The Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) was formed in 1968 as a statewide genealogical organization. Many collections are free to the public and ISGS members have access to a Members-only section. All are invited to join the society and fees range from $40 – $75 per year.


  • Illinois Cemetery Locations
  • lCE Church Records 1837-1937​​​​This index names persons who were associated with the development of this German-speaking church denomination within the northern part of Illinois from the 1840s to 1937 and the capacity in which they were associated. Those persons were primarily clergymen, but early church founding members and others are often named. The overall structure of the book was based partly on annual conference records – yearly summaries of the activities of its churches and their members – and partly on the history of the circuits or fields where churches were founded.
  • Military Certificates –  see Miscellaneous category below for more links
  • Prairie Pioneers CertificatesThis project was organized for the Bicentennial, and the first pioneer was certified in 1982. This is now a very popular project with over 3,000 pioneers certified. There are three categories of certificates issued to descendants of pioneers who resided in Illinois (1) prior to statehood, (2) 1819-1850, and (3) 1851-1880. Documentation proving the pioneer’s date of residency in Illinois, along with documentation proving the applicant’s lineage to the pioneer, must accompany the application. Full instructions and fee schedule are available on the application form. Access ISGS’s current Index of Certified Prairie Pioneers here.
  • ISGS Members’ Surnames Database (provided by ISGS Members)




Join us on the 2nd Tuesday of each month @ 8:00PM Central, for an educational webinar featuring some of the best-known speakers in the field of genealogy today. Webinar topics will focus on research, methodology, and beginning research. While some topics will be relevant to Illinois and Midwest genealogy, others will focus on vital records, archives, ethnic research and American history.
All ISGS webinars are FREE and available to the public when presented live. After the live broadcast, ISGS members can access the archived webinar from the Members Only section and enjoy a replay of it as many times as they’d like! Consider joining ISGS to enjoy this great member benefit. 
NEW!  ISGS 2019 Webinar Series Schedule: click HERE to download a copy you can print and distribute to members of your genealogy society.
Upcoming Webinars-2019: Learn more about our upcoming webinars and click on the Registration links to reserve your spot.
Previous Webinars: See genealogy topics covered in past webinars – become a member and you can view the webinars.


  • African-American Genealogy
  • Soldiers of the American Revolution
  • Military CertificatesThe Illinois State Genealogical Society currently has several Military Certificate projects in progress. The purpose of these projects is to recognize the sacrifices made by the veteran’s valiant efforts and to record and preserve material submitted in support of the certificates so that it will be available for future generations of researchers.
    • Revolutionary War:The applicant must be a direct descendant of a Revolutionary War veteran, who actively served during the war and lived, died or was buried in Illinois.
    • Blackhawk War:  The applicant must be a direct descendant of a Blackhawk War veteran, who actively served during the war and lived, died or was buried in Illinois. 
    • War of 1812:  The applicant must be a direct descendant of a War of 1812 veteran, who actively served during the war and lived, died or was buried in Illinois.
    • Civil War:  The applicant must be a direct descendant of a Civil War veteran, who actively served in an Illinois military unit or lived, died or was buried in Illinois. 
    • World War I: The applicant must be a direct descendant of a World War I veteran, who actively served during the war and lived, died or was buried in Illinois. 
    • World War II: The applicant must be a direct descendant of a World War II veteran, who actively served during the war and lived, died or was buried in Illinois.
    Indirect Certificates are available for all military categories:  The applicant may be an indirect or collateral descendant of the veteran and must prove collateral relationship on the accompanying forms.
    Fee:  The fee for each certificate application is $20.00. One certificate is included in the fee and will be mailed after eligibility has been determined. Application fees will not be refunded.
  • Illinois Cemetery Location Project The goal of this project is to identify and locate every cemetery in Illinois. This includes those that have been abandoned, moved, no longer in use, and presently used. The cemeteries shall be located by GPS location, county, section, township, range, baselines, and principal meridian on a plat map along with driving directions.  This project also strives to indicate whether or not a cemetery’s records have been published and the availability of the records. 
    • The Illinois Cemetery Location Project contains almost 15,000 records related to Illinois cemeteries. The information is not complete. A number of counties are incomplete and we need you to help us update this information.
    •  Headstone transcriptions are not a part of this project.
    • If you are looking for a cemetery and don’t know the county, please send an email, requesting assistance, to: [email protected].
    • To add a new cemetery, driving directions, and other information or to let us know about errors, send an email to: [email protected]
    • IDOT maps include townships, county sections, and county roads. 
    • Even though this project is focused on the location of cemeteries, we often get questions about how to find information about burials. Listed below are some suggestions:
      – Try the county pages at ILGenWeb.
      – Try the county pages at Illinois Genealogy Trails.
      – Try the Illinois Tombstone Transcription Project.
      – Try our Member Societies’ websites
    • Local societies may have published cemetery records in their quarterly or a county close to it may have published it (i.e., Logan county was transcribed by Macon County Genealogical Society in its early years), so search PERSI (Periodical Source Index) for relevant articles



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