Genealogic & Property Research

Galena Public Library
601 South Bench Street
Galena, IL 61036
(815) 777-0200
Open weekdays, 3-5 p.m. (Wed. 3-8 p.m.); Sat. 12-4 p.m.; or by special appointment
Local historians H. Scott Wolfe and Steve Repp staff the room and provide on-site assistance to anyone seeking research information on families, houses, historical events, etc. They will also try to answer written inquiries and provide photocopies of documents for a small fee.

Here is a brief list of the variety of intact and microfilmed documents available:

*County Assessor’s Books from the 1850s-WWII
*Federal, Illinois State, and Territorial Censuses from 1830s-1920
*Newspapers from 1828-1982 published in Galena and communities within Jo Daviess County
*Indexes to Vital Records (marriage, death, etc.) stored at the Jo Daviess County Court House
*Family histories and diaries
*Some Galena church records
*Galena City Directories, beginning in 1847; and miscellaneous city records
*Maps; Tax and Block Books (1838-1876); county, township, and community histories; and regional and state histories
*Photographs from the area; access to the Alfred Mueller photographic collection

In addition to these primary and secondary sources, the Historical Collections Room has a wide variety of reference materials on how to go about researching one’s family.

There is free online research available at the Jo Daviess County GenWeb Site which is part of US GenWeb project.

To continue your research, the Courthouse can help you with original documents and certified copies of documents. The County charges a fee for printed documents.

Jo Daviess County Courthouse
330 North Bench Street
Galena, IL 61036
County Clerk’s Office-First Floor
(815) 777-0161
County Vital Statistics:

*Death records beginning in 1877; usually include the date and cause of death and sometimes the place of birth.
*Birth records beginning in 1877. Sources may not be complete and accurate during earliest recorded years.
*Marriage records beginning in 1830. They include two documents: the actual license and the accompanying certificate signed by the clergyman and witnesses. Earliest records have little information, but this was expanded in 1877 to include ages, place of birth, etc. An index of groom’s surnames can be reviewed at no charge.
*Naturalization Records from 1828 to approximately 1910. There are two documents: Declaration of Intent to become a U.S. Citizen, and the later Naturalization paper. Records pertain to men only. Genealogical researchers will find the former to be the most helpful due to its detailed information on age, birthplace, port of arrival in U.S. and when. Not all records, however, are complete.

Circuit Clerk’s Office-Second Floor
(815) 777-0037
Probate Records from 1828 onward. These records include Wills, Probate and Guardianship of minors. They often show itemization of expenses, income, inventory of possessions of deceased, and upkeep and schooling expenses

Gear Descendants