White County, Illinois Genealogy

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White County, Illinois
Map of Illinois highlighting White County
Location in the state of Illinois
Map of the U.S. highlighting Illinois
Location of Illinois in the U.S.
Founded: December 9, 1815
County Seat Carmi
Address 301 E. Main Street
P.O. Box 339
Carmi, IL 62821
Website: www.whitecounty-il.gov
Named for: Leonard White

United States Gotoarrow.png Illinois Gotoarrow.png White County

White County Organization

White County's civil records start the following years:

Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1877 1816 1877 1820 1816 1816

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

Historical Facts

The first white settlers came in about 1806. White County was organized within the Illinois Territory by an act of the Territorial Legislature of 7 December 1815. The land was split off from Gallatin County. The county was named after Leonard White, a prominent citizen of Gallatin County.[1]

Boundary Changes

Hamilton County was set off from White County in 1821.[2]

Interactive map of White County boundary changes.

Townships and Election Precincts

The County Court (county commissioners, county government) met for the first time on 12 February 1816. They divided the county into three townships:

  • Prairie, beginning at the mouth of the Little Wabash River, up that river to the line between Townships 4 and 5 South, and along that line to the (Big) Wabash River.
  • Fox River, the part of the county north of the line dividing Townships 4 and 5 South and east of the Little Wabash River.
  • West, the part of the county west of the Little Wabash River.[3]

In December 1819, the County Court divided the county into two townships, East and West, separated by the line between Ranges 7 and 8 East.[4]

In 1830 there were four townships: Burnt Prairie, Mantua, Fox River, and Prairie. [5]

Prior to 1871, the county had eight election precincts:

  • Indian Creek, comprising Township 6 South (T6S) Range 8 East (R8E) and the north half of T7S R8E.
  • Enfield, comprising the territory north of Indian Creek, south of the Skillet Fork, and west of Seven-Mile Creek.
  • Burnt Prairie, all the territory between the Skillet Fork and the Little Wabash River.
  • Carmi, east of Enfield, south of Skillet Fork on the west side of the Little Wabash River, and on the east side of the river south of Townships 27, 28, and 29 of T4S R10E, and extending south to Lick Creek, west of the river, and east of the river to the south line of Sections 27 and 30 of T5S R10E.
  • Grayville, east of Burnt Prairie, and south to the south line of Sections 9 and 12 of T4S R10E, the line extending eastward to the (Big) Wabash River.
  • Fox River, east of Carmi and south of Grayville to the south line of Sections 35 and 36 of T5S R14W.
  • Prairie, all south of Carmi and Fox River, and between the Little Wabash and (Big) Wabash Rivers.
  • Herald's Prairie, bounded on the north by Lick Creek, on the east by the Little Wabash River, on the south by the county line, and on the west by Indian Creek. [6]

Township government was approved by popular vote in the fall of 1871, and the following ten townships were organized.  These townships have not changed down to the present.

  • Indian Creek, same as the voting precinct.
  • Enfield, T5S R8E.
  • Burnt Prairie, T4S R9E and the south half of T3S R9E.
  • Carmi, T5S R9E.
  • Gray, T3S R14W and the south halves of T3S R10E and T3S R11E.
  • Herald's Prairie, T6S R9E and the north half of T7S R9E.
  • Mill Shoals, T4S R8E and the south half of T3S R8E.
  • Phillips, T4S R10E and T4S R11E, and T4S R14W.
  • Hawthorne, T5S R10E and T5S R11E, and T5S R14W.
  • Emma, T6S R10E and T6S R11E, the north half of T7S R10E and T7S R11E, and a small part of T8S R10E and T8S R11E.[7]

Record Loss

Records and Resources



One of the best places to start White County cemetery searches are the two volumes of cemetery transcriptions published back in the 1950s.[8]

The Illinois Cemeteries page provides general explanations of the following online White County resources:

Bibliography Online Gravestone Transcriptions Cemetery Gazetteers
FHLC Find A Grave | national search | county list ePodunk
WorldCat USGenWeb Tombstone Transcription Project
Illinois Cemeteries


For information and tips on accessing census records online, see Illinois Census.

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, White County on page 188.]

Church Records


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


  • Delap, Sam L. and Harve E. Delap. History of Mount Oval Cumberland Presbyterian Church 1869-1969. 1969. Free digital copy at Issuu. Includes transcript of 100s of burials at the church's cemetery.

Court Records

  • 1816–1834; 1848–1855 Vaught, Harriet B. Circuit Court index book A, B, 1816-1834; index book E, 1848-1855. Salt Lake City, Utah: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1970. FHL film 823710 Item 4
  • 1842–1859 Vaught, Harriet B. White County, Illinois, records, 1842-1859. Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1976. FHL film 928262 Item 4

Ethnic Research

African American

The following have information concerning African American research.


  • Rudolph, C.F. (Mrs.) Illinois White County Genealogical Records: Jacob Christopher Rudolph -- Stokes and Allied Families 1201-1946. n.p.: Illinois D.A.R., 1946. Digital version at Ancestry ($). Another digital version at Ancestry ($).


A variety of early White County genealogical records are transcribed in:

  • McLean County, White County, Will County Genealogical Records. Evanston, Ill.?: Illinois Society, D.A.R.?, 1945?. Digital version at Ancestry ($).

Land and Property

  • 1842–1859 Vaught, Harriet B. White County, Illinois, records, 1842-1859. Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1976. FHL film 928262 Item 4
  • Boyd, Gregory A. Family maps of White County, Illinois: with homesteads, roads, waterways, towns, cemeteries, railroads, and more; 3 maps per township, [1] homesteads and other land patents, [2] roads, [3] rivers, creeks and railroads [and cemeteries]. Norman, Oklahoma : Arphax Pub. Co., c2005. 71649169 Other libraries (WorldCat) FHL book 977.396 R2b The publisher's bookstore includes a free surname index.



  • Civil War
    Civil War service men from White 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 White County.
- 40th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company C.
- 56th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies B and F.
- 62nd Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company D.
- 87th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies B, C, F, G, I and K.
- 98th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company F.

Naturalization and Citizenship

  • 1860–1898 Some naturalization and citizenship records for White County are included in Illinois, Probate Records, 1819-1970. Click on the browse through images link, select White County, and select Naturalization and Citizenship.



Probate Records

  • 1816–1916 Vaught, Harriet B. White County, Ill. wills, 1816-1916: also obituaries copied from Carmi Democrat-tribune. Other items also included: White County, Illinois, naturalization papers; marriages in 1916. S.l.: Vaught, [between 1970 and 1981]. Other libraries (WorldCat) FHL book 977.396 P2v


  • County Courthouse

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

  • Family History Center
  • Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD)
  • Public Libraries

Social Groups Online


Genealogical Society of Southern Illinois has a page with details about its' activities.


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 White 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 Southern Illinois University (SIU) - search for White County records. For information on how to use IRAD see the IRAD Wiki page.



Copies of Birth Records


Abstracts of Marriage Records

  • 1816–1840 Bender, Lucy. Early settlers' records of White County, Illinois, marriages licences, 1816-1840. [S.l.] : Bender, 1936. FHL book 977.396 V25b
  • 1816–1844 Daughters of the American Revolution. Hopewell Congregation Church records, White County marriage records, 1816-1844. Salt Lake City, Utah: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1970. FHL book 848656 Item 1
  • 1816–1821 Harrelson, Ralph S. Marriages, information taken from original marriage documents & old marriage record books relative to marriages celebrated in Hamilton County, Illinois, 1821-1870: also a record of marriages celebrated in White County, Illinois, 1816 through 1821. Carterville, Illinois: Genealogy Society of Southern Illinois, c1986. Other libraries (WorldCat) FHL book 977.39 V28h

Copies of Marriage Records


Abstracts of Death Records

  • 1877–1902 Knotter, Janice Melton. White County Illinois death register: book 1– December 1877–September 1902: with lists of doctors and undertakers and explanation in medical terms. Carmi, Illinois : Genealogy Society of White County (IL), c2008. Other libraries (WorldCat) FHL book 977.396 V2k

Copies Death Records

Web Sites


  1. History of White County Illinois (1883; reprint, Carmi, Illinois: White County Historical Society, 1972), 221, 297.
  2. Ibid., 297.
  3. Ibid., 300, 301.
  4. Ibid., 297.
  5. Ibid., 307.
  6. Ibid., 298, 299.
  7. Ibid., 299.
  8. White County, Illinois: A Part of the ILGenWeb Project, accessed 10 August 2011.