Illinois Maps

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United States Gotoarrow.png Illinois Gotoarrow.png Illinois Maps
Johnson map of Illinois - 1862
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Several types of maps are useful for genealogists. Some give the historical background of the area; others show migration routes such as roads, rivers, and railroads. Topographical maps show physical and manmade features, such as creeks, hills, trails, and roads used as persons came to Illinois. Sometimes maps also include cemeteries and churches. Plat and land ownership maps, as well as other types of maps, are described in United States Maps. In the Family History Library Catalog, atlases are listed in the Place Search.  Remember to search each locality as a town, a county and as a state.

A county-by-county list of land ownership maps is:

  • Conzen, Michael P., James R. Akerman, and David T. Thackery, comps. Illinois County Land Ownership Map and Atlas Bibliography and Union List. Springfield, Illinois: Illinois Cooperative Collection Management Coordinating Committee, Illinois Board of Higher Education, 1991.  WorldCat 25642664FHL Book 977.3 E73c

The largest collections of Illinois maps are available at the Illinois State Library and the libraries of Southern Illinois University, University of Chicago, and University of Illinois, Urbana.

Statewide Atlases

Many of the maps at the Family History Library are in published atlases. For example, maps showing boundary changes in Illinois are found in:

  • 1778–2000 Illinois Historical Counties Courtesy of the Newberry Library. On this site you can  zoom into a county area and see what boundary changes occurred on any given date. Select a date in the right-hand upper corner of the site. By selecting "info" in the left-hand column, then clicking on the area of interest on the map, then clicking on the county name which will appear at the bottom of the page, you may read a complete chronology of county boundary changes. Other interactive choices are available in the left-hand column.
  • 1790–present Illinois Historical County Boundary Changes Courtesy of Michael L. Hébert.
  • Long, John H., ed. Illinois, Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. New York, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1997.  WorldCat 37201283FHL Book 977.3 E3L. This atlas was compiled by Gordon DenBoer as a project of the Newberry Library. Counties are in alphabetical order, each with a chronology of boundary changes and detailed maps for various years.
Also included are territorial and state outline maps that match the censuses for 1800, 1807, 1810, 1818, 1820, 1830, 1835, 1840, 1845, 1850, 1855, 1860 to 1900, and outline maps of the Old Northwest (or the Northwest Territory) from 1787.
  • Origin and Evolution of Illinois Counties. N.p.: State of Illinois, 1985.  WorldCat 13573240 FHL Book 977.3 E3o; FHL Film1321494 item 13.This work includes maps that span the history of Illinois. Previous editions were issued by secretaries of state under the title Counties of Illinois; Their Origin and Evolution, with Twenty-three Maps Showing the Original and Present Boundary Lines of Each County.

County Atlases

Various publishers have issued atlases covering individual counties in Illinois. Among these are:

  • Atlas of Logan County and the State of Illinois: to Which Is Added an Atlas of the United States, Maps of the Hemispheres. Chicago, Illinois: Warner, Higgins, and Beers, 1873. WorldCat 82724038 FHL Film 934968 item 4

County or township maps are often included in published histories of the area.

City Maps

The Family History Library has city ward maps of Chicago for the years 1851, 1862, 1864, 1872, 1884, 1888, and 1890 included in:

A more recent map of Chicago is:

See also Illinois Gazetteers, and United States Gazetteers and United States Maps for more resources regarding places in Illinois.

Maps of Illinois can be found in the Family History Library Catalog by using a Place search.

Web Sites

Historical Maps of Illinois (Perry Castañeda Collection)

University of Illinois Map and Geography Library

University of Illiniois Historical Maps Online

Printable maps are also available from the National Atlas of the United States