Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Illinois Civil and Congressional Township Maps

Woops -- I should have posted on this months ago. (Hat tip to Melissa Barker in the Transitional Genealogists forum for getting the ball rolling about maps the other day.) There's a central although well-hidden on line resource for maps of each Illinois county showing townships. If you're visiting in person, you have a good chance of finding such a map at the courthouse or library, one that will also include roads and landmarks, as I did in northwestern Illinois' Whiteside County last fall. If you're visiting virtually, you can get there in six easy steps:

(1) Visit the Illinois State Archives regional depositories page, maintained by the office of Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White.

(2) On the left-hand menu, click on the second tab down for "IRAD region map."

(3) That will bring up a colorful map of Illinois divided into seven regions, each festooned with the initials of the depository university. Click on your region of choice.

(4) That will bring up a close-up map of the region and its counties. Click on your county of choice.

(5) That will bring up a "_____ County Fact Sheet." Enjoy the facts; don't get too focused; but then scroll down a few screens to a thumbnail outline map of the county with subdivisions, which are the townships. (Hey, it's a big thumbnail.)

(6) Click on the thumbnail and presto, you have a printable map of the county and its townships. And when I say townships, I mean BOTH KINDS, the civil townships (with names you are or soon will become familiar with) and the congressional townships, with names like T36N R5E in La Salle County, which due to rivers that disobey the rectangular survey system, is not quite the same as the civil township of Northville.

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