Pope County is located in southern Illinois. While it is the second-least populous county in Illinois, it is also one of the oldest. The county seat of Golconda began as a ferry stop in 1798 while still part of the Northwest Territory. Pope county itself was formed in 1816 from portions of Gallatin and Johnson counties. It was named for Nathaniel Pope, an early Illinois politician.
Birth and death records have been kept since 1877. Marriage records, Probate files and Land Records date to the founding of the county in 1816. Many of these records have been digitized and are available at FamilySearch.org.
The courthouse is located in the county seat of Golconda and their address is P.O. Box 216, Golconda, IL 62938 . Some vital records may also be found at the IRAD depository at Southern Illinois University. Other county records housed at the IRAD are naturalization and school board records.
There are some records online at the Pope County GenWeb site - https://pope.illinoisgenweb.org/index.htm. The Genealogical Society of Southern Illinois at www.ilgssi.org also has records from Pope County.
Note: This was originally published in the "County Spotlight" column in the Illinois State Genealogical Society Newsletter (May 2021).