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Illinois State Archives Regional Depository at Western Illinois University (WIU)

Added by Alyson Mansfield

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Listed in Adams, Brown, Calhoun, Courts & Courthouses, Death Records, Free, Fulton, Government & Legal, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Illinois, Knox, Libraries & Museums & Archives, McDonough, Mercer, Peoria, Pike, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Warren, Wills & Probate, Workhouse Records


The Illinois State Archives has seven Illinois Regional Archives Depositories (IRAD) to manage archives and records of local governments. One of these is the Western Illinois University (WIU) Regional Depository.

The IRAD facility at Western Illinois University is located at the Malpass Library at 1 University Circle, Macomb, Illinois 61455. Hours: Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-4 p.m. (except state holidays). Holdings can be searched on the IRAD Search system but need to be viewed onsite at the appropriate regional depository.

Search the Name Index to Illinois Local Governments

  • basic info on name, form of government, county, date established, date incorporated, certified, previous names

Search the IRAD Inventories (list of possible inventories below)

Depositories house local government records that have been deemed significant enough to archive including:

  • county board proceedings files and meeting minutes

  • records of births, deaths and marriages

  • land deeds, mortgage and tax sale records

  • assessors’ and collectors’ tax books

  • poll books and voter registers

  • naturalization records, including declarations of intent

  • probate records, including wills and will records, case files, administrators’ and executors’ records, guardianship records, and inventory and appraisement records

  • civil and criminal court case files, chancery court case files (including divorces), docket books and court proceedings, and insanity proceedings and records

  • coroner’s inquest records and inquest files

  • miscellaneous county records, including almshouse/county home records and jail registers

  • school records, including school trustees’ minutes, pupil registers and school land sale records

  • township records, including township meeting minutes and highway commissioners’ minutes

  • municipal records, including city council proceedings files and meeting minutes, ordinance records, and city election records.

Adams County Almshouse Register Index (1873-1898)

  • Registers show the name, sex, color, birthplace, occupation before admission, age, marital status and former residence of the inmate; the nativity of the inmate’s mother and father; health status; personal habits of the inmate (e.g. abstinent, temperate or drunkard); a list of property brought to the almshouse; the dates of admission and discharge; the date of death (when the inmate died while staying at the almshouse); and remarks. The register may indicate whether the inmate could read or write.

Brown County Almshouse Register Index (1882-1963)

  • Registers show the name, sex, color, birthplace, occupation before admission, age, marital status and former residence of the inmate; the nativity of the inmate’s mother and father; health status; personal habits of the inmate (e.g. abstinent, temperate or drunkard); a list of property brought to the almshouse; the dates of admission and discharge; the date of death (when the inmate died while staying at the almshouse); and remarks. The register may indicate whether the inmate could read or write.

Fulton County Circuit Court Case Files Index (1825-1876)

  • The Fulton County Circuit Court Case Files include chancery, criminal and common law proceedings. These case files generally show the names of the plaintiff, defendant, judge and clerk of the court; the court dates; and usually the charge or cause of action. Documents contained in these case files include: summonses, affidavits of witnesses, subpoenas, bonds, receipts, depositions, declarations, decrees and orders of the court, jury and witness lists, indictments, warrants, writs of habeas corpus, verdicts, dismissals and transcripts of coroner’s inquests.

McDonough County Guardian’s Case Files Index (1838-1933)

  • Guardian’s case files contain Petitions for Appointment of a Guardian, Guardian’s Bonds and Letters of Guardianship. Petitions show the court term; the names of the estate, petitioner, minor heir(s), guardian, and judge; the value of the estate; and the petitioner’s request for the appointment of a guardian. Bonds show the name of the guardian as principal; the names of the securities; and the date, amount, and terms of the bond. Letters show the court term; the names of the guardian, minor heir(s), and clerk; and the dates of appointment and filing.

    The record may also show the proofs of heirship, proofs of death, claims against the estate, and recordation of wills.

McDonough County Probate Case Files Index (1833-1925)

  • Probate Case files show the court term; the names of the estate, minor, heirs or legatees, administrator or executor, judge and court clerk; the petitions, bonds, oaths, and letters of estate administrators, executors, guardians and conservators; the court’s approval of estate inventories, appraisement bills, petitions to sell property, reports of sales, accounts, reports of receipts and expenditures, and final reports; and the orders and decrees of the court.

    The record may also show the proofs of heirship, proofs of death, claims against the estate, and recordation of wills.

Mercer County Almshouse Register Index (1859-1948)

  • Register shows the name, sex, color, birthplace, occupation before admission, age, marital status and former residence of the inmate; the nativity of the inmate’s mother and father; health status; personal habits of the inmate (e.g. abstinent, temperate or drunkard); a list of property brought to the almshouse; the dates of admission and discharge; the date of death (when the inmate died while staying at the almshouse); and remarks. The register may indicate whether the inmate could read or write.

Peoria County Probate Case Files Index (1825-1887)

  • Probate case files show the court term; the names of the estate, minor, heirs or legatees, administrator or executor, judge and court clerk; the petitions, bonds, oaths, and letters of estate administrators, executors, guardians and conservators; the court’s approval of estate inventories, appraisement bills, petitions to sell property, reports of sales, accounts, reports of receipts and expenditures, and final reports; and the orders and decrees of the court.

    The record may also show the proofs of heirship, proofs of death, claims against the estate, and recordation of wills.

Rock Island Probate Case Files Index (1834-1899)

  • Probate case files show the court term; the names of the estate, minor, heirs or legatees, administrator or executor, judge and court clerk; the petitions, bonds, oaths, and letters of estate administrators, executors, guardians and conservators; the court’s approval of estate inventories, appraisement bills, petitions to sell property, reports of sales, accounts, reports of receipts and expenditures, and final reports; and the orders and decrees of the court. The record may also show the proofs of heirship, proofs of death, claims against the estate, and recordation of wills.

Stark County Almshouse Register Index (1868-1941)

  • Registers show the name, sex, color, birthplace, occupation before admission, age, marital status and former residence of the inmate; the nativity of the inmate’s mother and father; health status; personal habits of the inmate (e.g. abstinent, temperate or drunkard); a list of property brought to the almshouse; the dates of admission and discharge; the date of death (when the inmate died while staying at the almshouse); and remarks. The register may indicate whether the inmate could read or write.

These are the counties within the WIU region boundaries: Adams, Brown, Calhoun, Fulton, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Knox, McDonough, Mercer, Peoria, Pike, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Warren.

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