Local History and Genealogy Room
Rockford Public Library
215 North Wyman Street
Rockford, IL 61101
Phone: (815)965-7606 ext. 622 Contact Librarian: Jean Lythgoe Library
Hours: Monday: CLOSED
Tuesday - Thursday: 12:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Friday & Saturday: 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
The Rockford Public Library History and Genealogy collection is a reference collection and does not circulate to patrons or by interlibrary loan. It is the second largest collection by a public library of history⁄genealogy materials in the state of Illinois. Note: The census and newspaper microfilm is located in the microfilm area of the library and is, therefore, accessible during main library hours.
1.The staff librarian will do research in the genealogy collection for mail requests at a basic fee of $15.00 per hour plus copying costs. Charges are payable in advance. Estimates will be provided upon receipt of a description of the work required. Please enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope with your request.
2.The library can also obtain microfilm from various microfilm rental programs.
3There is a parking lot east of the building with approximately 24 parking stalls. Municipal parking across Wyman Street with approximately 52 stalls.
Local and Illinois materials
United States east of the Mississippi River
Areas which provided settlers to the Rockford area (1830-1870)
Types of Materials Available
Extensive genealogy materials
- Early vital records of Winnebago County , 50+ rolls of microfilm - Birth 1877-1916, Marriage 1836-1916, Death 1877 - 1916 (Index on microfiche)
- Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center Holdings Index on microfiche
- Illinois statewide early marriages index - 1994 edition - microfiche
- Some Boone County Vital, Probate and Cemetery microfiche
- All of Illinois and Wisconsin federal censuses schedules and various census indexes
- Hundreds of family histories and genealogies
- County histories
- Published immigration and passenger lists
- Church and marriage records
- Cemetery inscription books and plat maps in Winnebago, Boone, Ogle, and Stephenson Counties and similar material from other parts of Illinois and states in the region of concentration, particularly New York and New England
- Abstracted obituaries and death notices from the Rockford newspapers of 1840-1869
- Death notice abstracts from the 'Crusader,' an Afro-American weekly newspaper published in Rockford, first seven volumes November 1950 - October 1957
- We are currently abstracting marriage notices from the Rockford newspapers of 1840 through 1869
- Winnebago County Assessor's books - misc. collection 1852 - 1865
- A genealogy consumer fraud file is maintained
- Complete set of city directories from the earliest one, published in 1857.
- Extensive collection of city high school annuals the earliest dated 1892
- Microfilm of Rockford newspapers
- Rockfordiana File - begun about 1940, many earlier newspapers were incorporated into it, many subject areas predate 1940
Complete runs of . . .
- New England Historical and Genealogical Register
- The New York Genealogical Biographical Record
- National Genealogical Society Quarterly
- Illinois State Genealogical Society Quarterly
- Swedish-American Genealogist
- The Genealogical Helper
The American Genealogist is available in a run dating from 1940.
Newsletters and quarterlies from about a dozen regional genealogical societies, including the three currently active in Rockford.
Andrew M. Potter collection - Nineteenth century books relating to the Civil War.
A useful genealogical as well as historical resource.
- Over four hundred Civil War books
- Regimental histories (chiefly Illinois)
- Campaign histories
- Accounts of various states' participation in the conflict
- Scarce or obscure memoirs