Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Spotlight on Clark County, Illinois

 Clark County lies along Interstate-70 and the Indiana State Line.  It was formed in 1819 from Crawford county and has been the current size since 1830. 

Birth and death records have been kept since 1877.  Marriage records and land records date to the formation of the county.  Probate Records date from 1840.  Many of these early records can be found online at

The County Clerk’s office holds the vital and land records.  The Circuit Clerk’s office has probate records.  The Courthouse is located at 501 Archer Avenue in Marshall.  Many records have been indexed by the Clark County Genealogical Society and their library is across the street at 612 Archer Avenue.  Since the library is staffed by volunteers, the hours are limited – check their website at

Another good resource for western Clark County is the Casey Township library at 307 E. Main St. in Casey.

Some records are at the IRAD depository at Eastern Illinois University – primarily vital records, and a few school and township records.


Note: This was originally published in the "County Spotlight" column in the Illinois State Genealogical Society Newsletter (March 2020).  

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Tip - How do I find my grandparents' marriage certificate?

Q. How do I find my grandparents marriage certificate?

A. Most counties in Illinois started recording marriages shortly after formation.  This is because, unlike birth and death records, marriage records can impact property ownership.  So, along with Probate and Land Records, marriage records are among the oldest records in the county.

A good place to start is the “Illinois Statewide Marriage Index 1763-1900” database at the Illinois State Archives -  There are some counties and dates that are not included in this database however.

If you know the county they lived in, you can try contacting the County Clerk in that county.  The specific IRAD for that county may have the record as well.

Keep in mind that not everyone was married in the same county they lived in.  They may have gone to a neighboring county to “elope” or simply for convenience.    Don’t forget that they may have crossed state lines as  well.

Note: This was originally published in the "Tips from the Genealogy Committee" column in the Illinois State Genealogical Society Newsletter (March 2020).  While these tips were written for those researching Illinois ancestors, many of the principles can be applied to other locations.