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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Genealogy Resources

A guide to finding genealogical materials at the University of Illinois Library.

Biographical Directories

Our collections include tens of thousands of biographical dictionaries, encyclopedias, and directories.  There is a very good two-volume bibliography of biographical sources by Robert Slocum, Biographical Dictionaries and Related Works (Detroit, 1986) located in the Reference Library: Q.016.92 Sl5b 1986. 

Example:

  • Duyckinck, Evert A.  Portrait Gallery of Eminent Men and Women of Europe and America.  (New York, 1872-1874)  2 vols.  Q.920.07 D95

In addition to individual biographical dictionaries and encyclopedias, we have a massive set of biographical sources on microfiche.  These were produced for individual countries or regions, and each "biographical archive" consists of entries from hundreds of historical biographical sources arranged in a single alphabet.   We have approximately forty of these “archives,” e.g., British Biographical Archive, Archives biographiques françaises, Baltisches biographisches Archiv, Polskie archiwum biograficzne, Jüdisches biographisches Archiv, Deutsches biographisches Archiv. These biographical archives are housed in the Reference Library.

Family Histories

In addition to a vast collection of family histories published in North America, the UIUC Library also owns published family histories from other parts of the world.  To find these works, start with the “Advanced Search” in the online catalog, and do a keyword search on the last name.

Examples:

  • Reade, Aleyn Lyell.  The Mellards and Their Descendants…  (London, 1915)  Q.929.2 M481r
  • Crisp, Frederick Arthurs.  Collections relating to the Family of Crispe.  (London, 1882-1897).  Q.929.2 C868c
  • Leslie, Charles Joseph.  Historical Records of the Family of Leslie from 1067 to 1868-9.  (Edinburgh, 1869)  3 vols.  929.2 L565l

Published Vital Records

Although the vast majority of historical vital records have never been published, there have been notable efforts to publish these materials (particularly in England), and our holdings are very respectable.

Examples:

  • Nottingham Parish Registers: Marriages.  (London, 1900-1902)  4 vols.  929.342 P54n
  • The Registers of the Parish of Aldingham in Furness in the County of Lancaster: Baptisms, Burials and Weddings, 1542-1695.  (Wigan, 1907)  929.342 L22p
  • Howard, Joseph Jackson.  Some Pedigrees from the Visitation of Kent, 1663-68.  (London, 1887)  Q.929.72 H83s
  • The Parish Register of Marsham, Norfolk from 1538 to 1836.   (Norwich, 1889.)  929.342 M35p
  • Ickworth Parish Registers: Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1566 to 1890.  (Wells, 1894)  929.342 Ic5i
  • The Parish Registers of Goosnargh Church: Baptisms and Burials, 1639-1753, Marriages, 1639-1812.  (Preston, 1926)   929.342 L22p v. 64
  • Marriages at Butcombe, Somersetshire, 1605-1835.  (London, 1913)   929.3 B97m

Victoria County Histories

The Victoria History of the Counties of England (or the Victoria County Histories) is a project begun in 1899 to document the history of the 40 counties of England.  Now based at the Institute of Historical Research at the University of London, the project is still underway and currently supports work on 16 counties. 
 
Examples:

  • The Victoria History of the County of Warwick.  8 vols.  Q.942 V66w
  • The Victoria History of the County of Hertford.  4 vols.  Q.942 V66her
  • The Victoria History of the County of Sussex.  9 vols.  Q.942 V66su

Publications of English Record Societies

The UIUC Library has an extensive collection of the publications of the English record societies.  Most of these have been published annually for decades and contain transcribed records, such as wills, monumental inscriptions, court proceedings, town records, coroners’ inquests and bills, taxation lists, marriage licenses, and parish records.  These can be difficult to find in the online catalog, but you can construct a Boolean search using the “Advanced Search” option, combining the name of the locality and the word “society.”

Examples:

  • Wiltshire Record Society [Publications].  (Devizes, 1939- )  942.31 W71r
  • Somerset Record Society.  (London, 1887- )  942.38 So5p
  • Lancashire Parish Register Society.  (1898- )  929.342 L22p 
  • Publications of the Lincoln Record Society.  (Lincoln, Eng., 1910/11- )  942.53 L63p
  • Publications [Bristol Record Society].  (Bristol, 1930- )  942.38 B77p
  • Sussex Record Society. (Lewes, 1902- )  942.25 Su8p
  • Publications of the Harleian Society.  (London, 1869- )  929.342 H22p
  • Publications of the Southampton Record Society.  (Southampton, 1905-1941)  942.27 So86p
  • Publications of the Surtees Society.  (Newcastle, 1835- )   942 Su7p

Registers of Nobility

Examples:

  • Annuario della nobilita italiana.  (Bari, Italy, 1879-1904).  929.75 An78
  • Annuaire de la noblesse de France.  (Paris, 1843- )  914.4 An783
  • Burke’s Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage, Baronetage, and Knightage.  (London, 1826- )  929.72 B91g
  • Collins’s Peerage of England.  (London, 1812)  929.72 c69p

Onomastics

English Place-Name Society.  Survey of English Place Names.  (Cambridge, 1924- )  929.4 En36s

The Place-names of Wiltshire, Their Origin and History.  (Uppsala, 1917)  929.4 Ek16p