"Our Loose Ends" Genealogy Column
by Lynna Kay Shuffield
Houston, Texas

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Printed in the Taylor Daily Press & Thorndale Champion
26 June 2003

Public Records On-Line

Public Records On-Line Database http://www.netronline.com/public_records.htm is a unique website that will link visitors to the official website of all 50-states as well as links to every county. The county links include names of public officials and their address, telephone and when available, links to the Tax Assessors' and Recorders' or County Clerks' websites where you can find public records on-line.

Public records that might be available on-line include: copies of deeds, parcel maps, GIS maps, tax data, ownership information and indexes. Content will vary from website-to-website and will be based on how that particular governmental office has developed their website. For example, some Recorders' or County Clerks' offices have marriage and birth records available online. Although not every county and parish has data on-line, many have home webpage.


Prior to 1640, the State of Illinois included both sides of the Mississippi River from Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin to the mouth of the Ohio River, and then south along the west bank to the Arkansas River.

Today, Illinois is bounded on the north by Wisconsin, east by Lake Michigan and Indiana, southeast and south by the Ohio River, which separates it from Kentucky, and southwest and west by the Mississippi river, which separates it from Missouri and Iowa. The enabling act of congress, which provided for the organization of Illinois territory into a state, extended its jurisdiction to the middle of Lake Michigan and the Mississippi river.

The French were the first Europeans to this area when in Jun 20, 1673, French Jesuit missionary Jacques Marquette and frontiersman Louis Jolliet reached the area. The French changed the Indian name for the area, Illiniwek, meaning "the men," to Illinois.

The French occupation was from about 1675 to 1763 and in 1778, George Rogers Clark and the U.S. Militia ended European control of the area. Virginia then claimed Illinois to be within its territory.

The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 charted this region and organized counties, and in 1809 the Territory of Illinois was created.

On Dec. 3, 1818, Illinois became the 21st state to join the Union.

Websites of Interest to Students, Genealogists & Historians

Illinois USGenWeb page

Illinois State Archives

Illinois State Library

Illinois State Historical Library

Illinois Databases On-Line (Free) - Death Index (1916-1950); Veterans (War of 1812-Spanish American War); Marriage Index (1763-1900) and many more!

Illinois State Museum

Illinois Newspaper Project

Illinois Newspaper Project - Chicago Historical Society

Illinois Links at Cyndi's List

Illinois Heritage Society

Illinois Historical Society

Illinois History

Illinois State Genealogical Society

Illinois Government On-Line

In this column, I will be glad to highlight and review any family history, genealogy, county history, or similar book, free of charge, if you donate a copy of the book or item. After it has been highlighted and reviewed, on a space available basis, it will be donated to the genealogy section of a library. You will receive an acknowledgment of the donation from the library. Mail item or book to me at the below address.

Lynna Kay Shuffield has written several books related to Texas genealogy and military history. She has spoken before numerous genealogy and veterans groups. Also, is a County Coordinator for the Texas GenWeb Project. Regretfully, she cannot help with individual genealogical research. Please visit the website for this column at: http://www.geocities.com/lks_friday/COLUMN-001.htm or if you have any questions, comments, suggestions for column topics, genealogy or historical society announcements, please contact her at: P. O. Box 16604, Houston, Texas 77222-6604 or e-mail: lksfriday@sbcglobal.net

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This webpage was last created on 26 Dec 2003 and was last revised on __________

Copyright 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003 Lynna Kay Shuffield - All rights reserved.
P. O. Box 16604
Houston, Texas 77222-6604