Illinois Record Selection Table
This table can help you decide which records to search.
It is most helpful for post-1850 research.
1. In column 1, select a research goal.
2. In column 2, find the types of records most likely to have the information you need.
3. In column 3, find additional record types that may be useful.
4. Look in the section of this outline that corresponds to the record type you chose. It explains what the records might tell you, how to search them, and how to find the records in the Family History Library Catalog using the Locality Search. Some records are not at the library.
5. If you do not find the desired information, see United States Records Selection Table for more suggestions.
Note: Records of previous research (Genealogy, Biography, History, Periodicals, and Societies) are useful for most goals, but are not listed unless they are especially helpful.
|1. If you need information about||2. Look first in||3. Then search|
|Adoptions||Court Records, Vital Records||Probate Records, Census|
|Age||Census, Cemeteries, Obituaries||Vital Records, Military Records, Naturalization and Citizenship|
|Birth date||Vital Records, Obituaries, Cemeteries||Church Records, Military Records, Biography|
|Birth place||Vital Records, Church Records, Obituaries||Census, Military Records, Funeral Homes|
|Boundaries and origins||Maps, Gazetteers||History, Societies|
|Children||Census, Probate Records, Obituaries, Genealogy||Vital Records, Church Records, Land and Property|
|City or parish of foreign birth||Vital Records, Obituaries, Biography||Naturalization and Citizenship, Church Records, Funeral Homes|
|Country of foreign birth||Census, Naturalization and Citizenship, Vital Records||Obituaries, Military Records, Minorities|
|Death information||Vital Records, Cemeteries, Obituaries, Newspapers||Probate Records, Funeral Homes, Church Records|
|Divorce||Divorce Records, Vital Records, Court Records||Newspapers, Census|
|Emigration information||Emigration and Immigration, Naturalization and Citizenship, Census, Maps||Obituaries, Biography, Minorities, Land and Property, Court Records|
|Ethnic background||Native Races, Minorities, Emigration and Immigration||Naturalization and Citizenship, Church Records, Census, Periodicals|
|Historical background||History, Periodicals, Gazetteers, Native Races||Maps, Land and Property, Church Records|
|Immigration date||Emigration and Immigration, Naturalization and Citizenship, Census, Societies||Court Records, Biography, Obituaries, Periodicals|
|Living relatives||Obituaries, Probate Records, Census||Funeral Homes, Land and Property, Biography|
|Maiden name||Vital Records, Obituaries, Probate Records||Church Records, Funeral Homes, Bible Records|
|Marriage information||Vital Records, Obituaries, Census, Genealogy||Church Records, Probate Records, Military Records|
|Naturalization||Naturalization and Citizenship, Census, Voting Registers||Court Records, Land and Property, Periodicals|
|Occupations||Occupations, Census, Obituaries||Biography, Directories, History|
|Other family members||Census, Obituaries, Probate Records,||Funeral Homes, Vital Records, Church Records,|
|Parents||Vital Records, Obituaries, Census, Genealogy||Probate Records, Funeral Homes, Church Records|
|Physical description||Military Records, Naturalization and Citizenship, Emigration and Immigration||Biography, Occupations|
|Place-finding aids||Maps, Gazetteers||Archives and Libraries, History, Societies|
|Places of residence||Census, Military Records, Obituaries, Directories, Taxation, Voting Registers||Land and Property, Naturalization and Citizenship, Public Records|
|Place of residence when you know only the state||Census, Vital Records, Military Records||Naturalization and Citizenship, Taxation, Directories|
|Previous research||Genealogy, Biography, Periodicals||History, Archives and Libraries, Societies|
|Record-finding aids||Archives and Libraries, Church Records, Periodicals||Societies, For Further Reading|
|Religion||Church Records, Vital Records, Obituaries||Biography, Cemeteries, Funeral Homes|
|Social activities||Societies, Obituaries, Biography||Cemeteries, Directories, Funeral Homes|