Illinois Genealogy Trails

Madison County, Illinois


#1 question we receive is how to get copies of records.
Answer: Just about everywhere you are going to research in, Birth, Marriage and Death records are kept in the county courthouses and you'll need to write them to pay for a copy of those records.

Here's their Genealogy Research Policy and FAQs

Each county in Illinois differs on when they started keeping official records in their courthouses.
And just because they started keeping records on a certain date doesn't mean YOUR relative made the effort to comply with the law and travel to the courthouse to record the event.

For Madison county:

Births were recorded beginning in the late 1800’s.

Marriage records date back 1813
(FYI - the early recordswill have nothing more than 2 names and a date. Around the mid-1880's the county clerks started keeping logs which have MUCH more info - place of birth, parents names, witnesses, number of marriages. If you ask for a marriage "certificate", you will not get that information. Ask for a marriage "record" and also inquire as to whether the county clerk's record/log is available. Honestly, you'll have better luck asking for those logs from the IRAD branch rather than the courthouse.)

Deaths were recorded beginning in 1878


Also check out various state archives and state libraries. We have a list of websites here:

You'll also want to check out the hometown public libraries. They will almost always have local genealogy data on their shelves.


Transcribed indexes of vital records are located on the Illinois Secretary of State website. They change the url too often, but here's the most recent one that will get you to their databases (current as of May 2015):


Other Links
If you have a free website you want us to provide a link to, email us.
As a heads up, if you want a link from us, be prepared to return the favor and link to this site.

World's Largest Catsup Bottle

Collinsville library online

The Clark Bridge

Haunted Alton, Illinois
Why? Because these types of stories ALWAYS involve history.
Some true, some not so much, but you never know what may help break down a brick wall.

Elijah Parrish Lovejoy

Burials in Oakwood Cemetery

Robert Wadlow - Alton's Gentle Giant. World's Tallest man.

The History of the Wagner Brewing Company
Granite City, Illinois

Genealogy Trails History Group
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