Edwards County, Illinois Genealogy

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
United States
Edwards County

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


Edwards County, Illinois
Map of Illinois highlighting Edwards County
Location in the state of Illinois
Map of the U.S. highlighting Illinois
Location of Illinois in the U.S.
Founded: November 28, 1814
County Seat Albion
Edwards County Courthouse.gif
Address Edwards County Courthouse
50 E. Main Street
Albion, Illinois 62806
(618) 445-2115

County Organization

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1877 1815 1877 1815 1827 1827 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 Edwards County are kept, see the Edwards County Courthouse page.

Historical Facts

Ninian Edwards.png
Edwards County is named for Ninian Edwards who was the Governor of the Illinois Territory (1809-1818) and third Governor of the State of Illinois (1826-1830). His son Ninian Edwards Jr., is married to Elizabeth Todd, sister of Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of Abraham Lincoln.


The county was named for Ninian Edwards, the Territorial Governor of Illinois. The county seat is Albion and the county was organized on 1814.[2] The County is located in the south-eastern part of the state.[3]

Boundary Changes

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.

  • 28 November 1814: -- Edwards County was created 28 November 1814 from Madison and Gallatin Counties. [4]

Record Loss

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

Records and Resources



Cemeteries of Edwards, 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


For information and tips on accessing census records online, see Illinois Census.

Historical populations
Census Pop.
IL Counties 1900-1990




  • 1880 census by the United States of America of Edwards County Illinois, pub. 1981 WorldCat 8343939



Centennial Celebrations, etc

Edwards County sesquicentennial 1814-1964; pub. 1964?; Edwards County Historical Society FHL Book 977.3791 H2e

Church History

Churches of Edwards County; pub. 19??; WorldCat 38125327, FHL Book 977.3 A1 no. 127, FHL film 983673 Item 3

Court Records

Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic Research

African American

The following have information concerning African American research.

Funeral Homes

Ingram Funeral Home records, 1939-1971, Albion, Illinois; filmed 2005 FHL Film 1426344-1426345
note: the records were filmed in Wayne County, Illinois courthouse.


A History of Edwards County, Illinois; pub. 1980, 1993 FHL Books 977.3791 H2h v. 1 and 2

Mailing Lists

Message Boards




Land and Property

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 Eastern Illinois University - search for Edwards County records. For information on how to use IRAD see the EIU IRAD Wiki page.

Unlike most Illinois counties, Edwards is divided into Road Districts, as opposed to Townships found in other counties.

Copies of Original Records

  • 1815–1888 Deed Indexes, Deed Record 1815-1890 FHL 16 films
    Deed records
    Warranty deeds
  • 1815-1978 Deed Record IRAD-EIU
  • 1888–1900 Grantee and Grantor Index FHL film 1418412 Items 2-3
  • 1888-1899 Deed Index IRAD-EIU
  • 1890-1902 Land and Deed Records FHL films 1418412-1418414
    Deed records
  • 1855–1874 Land Records, 1855-1874 FHL film 1688788 Item 1 Record of swamp and overflow lands
  • 1874 Plat Record, Original Survey IRAD-EIU


  • 1814 Edwards County Historical Society. Original Land Sales, Edwards County, Illinois, beginning 1814. Albion, Illinois: Edwards County Historical Society (IL), 1983. WorldCat 13860466, FHL book 977.3791 R2

Online Resources

  • 1816–1865 Deed Grantee Index Genealogy Trails
  • 1800s – Present - Use the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Land Patent Index to obtain original federal land transfer records, including homestead, military warrants, and cash entry patents. These records help a researcher establish location and lead to National Archives’ records which may include genealogical information. Earlier land transfer records are at the National Archives.


Richland CountyLawrence CountyWabash CountyWhite CountyWayne CountyIndianaIL EDWARDS.PNG
About this image
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Military History and Records

War of 1812

Some Military Land Grants USGenWeb Archives

Blackhawk War

Detachment of Capt. Hunter's Company, Detachment of Capt. Champion S. Mading's Company, Captain Solomon Hunter's Detachment USGenWeb Archives

Indian Wars

Some Military Land Grants USGenWeb Archives

Civil War

Civil War service men from Edwards 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 Edwards County.

- 6th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Company E.
- 7th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Company E.
- 26th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company G.
- 38th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company I.
- 40th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company I.
- 56th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company H.
- 63rd Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company B.
- 87th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies B and H.
- 136th Regiment, Illinois Infantry (100 days, 1864), Company H.
- 152nd Regiment, Illinois Infantry (1 year, 1865), Company F.

World War II

Army Enlistment Records USGenWeb Archives


1883 Pension Roll USGenWeb Archives

Naturalization and Citizenship

Online Records


  • Index to the newspapers, Albion Journal and Albion Pioneer, 1869-1906, filmed 1975 FHL film 983671 Item 1
  • Gleanings of old newspapers, pub. 2009 WorldCat 672352608
    Newspaper clippings from various newspapers in Clay, Richland, Edwards, Lawrence, Wabash and Wayne Counties in Illinois. Include obituaries, birth announcements, weddings, court news and articles of general interest on those counties.
  • USGenWeb Archives


Photographs and Post Cards

Probate Records

Online Probate Records

For information and tips about records, see IRAD-EIU

1817–present — The original Edwards county probate records are housed at the County Courthouse.

  • 1815–1916 Probate Will Record; IRAD-EIU
  • 1815–1871 Probate Case Files; IRAD-EIU
  • 1831–1885 Probate Record; IRAD-EIU



County Courthouse

County records are most often kept at the County Courthouse or another local repository. For further information about where the records for Edwards County are kept, see the Edwards County Courthouse page.

Family History Centers

Family history centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes. See family history center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.

There are over 4500 Family History Centers worldwide which serve as branch facilities of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. Volunteers provide research assistance to help patrons identify their ancestors. Some microfilms may be available to view at various family history centers. Locate your nearest Family History Center at the FamilySearch website. Call ahead to verify operating hours. All are welcome.

The following centers are accessible to residents of Edwards County, Illinois:

Centralia Illinois Family History Center 
Leafland & 3rd Street
Centralia, Marion, Illinois
Phone: 618-532-3482
Hours: Wednesday 2-6pm
Attention: We have temporarily moved to this new location while our building is being remodeled.

Eldorado Illinois Family History Center
103 Grayson Rd
Eldorado, Saline, Illinois
Phone: 618-273-8172
Hours: By appointment. Please call 618-276-4283

Evansville Indiana Family History Center
8020 E Covert Ave
Evansville, Vanderburgh, Indiana
Phone: 812-471-0191
Hours: First Wednesday of every month 10:00 - 12:00, Tues & Wed evening 6:00 - 8:00; other times by appointment
Closed: Closed Major Holidays 

Vincennes Indiana Family History Center
1940 N Old Hwy 41
Vincennes, Knox, Indiana
Phone: 812-882-4022
Hours: T, Thu 9am-12:30pm, 5pm-8:30pm
Closed: Closed 1 1/2 weeks for Christmas

Please note: Addresses posted are not mailing addresses. Due to limited staff, Family History Centers are unable to respond to mail inquiries.

Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD)

The Eastern Illinois Regional Archives Depository is located at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston. See the IRAD–EIU wiki page for more about this depository and its holdings.

Public Libraries

Albion Public Library
6 North 4th Street
Albion, IL 62806
Phone: (618) 445-3314

West Salem Public Library
112 West South Street
West Salem, IL 62476
Phone: (618) 456-8970

SILNET (Southern Illinois Library Network)

The following libraries are outside of Edwards County, containing genealogical collections pertaining to the county.


Social Groups Online


  • Genealogical Society of Southern Illinois has a page with details about its' activities.


Vital Records

Gotoarrow.png Illinois Vital Records for more information. See also How to order Illinois Vital Records or order electronically online.


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


For information and tips about records, see IRAD-EIU

1815–present — The original Edwards County marriage records 1815-present are housed at the County Clerk's office. The following copies are available:

  • 1815–1968 Marriage Record; IRAD-EIU
  • 1815–1968 Index; IRAD-EIU

The following abstracts are available:

  • 1815–1844 Early marriages, includes index to 1831, and bride's index to 1844 FHL book 977.3791 V29
  • 1845–1855 Goodson, Lois Jean. Marriage Book B, Edwards County Illinois, 1845–1855: Complete Alphabetical Listing of Males and Females. Albion, Illinois: Edwards County Historical Society, 1992. FHL book 911.3791 V29
  • USGenWeb Archives


For information and tips about records, see IRAD-EIU

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

The following abstracts are available at state IRAD site:

Voting Registers



  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Edwards 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. Genealogy Trails History Group, “Edwards County, Illinois Genealogy and History”, http://genealogytrails.com/ill/edwards/ accessed 04/12/2017.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Edwards County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwards_County,_Illinois 04/012/2017.
  4. WorldCat 50140092, FHL Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed.] (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002)