Bureau County, Illinois Genealogy

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Bureau County, Illinois
Map of Illinois highlighting Bureau County
Location in the state of Illinois
Map of the U.S. highlighting Illinois
Location of Illinois in the U.S.
Founded: February 28, 1837
County Seat Princeton
Bureau County Courthouse.gif
Photo courtesy Illinois Regional Archives Depository, Illinois State Archives
Address County Courthouse
700 S. Main Street
Princeton, Illinois 61356
(815) 875-2014
Bureau County Website

United States Gotoarrow.png IllinoisGotoarrow.png Bureau County

County Organization

Bureau County's civil records start the following years:

Beginning Dates for Bureau County Records
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1878 1837 1878 1840 1817 1837

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

Historical Facts

Bureau County is named for Pierre Bureau (Belleau or de Beuro) who established a trading post on the Illinois River.

Boundary Changes

Prior to County Formation

County Formation and After

  • 1837 - Bureau County created from Putnam County
  • 1839 - Bureau gained from Putnam and unorganized area

For more information see Origin and Evolution of Illinois Counties or Bureau County Fact Sheet (Illinois State Archives). For interactive county boundary maps see Illinois County Boundaries, 1790-Present, Illinois Historical Counties, or Illinois County Maps and Atlases.

Records and Resources





Historical populations
Census Pop.
IL Counties 1900-1990
For tips on accessing census records online, see Illinois Census.


1840 Pensioners

  • 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, Bureau County on page 186.]

Church Records

Court Records

  • 1872-1952 Court Records IRAD-NIU; search for Bureau County Records. (Learn more about IRAD.)


Ethnic Research

African American

The following have information concerning African American research.



  • The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1896. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Harrington, George B. Past and Present of Bureau County, Illinois. Chicago: Pioneer Pub. Co., 1906. Digital version at Ancestry ($); Another Ancestry ($) version; Internet Archive.

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 the Northern Illinois University- search for Bureau County records. For information on how to use IRAD see the NIU Wiki page.

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 ($)

Copies of Original Records

  • 1816-1900 Deed Index IRAD-NIU; search for Bureau County Records. (Learn more about IRAD.)



Military Records

Civil War

Civil War service men from Bureau 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 Bureau County.

- 27th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company I
- 33rd Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company E.
- 52nd Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company B.
- 57th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies B, F, H and K.
- 64th Regiment, Illinois Infantry (Yates’ Sharpshooters), Company B.
- 66th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company C.
- 88th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company D.
- 93rd Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies B, C, E, H, I and K.
- 148th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies A, E, and K.
- 151st Regiment, Illinois Infantry (1 year, 1865), Companies F, G and H.
- 153rd Regiment, Illinois Infantry (1 year, 1865), Company E.


  • 1837-1923 Naturalization Papers IRAD-NIU; search for Bureau County Records. (Learn more about IRAD.)

Newspapers and Obituaries

A good collection of obituaries and death notices can be found at Genealogy Trails.


Probate Records

  • 1837-1900, 1906-1955 Probate Records IRAD-NIU; search for Bureau County Records. (Learn more about IRAD.)


County Courthouse

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

Family History Centers

Illinois Regional Archives Depositories (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 Bureau 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

Social Groups Online



Vital Records




Voter Registration