Ford County, Illinois Genealogy

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Ford County, Illinois
Map of Illinois highlighting Ford County
Location in the state of Illinois
Map of the U.S. highlighting Illinois
Location of Illinois in the U.S.
Founded: February 17, 1859
County Seat Paxton
Ford County Courthouse.gif
Photo courtesy Illinois Regional Archives Depository, Illinois State Archives
Address Ford County, Illinois Courthouse
200 West State Street
Paxton, Illinois 60957
(217) 379-9400

United States Gotoarrow.png IllinoisGotoarrow.png Ford County

County Organization

Ford County's civil records start the following years:

Beginning Dates for Ford County Records
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1878 1859 1878 1860 1834 1850

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

Historical Records

Governor Thomas Ford.jpg
The is named for Template:WpdThomas Ford, the eighth Governor of Illinois.

Boundary Changes

  • 17 February 1859: Ford County was created from Clark County. [1]
    Note:An earlier attempt to create Holmes County (proposed), on 31 January 1857 in the same general area, was unsuccessful. (Ill. Laws 1859, pub., pp. 29-33) (source:Newberry Library}

See an interactive map of Ford County boundary changes.

Record Loss

Records and Resources


Portrait and Biographical Record of Ford County. 1892.  FHL film 825571 another filming 934983 tiem 3

History of Ford County, by E.A. Gardner. FHL Collection another filming 934983 items 4-5


Gotoarrow.png Find A Grave, list of cemeteries. Additional information can be found at local level (city, township, etc.)


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

Historical populations
Census Pop.
IL Counties 1900-1990

Church Records

The Farmersville Settlement, by Shirley Hildman Johnson. FHL Book 977.362 Kej


History of Ford Coutny, Illinois:From its Earliest Settlement to 1908 (Ancestry)


Court Records


Ethnic Research

African American

The following have information concerning African American research.


Mailing Lists

Message Boards

Land and Property

1885-1890 Deed Record. IRAD-ISU
1888-1897 Chattel Mortgage Extensions. IRAD-ISU
1938-1952 Chattel Morgage Record. IRAD-ISU

1860-1941 Chattel Mortgage Index. IRAD-ISU

Available through the Family History Library

1837-1901 Grantor and Grantee Indexes, and Deed Records 1859-1904. FHL film 1401811 first film of eighteen



Civil War

Civil War service men from Ford 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 Ford County.

- 76th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company K.

List of Pensioners on the Roll January 1, 1883 (Source: Internet Archives)

World War I

World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918  (Source: Ancestry)

World War II

World War II Casualities, Army and Army Air Corps (Source: Access Genealogy)

Naturalization and Citizenship

1859-1906 Naturalization Records. FHL film 1401895 itmes 2-4 and films 1401896-97


Newspapers Published in Ford County (Source: Illinois Newspaper Project)

Chronicling America Ford County (Source: The Library of Congress)

Cataloged Titles  (Source: Illinois Newspaper Project)


Probate Records

1860-1942 Will Record, 1859-1929 Administrator's Record, and 1859-1953 Guardian Record. Ford County Courthouse. FHL film 1401890-1401895



  • County Courthouse

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

  • Family History Center

Find a FamilySearch Center

  • Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD)

Illinois State Universtiy (ISU)
2016 Warehouse Road Campus
Box 1520
Normal, Illinois 61802
Phone: 309-452-6027
Illinois Regional Archives Depository System Illinois State University Region

  • Public Libraries


Social Groups Online


Ford County Historical Society


1833-1876 Taxable Lands Lists. IRAD-ISU

Vital Records

IDPH Registrar of Vital Records
Room 101 Courthouse
200 West State Street
Paxton, IL 60957

Order Birth and Death Certificates Online


1878-1909 Birth Record Index
1878-1901 Birth Records. IRAD-ISU

Available through the Family History Library

Index to birth records, 1870-1909; birth records, 1878-1909 FHL film 1401878 items 2-3


1859-1983 MarriageRecord Index. IRAD-ISU.      Available throught the Family History Library FHL film 1401876 item3
1859-1927 Marriage Record. IRAD-ISU.   Available through the Family History Library FHL films 1401877 - 1401878


1878-1915 Death Record Index. IRAD-ISU
1878-1901 Death Record. IRAD-ISU

Available through the Family History Library

Index to deaths, 1878-1901; Register of deaths, 1878-1901 FHL film 1401878 items 4-5

Web Sites

Databases Pertinent to Ford County

Local Governmental Records Database

 Name Index to Illinois Local Governments

 Illinois Statewide Marriage Index

Illinois Statewide Death Index, 1916–1950

Illinois Public Domain Land Tract Sales Database

 Federal Township Plats of Illinois


  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed.; Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002 WorldCat 50140092, FHL Book 973 D27e 2002