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Illinois Genealogy Resources

Illinois Regional Area Depositories (IRAD)

The 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.

Located on seven state university campuses, regional depositories house and service those records of local governments which have been appraised as having long-term values and have been transferred to the Archives' custody. County records include:
  • county board proceedings files and meeting minutes
  • records of births, deaths and marriages
  • land deeds, mortgage and tax sale records
  • assessors' and collectors' tax books
  • poll books and voter registers
  • naturalization records, including declarations of intent
  • probate records, including wills and will records, case files, administrators' and executors' records, guardianship records, and inventory and appraisement records
  • civil and criminal court case files, chancery court case files (including divorces), docket books and court proceedings, and insanity proceedings and records
  • coroner's inquest records and inquest files
  • miscellaneous county records, including almshouse/county home records and jail registers.

Township, municipal, and school records include township meeting minutes, highway commissioners' minutes, school trustees' minutes, pupil registers, school land sale records, city council proceedings files and meeting minutes, ordinance records and city election records.

A special part of IRAD's holdings are from the City of Chicago which includes nearly 35,650 previously unknown documents that predate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. In addition to these City Council proceedings files of 1833 through 1942, holdings include plats, atlases, and Sanborn Maps. Other Chicago records include election registers for 1888, 1890 and 1892 and ordinance records spanning 1837 to 1916.

Search the IRAD Local Governmental Records Database on-line. Researchers may search the IRAD holdings by county, by title or by depository or by any combination of these fields.

Local governmental records in the Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD) system are also listed in: A Summary Guide to Local Governmental Records in the Illinois Regional Archives, Second Edition (1999), 265 pp. The guide is made up of two parts: one listing local governmental records in IRAD by county and the other listing them by title. This publication is updated periodically. (Bailey, Robert E. A Summary Guide to Local Governmental Records in the Illinois Regional Archives. Springfield, Illinois: Illinois State Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, 1992.)