Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Spotlight on Hamilton County, Illinois

Hamilton County is in Southern Illinois.  It was formed in 1825 and is named for Alexander Hamilton, the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury.

Birth and death records have been kept since 1878.  Marriage records and Probate records date to the formation of the county and the earliest land records are from 1835.  Only some probate records can be found on FamilySearch.org.

The County Clerk’s office holds the vital and land records.  The courthouse is location at 100 S. Jackson St., McLeansboro, IL  62859.  The form to order vital records is at https://www.hamiltoncountyillinois.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/genealogy-application-1.pdf.

The IRAD depository at Southern Illinois University holds some probate and naturalization records for this county.  A useful site with several types of records is the Yesterdays of Hamilton County, Illinois site at http://www.carolyar.com/Illinois/HamiltonCounty.htm.


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

Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Tip - How do I find my great-grandmother's birth certificate?


Q. How do I find my great-grandmother’s birth certificate?

A. Although Illinois started requiring birth records to kept in 1877, the record keeping was not widely enforced for the first several years. Birth records are kept at the County Level by the County Clerk.  For records after 1916, they may also be obtained from the Department of Public Health at https://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/birth-death-other-records/genealogy.  The records of some counties have been digitized and are online at familysearch.org.  Due to privacy restrictions, births more recent than 75 years can only be obtained by that specific person or their parents.

Some people filed a delayed birth certificate if they were born prior to registration but needed documentation to apply for social security when that program began.  If there is not an official birth record, other sources of birth information should be considered, such as baptism records, census records, and birth information on the death certificate to name a few.


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