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Illinois Periodicals

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Illinois State Historical Society Journal

Many periodicals publish transcriptions of local sources used in genealogical research. Information may include family histories, genealogies, biographies, historical background, maps, information about local records and archives, queries, census indexes, transcripts of family Bibles, church records, court records, cemetery records, land records, military records, obituaries, and wills. Often published by genealogical or historical societies, they typically focus on the records of a particular county, while a few may specialize in records of a particular ethnic group or religion. Among the Illinois periodicals at the Family History Library and elsewhere are:

Branching Out From St. Clair County. 1973–. Published by the Marissa Historical and Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 47, Marissa, IL 62257-0047. Other Libraries(WorldCat) FHL film 1927530(first of 5 films); FHL fiche 6101495 (first of 28 fiche); FHL book 977.389 D25b. This periodical focuses on St. Clair County, which was created in 1790, the first county formed in the Northwest Territory.

Chicago Genealogist. 1968–. Published by the Chicago Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 1160, Chicago, IL 60690. Other Libraries(WorldCat)Family History Library Film 1927805 (first of 5 films); Book 977.311 D25ch. This contains member and ancestor lists and abstracts of cemetery, Bible, census, court, and other records of the Chicago area.

The Circuit Rider. 1973–. Published by the Sangamon County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 1829, Springfield, IL 62705.Other Libraries(WorldCat)FHL film 1976338 (first of 3 films); FHL book 977.356 B2c. This covers Springfield and Sangamon County.

Historic Illinois, published by the Illinois Dept. of Conservation, Division of Historic Sites. Back issues are available for purchase.

The Illiana Genealogist: Quarterly Publication of the Illiana Genealogical and Historical Society. 1965–. P.O. Box 207, Danville, Illinois 61834. Other Libraries(WorldCat); FHL films 1953943 items 62-68 and FHL film 1953945; FHL book 977.3 B2iL This includes transcriptions of records for the border area of Illinois and Indiana,and in particular Vermillion County. There is a surname index for each volume.

Illinois Heritage is published by the Illinois State Historical Society and is provided to its members. See for libraries that also have copies.

Illinois Historical Journal (1985-current year) (previously Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society (1908-1984))  The journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, a non-profit organization for preserving, promoting, and publishing the latest research on Illinois. Online digital copies are available for the years 1908-1923 and 1950–2006. Also available are the tables of content for 1924-1949 and 2004 to the current year, but not the full text.

There are cumulative indexes for volumes 1–25, 26–50, and 51–60.

Illinois State Genealogical Society Quarterly. 1969–. Published by the Illinois State Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 10195, Springfield, IL 62791-0195. Other Libraries(WorldCat); FHL films 1954961–1954964 and FHL book 977.3 B2is Covering the entire state, this periodical provides articles about Illinois records and how to use them, as well as abstracts of records.

Journal of Illinois History. Published by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency for the Illinois State Historical Society. Information and an index can be found at the Agency's website.

Prairie Roots. 1973–. Published by the Peoria Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 1489, Peoria, IL 61655. FHL book 977.352/P1 B2p This periodical focuses on Peoria County.

St. Clair County Genealogical Society Quarterly. 1978–. Published by the St. Clair County Genealogical Society, P. O. Box 431, Belleville, IL 62222-0431. Other Libraries(WorldCat); FHL film 1976344 items 3–30 – 1976345 items 1–11 and FHL book 977.389 D25s This periodical focuses on historical St. Clair County. Volume 20, number 4 is devoted entirely to county research and resources.

Where the Trails Cross. 1970–. Published by the South Suburban Genealogical and Historical Society, P.O. Box 96, South Holland, IL 60473.Other Libraries(WorldCat) FHL films 1907605 and 1907634 This periodical contains abstracts of records from South Cook and North Will counties.

Indexes. Some of the periodicals listed above have annual indexes in the final issue for the year. For nationwide indexes to other family history periodicals, see United States Periodicals.

The Periodical Source Index is available online and is especially useful because it refers to countless items published in thousands of English and French-Canadian family history periodicals. Learn more at the PERSI wiki page. PERSI can be searched several different ways:

Once you locate an article in a periodical, check the FamilySearch Catalog and regional or local libraries for available copies.

Periodicals can be found on state, county and local levels. The Family History Library has many collected periodicals. These can be found by using a Place-name Search or a Title Search of  the FamilySearch Catalog. Some periodicals may be found with a Keyword Search for the publishing society name.  Societies may be also be found on state, county or local levels.   

Additional resources for Illinois periodicals may be found in the Illinois-Periodical topic page of the FamilySearch Catalog. Copies of records on FHL microfilm and microfiche can be ordered for viewing at Family History Centers. Also find Illinois Periodical resources available at other libraries (WorldCat). As with the FamilySearch Catalog search, search WorldCat using society names, locality names, and periodical title names. Learn more about how to search WorldCat and the FamilySearch Catalog.