Our goal is to help you track your ancestors through time by
transcribing genealogical and historical data for the free use of all researchers.
Hello and Welcome to Wayne County Illinois
My name is
Simone Myers and it is my pleasure to be your volunteer
county host! My family's roots run deep in Wayne
County history so taking on this project is a labor of
love for me. Although I don't currently live
there, it is where I spent much of my childhood, today
my great-great granny's farm land is still owned by
members of my direct family and I visit as often as I am
A few of my family surnames
include: Farris, Trotter, Shelton, Holman, Orr,
Walker, Hoffee, and Marvel. Please note: I
am always happy to share what I have learned, but I am
unable to take on any individual research projects.
My mission for this site is to provide the most
complete as possible picture of all things that is Wayne
County History and her people for us now and generations to
come. But, I NEED YOU to help make this a reality,
your contributions no matter how big or small are wanted
The types of data we are looking
for included obituaries, biographies, bible records,
news articles, wills, birth & death records, cemetery
listings, marriage & divorce records, census records,
military records, even personal memories, letters,
photos, historical accounts, basically anything and
everything that is Wayne County Illinois.
are unable to transcribe something your self, no
worries, send me a scan of it or even just snap a
picture with your cell phone or digital camera and
Email me that.
Wayne County was formed out of Edwards
County on March 16, 1819 only 3 months after the Illinois
Territory entered the Union becoming the 21st
State on December 3, 1818. Wayne is one of fifteen
counties in the United States to be named after General
Anthony Wayne "Mad Anthony" an officer in the
Revolutionary War and Northwest Indian War.
northern county boundary line shifted slightly until
Wayne was reduced to its final size in 1824 of a 715
square mile area containing a portion of the Little
Wabash River, which branches off from the Wabash River, a
significant waterway feeding into the Ohio River.
Wayne County is located in the southeastern portion of
the state and is part of an area known as "Little
Egypt", which historically is defined as the southern
portion of Illinois below State Route 50.
1820 federal census was the first to include, Wayne County with a
population of 1,114. The population at the 2010
federal census was 16,760. The county is divided
into 20 townships with several unincorporated communities, 9
villages, and 1 city - Fairfield that has
been the county seat since its formation.
County Townships: Arrington - Barnhill - Bedford - Berry
- Big Mound - Elm River - Four Mile - Garden Hill -
Grover - Hickory Hill - Indian Prairie - Jasper - Keith
- Lamard - Leech - Massilon - Mount Erie - Orchard -
Orel - Zif
Villages: Cisne - Golden Gate - Geff
(Jeffersonville) - Johnsonville - Keenes - Mill Shoals -
Mount Erie - Sims - Wayne City
Predominantly a rural agricultural area, the county sits
in the middle of the Illinois Basin - an area rich in
coal, petroleum, and natural gas, as such, Wayne County
among much of southern Illinois benefited from the "oil
boom" of the 1930s to 1950s. Today Wayne's
landscape is still punctuated with oil tanks and pumps.
Wayne County is also the birthplace and home of the
notorious Shelton Brothers Gang, bootleggers dubbed as "America's
Bloodiest Gang" that operated from the 1920s
On November 3, 1886 the records of the
county took a devastating blow when as reported in the
November 8th issue of the Wayne County Press Newspaper
"the brick building containing the county's offices was
found to be on fire." Today a book published in
1884 titled "History of Wayne & Clay Counties, Illinois"
serves as an invaluable resource to fill in the gap left
by that fire. The book is no longer protected
under copyright and a digital copy of the original is
available via archive.org with transcribed excerpts
Please visit the
County History section for more.
[Sources: Personal Knowledge, Wayne County Press, U.S. Census, Wikipedia]
Townships - Communities - Villages
- ARRINGTON Township
- Village of SIMS
- BARNHILL Township
- Village of MILL SHOALS
- BEDFORD Township
- Village of CISNE
- ELM RIVER Township
- Community of ENTERPRISE
- FOUR MILE Township
- Village of KEENS
- GROVER Township
- City of FAIRFIELD
- INDIAN PRAIRIE Township
- Village JOHNSONVILLE
- KEITH Township
- Community of RINARD
- LAMARD Township
- Village of GEFF (Jeffersonville)
- LEECH Township
- Village of GOLDEN GATE
- ERIE Township
- Village of MOUNT ERIE
- OREL Township
- Village of WAYNE CITY
~ MAPS ~
Fairfiled Public Library
300 SE Second Street
Fairfield, IL 62837
Mon-Thu 10am - 6pm
Fir-Sat 10am - 2pm
Extensive Genealogy Collection
Newspapers dating from 1855
Page and transcribtion of the 1910 Standard
Atlas of Wayne County Patrons Directory of about
250 Names with occupations, place & date of
birth, residence, wife's maiden name, military
service, and when arrived in Wayne County.
New County Host.
Many new marriage announcements and obituaries from 1855-1875; Divorce notices
Dec 2014: Many new marriage announcements and obituaries from 1855-1875; Divorce notices
Nov 2014: Many new marriage announcements and obituaries from 1864-68. Divorce notices for MCNEELY,
HOPKINS, LYONS, FOREAKER, BENNETT, GREEN, THOMAS, MATHEWS, GRIFFIN, MCDOWELL, SURRETT, MCNEELY, MATHEWS from 1864-68.
Sept 2014: 1891 gossip news
Oct 2013: 1883 Pensioners
We would very much like to make you part of this project.
If you have information that you'd like to share about any town, family, county or subject,
please send it to us and we'll make sure it gets posted to the right county.
If you are interested in becoming a host
or offering your help in other ways. More
information can be found on the Volunteer Page.
We regret that we are unable to perform personal research
All data we come across will be added to this site.
We thank you for visiting and hope you'll come back again to view the updates we make to this site.
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