Whiteside County, Illinois Genealogy

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Whiteside County, Illinois
Boundary map of Whiteside County, Illinois
Map of the U.S. highlighting Illinois
Location of Illinois in the U.S.
Founded: January 16, 1836
County Seat Morrison
Whiteside County Courthouse.gif
Photo courtesy Illinois Regional Archives Depository, Illinois State Archives
Address Whiteside County Courthouse
200 E. Knox Street
Morrison, IL 61270-2698
(815) 772-5189
Whiteside County Website

Template:Illinois-stubUnited States Gotoarrow.png Illinois Gotoarrow.png Whiteside County

Whiteside County Organization

Whiteside County's civil records start the following years:

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

Historical Facts

Samuel Whiteside photo.jpg

Whiteside County is named for Samuel Whiteside who was a commander in the War of 1812, a Colonel of the Territorial militia, and Brigadier General during the Black Hawk War. He also served in politics and helped select the site for the State Capitol. [1]

Parent County

  • 1836--Whiteside County was created 16 January 1836 from Jo Daviess and Henry Counties.  County seat:  Morrison [2]

Boundary Changes

See an interactive map of Whiteside County boundary changes.

Record Loss

Places / Localities

Populated Places

Neighboring Counties




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.
  • Genealogy Trails has a complete list of local cemeteries organized both by name and township.


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, Whiteside County on page 188.]

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.

Court Records

Copies of original records

Ethnic Research

African American

The following have information concerning African American research.



Local Histories

Land and Property

  • 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 ($)

Copies of original records



Civil War

Civil War service men from Whiteside 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 Whiteside County.

- 8th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Company C.
- 34th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies A, B, and K.
- 52nd Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company F.
- 93rd Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company F.
- 147th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies B and G.
- 156th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company G.


Newspapers and Obituaries

  • The Digital Archives of the Sterling Public Library has published more than 65,000 digital newspaper pages online for a number of local newspapers including Daily Gazette (2007), Evening Gazette (1887-1892), The Great Northwestern Fair (1884), Republican and Gazette (1861), Sauk Valley Sunday (2007), Sterling Daily Gazette (1917-1951), Sterling Evening Gazette (1894-1906), Sterling Gazette (1866-2007), Sterling Republican Gazette (1861-1865), Sterling Standard (1872-1928), The Sterling Times (1854), and Telegraph (2007).
  • The Sterling Public Library has published an index to the Sterling Daily Gazette that includes "births, engagements, marriages, marriage licesnse, birthdays, wedding anniversaries, divorces, obituaries, retirements, and individual accomplishments."

Probate Records

Original estates and wills are held in the office of the Circuit Court Clerk. See Illinois Probate Records for more information about using probate records.

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

Copies of original 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 Whiteside County are kept, see the Whiteside 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 Whiteside County:

Sterling Illinois Family History Center
2709 N 16th Avenue
Sterling, Illinois 61081
Telephone: (815) 625-1229

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 Whiteside 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

Albany Public Library District
201 South Main
Albany, IL 61230
Telephone: (309) 887-4193
Erie Public Library
802 8th Ave.
Erie, Illinois 61250
Telephone: (309)659-2707
Henry C. Adams Memorial Library
209 West Third Street
Prophetstown, IL 61277
Telephone: (815) 537-5462
Odell Public Library
307 South Madison Street
Morrison, IL 61270
Telephone: (815) 998-2012
Rock Falls Public Library District
1007 Seventh Avenue
Rock Falls, IL 61071
Telephone: (815) 626-3958
Schmaling Memorial Public Library District
501 Tenth Avenue
501 10th Ave.
PO Box 125
Fulton, IL 61252
Telephone: (815) 589-2045
Sterling Public Library
102 West Third Street
Sterling, IL 61081
Telephone: (815) 625-1370

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 Whiteside 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 website of the Whiteside County Clerk explains how to order birth, marriage, and death records.

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 Whiteside County records. For information on how to use IRAD see the IRAD Wiki page.

Birth Records

Marriage Records

Death Records

Copies of original Death Records

Additional Resources

Additional resources for Whiteside County births, marriages and deaths may be found in the Illinois, Whiteside – Vital Records, and the Illinois, Whiteside – Vital Records - newspapers topic pages of the Family History Library catalog (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.

Web Sites


  1. Samuel Whiteside www.wikipedia.org
  2. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).