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- You're getting started tracing your ancestors in Illinois
- You want new ideas and resources to get past a Illinois brick wall
- Your genealogy search is focused mainly on Illinois
- a how-to article detailing Illinois's history and records, with helpful advice on tracking your family there
- the best websites, books and other resources for Illinois research, handpicked by our editors and experts
- listings of key libraries, archives and organizations that hold the records you need
- timeline of key events in the state's history
- full-color map to put your research in geographical context
- Nomadic Paleo-Indians and their descendants explored what's now Illinois long before the first Europeans, Frenchmen Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet, arrived in 1673. Twenty-six years later, French priests founded a settlement at Cahokia, and in 1717, the area became part of French Louisiana.
- The Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD) system, part of the state archives, will point you to vital records housed at seven state universities.
- The US government counted Illinois residents every 10 years starting in 1800. That initial census was lost, and only Randolph County remains from the 1810 enumeration.