may be accessed through the Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD) located at the University of Illinois at Springfield - search for Fayette County records. For information on how to use IRAD see the UIS IRAD Wiki page.

  • 1821-1861 Circuit Clerk's Miscellaneous FilesIRAD-UIS
  • 1831-1860 Circuit Court Fee Books IRAD-UIS
  • 1836-1842 Circuit Court Dockets IRAD-UIS
  • 1839-1870 Justice of the Peace Dockets IRAD-UIS
  • 1847-1858 Jury Registers IRAD-UIS

Directories[edit | edit source]

Ethnic Research[edit | edit source]

African American[edit | edit source]

The following have information concerning African American research.

Genealogy[edit | edit source]

Mailing Lists[edit | edit source]

Message Boards[edit | edit source]

Newspapers and Periodicals[edit | edit source]

History[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 the University of Illinois at Springfield - search for Fayette County records. For information on how to use IRAD see the UIS IRAD Wiki page.

Copies of original records

Online Resources

  • BLM GLO Records. Search original land patents for Fayette County from the Govenment Land Office (GLO) or Eastern States Office. Some searches include images of the original warrants. All search results include the patant details needed for requesting copies of the land entry files at the National Archives. The GLO is the custodian of millions of land title documents. The General Land Office Automated Records Project is responsible for making these important documents available to the public.
  • Illinois Public Domain Land Tract Sales. The Illinois State Archives has an online index to the records of Public land sales held by the State Archives. The indexes are by purchasers name and by legal description. This is a statewide collection with nearly 550,000 land sales fro 54740 square miles.
  • "Illinois Public Land Purchase Records" This record extract includes over 538,000 land sales from the 19th Century. Each entry includes the purchaser's name, purchase date, number of acres, price per acre, and in some cases the purchaser's sex and residence. Available at ancestry.com ($)
  • "U.S. General Land Office Records, 1796 to 1907:" Available at ancestry.com Records of Illinois are among the 13 states included in this set. It includes images of the land patents which contain the information necessary for ordering the complete case files from the National Archives. This appears to be the same information that is online at the Federal Land Office site http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/.
  • Sheldon, Theodore. Land registration in Illinois. Chicago: Callaghan Co., 1901. Digital book. Expains the laws regarding land and the land systems used in Illinois. Includes court cases involving land issues. In addition to being on Ancestry, this book is available online at no cost at Internet Archives and Google Books.

Additional Resources

Additional resources for Fayette County land and property may be found online in the FamilySearch Catalog. Online microfilm are indicated by the camera icon in the catalog entry. Copies of books found in the FamilySearch Catalog may be found in WorldCat catalog and ordered from your local library through interlibrary loan. Explore how to search the FamilySearch Catalog and the WorldCat Online Catalog.

Maps[edit | edit source]

Montgomery CountyShelby CountyEffingham CountyClay CountyMarion CountyClinton CountyBond CountyIL FAYETTE.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Military[edit | edit source]

Civil War[edit | edit source]

Civil War service men from Fayette 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 Fayette County.

- 7th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Company F.
- 7th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company G.
- 8th Regiment, Illinois Infantry (3 months, 1861), Company H.
- 11th Regiment, Illinois Infantry (3 months, 1861), Company E.
- 14th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Company F.
- 35th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies B, G, H and K.
- 38th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company C.
- 41st Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company D.
- 54th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company K.
- 62nd Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company E.
- 68th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company D.
- 97th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies F, H and I.
- 143rd Regiment, Illinois Infantry (100 days, 1864), Company E.

World War I[edit | edit source]

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Online Records

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Obituaries[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:[6]

Unincorporated communities

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Online Probate Indexes and Records

Original probate records are held by the circuit court clerk. Probate records include wills, inventories, settlements, and guardianship records. For more information see the wiki page Illinois Probate Records.  Few probate records are held at IRAD for Christian County. Explore how to search IRAD–UIS. The following copies are available at IRAD–UIS and in the Introduction to the FamilySearch Catalog:

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 Fayette County are kept, see the Fayette 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

Introduction to Family History Centers (FHCs) are branches of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah (United States) and are located all over the world. Their goal is to provide resources to assist you in the research and study of your genealogy. Currently there are no Family History Centers located directly in Fayette County.

You may search your address for a center near you on the FamilySearch site.

The following centers are located in surrounding counties. Their wiki pages may supply hours and other information.

Alton Illinois Family History Center
6500 Humbert Rd.
Godfrey, Illinois

Centralia Illinois Family History Center
2241 E. Calumet St.
Centralia, Illinois

Litchfield Illinois Family History Center
12367 Robertson Road
Litchfield, Illinois 65056

O'Fallon Illinois Family History Center
255 Fairwood Hills Rd.
O'Fallon, Illinois

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

IRAD is a system of Illinois Regional Archives Depositories managed by the Illinois State Archives, housing the archival records of local Illinois counties, townships, municipalities and school districts. The seven Regional Depositories are housed on state university campuses scattered throughout Illinois.

The University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS) houses the records for Fayette County. The link will help you find and use the records. There address is:

Illinois Regional Archives Depository
University of Illinois at Springfield Region
One University Plaza, MS BRK 140
Springfield, Illinois 62703-5407

Public Libraries[edit | edit source]

St. Elmo Public Library District
311 West Cumberland Road
St. Elmo, Illinois 62458

Evans Public Library District
215 South Fifth Street
Vandalia, Illinois 62471

Ramsey Public Library
401 South Superior
Ramsey, Illinois 62080

Social Groups Online[edit | edit source]

Fayette County Genealogical and Historical Society Vandalia, Illinois Facebook Group

Friends of the Fayette County Genealogical and Historical Society Facebook Group (ask to join)

Societies[edit | edit source]

Taxation[edit | edit source]

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

See Illinois Vital Records for more information about Vital records in Illinois. See also How to order Illinois Vital Records or order electronically online.

Vital records consist of birth, death, marriage and divorce records. Original birth (1860) and death (1878) certificates are kept by the Fayette County Clerk while those recorded after 1916 are kept by the Illinois Department of Public Health. with a copy to the County Clerk. Original marriage records are kept by the County Clerk from 1877 to the present. Original divorce records are generally in the office of the Circuit Court Clerk.

Copies of original records may be accessed through the Family History Library and the Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD) located at the Universtiy of Illinois–Springfield(UIS). Search Fayette County records in the Local Governmental Records Holdings Database . For information on how to use IRAD see the IRAD–UIS Wiki page.

Explore Cass County vital records found in the FamilySearch Catalog. Other libraries(at WorldCat) also hold copies of abstracted Fayette County vital records. (How to explore WorldCat).

Births[edit | edit source]

  • 1860–1925 Birth Records index available at UIS IRAD Region search for Fayette County
  • 1860–1921 Birth Certificates available at UIS IRAD Region search for Fayette county
  • 1877–1917 Birth and Death Records index available at UIS IRAD Region search for Fayette County
  • 1877–1917 Birth Records available at UIS IRAD Region search for Fayette county

For help with using the above links, click here for how to use IRAD.

Marriages[edit | edit source]

  • 1821–1964 Marriage Record Index at UIS IRAD Region search for Fayette records
  • 1827–1964 Marriage Record Index at UIS IRAD Region search for Fayette records

For help with using the above links, click here for how to use IRAD.

Deaths[edit | edit source]

Online Resources

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Fayette 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, “Fayette County, Illinois Genealogy and History”, http://genealogytrails.com/ill/fayette/ accessed 04/13/2017.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Fayette County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fayette_County,_Illinois 04/013/2017.
  4. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002), 193. (FHL Collection Ref Book 973 D27e 2002). WorldCat entry.
  5. Historical Encyclopedia of Illinoise and History of Fayette County, ed. Robert W. Ross and John Bullington. Chicago, Illinois : Munsell Publishing Co., 1910.FHL book 977.3797 H2f
  6. Wikipedia contributors, "Fayette County, Illinois," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fayette_County,_Illinois, Last accessed 3 January 2020.