McLean County, Illinois Genealogy

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United States Genealogy Gotoarrow.png Illinois, United States Genealogy Gotoarrow.png McLean County

Guide to McLean County Illinois genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.


McLean County, Illinois
Boundary map of McLean County, Illinois
Map of the U.S. highlighting Illinois
Location of Illinois in the U.S.
Founded: December 25, 1830
County Seat Bloomington
Address McLean County Government Center
115 E. Washington Street
Bloomington, Illinois 61702
(309) 888-5190
McLean County Website

McLean County Organization[edit | edit source]

McLean County's civil records start the following years:

                                     Beginning Dates for McLean County Records
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate

County records are most often kept at the County Courthouse or another local repository. For further information about where the records for McLean County are kept, see the McLean County Courthouse page.

Historical Facts[edit | edit source]

Justice John McLean .jpg

The county was named for John McLean, a pioneer lawyer, Territorial judge, first Representative in Congress from Illinois (1818), and United States Senator (1824-1825).

Parent County[edit | edit source]

  • 1830--McLean County was created 25 December 1830 from Tazewell County and unorganized territory.

County seat:Bloomington [1]

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

Eastern Part

1827-1830 Shelby
1821-1827 Fayette
1819-1821 Clark
1816-1819 Crawford
1815-1816 Edwards

Western Part

1827-1831 Tazewell
1825-1827 Peoria
1821-1825 Sangamon
1817 - 1821 Bond
1812-1821 Madison
1801-1812 St. Clair
1790-1801 Knox, Northwest Territory

See an interactive map of McLean County boundary changes.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

The Bloomington Fire

A Loss of $2,000,000, Covering Five Blocks of Houses and Including the Courthouse.

Bloomington, Ill., June 19.-Fire early this morning swept the business section of the city, burning between forty and fifty business houses and entailing a loss of $2,000,000. Word was sent to Peoria and Springfield to send fire engines. As every effort to check progress of the flames proved futile, the blowing up of buildings with dynamite was resorted to after the fire had been raging for three hours and a half. A strong east wind prevailed, which made the work of the firemen extremely difficult.

Among the buildings destroyed and some of the losses are the following:

..., and the courthouse.

Two firemen are missing and are probably in the ruins. The burned district covers an area of five blocks.

The insurance is approximately $800,000.

Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX 20 Jun 1900

A Terrible Fire

Half the Business Portion of Bloomington, Ills., Wiped Out by Fire

Courthouse Hotels and Dozens on the City's Finest Buildings Destroyed.

Total Loss Variously Estimated at Between $1,500,000 and $2,000,000

Bloomington, Ills., June 20.-A fire which broke out at 12:30 a.m. wiped out nearly one-half of the business portion of Bloomington, .... Two sides of the courthouse square are in ruins. The north and the east and the other two blocks cornering on the square and one-half of the block west of the square are also destroyed. The courthouse, which is standing, is gutted from dome to basement. As far as known no lives were lost or anyone seriously injured.

The fire broke out in the Model laundry on Monroe Street, in the block northeast of the courthouse. The flames soon got beyond control and spread to the 4-story brick structure belonging to the B.S. Green company.

Government Building Escapes

In an hour the entire block was destroyed excepting the government building in which is located the post office and which escaped unharmed.

... . .with the entire block lying east of the courthouse was destroyed. The courthouse caught from Griesheim building and burned slowly, the clock in the dome running until it struck 4.

The Bloomington, Peoria and Springfield fire departments arrived about 6 a.m., and aided the local firemen in getting the fire burning in a westerly direction under control. In all 40 to 50 business houses were destroyed.

Aberdeen Daily News, Aberdeen, SD 20 Jun 1900

Records and Resources[edit | edit source]

Biography[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemetery records often identify birth, death, relationship, and military information, as well as religious affiliation.

Evergreen Cemetery (Bloomington) is a 80 plus acre cemetery from the 1820's. It is the final resting place of some prominent MCLean County individuals, including Adlai Stevenson I, baseball player Charles "Ol Hoss" Radbourne, David Davis, Supreme Court Judge and friend of Abe Lincoln, and Dorothy Gage, the inspiration for the Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz.

The cemetery caretakers have done a wonderful job with their website, and have over 26,000 burials recorded for online searching. Each year, it is the host of the Evergreen Cemetery Walk, where actors in period clothing portray the life of some of the individuals in the cemetery, while standing at their grave site. This cemetery has won awards for its dedication to preserving history.

BillionGraves has some data from this cemetery, which include headstone photos along with indexed data.

  • Find A Grave can be searched by the name of a person or family to find where a person is buried.Usually gives birth and death dates often with a picture of the tombstone. May give obituaries,names of family members and links to their information in Find A Grave.

BillionGraves is a site where people take photos using a smartphone and upload them using the app the site provides, and others transcribe them. Some McLean County area cemeteries have been visited and had photos taken for the BillionGraves site.

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
IL Counties 1900-1990


1840 Pensioners[edit | edit source]

  • A Census of Pensioners for Revolutionary or Military Services: With their Names, Ages, and Places of Residence, as Returned by the Marshalls of the Several Judicial Districts, Under the Act for Taking the Sixth Census. Washington, D.C., 1841. FHL 973 X2pc 1840; FHL 2321; digital version at Google Books. [See Illinois, McLean County on page 187.]

Church Records[edit | edit source]

LDS Ward and Branch Records

Cemetery, Church and Family Records of Illinois. by Daughters of the American Revolution. FHL Collection item 5

West Twin Grove Christian Church, Bloominton, Illinois: membership and board meetings, 1847-1908. transcribed by Gerald W. Kattke. FHL 573476 item 12. FHL Book 977.359 K2k

Bloomington Methodist Church. by McLean County Historical Society  WorldCat

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Original court records are held in the office of the Circuit Court Clerk. See Illinois Court Records for more information about using court records.

McLean County Circuit Court, 104 West Front Street, Bloomington, IL 61701


This website gives information regarding vital records, court records, immigration and property records.

The Circuit Clerk's office has an on line database of immigration records which was done with the assistance of the McLean County Genealogical Society.

The court has one of the more extensive collections of original court records in the state.

Ethnic Research[edit | edit source]

African American[edit | edit source]

The following have information concerning African American research.

Genealogy[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

E. Duis, The Good Old Times in McLean County. Bloomington: (Publishers name not given), 1874. Digital version at Google Books. The book contains biographies of the early settlers of McLean County.

A variety of early McLean County genealogical records are transcribed in:

  • McLean County, White County, Will County Genealogical Records. Evanston, Ill.?: Illinois Society, D.A.R.?, 1945?. Digital version at Ancestry ($).

Land and Property[edit | edit source]

Original land records are held in the office of the County Clerk . See Illinois Land and Property for more information about using land records.

1909-1926 Coal Mine Maps - IRAD-ISU

Maps[edit | edit source]


Military Records[edit | edit source]

For information about using Military records see Illinois Military Records

Revolutionary War[edit | edit source]

1835 Revolutionary War Pensioners

War of 1812[edit | edit source]

Custer, Milo Soldiers of the Revolution and the War of 1812 buried in McLean County, Illinois (bloomington, Illinois Bloomington Norman Genealogical Society, 1969) pages 25  FHL Book 977.359 V22

Military Land Grants McLean County Illinois for Soldiers of the War of 1812 - USGenWeb

Blackhawk War[edit | edit source]

Captain M.L.Covell's Company - USGenWeb

Captain Robert McClure's Company - USGenWeb

Civil War[edit | edit source]

Civil War service men from McLean County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies or regiments that were formed from men of McLean County.


- 1st Regiment, Illinois Cavalry - Company A
- 3rd Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Company I
- 4th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Company G, and Company L
- 5th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Company C


- 8th Regiment, Illinois Infantry (3 months, 1861), Company K.
- 20th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company C
- 24th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company B
- 8th Regiment, Illinois Infantry (3 months), Company K
- 8th Regiment, Illinois Infantry (3 years), Company K
- 20th Regiment, Illinois InfantryCompany C
- 24th Regiment, Illinois InfantryCompany B
- 26th Regiment, Illinois Infantry,   Company K
- 33rd Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company A, Company C, and  Company G
- 37th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company G
- 39th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company B,  and  Company K.
- 58th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company G
- 62nd Regiment, Illinois Infantry, (part of Kentucky Brigade)  Company H
- 63rd Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company D
- 68th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company F, and Company G
- 70th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company H
- 82nd Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company E
- 94th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company A, Company B, Company C, Company D, Company E, Company F, Company G, Company H, Company I, and  Company K.
- 116th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company F
- 117th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company A
- 145th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company B, Company I, and Company K
- 146th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company G
- 150th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company A, and Company B
- 152nd regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company B, and Company C

Soldiers of the Revolution and the War 1812 Buried in McLean County, Illinois. by Milo Custer FHL Collection item 4 FHL book: 977.359 V22c   Also Online at Internet Archives

Grand Army of the Republic  (GAR)

A list of GAR Post in Illinois additional site for post in Illinois; Library of Congress

Chas. E. Hovey Post, Normal 1913 - USGenWeb

Chenoa Post, Cheona 1913 - USGenWeb

H.W. Wood Post, McLean 1913 - USGenWeb

Thomas Riddle Post, Le Roy 1913 - USGenWeb

W. T. Sherman Post, Bloomington 1913 - USGenWeb

Indian Wars[edit | edit source]

Military Land Grants in McLean County, Illinois for Soldiers of the Indian Wars - USGenWeb

World War I[edit | edit source]

McLean County, Illinois in the World War, 1917-1918

World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918

World War II[edit | edit source]

Army Casualties   Part 1  U.S. Natiional Archives and Records Administration

Army Casualties  Part 2  U.S. National Archives and records Administration

Naturalization[edit | edit source]

Original naturalization records are held in the office of the County Clerk. See Illinois Naturalization Records for more information about using naturalization records.

The following copies of original records may be accessed through the Family History Library or the Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD) located at the Illinois State University (ISU) - search for McLean County records. For information on how to use IRAD see the ISU IRAD Wiki page.

The website of the McLean County Circuit Clerk includes a free online naturalization index (produced with the help of the McLean County Genealogical Society).

1853-1965 Naturalization Abstracts. by Phyllis Abner and McLean County Genealogical Society FHL Collection items 4-6 FHL book: 977.359 P4n

Newspapers and Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Newspapers Published in McLean County

Chronicling America  Library of Congress

1850-1870   Central Illinois Obituaries,

1871-1880  Central Illinois Obituaries

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Original estates and wills are held in the office of the Circuit Court Clerk. See Illinois Probate Records for more information about using probate records.

The following abstracts and copies of original records may be accessed through the Family History Library or the Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD) located at the Illinois State University (ISU) - search for McLean County records. For information on how to use IRAD see the ISU IRAD Wiki page.

1834-1934 Probate Record -IRAD-ISU

1838-1940 Probate Will Record -IRAD-ISU

1850-1928 Probate Inventory Record - IRAD-ISU

1862-1939 Probate Dockets - IRAD-ISU

1866-1944 Probate Executor's Record IRAD-ISU

1881-1965 Probate Guardian's and Conservator's Account Record - IRAD-ISU

  • 1831-1946 Index to Probate Records, McLean County, Illinois. by Nola G. Marquardt FHL Collection

Repositories[edit | edit source]

IRAD is a system of Illinois Regional Archives Depositories managed by the Illinois State Archives, housing the archival records of local Illinois counties, townships, municipalities and school districts. The seven Regional Depositories are housed on state university campuses scattered throughout Illinois. Illinois State University houses the records for McLean County.

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

County records are most often kept at the County Courthouse or another local repository. For further information about where the records for McLean County are kept, see the McLean County Courthouse page.

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Centers (FHCs) are branches of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah (United States) and are located all over the world. Their goal is to provide resources to assist you in the research and study of your genealogy. Currently there are no Family History Centers located directly in McLean County.

You may search your address for a center near you on the FamilySearch site. The following centers are located in surrounding counties. Their wiki pages may supply hours and other information.

Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD)[edit | edit source]

Illinois State Universtiy
2016 Warehouse Road Campus
Box 1520
Normal, Illinois 61802
Phone: 1-309-452-6027

Illinois Regional Archives Depository System - Local Governmental Records Listings Arranged by County

Public Libraries[edit | edit source]

McLean County Public Libraries

McLean County Libraries 

Social Groups Online[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

McLean County Genealogical Society

McLean County Historical Society

The Lexington Genealogical and Historical Society, Inc. (a.k.a. "The Fort") at Lexington, Illinois is a small building crammed with genalogical materials that cover McLean, Livingston, Woodford and Ford Counties.

Their records exist in either paper or microfilm form, the collection is a gold mine. They have saved obituaries from newspapers, extensive cemetery records and have some microfilm of marriage records, etc. from official sources. The staff is friendly and knowledgable.

Taxation[edit | edit source]

1898-2001 Inheritance Tax Record IRAD-ISU

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

See Illinois Vital Records for more information about Vital records in Illinois

The website of the McLean County Clerk's Office explains how to order copies of birth, marriage, and death records.

Birth[edit | edit source]

1860-1900 Birth Index - IRAD-ISU. Available at the Family History Library FHL Collection items 3-9. FHL book: 977.359 V21b

1877-1902 Birth Record - IRAD-ISU. Available at the Family History Library FHL Collection

The website of the McLean County Clerk's Office includes a Birth Index Search from 1860 through 1915.

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Death[edit | edit source]

1877-1900 Death Record - IRAD-ISU. Available at the Family History Library FHL Collection

1878-1899 Death Index Cards. McLean County Clerk. FHL Collection

Web Sites[edit | edit source]

Databases Pertinent to McLean County
Local Governmental Records Database
Name Index to Illinois Local Governments
Illinois Statewide Marriage Index
Illinois Statewide Death Index, 1916–1950
Illinois Public Domain Land Tract Sales Database
Federal Township Plats of Illinois
McLean County Probate Record Index (1834–1934)

Places / Localities[edit | edit source]

[edit | edit source]

Blue Mound
Cheney's Grove

Dry Grove
Funk's Grove

Money Creek
Mount Hope
Old Town
White Oak

Populated Places[edit | edit source]


Le Roy


Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002), 196. (FHL Collection Ref Book 973 D27e 2002). WorldCat entry.