Williamson County, Illinois Genealogy

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

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

Williamson County, Illinois
Map of Illinois highlighting Williamson 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: February 28, 1839
County Seat Marion
Williamson County Courthouse.gif
Address Williamson County Courthouse
200 West Jefferson Street
Marion, IL 62959
(618) 997-1301
Williamson County Website

Williamson County Organization[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1879 1839 1877 1840 1818 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 Williamson County are kept, see the Williamson County Courthouse page.

1910 Panorama View of Public Square, Marion, Illinois

Historical Facts[edit | edit source]

Williamson County, Illinois is named for Williamson County, Tennessee because of the many settlers who originated from that area.

1839--Williamson County was created 28 February 1839 from Franklin County.
County seat: Marion [2]

Description[edit | edit source]

The county was named for Williamson County, Tennessee. The county seat is Marion and the county was organized on February 28, 1839. [3]The County is located in the area of the state known as Little Egypt.[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 MapofUS.org website.

The present area of Williamson County, or parts of it, were at one time included in the following counties[5]:

1818–1839 Franklin
1816–1818 Jackson
1812–1818 Gallatin
1812–1816 Johnson
1795–1816 Randolph
1790–1801 Knox, Northwest Territory

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

1875 On 30 May, a fire burned the courthouse and some records were lost or damaged.

For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:

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

Records and Resources[edit | edit source]

Williamson County Illinois Historical Society Their official website is located at www.wcihs.org which includes historical information on the towns,​ people and points of interest of Williamson County.

Marion, Illinois is the county seat. Their website is http://www.mihp.org/

Biography[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Williamson 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 4,457
1850 7,216 61.9%
1860 12,205 69.1%
1870 17,329 42.0%
1880 19,324 11.5%
1890 22,226 15.0%
1900 27,796 25.1%
1910 45,098 62.2%
1920 61,092 35.5%
1930 53,880 −11.8%
1940 51,424 −4.6%
1950 48,621 −5.5%
1960 46,117 −5.2%
1970 49,021 6.3%
1980 56,538 15.3%
1990 57,733 2.1%
2000 61,296 6.2%
2010 66,357 8.3%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

Illinois Counties 1900-1990

1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 federal population schedules of Williamson County are available online. For tips on accessing census records online, see Illinois Census.

See Williamson County, IL census assignments, including links to transcribed files. The USGenWeb Census Project.

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, Williamson County on page 188.]

Church Records[edit | edit source]

List of Churches and Church Parishes

A chapter on early Williamson County, Illinois church history appears in an 1887 local history, available for free online, beginning on page 515.

Histories of early churches in the county appear in:

See also:

Baptist[edit | edit source]

Catholic[edit | edit source]

FamilySearch has made parish records from four Belleville Diocese Catholic churches in Williamson County available online (free registration is required). The records include first communions, confirmations, marriages, and deaths:

Christian[edit | edit source]

  • Abney, Ella Lorine Rogers et al. Membership and Friends, First Christian Church: Disciples of Christ. Marion, Ill.: First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ, Marion, Ill.), 1999. FHL Book 977.3993/M1 K2ae.
  • Lake Creek Christian Church. Church Records, 1892-1897. MSS. Copy: FHL Film 966139 Item 9.

Church of Christ[edit | edit source]

Disciples of Christ[edit | edit source]

Methodist[edit | edit source]

Court Records[edit | edit source]

1840–Present Original Court records are available at the Williamson County, Illinois Courthouse. See Illinois Court Records for information about how to use county court records.

The following records are abstracted:

Ethnic Research[edit | edit source]

African American[edit | edit source]

United States African Americans Gotoarrow.png Illinois African Americans

Genealogy[edit | edit source]

It is anticipated that this bibliography will eventually identify all known family histories published about residents of this county. Use this list to:

  • Locate publications about direct ancestors
  • Find the most updated accounts of an ancestor's family
  • Identify publications, to quote Elizabeth Shown Mills, about an ancestor's "FAN Club" [Friends, Associates, and Neighbors]

Message Boards[edit | edit source]

General[edit | edit source]

Parks' collection is a great place to learn if genealogists have studied your Williamson County family in the past:

The following collections contain genealogies about many families in the county:

  • Crain, Charles L. and Barbara Crain. Whose Family Line Is It ... Anyway: A Brief History of the Crain, Snider, Burkitt, Plumlee, Shingleton and Isom Families in Franklin, Williamson and Surrounding Counties in Southern Illinois. n.p.: C.L. Crain, 2001. FHL CD-ROM no. 772.
  • Grisham, Violet Lee Carter. My Williamson County Pioneer Kinfolks and Descendants. Marion, Ill.: V.L.C. Grisham, 1995. FHL Book 929.273 G919gva.
  • Lind, Helen Sutt, Charla Schroeder Murphy, et al. The Barham Connection: Barham Cemetery Inscriptions and Family Genealogy. 1997? FHL Book 977.3993/M1 V3L.
  • Malone, Daisy Hearne Roberts. A Group of Family Trees of the Early Settlers of Corinth Township, Williamson County, Illinois and Allied Families. Pueblo, Colo.: Rocky Mountain Bank Note Co., 1939. FHL Book 977.3993/C1 D2m

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

  • [Bohannan] Cotton, Yvonne Bohannan. The Bohannan Family: Ancestors and Descendants of John Ervin and Sarah Bohannan. Glen Rose, Texas: Y.B. Cotton, n.d. FHL Book 929.273 B634c.
  • [Carter] Grisham, Violet Lee Carter. Charles T. Carter, Revolutionary Soldier Whose Children Came to Southern Illinois: Their Related Families, Cunningham, Owens, Croslin, Aikin, Gregory. Marion, Ill.: Violet Grisham, 1994. FHL Book 929.273 C245g
  • [Childers]. Cast a Long Shadow: A Saga of Three Generations of a Southern Illinois Family, Reaching from Williamson County to Belgaum, India. Wilmore, Ky.: R. Seamands, 1994. FHL Book 929.273 C437sr; digital version at Family History Archives.
  • [Cox] Cox, Avis E. and Marion R. Cox. From the Banks of the Dan, a Cox Family Genealogy. Winona, Minn.: A.E. and M.R. Cox, 1994. FHL Book 929.273 C839fc.
  • [Culbreath] Green, John Stinson. Leroy Culbreath and Mary Fulk of Williamson County, Illinois and Stafford County, Kansas. Wichita, Kan.: J.S. Green, 199-?. FHL Fiche 6004641; digital version at Family History Archives.
  • [DeBose], Donald F. Descendants of Isaiah Debose. Carterville, Ill.: D.F. Shrake, 2005. FHL CD-ROM no. 2442.
  • [Duncan] "Descendants of James Frank Duncan," in Effie Maria McFarland Genealogical Collection. MSS. Microfilmed 2002. FHL VAULT Film 1574106 Item 1.
  • [Goddard] Moore, Mary Jo. The Goddard, Spiller, Goodall Connection. Marion, Ill.: M.J. Moore, 1997. FHL Book 929.273 G541m.
  • [Grove] Grisham, Violet Lee Carter. Pioneers to Williamson County, Illinois, George Zacharias and Isaac Groves and Their Descendants. Marion, Ill.: V.L.C. Grisham, 199-?. FHL Book 929.273 Z11c.
  • [Groves] Grisham, Violet Lee Carter. Legends in the New World - The Beginnings. Marion, Ill.: V. Grisham, 1991. FHL Book 929.273 G887g.
  • [Groves] Grisham, Violet Lee Carter and Edward Dean Grisham. Time Traveler. Marion, Ill.: V. Grisham, 1994. FHL Book 929.273 G919gv.
  • [Howell] Howell, Frank R. Historical Sketch of the Howell Family and Biography of William Marion Howell, 1845-1927. Typescript, 1946. FHL Film 960427 Item 9.
  • [Jeter] Jeter, Loren E. and Jeanette Feltl Jeter. Who Am I? A Jeter Family Saga. Cottonwood, Ariz.: L.E. Jeter, Sr., 1989. FHL Book 921.73 J511j.
  • [Klope] Grisham, Violet Lee Carter. Legends in the New World - The Beginnings. Marion, Ill.: V. Grisham, 1991. FHL Book 929.273 G887g.
  • [Potter] Moore, Mary Jo. The Potter Family Tragedy. Marion, Ill.: Williamson County Historical Society & Museum, 1996. FHL Book 929.273 P851m.
  • [Pritchett] "John & Amelia (Mosley) Prichett, TN-Williamson Co., IL," in Doris Melissa Pritchett Horlacher, Pritchett in America, Waller, Pritchard, Prickett, Phelan, 1987. Orem, Utah: Horlacher & Sons, 1987. FHL Film 1421821 Item 9.
  • [Pritchett] Stephens-Dewey, Wanda Dolores. Pritchett Family, 1827-1999: Including Ramsey, Franklin, Coffman, Pryor, Stephens. [Fort Wayne, Texas: W.D. Stephens-Dewey, 1999?]. FHL Book 929.273 P939sd.
  • [Rich] Abney, Ella Lorine Rogers. William Rich and His Descendants of Southern Illinois. Marion, Ill.: E.L. Abney, 2000. FHL Book 929.273 R379a.
  • [Spiller] Gottschalk, Kathrine Cox. The Spiller Family of Prince William County, Virginia; Robertson County, Tennessee; Williamson County, Illinois. Typescript. Microfilmed 1972. FHL Film 896608 Item 2
  • [Spiller] Moore, Mary Jo. The Goddard, Spiller, Goodall Connection. Marion, Ill.: M.J. Moore, 1997. FHL Book 929.273 G541m
  • [Stilley] Stilley, William Douglas. The William Davis Stilley and Nancy Swofford-Stilley Family History and Genealogy. Raytown, Mo.: W.D. Stilley, 1980. FHL Book 929.273 St54sti.
  • [Tanner] Tanner, John W. Six James Tanners. Typescript, Williamson County Historical Society, Ill. Microfilmed 1974. FHL Film 966149 Item 2.
  • [Walker] Keyser, Helen Walker Linsenmeyer. Illinois Pioneer, Matthew Moore Walker, and Descendants. Mountain, Home, Ark.: H.W.L. Keyser, 1993. FHL Book 929.273 W153k; digital version at Family History Archives.
  • [Ward] Abney, Ella Lorine Rogers. The Ward Family. Marion, Ill.: E. Abney, 1985. FHL Book 929.273 W21a.
  • [Zacharias] Grisham, Violet Lee Carter. Pioneers to Williamson County, Illinois, George Zacharias and Isaac Groves and Their Descendants. Marion, Ill.: V.L.C. Grisham, 199-?. FHL Book 929.273 Z11c.

History[edit | edit source]

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

The 1876 local history is also available at Ancestry ($).

  • History of Gallatin, Saline, Hamilton, Franklin, and Williamson Counties, Illinois: From the Earliest Time to the Present, Together with Sundry and Interesting Biographical Sketches, Notes, Reminiscences, etc., etc. Chicago: The Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1887. Digital versions at Ancestry ($) (1967 reprint); Internet Archive.
  • Centennial History of McKendree College. 1928. Digital version at The USGenWeb Project. Includes chapters on St. Clair's history under French rule, under British rule, under American rule, and information about early settlers.

Land and Property[edit | edit source]

See Illinois Land and Property for more information.

1836-present The original land and property records for Williamson County are held by the County Recorder. See the Williamson County Courthouse page for contact information. The following copies are available:

The following abstracts are available:

Online Resources

Maps[edit | edit source]

Perry CountyFranklin CountyHamilton CountySaline CountyPope CountyJohnson CountyUnion CountyJackson CountyIL WILLIAMSON.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Military[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War[edit | edit source]

Veterans of the Revolutionary War settled in Williamson County.

Gotoarrow.png See also Census

War of 1812[edit | edit source]

Veterans of the War of 1812 settled in Williamson County.

  • List of Pensioners on the Roll, January 1, 1883; Giving the Name of Each Pensioner, the Cause for Why Pensioned, the Post-Office Address, the Rate of Pension Per Month, and the Date of Original Allowance... Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1883. FHL Book 973 M2Lp v. 3; digital versions at Google Books and Internet Archive. [See Vol. 3, Illinois, Williamson County, pp. 640-642. Identifies War of 1812 and other veterans living in the county in 1883.]

Civil War[edit | edit source]

Civil War service men from Williamson 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 Williamson County.

- 9th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company G.
- 29th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company E.
- 31st Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies C and E.
- 56th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company E.
- 60th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company E.
- 81st Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies E, G and H.
- 107th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company G.
- 110th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company C.
- 120th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company G.
- 128th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, and I.

World War I[edit | edit source]

  • Baird, S. S. Williamson County, Illinois, in the World War: Containing a Brief Review of the World War, Complete History of Williamson County's Activities, Photographs and Service Records of Williamson County's Soldiers, Sailors and Marines, Industrial Review of Business and Professional Firms Who Have Made This History Possible. Marion: Williamson County War History Society, c1919. Digital versions at Ancestry ($); Internet Archive.

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Online Records

Newspapers and Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Information about the following newspapers is available through the Illinois Newspapers Project:

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Online Probate Indexes and Records

For more information about probate records see Illinois Probate Records.

1840–present The original probate records for Williamson County are held by the Circuit Court Clerk.  See the Williamson County Courthouse page for contact information. The following copies are available:

The following abstracts are available:

  • 1847–1872 Grisham, Violet Lee Carter. Williamson County, Il. Wills, Book A.(Marion, Illinois):V.L.C.Grisham, 1998. WorldcatFHL Book 977.3993 P2g
  • 1898–1911 Murphy, Charla Schroeder. Probate Book C, Circuit Clerk's Office: Administrators Book A, County Clerk's Office, Williamson County, Illinois. S.l: C.S. Murphy, 2004.Worldcat FHL Book 977.3993 P2mc

Online Resources

  • 1853–1919 Probate records are also available in Illinois, Probate Records, 1819-1970. Click on the browse through images link, select Williamson County, and select the record type you are interested in.

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 Williamson County are kept, see the Williamson 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. Southern Illinois University houses the records for Williamson County.

Public Libraries[edit | edit source]

Social Groups Online[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

  • Herrin Area Historical Society
    PO Box 127
    Herrin, IL 62948
  • Marion Illinois History Preservation
  • Williamson County Historical Society
    Museum and Genealogy Library
    105 S. Van Buren St.
    Marion, Illinois 62959
    Phone Number 618-997-5863

Taxation[edit | edit source]

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

See also How to order Illinois Vital Records or order electronically online.

Births[edit | edit source]

1877–present - The original Williamson County birth records 1877-present are housed at the County Clerk's office. The following copies are available:

The following abstracts are available:

Marriage[edit | edit source]

1839–present - The original Williamson County marriage records 1877-present are housed at the County Clerk's office.
Copies of marriage licenses and other marriage records are available through the Illinois Regional Archives Depository system at Southern Illinois University. How to use IRAD

  • 1839–1870 Marriage Licenses, 1839- 1870 IRAD-SIU 6/0325/09
  • 1839–1916 Marriage Record, 1839-1916 IRAD-SIU 6/0325/07
  • 1865–1885 Marriage Record Index 1865-1885 IRAD-SIU 6/0325/06

Other copies of marriage records:

The following abstracts are available:

  • 1830–1850 Illinois USGenWeb Archives
  • 1839–1853, 1865  Winget, Judy Walley. Williamson County, Illinois marriages, 1839 to 1853 and 1865; Pope County, Illinois marriages, 1826 to 1845; Johnson County, Illinois marriages, 1857 to 1860. S.P.: Saline County Genealogical Society (Illinois), 1984. Worldcat FHL Book 977.399 V2w
  • 1839–1902 Hoffard, Gay Roberson and Joyce Stephens Smith.Marriages on Record in Marion, Williamson County, Illinois Courthouse. Marion, Illinois: Williamson County Historical Society [Illinois], 1988. WorldcatFHL Book 977.3993 V2h Vol. 1-5

The Williamson County Marriage Project is a user-contributed listing of about 600 Williamson County marriages. Many listings include e-mail contact information for the individual who contributed the information.

Deaths[edit | edit source]

The following abstracts are available:

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), Williamson 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).
  3. Genealogy Trails History Group, “Williamson County, Illinois Genealogy and History”, http://genealogytrails.com/ill/williamson/ accessed 04/20/2017.
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Williamson County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Williamson_County,_Illinois 08/19/2022
  5. "Williamson County Fact Sheet." The Official Web site for Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Mar. 2011. http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/archives/irad/williamson.html
  6. Wikipedia contributors, "Williamson County, Illinois," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Williamson_County,_Illinois, accessed 10 March 2020.