Illinois Genealogy Resources
Probate Records and Wills
In 1819 probate jurisdiction was granted to the clerk of a county's commissioner's court, a court that served as administrators for the county. All matters involving estates and the guardianships of minor were included as duties of the court. The circuit court for that county had jurisdiction in probate cases when actions of the commissioners were appealed. In 1821 probate functions were moved from commissioner's courts tot he county's probate court.
When county courts were established in 1848, jurisdiction of probate matters was transferred to them. Beginning in 1870, counties with a population of over 50,000 had probate courts separate from county courts. However, the minimum population number changed several times after that. Effective 1 January 1964, probate functions were turned over to circuit courts.
Illinois Regional Archives Depositories has a large collection of probate records and continues to acquire these genealogically valuable resources. Their collection includes files beginning in 1813. Some very early estate records are included in the Kaskaskia Manuscripts and in the J. Nick Pierrin collection at the Illinois State Archives in Springfield.
Records not accessioned by the Illinois State
Archives and the regional depositories are at the office of the
circuit court clerk serving that county. The Family History Library
catalog should also be searched to determine what microfilms of
county records are in its collection as well.
Clinton County Wills Index (not complete)
County Court House Addresses
Family History Library
Illinois Probate Records 1819-1970 – Browsable Imaged
Records – Images of will books, administrations, journals,
inventories, guardian’s records, and order books from various
counties in Illinois. The content and time period will vary by
county. Illinois created probate courts in 1819. FamilySearch.
Genealogical Research Series Pamphlet 2: Probate Records
The Illinois Regional Archives Depositories (IRAD)
Illinois State Archives - Main page
County Probate Index
Livingston County Probate case files Index 1837-1958
Madison County Probate case files Index 1813-1910
Mclean County Probate Record Index 1834-1934
Mclean County Will Record Index 1838-1940
Peoria County Probate case files Index 1825-1887
Rock Island County Probate Case Files Index 1834-1899
- Sangamon County Probate Case Files Index 1821-1885