Illinois Periodicals

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Illinois State Historical Society Journal

Overview[edit | edit source]

A periodical is a regularly published magazine, newsletter, or journal. Several valuable periodicals concerning Illinois genealogical research exist. Many genealogical and historical societies publish magazines and newsletters. The articles in these periodicals often include the following:

  • Family genealogies and pedigrees
  • Helpful articles on research methodology
  • Transcripts or indexes of biographical sketches, censuses, church records, migration lists, military records, obituaries, wills, vital records, and more
  • Historical background
  • Current and historical maps
  • Information about local and national records, archives, and services
  • Interesting articles about social life and customs
  • Book advertisements and book reviews
  • Advertisements of professional researchers
  • Queries or requests for information about specific ancestors that can help you contact other interested researchers

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Among the Illinois periodicals at the Family History Library and elsewhere are:

  • Chicago Genealogist 1968–. Published by the Chicago Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 1160, Chicago, IL 60690. Available in Family History Library Film 1927805 (first of 5 films); Book 977.311 D25ch. This contains member and ancestor lists and abstracts of cemetery, Bible, census, court, and other records of the Chicago area.
  • The Illiana Genealogist: Quarterly Publication of the Illiana Genealogical and Historical Society. 1965–. P.O. Box 207, Danville, Illinois 61834. FHL films 1953943 items 62-68 and FHL film 1953945; FHL book 977.3 B2iL This includes transcriptions of records for the border area of Illinois and Indiana,and in particular Vermillion County. There is a surname index for each volume.
  • Illinois Heritage is published by the Illinois State Historical Society and is provided to its members. Available in FHL book 977.3 H25is.
  • Illinois Historical Journal (1985-current year) (previously Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society (1908-1984)); The journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, a non-profit organization for preserving, promoting, and publishing the latest research on Illinois. Online digital copies are available for the years 1908-1923 and 1950–2006. Also available are the tables of content for 1924-1949 and 2004 to the current year, but not the full text. There are issues and indexes for volumes 1–25, 26–50, and 51–60 at FHL book 977.3 B2i.
  • Illinois State Genealogical Society Quarterly 1969–. Published by the Illinois State Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 10195, Springfield, IL 62791-0195. FHL films 1954961–1954964 and FHL book 977.3 B2is Covering the entire state, this periodical provides articles about Illinois records and how to use them, as well as abstracts of records.
  • Journal of Illinois History. Published by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency for the Illinois State Historical Society. Information and an index can be found at the Agency's website. Also at FHL book 977.3 H25j.
  • Prairie Roots 1973–. Published by the Peoria Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 1489, Peoria, IL 61655. FHL book 977.352/P1 B2p This periodical focuses on Peoria County.
  • Where the Trails Cross 1970–. Published by the South Suburban Genealogical and Historical Society, P.O. Box 96, South Holland, IL 60473. FHL films 1907605 and 1907634 and FHL book 977.31 B2w. This periodical contains abstracts of records from South Cook and North Will counties.

Obtaining Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Copies of periodicals are available from the local societies that publish them. Major archives with genealogical collections will have copies of many periodicals, particularly those representing the area they serve. The Periodical Source Index, or PERSI, is the largest subject index to genealogy and local history periodical articles in the world. PERSI is available online and is especially useful because it refers to countless items published in thousands of family history periodicals worldwide. Learn more at the PERSI wiki page here:

  • Periodical Source Index (PERSI). Ft. Wayne, Indiana: Allen County Public Library Foundation, 1987-. (Family History Library book 973 D25per; 40 fiche 6016863 (1847-1985); 15 fiche 6016864 (1986-1990).) Partially indexes over 5,000 English-language and French-Canadian family history periodicals. The microfiche indexes are cumulative; book indexes since 1986 are year-by-year. For further details see the PERiodical Source Index Resource Guide (34119).
  • Find My Past Researchers can use the Internet edition of this index at Family History Centers via their site.

Once you locate an article in a periodical, check the FamilySearch Catalog and regional or local libraries for available copies. The Family History Library has collected many periodicals, with some available in digital format and accessible online. Illinois periodicals may be found in the FamilySearch Catalog with a Place and Subject search, as found here: Illinois-Periodicals. They can also be found by using:

  • Place Search of the country, state/province, and county
  • Title Search of the periodical
  • Keyword Search for the publishing society name.

Also find Periodical resources available at other libraries via WorldCat. As with the FamilySearch Catalog search, search WorldCat using society names, locality names, and periodical title names. Learn more about how to search WorldCat and the Introduction to the FamilySearch Catalog on our Wiki pages.