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Several types of maps are useful for genealogists. Some give the historical background of the area; others show migration routes such as roads, rivers, and railroads. Topographical maps show physical and manmade features, such as creeks, hills, trails, and roads used as persons came to Illinois. Sometimes maps also include cemeteries and churches. Plat and land ownership maps, as well as other types of maps, are described in United States Maps. In the FamilySearch Catalog, atlases are listed in the Place Search. Remember to search each locality as a town, a county and as a state.
A county-by-county list of land ownership maps is:
- Conzen, Michael P., James R. Akerman, and David T. Thackery, comps. Illinois County Land Ownership Map and Atlas Bibliography and Union List. Springfield, Illinois: Illinois Cooperative Collection Management Coordinating Committee, Illinois Board of Higher Education, 1991. Various Libraries (WorldCat) and FHL Book 977.3 E73c
The largest collections of Illinois maps are available at the Illinois State Library and the libraries of Southern Illinois University, University of Chicago, and University of Illinois, Urbana.
- United States Census Bureau State and County Map. This map will allow you to zoom in on any state or county in the United States and read the names of all of the neighboring counties.
Statewide Atlases[edit | edit source]
- 1778–2000 Illinois Historical Counties Courtesy of the Newberry Library. On this site you can zoom into a county area and see what boundary changes occurred on any given date. Select a date in the right-hand upper corner of the site. By selecting "info" in the left-hand column, then clicking on the area of interest on the map, then clicking on the county name which will appear at the bottom of the page, you may read a complete chronology of county boundary changes. Other interactive choices are available in the left-hand column.
- 1790–present Illinois Historical County Boundary Changes Courtesy of Michael L. Hébert.
- Long, John H., ed. Illinois, Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. New York, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1997. Various Libraries (WorldCat) and FHL book 977.3 E3L. This atlas was compiled by Gordon DenBoer as a project of the Newberry Library. Counties are in alphabetical order, each with a chronology of boundary changes and detailed maps for various years.
- Also included are territorial and state outline maps that match the censuses for 1800, 1807, 1810, 1818, 1820, 1830, 1835, 1840, 1845, 1850, 1855, 1860 to 1900, and outline maps of the Old Northwest (or the Northwest Territory) from 1787.
- Long, John H., ed. Historical Atlas and Chronology of County Boundaries, 1788–1980. Boston, Massachusetts: G.K. Hall, 1984. Various Libraries (WorldCat) FHL book 973 E7hL; Vol.1 fiche FHL fiche 6051426 (first of 21); Vol. 2 FHL fiche 6051427 (first of 6 fiche). Volume 2 contains Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. Includes maps showing when and where each county changed boundaries.
- Origin and Evolution of Illinois Counties. N.p.: State of Illinois, 1985, 2010. Various Libraries (WorldCat) FHL book 977.3 E3o; FHL film 1321494 item 13.This work includes maps that span the history of Illinois. Previous editions were issued by secretaries of state under the title Counties of Illinois; Their Origin and Evolution, with Twenty-three Maps Showing the Original and Present Boundary Lines of Each County.
County Atlases[edit | edit source]
Various publishers have issued atlases covering individual counties in Illinois. Among these are:
- Atlas of Logan County and the State of Illinois: to Which Is Added an Atlas of the United States, Maps of the Hemispheres. Chicago, Illinois: Warner, Higgins, and Beers, 1873. Various Libraries (WorldCat) FHL film 934968 item 4
- Maps of Illinois Counties in 1876: Together with the Plat of Chicago and Other Cities and a Sampling of Illustrations.1876. Reprint, Knightstown, Indiana: Mayhill Pub., 1972. Various Libraries (WorldCat)FHL book 977.3 E7ma; FHL film 908083 item 4
County or township maps are often included in published histories of the area.
City Maps[edit | edit source]
The Family History Library has city ward maps of Chicago for the years 1851, 1862, 1864, 1872, 1884, 1888, and 1890 included in:
- Ward Maps of United States Cities: Microfilm Reproduction of 232 Maps Described in Ward Maps of United States Cities. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1975?. Various Libraries (WorldCat) FHL film 1377700 fiche 6016554 (first of 320 fiche). Chicago is on fiche 6016613–6016619.
A more recent map of Chicago is:
- Chicago (Illinois). Bureau of Maps and Plats. Atlas of City of Chicago. Chicago: The Bureau, 1980–81. Various Libraries (WorldCat) FHL Q book 977.311 E7c
Learn More[edit | edit source]
Maps can be found on state, county and local levels. The Family History Library has many collected maps. Links to county pages where you may find map references appear below. Additional resources for Illinois maps may be found in the Illinois-Maps topic page of the FamilySearch Catalog . Maps of Illinois and individual counties can be found in the FamilySearch Catalog by using a Place search. Copies of records on FHL microfilm and microfiche may be available for viewing at Family History Centers. Also find Illinois map resources available at other libraries (WorldCat). Explore how to search WorldCat and the FamilySearch Catalog.
Websites[edit | edit source]
USGenWeb United States Digital Map Library user submitted; includes various historical state county and city plat maps
Printable maps are also available from the National Atlas of the United States
David Rumsey Map Collection for Illinois contains a large online collection of rare, old, antique historical atlases, globes, maps, charts plus other cartographic treasures.
My Genealogy Hound has free access to historic county maps for most Illinois Counties.
State map of Illinois showing the location of each Illinois County is on Hearthstone Legacy.
To access available information, first log into FamilySearch.