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Shelby County, Illinois Genealogy

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

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Shelby County, Illinois
Map
Map of Illinois highlighting Shelby County
Location in the state of Illinois
Map of the U.S. highlighting Illinois
Location of Illinois in the U.S.
Facts
Founded: January 23, 1827
County Seat Shelbyville
Courthouse
Shelby County Courthouse.gif
Photo courtesy Illinois Regional Archives Depository, Illinois State Archives
Address Shelby County Courthouse
301 E. Main Street
Shelbyville, Illinois 62565
(217) 774-4421
Shelby County Website


Shelby County Organization[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1848 1827 1878 1827 1833 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 Shelby County are kept, see the Shelby County Courthouse page.

Historical Facts[edit | edit source]

Governor Isaac Shelby

The county is named after Kentucky's First Governor Isaac Shelby (1750-1826).[2]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

  • 1827--Shelby County was created 23 January 1827 from Fayette County.  County seat: Shelbyville [3]

Description[edit | edit source]

The county was named for Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky and hero of the Revolutionary War. The county seat is Shelbyville and the county was organized on 1827. [4]The County is located in the Central 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 MapofUS.org website.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

1894 Fire burned the courthouse on 17 November and destroyed or damaged some records. For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:

Places / Localities[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

Cowden
Findlay
Herrick
Moweaqua
Oconee
Shelbyville
Sigel
Stewardson
Strasburg
Tower Hill
Windsor

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Biography[edit | edit source]

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

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Shelby, 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 Shelby county cemeteries.

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
190032,126
191031,693−1.3%
192029,601−6.6%
193025,471−14.0%
194026,2903.2%
195024,434−7.1%
196023,404−4.2%
197022,589−3.5%
198023,9235.9%
199022,261−6.9%
200022,8932.8%
IL Counties 1900-1990

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, Shelby County on page 188.]

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Timeline of some of the major churches in Shelby County: [6]

  • 1825 - Methodist Episcopal (M.E.) Church in Shelbyville was the pioneer church in the county
  • 1832 - Church of Christ (Baptist) in Shelbyville. Their first meetinghouse was built in 1843. 1839 - Walnut Grove Presbyterian Church. This congregation did not thrive.
  • 1832 - Ash Grove Baptist Church south of Windsor
  • 1834 - Sand Creek
  • 1843 to 1852 - Shelbyville Presbyterian Church
  • 1844 - Union Church, aka Union Predestinarian Baptist Church, aka Flat Branch Church located at Pleak (or Pleak's Corner), Flat Branch Township
  • 1850 - St. Paul's Reformed Church located northwest of Shelbyville
  • 1852 -Shelbyville Presbyterian Church organized at Prairie Bird. First building condtructed in Shelbyville in 1856
  • 1859 - Windsor Baptist Church
  • 1860 - Antioch Baptist Church
  • 1860 - Bethany Baptist Church
  • 1860 - Welborn Creek Baptist Church
  • 1860 - West Okaw Presbyterian Church in Prairie Home.
  • 1862 - Shelbyville Baptist Church was the second Baptist Church organized in the County after the original Church of Christ created in 1832
  • 1867 - Tower Hill Presbyterian Church
  • 1867 - Moweaqua Presbyterian Church .
  • 1875 - African Methodist Episcopal (M.E.) Church in Shelbyville
  • 1881 - Cowden Free Methodist was the first Free Methodist church organized in the county. Several others have been organized since.

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.

The following abstracts and copies of original records may be accessed through the Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD) located at the Eastern Illinois University (EIU) - search for Shelby County records. For information on how to use IRAD see the EIU IRAD Wiki page.

Online Resources

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]

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

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

Copies of original records

Abstracts

Online Resources

Additional Resources

Additional resources for Shelby 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]

Macon CountyMoultrie CountyColes CountyCumberland CountyEffingham CountyFayette CountyMontgomery CountyChristian CountyIL SHELBY.PNG
About this image
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Military[edit | edit source]

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

Civil War[edit | edit source]

Civil War service men from Shelby 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 Shelby County.

- 3rd Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Company M.
- 5th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Company G.
- 7th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Company H.
- 14th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company B.
- 7th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Company H.
- 35th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company C.
- 41st Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company H.
- 53rd Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company G.
- 54th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies F and H.
- 115th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies B and G.
- 116th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company H.
- 126th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company K.
- 143rd Regiment, Illinois Infantry (100 days, 1864), Company G.

Naturalization[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.

The following copies of original records may be accessed through the Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD) located at the Eastern Illinois University (EIU) - search for Shelby County records. For information on how to use IRAD see the EIU IRAD Wiki page.


  • 1874–1888 Naturalization Dockets IRAD–EIU
  • 1858–1895 Naturalization Record IRAD–EIU
  • 1870–1888 Naturalization Record of Minors IRAD–EIU
  • 1904–1907 Naturalization Record of Minors IRAD–EIU
  • 1876–1888 Naturalization Record, Final IRAD–EIU

Online Records

Newspapers and Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Poor House records[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Online Probate 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.

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

Copies of original records

Additional Resources

Additional resources for Shelby County probates may be found in the Illinois, Shelby – Probate, and on the Illinois, Shelby – Probate record indexes topic pages of 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.

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 Shelby County are kept, see the Shelby County Courthouse page.

Family Search Centers[edit | edit source]

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 4500Family 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 microfilm and microfiche may be available at local family histroy 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 Shelby County, Illinois:

Champaign Illinois Family History Center
604 W Windsor Rd
Champaign, Champaign, Illinois
Phone: 217-352-8063
Hours: Thur-Sat 9:30-12:30pm; Thur 7pm-9pm; or by appt

Decatur Illinois Family History Center
3955 Lourdes Ln
Decatur, Macon, Illinois
Phone: 217-875-9396
Hours: T, Sat 10am-3pm; Th 6pm-9pm

Springfield Illinois Family History Center
3601 Buckeye Dr
Springfield, Sangamon, Illinois
Phone: 217-529-7930
Hours: T 6pm-9pm; W 10am-2pm, 6pm-9pm; Sat 10am-2pm

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)[edit | edit source]

The Illinois State Archives administers a system of Illinois Regional Archives Depositories (IRAD) to manage the archival records of local governments.  Local governments which have transferred records to the regional depositories include counties, townships, municipalities, and school districts.  The records of Shelby County come under the jurisdiction of the Eastern Illinois University (EIU) regional depository.

Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD)
Booth Library
Eastern Illinois University (EIU)
600 Lincoln Avenue
Charleston, IL 61920
Telephone: (217) 581-6093

Hours: Monday – Friday, except state holidays
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.; 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Note: The depository is staffed by graduate student interns. Because of class scheduling conflicts, hours may vary somewhat from the published schedule. Researchers are urged to call before planning a visit.

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Dry Point Township Library
County Highway 651
Cowden, IL 62422
Phone: (217) 783-2616
Facebook


Herrick Township Public Library
303 North Broadway
Herrick, IL 62431
Phone: (618) 428-5223


Moweaqua Public Library District
600 North Putnam Street
Moweaqua, IL 62550
Phone: (217) 768-4700


Shelbyville Public Library
154 North Broadway
Shelbyville, IL 62565
Phone: (217) 774-4432


Windsor Storm Memorial Public Library District
102 South Maple
Windsor, IL 61957
Phone: (217) 459-2498

School Records[edit | edit source]

  • 1891–1971 School teachers' daily registers IRAD–EIU

Social Groups Online[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Shelby County, Illinois Historical and Genealogical Society
151 S. Washington St.
PO Box 286
Shelbyville, IL 62565
Telephone Number: 217-774-2260
E-mail:shelbycounty@consolidated.net
Website

Wednesday and Saturday - 9 a.m. to 12 Noon
Tuesday evening - 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Afternoons by appointments only
Publication:Shelby County Ancestors

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

Births[edit | edit source]

Copies of Original Birth Records

Marriages[edit | edit source]

Copies of original Marriage Records

Online Resources

Deaths[edit | edit source]

Copies of Original Death Records

  • 1878-1917 Death records and index FHL 1008063–4
  • 1878-1917 Death Record IRAD-EIU Search for Shelby County records. How to use IRAD
  • 1878-1902 Death Record Index IRAD-EIU Search for Shelby County records.
  • 1919-1984 Coroner's Inquest Files IRAD–EIU
  • 1926-1975 Coroner's Inquest Record IRAD–EIU
  • 1952-1955 Death Certificates, Coroner - IRAD-EIU Search for Shelby County records.

Online Resources

Additional Resources[edit | edit source]

Additional resources for Shelby County births, marriages and deaths may be found in the Illinois, Shelby – Vital Records, the Illinois, Shelby – Vital Records - indexes, and the Illinois, Shelby – Vital Records - newspapers topic pages of 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.

Websites[edit | edit source]

Databases pertinent to Shelby County

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Shelby 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. "List of Counties in Tennessee," Wikipedia.
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  4. Genealogy Trails History Group, “Shelby County, Illinois Genealogy and History”, http://genealogytrails.com/ill/shelby/ accessed 04/20/2017.
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Shelby County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shelby_County,_Illinois 04/20/2017.
  6. Historic sketch and biographical album of Shelby County, Illinois : embellished with portraits of well-known residents of Shelby County, Illinois. (Shelbyville, Ill. : The Wilder Pub. Co., 1900.)p 179-204