Our Genealogy Collection
Paris Public Library’s genealogy collection focuses primarily on Edgar County Illinois and includes:
- Paris Beacon-News and Prairie Press – Microfilm of the Beacon News from 1955 to its last published issue in 2016. Hard copy of Prairie Press from 2014 to date. We have indexed obituaries 2006-2022, but the rest of Beacon and Prairie Press content is not indexed. We will fill obituary requests if the exact death date or the month/year is known. If Paris Public Library does not have the year you need: Edgar County Genealogy Library has microfilm of the early Paris newspapers through 1954 and an obituary file complete from 1985 to date, with scattered earlier obits. Terre Haute newspapers have printed Edgar and Clark County obituaries for years, indexed in Wabash Valley Obituary Index.
- Census Records – Edgar County (print, indexed) 1850 – 1880. Other years and locations on Ancestry, available in the library.
- Cemetery Record Listings – organized by townships. A separate countywide index by last name only (no first names) is available. Our newest cemetery records are 1982. For more recent listings, contact Edgar County Genealogy Library. Map of Edgar Cemetery.
- Death Records – Listing for 1877-1925 (not comprehensive). Illinois Statewide Death Index is online Pre-1916 and 1916-1950.
- Marriage Record Index – For Edgar County, 1823-1914. Indexed by bride and groom. Other information such as parents’ names usually included. Basic information (bride/groom, date) online at Illinois Statewide Marriage Index 1763-1900. Local residents often married in neighboring Vigo County, Indiana; try VCPL’s Vigo County Marriage Record Database 1818-1958.
- City Directories – Beginning with 1892 and continuing sporadically through 2010. (Children’s names included in 1962–1999 listings).
- Paris High School Yearbooks 1910 to current.
- Edgar County Histories and histories of some families, local churches, businesses, and communities.
- Edgar County Plat Books and atlases – 1870, 1894, 1910, 1945, 1970, 1973, 1976, 1979, 1987, 1990, 1994, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2005, 2023.
- Military – Civil War Soldiers from Edgar County; So Proudly We Hail (reproduced clippings about local WWII servicemen and women); index to discharge records; A History of Aviation and Aviators in Edgar County, Illinois 1911-2006.
- Sanborn Fire Insurance maps of Paris, Illinois online at the Library of Congress. 1884, 1890, 1895, 1900, 1908, 1916.
To extend our genealogy resources beyond Edgar County, the library subscribes to Ancestry Library Edition (in-library only) which offers census, birth, marriage, death records, and more for the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. and HeritageQuest (searchable at home with your Paris library card and in library).