Wayne County, Illinois Genealogy

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Wayne County, Illinois
Boundary map of Wayne County, Illinois
Map of the U.S. highlighting Illinois
Location of Illinois in the U.S.
Founded: March 26, 1819
County Seat Fairfield
Wayne County Courthouse.gif
Photo courtesy Illinois Regional Archives Depository, Illinois State Archives
Address Wayne County Courthouse
301 E. Main Street
Fairfield, IL 62837
{618) 842-5182
Wayne County Website


United States Gotoarrow.png Illinois Gotoarrow.png Wayne County

Wayne County Organization

Wayne County's civil records start the following years:

                                     Beginning Dates for Wayne 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 Wayne County are kept, see the Wayne County Courthouse page.

Historical Facts

Anthony Wayne.JPG

The county is named after Revolutionary War General "Mad" Anthony Wayne (1745-1796).[1]

Parent County

  • 1819--Wayne County was created 26 March 1819 from Edwards County.  County seat: Fairfield [2]

Boundary Changes

See an interactive map of Wayne County boundary changes.

Record Loss

November 17, 1886 -- Courthouse burned and many records were damaged.

  • USGenWeb, Wayne County, Illinois (ILGenWeb), Wayne County's Great Loss

For further information on researching in burned counties, see the following:

Places / Localities

Populated Places

Neighboring Counties




Gotoarrow.png Illinois Cemeteries for more information.

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.
  • USGenWeb, Wayne County, Illinois (ILGenWeb), cemetery index


Historical populations
Census Pop.
IL Counties 1900-1990

1840 Pensioners

  • A Census of Pensioners for Revolutionary or Military Services: With their Names, Ages, and Places of Residence, as Returned by the Marshalls of the Several Judicial Districts, Under the Act for Taking the Sixth Census. Washington, D.C., 1841. FHL 973 X2pc 1840; FHL 2321; digital version at Google Books. [See Illinois, Wayne County on page 188.]

Church Records

  • USGenWeb, Wayne County, Illinois (ILGenWeb), early church records and history


FamilySearch has made parish records from a Belleville Diocese Catholic church in Wayne County available online. The records include first communions, confirmations, marriages, and deaths:

Court Records

  • 1915–1928 Circuit Court Record, CriminalIRAD–EIU

Ethnic Research

African American

The following have information concerning African American research.



Land and Property

Gotoarrow.png Illinois Land and Property for more information.

1851-present The original land and property records for Wayne County are held by the County Recorder. See the info box above for contact information. The following copies are available:

  • 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 researcher establish location and lead to National Archives’ records which may include genealogical information. Earlier land transfer records are at the National Archives.


Military Records

Civil War

Civil War service men from Wayne 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 Wayne County.

- 18th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies F and G.
- 40th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies D and E.
- 56th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company H.
- 60th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies G and H.
- 61st Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company K.
- 87th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company D.


Newspapers and Obituaries

  • USGenWeb, Wayne County, Illinios (ILGenWeb), obituaries and death notices


Probate Records

Gotoarrow.png Illinois Probate Records for more information.

The following abstracts or indexes are available:

  • USGenWeb, Wayne County, Illiniois (ILGenWeb), will index books C and D


County Courthouse

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

Family History Centers

There are over 4500 Family History Centers worldwide which serve as branch facilities of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Volunteers provide research assistance to help patrons identify their ancestors.  Microfilm and microfiche may be ordered from the FHL collection at a nominal cost.  Locate your nearest Family History Center at the FamilySearch website.  Call ahead to verify operating hours.  All are welcome.

The following centers are accessible to residents of Wayne County, Illinois:

Centralia Illinois Family History Center 
Leafland & 3rd Street
Centralia, Marion, Illinois
Phone: 618-532-3482
Hours: Wednesday 2-6pm
Attention: We have temporarily moved to this new location while our building is being remodeled.

Eldorado Illinois Family History Center
103 Grayson Rd
Eldorado, Saline, Illinois
Phone: 618-273-8172
Hours: By appointment. Please call 618-276-4283

Evansville Indiana Family History Center 
8020 E Covert Ave
Evansville, Vanderburgh, Indiana
Phone: 812-471-0191
Hours: First Wednesday of every month 10:00 - 12:00, Tues & Wed evening 6:00 - 8:00; other times by appointment
Closed: Closed Major Holidays

Foxcroft Illinois Family History Center
17947 Rt 37 North
Johnston City, Williamson, Illinois
Phone: 618-937-4755
Hours: Tuesday 9am-4pm; & other times by appt

Please note: Addresses posted are not mailing addresses. Due to limited staff, Family History Centers are unable to respond to mail inquiries.

Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD)

The Illinois State Archives administers a system of Illinois Regional Archives Depositories (IRAD) to manage the archival records of local governments.  Local governments which have transferred records to the regional depositories include counties, townships, municipalities, and school districts.  The records of Wayne County come under the jurisdiction of the Eastern Illinois University (EIU) regional depository.

Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD)
Booth Library
Eastern Illinois University (EIU)
600 Lincoln Avenue
Charleston, IL 61920
Telephone: (217) 581-6093

Hours: Monday – Friday, except state holidays
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.; 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Note: The depository is staffed by graduate student interns. Because of class scheduling conflicts, hours may vary somewhat from the published schedule. Researchers are urged to call before planning a visit.


Fairfield Public Library
300 Sout East Second Street
Fairfield IL 62837
(618) 842-4516

Wayne City Public Library
103 East Mill Street
Wayne City, IL 62895
(618) 895-2661

School Records

  • 1826–1968 School teachers' daily registers IRAD–EIU
  • 1836–1854 School Land Sale PetitionsIRAD–EIU
  • 1837–1854 School Land Sale RecordIRAD–EIU

Social Groups Online


Genealogical Society of Southern Illinois 


Vital Records

Gotoarrow.png Illinois Vital Records for more information.



  • USGenWeb, Wayne County, Illinois (ILGenWeb), County birth Indexes, beginning 1886

Copies of Original Records

  • 1860–1910 Birth Record Index, Delayed IRAD–EIU


1879–present  The original Wayne County marriage records 1879-present are housed in the office of the County Clerk. The following copies are available:

  • 1855–1886 Marriage Certification Record, Pre-Fire - IRAD-EIU Search for Wayne County records. How to use IRAD
  • 1879-1952 Marriage Record - IRAD-EIU Search for Wayne County records.
  • 1879-1976 Marriage Record Index - IRAD-EIU Search for Wayne County records.

The following abstracts are available:


1886–present  The original Wayne County death records 1886-present are housed in the office of the County Clerk. The following copies are available:

The following abstracts are available:

Web Sites

Databases pertinent to Wayne County


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