Kankakee County, Illinois Genealogy

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

Kankakee County, Illinois
Map of Illinois highlighting Kankakee 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: January 4, 1817
County Seat Kankakee
Kankakee County Courthouse.jpg
Address Kankakee County Courthouse
189 East Court Street
Kankakee, IL 60901
Kankakee County Website

County Organization[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1878 1853 1878 1853 1832 1853 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 Kankakee County are kept, see the Kankakee County Courthouse page.

History[edit | edit source]

Kankakee is an Indian name given to a river which joins the Des Plaines river and forms the Illinois river.

Description[edit | edit source]

The county was named for the Kankakee River. The county seat is Kankakee and the county was organized on February 11, 1853. The County is located in the Northeast part of the state.[2]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

  • 1853--Kankakee County was created 11 February 1853, from Iroquois and Will Counties.  County seat:Kankakee [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.

1836-1853 Will
1833-1853 Iroquois
1826-1835 Vermilion
1823-1825 Edgar
1823-1825 Fulton
1819-1823 Clark
1816-1819 Crawford
1815-1816 Edwards
1812-1815 Madison
1801-1812 St. Clair
1790-1801 Knox, Northwest Territory

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

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

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:[4]

Unincorporated communities
  • Yeager
  • Pewing

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Records and Resources[edit | edit source]

Biography[edit | edit source]

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

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Kankakee 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]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1860 15,412
1870 24,352 58.0%
1880 25,047 2.9%
1890 28,732 14.7%
1900 37,154 29.3%
1910 40,752 9.7%
1920 44,940 10.3%
1930 50,095 11.5%
1940 60,877 21.5%
1950 73,524 20.8%
1960 92,063 25.2%
1970 97,250 5.6%
1980 102,926 5.8%
1990 96,255 −6.5%
2000 103,833 7.9%
2010 113,449 9.3%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

Church Records[edit | edit source]

List of Churches and Church Parishes

St George Catholic Church Records 1868-1957. by Bill Korstick  WorldCat

The Kankakee Valley Genealogical Society has published many church records some are available. WorldCat

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.

Ethnic Research[edit | edit source]

Bourbonnais; or the Early French Settlements in Kankakee County, Illinois

African American[edit | edit source]

The following have information concerning African American research.

French Canadian[edit | edit source]

The French Canadian Interview Project (Kankakee Community College)  Photos, oral histories, and family tree information for 16 French Canadian Kanakakee County citizens.

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.

Online Resources

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps[edit | edit source]

Grundy CountyWill CountyIroquois CountyFord CountyLivingston CountyLake CountyNewton CountyIL KANKAKEE.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Military Records[edit | edit source]

For information about using Military records see Illinois Military Records

Revolutionary War[edit | edit source]

Veteran Burials   (Source: Genealogy Trails History Group)

Civil War[edit | edit source]

Civil War service men from Kankakee 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 Kankakee County.


- 1st Regiment, Illinois ArtilleryBattery I


- 4th_Regiment,_Illinois_Cavalry, Company K.
- 12th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Company E.


- 20th_Regiment,_Illinois_InfantryCompany G .
- 42nd_Regiment,_Illinois_Infantry, Company D, and  Company H.
- 53rd_Regiment,_Illinois_Infantry, Company E.
- 76th_Regiment,_Illinois_Infantry, Company DCompany FCompany H, and Company I.
- 88th_Regiment,_Illinois_Infantry, Company F.
- 113th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company B, Company H, and Company K.
- 138th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company G.
- 147th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company K.
- 156th_Regiment,_Illinois_Infantry, Company F.
  • Civil War Veterans of Kankakee County, Illinois: Department of Illinois, Grand Army of the Republic. by Mary Ann Schatz.FHL Film 982173 item 5 Book 977.363 M2

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Original naturalization records are held in the office of the County Clerk. See Illinois Naturalization Records for more information about using naturalization records.

Online Records

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Chronicling America ( Library of Congress )

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Online Probate Indexes and Records

Original estates and wills are held in the office of the Circuit Court Clerk.  Digital copies of original Kankakee County probate and will books are available online as part of the Illinois Probate Records, 1819-1970 (FamilySearch.org)

See Illinois Probate Records for more information about using probate records.

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

1853-1900 County Court and Probate case files IRAD-ISU

1866-1869 Probate Dockets IRAD-ISU

FHL Collection

1853-1928 Kankakee County Illinois probate and will records on 21 films FHL film 2259223

Repositories[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. Illinois State University houses the records for Kankakee County.

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 Kankakee County are kept, see the Kankakee 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

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

Illinois State University (ISU)
2016 Warehouse Road Campus
Box 1520
Normal, Illinois 61802
Phone: 1-309-452-6027

Illinois Regional Archives Depository System - Local Governmental Records Listings Arranged by County

Public Libraries[edit | edit source]

Social Groups Online[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Taxation[edit | edit source]

1858-1858 Tax Sale record IRAD-ISU

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.
The website of the Kankakee County Clerk explains how to order original birth, marriage, and death records.

Birth[edit | edit source]

Original birth records at County Clerk. The following copies are available:

1863-1905 Birth Record Index IRAD-ISU

1877-1918 Birth Record IRAD-ISU Also availalble at the FHL film 1839989 first of 7 films

1864-1910 Birth Certificates, Delayed Also available at the FHL film 1839996 and 1839997 for years 1863-1915.

1864-1926 Birth Certificates, City of Manteno IRAD-ISU

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Original marriage records at County Clerk. The following copies are available:

Death[edit | edit source]

Original death records at County Clerk. The following copies are available:

Online Resources

Places / Localities[edit | edit source]

Websites[edit | edit source]

Databases pertinent to Kankakee County

Local Governmental Records Database

Name Index to Illinois Local Governments

Illinois Statewide Marriage Index

Illinois Statewide Death Index, 1916–1950

Illinois Public Domain Land Tract Sales Database

Federal Township Plats of Illinois

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Kankakee 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. Wikipedia contributors, "Jersey County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kankakee_County,_Illinois 04/17/2017.
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002), 195. (FHL Collection Ref Book 973 D27e 2002). WorldCat entry.
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Kankakee County, Illinois," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kankakee_County%2C_Illinois, accessed 19 March 2020.