Putnam County, Illinois Genealogy

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United States
Putnam County

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


Putnam County, Illinois
Boundary map of Putnam County, Illinois
Map of the U.S. highlighting Illinois
Location of Illinois in the U.S.
Founded: January 13, 1825
County Seat Hennepin
Putnam County Courthouse.gif
Photo courtesy Illinois Regional Archives Depository, Illinois State Archives
Address Putnam County Courthouse
120 N. 4th Street
Hennepin, Illinois 61327
(618) 664-0449

Putnam County Organization

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1878 1831 1878 1831 1831 1831 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 Putnam County are kept, see the Putnam County Courthouse page.

Historical Facts

Major General Israel Putnam
The county is named after Revolutionary War Major General Israel Putnam (1718-1790).[2]

Parent County

  • 1825--Putnam County was created 13 January 1825 from Fulton County.  County seat: Hennepin [3]


The county was named for Israel Putnam, who was a general in the American Revolution. The county seat is Hennepin and the county was organized on 1825. The County is located in the Central area of the state. [4]

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.

Record Loss

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

Places / Localities

Populated Places

Neighboring Counties

Records and Resources



Cemeteries of Putnam, 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 Putnam county cemeteries.


Historical populations
Census Pop.
IL Counties 1900-1990

Church Records

Church records may give birth, death and marriage information. It is usually best to locate church records with a search at a local level such as the city, town, or village.

Society of Friends (Quakers)

  • Franklin, Lucretia Smith, et al. 150 Years in Review of Clear Creek Families and Friends, Putnam County, Illinois. [Illinois]: Clear Creek Monthly Meeting, 1991. Includes minutes of the Society of Friends' (Quakers) Clear Creek Monthly Meeting beginning in 1841 and burials at Friends Cemetery.  Many libraries (WorldCat); FHL book 977.3375 H2f

Court Records

Original court records are held in the office of the Circuit Court Clerk. See Illinois Court Records for more information about using court records.

Putnam County Government courtesy Genealogytrails.com. Includes Township election results from 1872-1889, juror selection for 1858, delegates to the 1866 State Republican Convention, County officers for 1873 and more.

Ethnic Research

African American

The following have information concerning African American research.



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 or through the Family History Library.

Online Resources

  • 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 research establish location and lead to National Archives' records which may include genealogical information. Earlier land transfer records are housed at the National Archives.
  • 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 www.ancestry.com ($)

Additional Resources

Additional resources for Putnam 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.


Bureau CountyLaSalle CountyMarshall CountyIL PUTNAM.PNG
About this image
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Civil War

Civil War service men from Putnam 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 Putnam County.

- 4th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Company E.
- 20th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company H.
- 77th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company B.
- 123rd Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company E.
- 139th Regiment, Illinois Infantry (100 days, 1864), Company B.


Online Records

Newspapers and Obituaries

Probate Records

Online Probate Records


County Courthouse

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

Family History Center

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.

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.

You may search your address for a center near you on the FamilySearch site. The following center serves Putnam County:

Ottawa Illinois Family History Center
1377 Adams Street
Ottawa, Illinois
Telephone: (815) 431-0186

Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD)

The Illinois Regional Archives Depositories (IRAD), managed by the Illinois State Archives, houses 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 Northern Illinois University (IRAD-NIU) holds the records for Putnam County. Learn more about finding and using their records.

Illinois Regional Archives Depository
c/o Regional History Center
Founders Memorial Library, Room 400
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115
Telephone: (815) 753-1807

Public Libraries

Putnam County Public Library District
214 North Fourth St. Box 199
Hennepin, IL 61327
Telephone: (815) 925-7020

Social Groups Online


Putnam County Historical Society
327 Old Highway 26
1050 N
PO Box 74
Hennepin, IL 61327-0074
Telephone Number: 815-925-7560

Putnam County Historical Society
Village Hall
627 E. High St.
Hennepin, IL 61327
Telephone Number: 815-925-7138


Vital Records

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 Putnam 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.

The following abstracts and copies of original records may be accessed through online databases, the Family History Library and the Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD) located at the Northern Illinois University (NIU) - search for Putnam County records. For information on how to use IRAD see the IRAD Wiki page.

Birth Records

Marriage Records

Death Records



  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Putnam 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. "Putnam County, Illinois," Wikipedia.
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Putnam County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Putnam_County,_Illinois 04/19/2017.