Macon County, Illinois Genealogy

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

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

Macon County, Illinois
Boundary map of Macon County, Illinois
Map of the U.S. highlighting Illinois
Location of Illinois in the U.S.
Founded: January 19, 1829
County Seat Decatur
Macon County Courthouse.gif
Photo courtesy Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD), Illinois State Archives
Address Macon County Courthouse
253 East Wood Street
Decatur, Illinois 62523
Macon County Website

Macon County Information[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1850 1829 1877 1829 1827 1831 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 Macon County are kept, see the Macon County Courthouse page.

Historical Facts[edit | edit source]

Nathaniel Macon

The county is named after U.S. Senator Nathaniel Macon (1758-1837).[2]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

  • 1829--Macon County was created 19 January 1829 from Shelby County.
    County seat:  Decatur [3]

Description[edit | edit source]

The county was named for Nathaniel Macon, who served as a Colonel in the Revolutionary War. Macon later served as senator from North Carolina until his resignation in 1828. The county seat is Decatur and the county was organized on January 19, 1829.[4] The County is located in the central part of the state.[5]

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 website.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

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

Places / 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
Census-designated places
Ghost towns
  • Chapin
  • Faries Park

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Records and Resources[edit | edit source]

Biography[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Macon 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.
1830 1,122
1840 3,039 170.9%
1850 3,988 31.2%
1860 13,738 244.5%
1870 26,481 92.8%
1880 30,665 15.8%
1890 38,083 24.2%
1900 44,003 15.5%
1910 54,186 23.1%
1920 65,175 20.3%
1930 81,731 25.4%
1940 84,693 3.6%
1950 98,853 16.7%
1960 118,257 19.6%
1970 125,010 5.7%
1980 131,375 5.1%
1990 117,206 −10.8%
2000 114,706 −2.1%
2010 110,768 −3.4%
Source: "".

Church Records[edit | edit source]

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Church records may give birth, death and marriage information as well as indictate family relationships. See Illinois Church Records for more ideas about how to use church records in your research. Many libraries (WorldCat) and the Family History Library hold abstracts of church records for Macon County. Learn more about how to search WorldCat and the FamilySearch Catalog.

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 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 Macon County records. For information on how to use IRAD see the UIS IRAD Wiki page.

Copies of Original Records

  • 1829-1904 Circuit Court Case Files including Criminal Files IRAD-UIS
  • 1830-1848 Circuit Court Record IRAD-UIS
  • 1831-1848 Court record, Vol. A-B FHL Film 985764
  • 1857-1871 Justice of the Peace Dockets IRAD-UIS
  • 1831-1866 Circuit Court Execution Files IRAD-UIS
  • 1869-1869 Circuit Court Dockets, Common Law IRAD-UIS
  • 1872-1934 County Court Record IRAD-UIS
  • 1878-1881 Circuit Court Cockets IRAD-UIS
  • 1883-1892 County Court Dockets IRAD-UIS
  • 1893-1910 County Court Judgment Record IRAD-UIS
  • 1893-1906 Insanity and Conservator's Record IRAD-UIS
  • 1893-1910 Insanity Dockets IRAD-UIS
  • 1895-1926 Insanity Record IRAD-UIS
  • 1899-1909 County Court Dockets, Criminal IRAD-UIS
  • 1900-1933 County Court Miscellaneous Record IRAD-UIS


Online Resources

Ethnic Research[edit | edit source]

African American[edit | edit source]

The following have information concerning African American research.

Genealogy[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 Macon County records. For information on how to use IRAD see the UIS IRAD Wiki page.

Online Resources

  • BLM GLO Records. Search original land patents for Macon 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 ($)
  • 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.

Copies of original records

Additional Resources

Additional resources for Macon 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]

Logan CountyDeWitt CountyPiatt CountyMoultrie CountyShelby CountyChristian CountySangamon CountyIL MACON.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Library Records[edit | edit source]

Military[edit | edit source]

Civil War[edit | edit source]

Civil War service men from Macon 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 Macon County.

- 7th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Company I.
- 8th Regiment, Illinois Infantry (3 months, 1861), Companies A and B.
- 8th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies A and B.
- 21st Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company A.
- 41st Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company A and E.
- 63rd Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company H.
- 70th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company E.
- 115th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company F.
- 116th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies A, B, C, D, E, G, I, and K.
- 145th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company E.
- 150th Regiment, Illinois Infantry (1 year, 1865), Company I.
- 152nd Regiment, Illinois Infantry (1 year, 1865), Company K.

World War II[edit | edit source]

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Online Records

Newspapers and Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Historic and have digitized dozens of historic Macon County newspapers. Cyndi's List provides a detailed list.


The website of the Decatur Herald & Review provides free access to birth and death notices published in the newspaper since 1997.

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Online Probate Indexes and Records

Original probate records are usually held by the circuit court clerk. Probate records include wills, inventories, settlements, and guardianship records. Copies of probate records are held at IRAD. Explore how to search IRAD–UIS. The following copies are available at IRAD–UIS and in the FamilySearch Catalog:

In addition, IRAD maintains an online index to

Other abstracted probate records for Macon County can be explored through a subject search of the FamilySearch Catalog (Probate Records), FamilySearch Catalog(Probate indexes) and WorldCat.

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 Macon County are kept, see the Macon 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.

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 Macon 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]

Barclay Public Library
220 S. Main St.
P.O. Box 349
Warrensburg, Illinois 62573
Office 217-672-3621

They have a wide variety of genealogy and local history resources.
They are also digitizing their collection, which can be accessed online and in the library.
Be sure to view the Genealogical section on their site.

Decatur Public Library
130 N. Franklin St.
Decatur, IL 62523
Phone:(217) 424-2900 Ext. 7

Shilling Local History Room has newspapers, obituary index, cemetery listings, local directories. Call ahead for times.
A wiki article describing the online collection is found at:
Illinios Macon County, Decatur Public Library Collections (FamilySearch Historical Records)

Maroa Public Library
305 E. Garfield Street
Maroa, IL 61756
Phone (217)794-5111
Prairie Post Online Obituary Index

Social Groups Online[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

  • Decatur Genealogical Society and Library
    PO Box 1548
    1255 W. South Side Drive
    Decatur, Illinois 62525-1548
    Phone Number: 217-429-0135

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 and death certificates recorded since 1877 are kept by the Macon 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 1829 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 Macon County records in the Local Governmental Records Holdings Database . For information on how to use IRAD see the IRAD–UIS Wiki page.

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

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Death[edit | edit source]

Macon County records are not included in the Pre–1916 Statewide Death Index at IRAD. Online Resources

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Websites[edit | edit source]

A wiki article describing an online collection is found at:

Illinois, Macon County, Decatur Pubic Library Collections - FamilySearch Historical Records

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Macon 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. "Nathaniel Macon", Wikipedia.
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002), 196. (FHL Collection Ref Book 973 D27e 2002). WorldCat entry.
  4. Genealogy Trails History Group, “LOGAN, Illinois Genealogy and History”, accessed 04/17/2017.
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "LOGAN County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Illinois 04/17/2017.
  6. Wikipedia contributors, "Macon County, Illinois," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Illinois, accessedMarch 2020.