Illinois Compiled Genealogies

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Most archives, historical societies, and genealogical societies have special collections of previous research and indexes of genealogical value. To begin a search of an ancestor in these collections, you may wish to begin with available published indexes, both on a national level as well as a local level.  Many genealogy databases are on line through various websites.

Nationwide Indexes

  • FamilySearch™ Internet Genealogy Service - Trees contains lineages organized into family groups and pedigrees with an every-name index. This was created from a database formerly known as Ancestral File.
  • The Family History Library has an extensive collection of almost 50,000 published U.S. family histories and newsletters. Copies at the library are listed in the Last names Search of the Family History Library Catalog.
  • Major collections of printed family histories are also found at most of the archives and libraries listed in United States Archives and Libraries. Most large libraries have indexes and catalogs to published family histories. For a list of the indexes and catalogs available at the Family History Library see the Family History section of United States Genealogy in the Wiki.
  • National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (NUCMC). "The National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections, established in 1959, is a cooperative cataloging program in which repositories from all over the United States open to the public report their holdings of manuscript collections to the Library of Congress. Staff members of the Manuscripts Section of the Library's Special Materials Cataloging Division prepare catalog entries for these reports, which are published annually in book form by the Library of Congress"--Index to personal names in the National Union Catalog of manuscript collections, 1959-1984, p. vii. An index is available at the Family History Library FHL book 016.091 N21 1959 to 1984
  • World Connect includes hundreds of thousands of ancestors in pedigrees and family trees with an easy to use index.
  • Periodical Source Index (PERSI). There are more than 126,000 surnames included in the PERSI database which is available on the Internet at as well as at Both are subscription websites, but often available at local libraries.

Statewide Indexes

Family History Library Family Group Collections

The Family History Library has some important collections of compiled genealogies and genealogical source material for Illinois.

  • Barman, Ron and Mrs. Rosalie Barman. Blackhawk genealogical society surname index, 1979. Rock Island, Illinois : Blackhawk Genealogical Society, 1979. FHL book 977.3 D22b
  • Champaign County Historical Archives. Family Files. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1978. (Family History Library films 1026779 (first of 12). This alphabetical collection of family group records, typescript genealogies, and newspaper clippings was microfilmed in 1978 at the Champaign County Courthouse.
  • Chicago Genealogical Society (Chicago, Illinois). 1973 surname index. Chicago, Illinois : Chicago Genealogical Society, 1973. FHL book 977.31 D22c
  • Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) (Illinois). Lineago and revolutionary records, books 1-90, index. Chicago, Illinois : Fort Wayne Public Library, 1970. FHL book 977.3 D2da volume 1 and 2
  • Kroehler, Marjorie. Prairie roots all-name index. Peoria, Illinois : Peoria Genealogical Society, [198-]. FHL book 977.352/P1 B2 Index is based on the indexes found in issues of Prairie Roots.
  • Lunde, Mrs. O.B. Illinois State Genealogical Society Surname Index. Decatur, Illinois: Illinois State Genealogical Society, 1981. FHL film 1421706, item 4; book 977.3 D2L, item 4.) This contains information about ancestors of ISGS members and gives birth and marriage dates and names of spouses.
  • Indexed five-generation pedigree charts of members of the same society are in Illinois State Genealogical Society Ancestor Charts of Members. Seven volumes. Springfield, Illinois: Illinois State Genealogical Society, 1988–1992. FHL book 977.3 D2i.
  • Morehouse, Louise. Surname index of the Genealogy Society of Southern Illinois. Carterville, Illinois : Genealogy Society of Southern Illinois, 1977. FHL book 977.3 D22m
  • Mathis, Linda Gale. Surname Index of the Genealogy Society of Southern Illinois.Carterville, Illinois: The Society, 1986. FHL film 977.3 A3s. This index to the ancestors of members of the society includes the names of the submitters. It contains dates and places of birth, marriage, and death, and names of spouses.
  • Genealogy Society of Southern Illinois Ancestor Charts. Carterville, Illinois: The Society, 1994–95. (Family History Library book FHL book 977.3 C4g.) Pedigree charts of the ancestors of members of the society from 28 southern Illinois counties are included in this work.
  • Ross, Harvey Lee. An index to the early pioneers and pioneer events of the state of Illinois. Havana, Illinois : Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Havana, Illinois, 1985. FHL book 977.3 H2rh
  • Soll, Richard and Audrey. Genealogical surname index, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri. Whittier, California : Whittier Area Genealogical Society (California), 1988. FHL book 979.493/W1 D4so


  • As mentioned above in Nationwide indexes: public and private trees, World Connect and Trees
  • Illinois gedcom index. Gedcoms come from individual computer databases and this website has them indexed by town.
  • To find additional "genealogies" in the Family History Library Catalog, use the Place-Names Search function. For example:

1. Access the Family History Library Catalog
2. Type the word "Illinois" in the place-names search; then click, Search.
3. Locate the topic, Genealogy.
4. OR, type in a county in Illinois in the place-names search; then click, Search
5. Locate the topic, Genealogy.
6. To explore each genealogy title, click on the highlighted blue title.


Pioneers Certificate Applications

The Illinois State Genealogical Society compiled the following:

  • Applications for Illinois Prairie Pioneer Certificates. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1987–89. On 27 Family History Library microfilms beginning with FHL film 1513611, item 2. This collection contains two series of applications alphabetized by the surname of the pioneer ancestor. "Pioneers" are defined as those who arrived in Illinois before 1880. It includes lineage charts tracing the applicant’s pedigree to pioneer ancestors and shows supporting documents such as marriage and death certificates, obituaries, and census abstracts.
  • Applications for Illinois Prairie Pioneer Certificates: Certificates Issued on Previously Approved Pioneers. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1987. (Family History Library films FHL film 1514164, item 3 (first of 9).

Centennial Farms

A "centennial farm" is one owned for 100 years or more by lineal descendants of the same family. Histories of families who owned centennial arms in Illinois can be found in:

Illinois Centennial Farm Heritage Association. The History of Illinois Centennial Farms. Dallas, Texas: Curtis Media, 1986. 977.3 D2h. This book gives a short history of farming in Illinois and contains family histories and property descriptions of the centennial farms.

Writing and Sharing Your Family History

Sharing your own family history is valuable for several reasons:

  • It helps you see gaps in your own research and raises opportunities to find new information.
  • It helps other researchers progress in researching ancestors you share in common.
  • It draws other researchers to you who already have information about your family that you do not yet possess.
  • It draws together researchers with common interests, sparking collaboration opportunities. For instance, researchers in various localities might choose to do lookups for each other in remote repositories. Your readers may also share photos of your ancestors that you have never seen before.
See also:

Web Sites
Newberry Library genealogy/collections
Free Illinois Genealogy Databases