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ILLINOIS STATE ARCHIVES


Global Database Search

The Global Database Search will examine all databases on the Illinois State Archives web site containing name fields for the name you enter. A list of all databases containing the name you enter will be returned. Simply click on a database from the list which is returned to search for the record in that database.

Entering Search Criteria

The global search requires a complete surname to be entered followed by a comma. The surname MUST be followed by a comma. To search for partial surnames, you should search the individual databases.

Enter the name in the format: last name comma space first name space or period middle initial period (for example, Smith, John D. or Smith, Jos.). The first name and middle initial may be omitted to accomplish a surname search. Searches are not case sensitive: you may use any combination of upper and lower case letters.

Keep in mind the following points when using the Global Database Search:

  • The links on the results page take you directly to the database search screens. To get information about the database and the records it indexes, press the back button located at the bottom of the search screen.
  • To learn how to obtain copies of the records indexed by these databases, click on the links on the search screen.
  • Several of the databases have multiple name fields. The global database search examines all name fields. For example, if you searched for the name Smith, John D., both the plaintiff and defendant fields of the Shelby County Circuit Court Case Files would be searched.
  • If you cannot find a person for whom you believe there is a record, try broadening your search by typing variations of the spelling of a surname (such as Johnson and Johnsen).
  • Searching for a surname will return results more quickly than searches including a given name. For example, it is faster to search for the surname Smith, than search for the name Smith, John. When searching for a surname with a given name, please be patient!