Physicians DatabaseIllinois State Archives

Entering Search Criteria

In the appropriate search fields, enter either the last name, the first name, or both the first and last names of the physician or surgeon. A minimum of the first two letters of the last name of the physician or surgeon are required, but the first name may be omitted to accomplish a surname search. Searches are not case sensitive: you may use any combination of upper and lower case letters. The following types of searches may be conducted:

  • Enter at least the first two letters of the last name of the physician or surgeon in the last name field of the search screen.
  • Enter at least the first letter of the first name, and at least the first two letters of the last name, of the physician or surgeon.

Tips on Using the Illinois Physicians and Surgeons Database

Researchers should remember that the physicians and surgeons database may contain spelling errors, incorrect information about the physician or surgeon, or erroneous entries. Because the index was created from the volumes of physicians' and surgeons' registrations created by the State Board of Health (until June 1917) and the Department of Registration and Education (beginning July 1917),State Archives staff entered the names based how they appeared in the original volumes. Thus, the names could sometimes be misspelled in the original volumes. Because the volumes constitute the official record, the Archives will not change the spelling of the name if it is misspelled in the volumes. See the Illinois State Archives Database Transcription Policy regarding when Archives staff will make changes to the database. If you cannot find the name of a person whom you believe is listed in any of the physicians' or surgeons' registers, try broadening your search by entering a portion of the last name (e.g., John instead of Johnson), or by typing variants of the last name (e.g., Johnsen or Johnston instead of Johnson).

Names beginning with prefixes such as Mc, Mac, Du, De, La, and Le may be spelled with or without a space between the prefix and the remainder of the surname. For example, you will find surnames of physicians whose last names are "Mc Donald" and "McDonald" in the index, as well as "De Vries" and "DeVries." In the handwritten versions of the physicians' registers, if a space existed between the first and second letters of the prefix, then the name was transcribed as a single word &#(e.g ., "McDonald" instead of "Mc Donald"). If the registers indicated a space between the two letters of the prefix and the rest of the surname, then the surname was transcribed with a space. You will need to attempt a search of all possible spellings to effectively locate persons with those prefixed surnames.

You will also need to search all possible spellings of physicians or surgeons whose surnames begin with the prefix "O." Those surnames were interchangeably spelled in both the registers and database with or without the apostrophe after the O. They were also spelled either with or without a space between the "O" and the rest of the surname. For example, physicians with the surnames "O Brien" and "O'Brien" both appeared in the registers and database, as did those with the surnames "Oneal" and "O'Neal."