Free Online Illinois City Directories

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City and business directories are available online from all over the U.S. and are what I consider another important set of information that can assist you in advancing your family history and genealogy research.

This activity of presenting links is a collaborative effort between The Ancestor Hunt and Miriam Robbins, who for years has made available the Online Historical Directories website, which presents links to directories of all types that are available online, including free collections as well as those available only via subscription. I wish to thank Miriam for her help in launching this category of records at The Ancestor Hunt.

So, what kinds of directories are available to the researcher?  Naturally city and business directories, but also telephone directories, and alumni, farm, lodge, rural, and social directories.

What can you find in these records? How about:

  • Full names, including middle names
  • Spouse name
  • Occupation
  • Widows, working women, and adult children at home.
  • Maps
  • Businesses (and index to advertisers).
  • Addresses and maps of churches, schools, funeral homes, cemeteries, post offices, courts, hospitals, benevolent associations, newspapers.
  • Whether a woman is a widow (including name of husband).
  • List of marriages and deaths of previous year.
  • Death date.
  • etc.

Here are a few good primers on the benefits of searching historical city and other directories:

And here are various places where you can find other city directories online: 

Note: Some of the links listed below take you to a FamilySearch Collection of digital images. Near the bottom of the page under Film/Digital Notes is the name of each sub-collection. If there is a camera icon at the right of the name (in the Format column) then the collections’ images are browsable. If there is a camera with a key icon, it is only available at a Family History Center or affiliated library. If there is a film reel icon, then it is only available in microfilm format, not digital.

(Updated August, 2020; recently added links are in BOLD)

Links to these free collections are presented initially with statewide collections, followed in alphabetical order by city or county. Generally, the publishing company is included in the reference to the collection, along with the collection title, and the date(s) of the directory:

Statewide

Adams County

Alton

Arlington Heights

Belleville

Belvidere

Bethalto

Boone County

Bureau County

Cairo

Calhoun County

Carbondale

Carroll County

Cass County

Champaign and Urbana

Champaign County

Chicago

Christian County

Coles County

Cook County

Decatur

DeKalb County

Douglas County

DuPage County

East St. Louis

Edgar County

Evanston

Fairbury

Ford County

Franklin County

Fulton County

Galena

Glenview

Grundy County

Jacksonville

Jefferson

Jo Daviess County

Kane County

Kankakee County

Kendall County

Kewanee

Lake

Lake County

LaSalle County

Leadville

Lee County

Libertyville

Lisle

Logan County

Mason County

McHenry County

Menard County

Momence

Monroe County

Montgomery County

Morgan County

Mount Prospect

Naperville

Ogle County

Paris

Peoria

Pike County

Princeton

Quincy

Randolph County

Rockford

Rogers Park

Sangamon County

Scott County

Shelby County

Shelbyville

Springfield

St. Clair County

Stephenson County

Urbana Champaign

Wheaton

Whiteside County

Will County

Wilmette

Winnebago County

Woodford County

Woodstock

Good Luck and Happy Hunting!

For other Free Illinois Links, click on the category of interest:​​

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