Mercer County, Illinois Genealogy

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

Mercer County, Illinois
Boundary map of Mercer County, Illinois
Map of the U.S. highlighting Illinois
Location of Illinois in the U.S.
Founded: January 13, 1825
County Seat Aledo
Mercer County Courthouse.gif
Photo courtesy Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD), Illinois State Archives
Address Mercer County Courthouse
P.O. Box 66
Aledo, IL 61231
Mercer County Website

Mercer County Organization[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1857 1835 1877 1835 1833 1835 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 Mercer County are kept, see the Mercer County Courthouse page.

Historical Facts[edit | edit source]

Hugh Mercer, Jr.jpg

Mercer County is named for Hugh Mercer who was a General of the Revolution and a close friend to George Washington. He died as a result of wounds received in battle during the Battle of Princeton. [2]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

  • 1825--Mercer County was created 13 January 1825 from unorganized territory and Pike County. County seat: Aledo [3]

Description[edit | edit source]

The county was named for Hugh Mercer (1726–1777), a physician and general during the American Revolution who died from wounds suffered at the Battle of Princeton. The county seat is Aledo and the county was organized on January 13, 1825.[4] The County is located in the West area 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.

Records 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

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Records and Resources[edit | edit source]

Biography[edit | edit source]

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

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Mercer, Illinois online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
TombstoneTranscriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See Illinois Cemeteries for more information

The following web sites have additional information on Mercer county cemeteries.

  • The Mercer County Cemeteries by Illinois State Genealogical Society's "Cemetery Location Project" has identified many cemeteries.

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1830 26
1840 2,352 8946.2%
1850 5,246 123.0%
1860 15,042 186.7%
1870 18,769 24.8%
1880 19,502 3.9%
1890 18,545 −4.9%
1900 20,945 12.9%
1910 19,723 −5.8%
1920 18,800 −4.7%
1930 16,641 −11.5%
1940 17,701 6.4%
1950 17,374 −1.8%
1960 17,149 −1.3%
1970 17,294 0.8%
1980 19,286 11.5%
1990 17,290 −10.3%
2000 16,957 −1.9%
2010 16,434 −3.1%
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, Mercer 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.

  • The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois has a Mercer County edition. Church information can be found in the township histories beginning on page 658. See the wiki article for links to available copies and indexes.

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]

African American[edit | edit source]

The following have information concerning African American research.

Genealogy[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

  • History of Mercer and Henderson Counties Together with Biographical Matter, Statistics, Etc. Chicago, Illinois: H.H. Hill and Company, 1882. FHL fiche 6071026; digital versions at Ancestry ($), and Internet Archive (free)
  • Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Mercer County. Chicago: Munsell Pub. Co., 1903. Digital version at Ancestry ($).

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 through online sources, the Family History Library or the Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD) located at the Western Illinois University (WIU) - search for Mercer County records. For information on how to use IRAD see the WIU IRAD Wiki page.


Copies of original records

Online Resources

Maps[edit | edit source]

Muscatine CountyLouisa CountyDes Moines CountyHenderson CountyWarren CountyKnox CountyHenry CountyRock Island CountyIL MERCER.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Military[edit | edit source]

Civil War[edit | edit source]

Civil War service men from Mercer 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 Mercer County.

- 9th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company E.
- 17th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company I.
- 26th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company C.
- 27th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company G.
- 30th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies A and G.
- 37th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company A.
- 45th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company I.
- 65th Regiment, Illinois Infantry (Scotch Regiment), Company B.
- 83rd Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company D.
- 84th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company H.
- 102nd Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies A, C, E, G and K.
- 124th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company G.
- 126th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company B.
- 140th Regiment, Illinois Infantry (100 days, 1864), Company F.

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 and Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Poorhouse[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Online Probate Indexes and Records

Original estates and wills are held in the office of the Circuit Court Clerk. See Illinois Probate Records for more information about using 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 Mercer County are kept, see the Mercer 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

There are over 4500 Introduction to Family History Centers in more than 80 countries offering public access to genealogical records from all over the world. Family History Centers provide patrons with access to over a billion online records and approximately 2.5 million circulating microfilms. Centers are staffed by local volunteers who are eager to provide genealogical research assistance. Currently there are no Family History Centers located directly in Mercer County. To find the nearest Family History Center, check out the Family Search Centers page on the website.

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. Western Illinois University houses the records for Mercer County.

Public Libraries[edit | edit source]

Aledo Mercer Carnegie Public Library District
200 N. College Av.
Aledo, IL 61231
Telephone: 309-582-2032
Fax: 309-582-5155

New Windsor Public Library District
412 Main Street
New Windsor, IL 61465
Telephone: 309-667-2515

Sherrard Library District
200 5th Avenue
Sherrard, IL 61281
Telephone: 309-593-2178
Fax: 309-593-2179

Social Groups Online[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Mercer County Historical Society
PO Box 269
1406 South 2nd Avenue
Aledo 61231-2504
Phone 309-582-2280

Under the direction of the Mercer County Historical Society, the Essley-Noble Museum, houses their Genealogy Division.
It is is a friendly and well staffed resource for the county.They specialize in having an INDEXED cross-referenced obituary collection,
back to early publication dates of the local papers. They also have microfilm available for these papers.
In 2010 they completed a cemetery project for the county. It has GPS locations for the cemeteries,
particularly useful when trying to locate the small and hidden township cemeteries.
Currently the museum is collecting civil war veteran photos, biographies, and histories from Illinois, specifically in Mercer County.
These resources are well worth a visit.

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 until the year 1916 are kept by the Mercer 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 usually kept by the County Clerk from the establishment of the county to the present. Original divorce records are generally in the office of the Circuit Court Clerk.

Births[edit | edit source]

Marriages[edit | edit source]

Online Resources

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), Mercer 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. Hugh Mercer
  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, “Mercer County, Illinois Genealogy and History”, accessed 04/18/2017.
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Mercer County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Illinois 04/18/2017.
  6. Wikipedia contributors, "Mercer County, Illinois," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Illinois, accessed 21 March 2020.