Menard County, Illinois Genealogy

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

Menard County, Illinois
Boundary map of Menard County, Illinois
Map of the U.S. highlighting Illinois
Location of Illinois in the U.S.
Founded: February 15, 1839
County Seat Petersburg
Menard County Courthouse.gif
Photo courtesy Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD), Illinois State Archives
Address Menard County Courthouse
P.O. Box 465
Petersburg, Illinois 62675
(217) 632-3201
Menard County Website

Menard County Organization[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1877 1839 1877 1839 1839 1839 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 Menard County are kept, see the Menard County Courthouse page.

Historical Facts[edit | edit source]

Menard County is named for Pierre Menard who was the first Lieutenant Governor of Illinois.

Parent County[edit | edit source]

  • 1839--Menard County was created 15 February 1839 from Sangamon County.  County seat: Petersburg [2]

Description[edit | edit source]

The county was named for Pierre Menard, the first lieutenant governor of Illinois.. The county seat is Petersburg and the county was organized on February 15, 1839. The County is located in the Central area 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 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:[4]

Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Records and Resources[edit | edit source]

Biography[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Menard 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.
1840 4,431
1850 6,349 43.3%
1860 9,584 51.0%
1870 11,735 22.4%
1880 13,024 11.0%
1890 13,120 0.7%
1900 14,336 9.3%
1910 12,796 −10.7%
1920 11,694 −8.6%
1930 10,575 −9.6%
1940 10,663 0.8%
1950 9,639 −9.6%
1960 9,248 −4.1%
1970 9,685 4.7%
1980 11,700 20.8%
1990 11,164 −4.6%
2000 12,486 11.8%
2010 12,705 1.8%
Source: "".

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, Menard County on page 187.]

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 Menard County. Learn more about how to search WorldCat.


New Salem
The church appears to one of the first churches in the area. It was actually organized in 1829 prior to Menard County being formed. The church was known as Salem until 1832, then it was listed as "New Salem." More information can be found at Church and Family History Research Assistance for Menard County, Illinois.

Court Records[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]

History[edit | edit source]   Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site, about 2 miles South of Petersburg, is a reconstruction of the village where Abraham Lincoln spent his early adulthood.

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 Menard 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 Menard 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 ($)

Copies of original records

  • 1861-1867 Swamp Land Account Record IRAD-UIS
  • 1861-1870 Swamp Land Record IRAD-UIS

Additional Resources

Additional resources for Menard 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]

Mason CountyLogan CountySangamon CountyCass CountyIL MENARD.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Military[edit | edit source]

Civil War[edit | edit source]

Civil War service men from Menard 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 Menard County.

- 10th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Company A.
- 14th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company E.
- 28th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies F and K
- 71st Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company G.
- 85th Regiment, Illinois Infantry[5]
- 106th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company K.
- 114th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies F and K.
- 133rd Regiment, Illinois Infantry (100 days, 1864), Company I.
- 152nd Regiment, Illinois Infantry (1 year, 1865), Company A.

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Menard County naturalization records on file in the Menard County Courthouse are in delicate physical condition. Coverage is also not complete and consistent. Fortunately these records have been microfilmed. For preservation of the records and greater ease in using them, it is better to research using the microfilms at your closest Family History Center.

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. 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:

The following index is abstracted from Menard County probate records:

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 Menard County are kept, see the Menard 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]

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 Menard 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]

Libraries in Menard County belong to a consortium of libraries known as
the Illinois Heartland Library System (IHLS) which covers the southern part of the state.
The system includes academic, public, school, special, and system libraries

Petersburg Public Library
220 South 6th street
Phone - (217) 632-2807
Fax - (217) 632-2833

Athens Municipal Library
410 East Hargrave Street
Athens, IL 62613
Phone: (217) 636-8047

Social Groups Online[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

  • Menard County Historical society
    PO Box 531
    125 S 7th St
    Petersburg, IL 62675
    Phone 217-632-0202

[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 Menard 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 1839 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 Menard County records in the Local Governmental Records Holdings Database . For information on how to use IRAD see the IRAD–UIS Wiki page.

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

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage Records[edit | edit source]

Death Records[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), Menard 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. 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.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "McLean County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Illinois 04/18/2017.
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Menard County, Illinois," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Illinois, accessed 21 March 2020.
  5. Menard County Military and Veterans, Illinois Ancestors Presents Menard County.