Putnam County, Illinois Genealogy

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United States Gotoarrow.png IllinoisGotoarrow.png Putnam County

Guide to Putnam County Illinois genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

Hand and keyboard.jpg Illinois
Online Records

Putnam County, Illinois
Boundary map of Putnam County, Illinois
Map of the U.S. highlighting Illinois
Location of Illinois in the U.S.
Founded: January 13, 1825
County Seat Hennepin
Putnam County Courthouse.gif
Photo courtesy Illinois Regional Archives Depository, Illinois State Archives
Address Putnam County Courthouse
120 N. 4th Street
Hennepin, Illinois 61327
(618) 664-0449

Putnam County Organization

Putnam County's civil records start the following years:

                                     Beginning Dates for Putnam County Records
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate

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

Historical Facts

Israel Putnam.JPG
The county is named after Revolutionary War Major General Israel Putnam (1718-1790).[1]

Parent County

  • 1825--Putnam County was created 13 January 1825 from Fulton County.  County seat: Hennepin [2]

Boundary Changes

See an interactive map of Putnam County boundary changes.

Record Loss

Places / Localities

Populated Places

Neighboring Counties

Records and Resources



Illinois cemetery records often identify birth, death, relationship, and military information, as well as religious affiliation.

  • Find A Grave can be searched by the name of a person or family to find where a person is buried.  Usually gives birth and death dates often with a picture of the tombstone.  May give obituaries, names of family members and links to their information in Find A Grave. Completeness of these listings varies widely.
  • Search by name: Boyle Family Cemetery, Mount Palatine Cemetery, Putnam Cemetery, Saint Francis Cemetery by Interment.net


Historical populations
Census Pop.
IL Counties 1900-1990

Church Records

Church records may give birth, death and marriage information. It is usually best to locate church records with a search at a local level such as the city, town, or village.

Society of Friends (Quakers)

  • Franklin, Lucretia Smith, et al. 150 Years in Review of Clear Creek Families and Friends, Putnam County, Illinois. [Illinois]: Clear Creek Monthly Meeting, 1991. Includes minutes of the Society of Friends' (Quakers) Clear Creek Monthly Meeting beginning in 1841 and burials at Friends Cemetery.  Many libraries (WorldCat); FHL book 977.3375 H2f

Court Records

Original court records are held in the office of the Circuit Court Clerk. See Illinois Court Records for more information about using court records.

Putnam County Government courtesy Genealogytrails.com. Includes Township election results from 1872-1889, juror selection for 1858, delegates to the 1866 State Republican Convention, County officers for 1873 and more.

Ethnic Research

African American

The following have information concerning African American research.



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 or through the Family History Library.

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 ($)

Additional Resources

Additional resources for Putnam County land and property may be found in the FHLC. Copies of records on FHL microfilm and microfiche can be ordered for viewing at Family History Centers. Copies of books found in the FHLC may be found in WorldCat catalog and ordered from your local library through interlibrary loan. Explore how to search the Family History Library Catalog and the Worldcat Online Catalog.



Civil War

Civil War service men from Putnam 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 Putnam County.

- 4th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Company E.
- 20th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company H.
- 77th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company B.
- 123rd Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company E.
- 139th Regiment, Illinois Infantry (100 days, 1864), Company B.


Newspapers and Obituaries

Probate Records


County Courthouse

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

Family History Center

Family History Centers (FHCs) are branches of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah (United States) and are located all over the world. Their goal is to provide resources to assist you in the research and study of your genealogy.

You may search your address for a center near you on the FamilySearch site. The following center serves Putnam County:

Ottawa Illinois Family History Center
1377 Adams Street
Ottawa, Illinois
Telephone: (815) 431-0186

Illinois Regional Archives Depository (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 Putnam 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

Putnam County Public Library District
214 North Fourth St. Box 199
Hennepin, IL 61327
Telephone: (815) 925-7020

Social Groups Online



Vital Records

See Illinois Vital Records for more information about Vital records in Illinois.

Vital records consist of birth, death, marriage and divorce records. Original birth and death certificates recorded until the year 1916 are kept by the Putnam County Clerk while those recorded after 1916 are kept by the Illinois Department of Public Health with a copy to the County Clerk. Original marriage records are usually kept by the County Clerk from the establishment of the county to the present. Original divorce records are generally in the office of the Circuit Court Clerk.

The following abstracts and copies of original records may be accessed through online databases, the Family History Library and the Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD) located at the Northern Illinois University (NIU) - search for Putnam County records. For information on how to use IRAD see the IRAD Wiki page.

Birth Records

Marriage Records

Death Records

Web Sites


  1. "Putnam County, Illinois," Wikipedia.
  2. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).