Mason County, Illinois Genealogy

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

Mason County, Illinois
Boundary map of Mason County, Illinois
Map of the U.S. highlighting Illinois
Location of Illinois in the U.S.
Founded: January 20, 1841
County Seat Havana
Mason County Courthouse.gif
Photo courtesy Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD), Illinois State Archives
Address Mason County Courthouse
100 N. Broadway
Havana, Illinois 62644
(309) 543-6661
Mason County Website

Mason County Organization[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1878 1841 1878 1841 1841 1841 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 Mason County are kept, see the Mason County Courthouse page.

Historical Facts[edit | edit source]

Large numbers of Kentuckians settled in frontier Mason County, Illinois. The name of the county (Mason) is reminiscent of Mason County, Kentucky Genealogy - the previous residence of many pioneer settlers.[2]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

  • 1841--Mason County was created 20 January 1841 from Tazewell and Menard Counties.  County seat: Havana [3]

Description[edit | edit source]

The county was named for George Mason, a member of the Virginia legislature who campaigned for the adoption of the United States Bill of Rights. The county seat is Havana and the county was organized on 1841. The County is located in the Central part of the state.[4]

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:[5]

Unincorporated communities
  • Natrona
  • Poplar City
  • Saidora
  • Snicarte
  • Teheran
  • Union
Census-designated places

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Biography[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Mason 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.
1850 5,921
1860 10,931 84.6%
1870 16,184 48.1%
1880 16,242 0.4%
1890 16,067 −1.1%
1900 17,491 8.9%
1910 17,377 −0.7%
1920 16,634 −4.3%
1930 15,115 −9.1%
1940 15,358 1.6%
1950 15,326 −0.2%
1960 15,193 −0.9%
1970 16,161 6.4%
1980 19,492 20.6%
1990 16,269 −16.5%
2000 16,038 −1.4%
2010 14,666 −8.6%
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 state wiki article 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 Mason County. Learn more about how to search WorldCat and the FamilySearch Catalog.

The first preachers in Mason were the circuit riders: The Methodist and Baptists came early in the 1820s. Permanent churches in the area trace their origins to congregations orgnozed in the mid- 1800s.

A list of churches and a brief history of the churches in Mason County is at the Genealogy Trails website.



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 through the Family History Library or the Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD) located at the University of Illinois at Springfield - search for Mason County records. For information on how to use IRAD see the UIS IRAD Wiki page.

Copies of Original Records

  • 1830-1853 Circuit Court Dockets IRAD-UIS
  • 1839-1860 Circuit Court Execution Dockets IRAD-UIS
  • 1839-1860 Circuit Court Judgment Dockets IRAD-UIS
  • 1961-1963 Justice of the Peace Dockets IRAD-UIS


  • 1839-1963 Weaver, Jeanne Crain, Betty Gronewald, Susan Gronewald County Court records [Menard County, Illinois] (Petersburg, Illinois:Weaver Genealogical Publications, 1989) Other Libraries; FHL Book 977.3555 P22c
  • 1839-1971 Weaver, Jeanne Crain and Menard County (Illinois) Clerk of the Circuit Court Chancery court records, 1839-1971, Menard County, an index [Illinois] (Petersburg, Illinois:Weaver Genealogical Publications, 1991) Other Libraries; FHL Book 977.3555 P2c

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 Mason 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 Mason 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.
  • 1796–1907 U.S. General Land Office Records found at ($)

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 ($)

  • Mason County Federal Township Plats
  • 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 Mason 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]

Schuyler CountyFulton CountyTazewell CountyLogan CountyMenard CountyCass CountyIL MASON.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Military[edit | edit source]

Civil War[edit | edit source]

Civil War service men from Mason 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 Mason County.

- 2nd Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Companies C and M.
- 11th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Company L.
- 17th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company K.
- 27th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company E
- 28th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company A
- 38th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company G.
- 51st Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company F.
- 53rd Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company E.
- 85th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies A, B, C, D, and K.
-108th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company F.
- 139th Regiment, Illinois Infantry (100 days, 1864), Company I.

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Online Records

Newspapers and Obituaries[edit | edit source]

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. No copies of probate records are held at IRAD. Explore how to search IRAD–UIS. The following copies are available online and in 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 Mason County are kept, see the Mason County Courthouse page.

Family History Center[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 Mason 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.

Peoria Illinois Family History Center
3700 W. Reservoir Blvd.
Peoria, Illinois 61615

Macomb Illinois Family History Center
2000 W. Adams
Macomb, Illinois
Phone: 309-836-3201

Springfield Illinois Family History Center
3601 Buckeye Dr.
Springfield, Illinois 62707

Jacksonville Illinois Family History Center
1053 E. Vandalia Rd,
Jacksonville, Illinois 62650

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 Mason County. This 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]

Havana Public Library District
201 West Adams Street
Havana, IL 62644
Phone: (309) 543-4701

Forman Valley Public Library
404 1/2 South Harrison Street
Manito, IL 61546
Phone: (309) 968-6093

Mason City Public Library District
820 West Chestnut Street
Mason City, IL 62664
Phone: (217) 482-3799

Social Groups Online[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

  • Mason County Genealogical and Historical Society
    In the Havana Public Library
    201 West Adams Street
    Havana, IL 62644-1321
  • Mason City, Illinois Area and Family Historical Society
    Upstairs City Hall
    142 S Main Street
    Mason City, Illinois 62664
    Phone 217-971-5670

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 (1877) and death (1877) records are kept by the Mason 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 University of Illinois–Springfield(UIS). Search Mason County records in the Local Governmental Records Holdings Database. For information on how to use IRAD see the IRAD–UIS Wiki page.

Explore Mason County vital records and Mason County vital records indexesfound in the FamilySearch Catalog. Other libraries(at WorldCat) also hold copies of abstracted Mason County vital records. (How to explore WorldCat).

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Death[edit | edit source]

Mason County records are not included in th Pre–1916 Statewide Death Index at IRAD.

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), Mason 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. Hardin County Fact Sheet, Illinois State Archives, accessed May 28, 2011.
  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. Wikipedia contributors, "Mason County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Illinois 04/18/2017.
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Mason County, Illinois," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Illinois, accessed 22 March 2020.