ILLINOIS GENEALOGY TRAILS
Presents
County Facts

nwline.gif (2138 bytes)

When you've completed your reading here, be sure to take our trivia test.

 
Read more about the naming of the counties here

ADAMS COUNTY

Established: Jan. 13, 1825
Parent Counties: Pike
County Seat:
Quincy
Named After:
John Quincy Adams, sixth U.S. president

ALEXANDER COUNTY

Established: March 4, 1819
Parent Counties:
County Seat:
Cairo
Named After:
William M. Alexander, early settler of the district, also state representatives in second and third General Assemblies

BOND COUNTY

Established: Jan. 4, 1817
Parent Counties:
Madison, Crawford, and Edwards
County Seat:
Greenville
Named After:
Gov. Shadrach Bond

BOONE COUNTY

Established: March 4, 1837
Parent Counties: Winnebago
County Seat:
Belvedere
Named After:
Daniel Boone, pioneer hunter, explorer and Indian fighter.

BROWN COUNTY

Established: Feb. 1, 1839
Parent Counties: Schuyler
County Seat:
Mt. Sterling
Named After:
Gen. Jacob Brown, soldier in War of 1812.

BUREAU COUNTY

Established: Feb. 28, 1837
Parent Counties: Putnam
County Seat:
Princeton
Named After:
Pierre de Bureo, French trader with Native Americans

CALHOUN COUNTY

Established: Jan. 10, 1825
Parent Counties:

County Seat:
Hardin
Named After:
John C. Calhoun, southern statesman and U.S. vice-president under Adams and Jackson.

CARROLL COUNTY

Established: Feb. 22, 1839
Parent Counties: Jo Daviess
County Seat:
Mt. Carroll
Named After:
Charles Carroll of Carrollton, signer of the Declaration of Independence

CASS COUNTY

Established: March 3, 1837
Parent Counties: Sangamon
County Seat:
Virginia
Named After:
Gen.Lewis Cass, secretary of war under Jackson and secretary of state under Buchanan

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY

Established: Feb. 20, 1833
Parent Counties:
County Seat:
Urbana
Named After:
a county in Ohio

CHRISTIAN (formerly DANE) COUNTY

Established: Feb. 15, 1839
Parent Counties: Sangamon
County Seat:
Taylorville
Named After:
A county in Kentucky

CLARK COUNTY

Established: March 22, 1819
Parent Counties: Crawford
County Seat:
Marshall
Named After:
George Rogers Clark, soldier of the Revolution and captor of Ft. Vincennes and Kaskaskia

CLAY COUNTY

Established: Dec. 23, 1824
Parent Counties:
County Seat:
Louisville
Named After:
Henry Clay, famed politician and author of the Missouri Compromise

CLINTON COUNTY

Established: Dec. 27, 1824
Parent Counties: Washington, Bond & Fayette
County Seat:
Carlyle
Named After:
DeWitt Clinton, mayor of the city and governor of the State of New York; promoter of the Erie Canal

COLES COUNTY

Established: Dec. 25, 1830
Parent Counties: Clark & Edgar
County Seat:
Charleston
Named After:
Gov. Edward Coles

COOK COUNTY

Established: Jan. 15, 1831
Parent Counties:
Peoria
County Seat:
Chicago
Named After:
Daniel P. Cook, pioneer lawyer, first attorney general of Illinois and member of Congress from 1819 to 1827.

CRAWFORD COUNTY

Established: Dec. 31, 1816
Parent Counties:
County Seat:
Robinson
Named After:
William H. Crawford, prominent U.S. senator from Georgia, Secretary of War and candidate for president in 1824.

CUMBERLAND COUNTY

Established: March 2, 1843
Parent Counties: Coles
County Seat:
Toledo
Named After:
the Cumberland River (or from Cumberland in Maryland, source:"The Making of Illinois",1900, or from the Cumberland Road, "which as originally projected, passed through it" (source Historical Enclyopedia of IL, 1901)

DeKALB COUNTY

Established: March 4, 1837
Parent Counties: Kane County
County Seat:
Sycamore
Named After:
Joann DeKalb, German who fought in the Revolution; killed in 1870

DeWITT COUNTY

Established: March 1, 1839
Parent Counties:
County Seat:
Clinton
Named After:
Dewitt Clinton [see Clinton]

DOUGLAS COUNTY

Established: Feb. 8, 1859
Parent Counties: Coles
County Seat:
Tuscola
Named After:
Stephen A. Douglas, U.S. senator, 1847 to 1861

DuPAGE COUNTY

Established: Feb. 9, 1839
Parent Counties:
County Seat:
Wheaton
Named After:
the DuPage River

EDGAR COUNTY

Established: Jan. 3, 1823
Parent Counties: Clark County
County Seat:
Paris
Named After:
John Edgar, pioneer merchant and politician.

EDWARDS COUNTY

Established: Nov. 28, 1814
Parent Counties: Gallatin
County Seat:
Albion
Named After:
Gov. Ninian Edwards

EFFINGHAM COUNTY

Established: Feb. 15, 1831
Parent Counties: Fayette
County Seat:
Effingham
Named After:
Lord Edward Effingham, who resigned his post in the British Army rather than fight the colonies in 1775.

FAYETTE COUNTY

Established: Feb. 14, 1821
Parent Counties: Clark, Bond, Jefferson, Wayne and Crawford
County Seat:
Vandalia
Named After:
Marquis de La Fayette

FORD COUNTY

Established: Feb. 17, 1859
Parent Counties: Vermilion
County Seat:
Paxton
Named After:
Gov. Thomas Ford

FRANKLIN COUNTY

Established: Jan. 2, 1818
Parent Counties:
County Seat:
Benton
Named After:
Benjamin Franklin, famed statesman, who was U.S. ambassador to France during the Revolution.

FULTON COUNTY

Established: Jan. 28, 1823
Parent Counties:
County Seat:
Lewistown
Named After:
Robert Fulton, first successful builder of steamboats on American waters.

GALLATIN COUNTY

Established: Sept. 14, 1812
Parent Counties: St. Clair & Randolph
County Seat:
Shawneetown
Named After:
Albert Gallatin, Secretary of the Treasury, fiinancier and member of Congress from Pennsylvania.

GREENE COUNTY

Established: Jan. 20, 1821
Parent Counties: Madison County
County Seat:
Carrollton
Named After:
Gen. Nathaniel Greene, commander in southern colonies during the Revolution.

GRUNDY COUNTY

Established: Feb. 17, 1841
Parent Counties: La Salle
County Seat:
Morris
Named After:
Felix Grundy, U.S. senator from Tennessee and attorney general of the U.S.

HAMILTON COUNTY

Established: Feb. 8, 1821
Parent Counties:
County Seat:
McLeansboro
Named After:
Alexander Hamilton, revolutionary soldier and first secretary of the treasury, from 1789 to 1795

HANCOCK COUNTY

Established: Jan. 13, 1825
Parent Counties: Pike and Adams Counties
County Seat:
Carthage
Named After:
John Hancock, revolutionary soldier and first signer of Declaration of Independence.

HARDIN COUNTY

Established: Jan. 20, 1841
Parent Counties:
County Seat:
Elizabethtown
Named After:
a county in Kentucky.

HENDERSON COUNTY

Established: Jan. 20, 1841
Parent Counties: Warren
County Seat:
Oquawka
Named After:
a county in Kentucky.

HENRY COUNTY

Established: Jan. 13, 1825
Parent Counties:
County Seat:
Cambridge
Named After:
Patrick Henry, famed orator, revolutionary soldier and governor of Virginia.

IROQUOIS COUNTY

Established: Feb. 26, 1833
Parent Counties: Vermilion
County Seat:
Watseka
Named After: A Native American Tribe

JACKSON COUNTY

Established: Jan. 10, 1816
Parent Counties: Randolph and Johnson
County Seat:
Murphysboro
Named After:
Andrew Jackson

JASPER COUNTY

Established: Feb. 15, 1831
Parent Counties:
County Seat:
Newton
Named After:
Sgt. William Jasper, revolutionary hero at Charleston and Savannah.

JEFFERSON COUNTY

Established: March 26, 1819
Parent Counties: Edwards & White
County Seat:
Mt. Vernon
Named After:
Thomas Jefferson.

JERSEY COUNTY

Established: Feb. 28, 1839
Parent Counties: Greene
County Seat:
Jerseyville
Named After:
New Jersey

JO DAVIESS

Established: Feb. 17, 1827
Parent Counties: Peoria County
County Seat:
Galena
Named After:
J oseph Hamilton Daviess, prominent Kentucky lawyer and soldier; slain at the battle of Tippecanoe in 1811

JOHNSON COUNTY

Established: Sept. 14, 1812
Parent Counties: Randolph County
County Seat:
Vienna
Named After:
Col. Richard M. Johnson, reputed to have killed the Indian Chief Tecumseh; also U.S. vice-president, 1937-41

KANE

Established: June 1836
Parent Counties:
County Seat: Geneva
Named After: Senator Elias Kent Kane

KANKAKEE

Established: 1851
Parent Counties: Will & Iroquois
County Seat:
Named After: The Kankakee River

KENDALL

Established: 1841
Parent Counties: LaSalle and Kane
County Seat: Yorkville
Named After: The PostMaster General under President Jackson

KNOX

Established: 1830
Parent Counties:
County Seat: Galesburg
Named After: General Henry Knox

LAKE

Established: 1839
Parent Counties: McHenry
County Seat: Waukegan
Named After: From the fact that there are 40 small lakes within the county

LA SALLE 

Established: 1831
Parent Counties:
County Seat:
Named After: La Salle, French explorer

LAWRENCE

Established: 1821
Parent Counties: Edwards
County Seat: Lawrenceville
Named After: Named for Captain James Lawrence, Commander of the Chesapeake, who was mortally wounded in an engagement between that vessel and the British vessel, Shannon, during the War of 1812.

LEE

Established: 1839
Parent Counties: Ogle
County Seat: Dixon
Named After: Richard Henry Lee (Rev. War Soldier) - Orator and statesman of the Revolutionary period, a member of the Continental Congress, a Representative in Congress and United States Senator from Virginia.

LIVINGSTON

Established: 1837
Parent Counties:
County Seat: Pontiac
Named After: Edward Livingston

LOGAN

Established: 1839
Parent Counties: Sangamon
County Seat: Lincoln
Named After: Dr. John Logan, father of Senator John A. Logan

MACON

Established: 1829
Parent Counties:
County Seat:
Named After: Nathaniel Macon, (Rev. War Soldier & statesman)

MACOUPIN

Established: 1829
Parent Counties:
County Seat: Carlinville
Named After: Native American word meaning "white potato"

MADISON

Established: 1812
Parent Counties: St.Clair
County Seat: Edwardsville
Named After: President James Madison (President at the time)

MARION

Established: 1823
Parent Counties:
County Seat: Salem
Named After: Francis Marion, soldier in revolution

MARSHALL

Established: 1839
Parent Counties: Putnam
County Seat: Lacon
Named After: Chief Justice John Marshall

MASON

Established: 1841
Parent Counties: Sangamon
County Seat: Havana
Named After: A county in Kentucky

 MASSAC  

Established: 1843
Parent Counties:
County Seat: Metropolis
Named After: Fort Massac

McDONOUGH

Established: Jan. 25, 1826, but attached to Schuyler until 1830
Parent Counties: Schuyler
County Seat: Macomb
Named After: Commodore McDonough

McHENRY  

Established: 1836
Parent Counties: Attached to Lake county, split in 1839
County Seat: Woodstock
Named After: General William McHenry

McLEAN

Established: 1830
Parent Counties: Sangamon
County Seat: Bloomington
Named After: John McClean, early U.S. Senator

MENARD

Established: 1839
Parent Counties: Sangamon
County Seat: Petersburg
Named After: Pierre Menard

MERCER

Established: 1825
Parent Counties: Warren
County Seat: Aledo
Named After: General Hugh Mercer

MONROE

Established: 1816
Parent Counties:
County Seat: Waterloo
Named After: President Monroe

MONTGOMERY

Established: 1821
Parent Counties:
County Seat: Hillsboro
Named After: General Richard Montgomery

MORGAN

Established: Jan. 31, 1823
Parent Counties: Sangamon (Parent of Cass and Scott counties)
County Seat: Jacksonville
Named After: General Daniel Morgan

MOULTRIE

Established: 1843
Parent Counties: Shelby & Macon
County Seat: Sullivan
Named After: Revolutionary War Hero --- Moultrie

OGLE

Established: 1837
Parent Counties: Jo Daviess
County Seat: Oregon
Named After: Lt. Joseph Ogle, politician

PEORIA 

Established: 1825
Parent Counties: Fulton
County Seat: Peoria
Named After: Named after the Peoria Native American Tribe

PERRY 

Established: 1827
Parent Counties:
County Seat: Pinckneyville
Named After: Com. Oliver H. Perry

PIATT

Established: 1841
Parent Counties: Macon & Dewitt
County Seat: Monticello
Named After: John Piatt's family, he was the first sheriff

PIKE  

Established: 1821
Parent Counties:
County Seat: Pittsfield
Named After: Captain Zebulon Pike, explorer

POPE

Established: 1816
Parent Counties: Gallatin & Johnson
County Seat: Golconda
Named After: Judge Nathaniel Pope

PULASKI  

Established: 1832
Parent Counties: Alexander
County Seat: Mound City
Named After: a Polish patriot who aided the Americans during the Revolutionary War

PUTNAM 

Established: 1825
Parent Counties: Sangamon
County Seat: Hennepin
Named After: Gen. Israel Putnam

RANDOLPH

Established: 1795
Parent Counties: St. Clair
County Seat: Chester
Named After: Beverly Randolph

RICHLAND

Established: 1841
Parent Counties: Edwards
County Seat: Olney
Named After: A County in Ohio

ROCK ISLAND

Established: 1835
Parent Counties:
County Seat: Rock Island (formerly known as Stephenson)
Named After: An island in the Mississippi River

ST. CLAIR

Established: (1st county) April 27, 1790
Parent Counties:
County Seat: Belleville
Named After: Governor St. Clair

SALINE

Established: 1847
Parent Counties:
County Seat: Harrisburg
Named After: the salt springs in the county

SANGAMON

Established: June 30, 1821
Parent Counties: Bond & Madison
County Seat: Springfield
Named After: The Sangamon River, which flows through it

SCHUYLER 

Established: 1825
Parent Counties: Pike
County Seat: Rushville
Named After: General Philip Schuyler

SCOTT

Established: 1839
Parent Counties: Morgan
County Seat: Winchester
Named After: Early pioneers in the county - SCOTT family

SHELBY

Established: 1827
Parent Counties:
County Seat: Shelbyville
Named After: Kentucky Governor Shelby

STARK 

Established: 1839
Parent Counties: Putnam & Knox
County Seat: Toulon
Named After: John Stark, a soldier of the French and Indian wars, a Major General of the Revolution, who served with distinction at Bunker Hill, Trenton, Princeton, and Bennington.

STEPHENSON

Established: 1837
Parent Counties:
County Seat: Freeport
Named After: Benjamin Stephenson, prominent pioneer, a Colonel of the Territorial militia, and Adjutant General of the Territory (18131814).

TAZEWELL

Established: 1827
Parent Counties: Sangamon
County Seat: Pekin
Named After: Virginia Governor Tazewell

UNION 

Established: January 1818
Parent Counties:
County Seat: Jonesboro
Named After: The Federal Union

VERMILION

Established: 1826
Parent Counties:
County Seat: Danville
Named After: Vermilion and Little Vermilion Rivers which flow through it

WABASH

Established: 1824
Parent Counties: Edwards
County Seat: Mount Carmel
Named After: The Wabash River, which flows through it

WARREN

Established: Created in 1825; Fully organized in 1830
Parent Counties:
County Seat: Monmouth
Named After: General Joseph Warren

WASHINGTON

Established: 1818
Parent Counties: One of the original 15
County Seat: Nashville
Named After: President George Washington

WAYNE

Established: 1819
Parent Counties:
County Seat: Fairfield
Named After: General Anthony Wayne

WHITE

Established: 1816
Parent Counties: 10th county organized out of original 15
County Seat: Carmi
Named After: Major Leonard White, killed in the battle of Tippecanoe

WHITESIDE

Established: 1836
Parent Counties:
County Seat: Morrison
Named After: Captain Samuel Whiteside, "noted Indian fighter"

WILL

Established: 1836
Parent Counties: Cook
County Seat: Joliet
Named After: Dr. Conrad Will, early politician and legislator

WILLIAMSON

Established: 1839
Parent Counties: Franklin
County Seat: Marion
Named After: A county in Tennessee

WINNEBAGO

Established: 1836
Parent Counties: LaSalle & Jo Daviess
County Seat: Rockford
Named After: The Winnebago Native American Tribe

WOODFORD

Established: 1841
Parent Counties:
County Seat: Eureka
Named After: A county in Kentucky

trailbut.jpg (3921 bytes)

nwline.gif (2138 bytes)

Sources:
State of Illinois, 175th Anniversary Blue Book, 1993-1994 (Counties A-J)
Transcribed by Candi Horton
The Historical Enclyopedia, 1901 (Counties K-Z)
Transcribed by Kim Torp