Ehrlicher Research Center
719 N. Eleventh Street
Pekin, Illinois
(309) 477-3044

Map & Directions

Mailing Address:
PO Box 312
Pekin, Illinois 61555-0312

Contact Us

Monday Thursday
9:00 am-1:00 pm 9:00 am-1:00 pm
Tuesday Friday
9:00 am-1:00 pm 9:00 am-1:00 pm
7:00 pm-9:00 pm  
Wednesday Sunday
9:00 am-4:30 pm 2:00 pm-4:30pm
Photo of Library from 11th Street

Upcoming Events

A Historical Tidbit is a
short Tazewell County related article.
It could be a 5 or 6 page story but could be as simple as a
family photo, letter, or document.

If you have a Tazewell County related article, photo, letter, or document you’d like to share, here’s how to make a submission.

Here's the latest ten additions & modifications:

Browse entire
Historical Tidbits

If you have a
Tazewell County related
article, photo, letter, or document
you’d like to share,
here’s how to make a submission.

Welcome to the
Tazewell County Genealogical & Historical Society!

The Society was established in 1978 to “stimulate interest; to collect, preserve, and safeguard records; and to provide related educational services for the purpose of increasing and enriching public knowledge of our heritage.

Our library is staffed with one or more trained volunteer genealogists.  Our collection currently contains almost 13,000 volumes.

Unexpected closings can occur but are very rare (usually due to inclement weather and, recently, worldwide pandemics) – if in doubt, call us at 309 477-3044 before leaving home.  If you are coming through town and can't stop by during our normal hours, email us in advance and we'll try to make arrangements to meet you at the library.

Our meetings are held on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 7:00 pm.  Our monthly meeting starts with a one hour presentation about a genealogical or historical subject followed by a short business meeting.  The public is welcome to attend any of our meetings/presentations.  Many of our meetings may be attended virtually via Zoom - again, the public is welcome!

But we do encourage you to consider joining the Society - annual dues are just $25 for an individual or $28 for a family (two individuals living at same address).  Here's how to join!

A good way to get a general idea of what's available on is to review our website map.  Thanks for stopping by!

St. John's Lutheran Church
Online Index Added!

St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church (Pekin), founded by German immigrants, was organized in 1852 using the name of St. Johannes Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Initially services were held in member’s homes; of course, the sessions were conducted in German.  It was not until the summer of 1917 with the start of World War I that some services were held using English.  Over time the German service was phased out.

1927 Photo of St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church
St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church

St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church continues to thrive today.

This initial index covers church records from 1853-1872.  More years will be added to the index as transcriptionists continue indexing.

More details are available at the St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church webpage.

Clark's Business Journal
Online Index Added!

Jonathan Gilson Clark ran a a general store (possibly a trading post) in Pekin in the early 1830s.  He sold many of the basic goods needed for daily living—including staples such as sugar, flour, and coffee.  He also was a main supplier of whiskey which he sold in any size desired—from a glass to a gallon or more.

We have the good fortune to have a copy of a journal of Jonathan's business transactions from 1833 through January 1834.  Many of his customers were founding settlers of Pekin & Tazewell County—familiar names like Dillon, Tharp, Rynerson, and Woodrow.

More details and a searchable index are available at the Clark's Journal webpage.

Mundy's Blacksmith Shop
Account Book
Online Index Added!

William and Eunice Mundy were among the first settlers of Green Valley, Illinois.  In the 1850s, William opened one of the town's first businesses, a blacksmith and harness shop, at the northwest corner of Main and Church Streets.

The shop was a vital part of the community, providing essential services such as shoeing horses and repairing farm equipment. It also served as a gathering place for the townspeople, where they could share news and socialize.

We have a copy of William's shop account book, which documents his business transactions from November 1853 through May 9, 1871. 

More details and a searchable index are available at the Mundy's Account Book webpage.

A Celebration 200 Years in the Making!

As 2024 marks the 200th anniversary of Pekin's founding, we are reminded of its rich history and pioneer spirit—from the first settlers who ventured into the unknown and built homes along the Illinois River, to the present-day residents who continue to nurture and grow the town.

The Pekin Bicentennial committee (including TCGHS) has created an official Pekin Bicentennial website to document the town's history, people, and all this year's celebratory events.

Join Pekin in a year long celebration as we explore the town's fascinating journey from its humble beginnings to the thriving community it is today.

Shelving Donation Matching Gift Available!

For the past forty-five years Tazewell County Genealogical & Historical Society has provided the public and membership a place to research local & family history – currently we have over 14,000 books, microfilm records, family histories, as well as local & family photographs. Through many kind donations over the years, our shelves are literally "bursting at the seams".

So, we have decided to upgrade our static book shelving to high-capacity mobile shelving, allowing us to utilize the space formerly lost to the aisles between our fixed shelving units – almost doubling our linear shelving space.  As you can imagine, this is a very expensive endeavor, committing much of our long-term funds.

Current Shelving
Current Shelving
After will resemble this
After will resemble this

Fortunately, a local couple has generously stepped forward, committing to matching all donations from the public & membership, up to $30,000.

Please note this is a 100% matching gift – we only receive the pledged $30,000 from our angel donors when we have in an additional $30,000 in matching donations.  In other words, $30000 or Bust!

So far we have raised $18,350 towards our $30,000 goal! That‘s 61% of the total!

With your kind donations, we hope to soon complete our funding. As a 501(c}3 non-profit, all your donations are tax deductible.  We are an all-volunteer organization which receives no Federal, State, or County government funding.

Donations can be made online, in person at the library, or by mail.  Please indicate your donation is to be used for our Building fund.  Also, also note if you wish to remain anonymous.

If we can get donations of $30,000,
every dollar will be matched.

Thank you for your support!

Created using the Donation Thermometer plugin$30,000Raised $18,350 towards the $30,000 target.$18,350Raised $18,350 towards the $30,000 target.61%

June 2024 Mystery Photos Posted!

Unfortunately, we have many photographs in our collection that are undated with unnamed persons taken at an unknown locations.  We have dubbed these as our Mystery Photo Collection 

We publish one or more photographs each month in The Monthly newsletter and on our website.  All additional details we have accompany each photo.  Click on photo to see it full-size!

Here's the mystery photos from the June 2024 issue of The Monthly:

Taken in Pekin by R. A. Konisek. Can you identify the couple and date the photo? Possible Urish family members?
Hopewell School, Washington Township, 1913-1914. Lester Guth is in the front row, 2nd from left; his brother, Clarence, is in the 2nd row, 2nd from right. Their parents were Daniel & Sarah Guth. Can you help us identify any of the others?

Please contact us even if you are not 100% sure of your information—sometimes a tiny tidbit can lead to big results!  Thanks for your help!

Also, take a look at all the Mystery Photos we have posted in the past!  Perhaps you can identify one of them.

Tazewell County Veterans of World War II Remembrances
Buy One - Get One Free Sale!

Cover - Tazewell County Veterans of WWII RemembrancesThe Tazewell County Genealogical & Historical Society believed that conserving our World War II veteran’s experiences was so important that in 2007 we recorded many of the Tazewell County veteran’s stories to preserve for future generations.  Hundreds of veterans shared their unique experiences–many for the first time!

You’ll relive with  “ordinary” men and women how their amazing sacrifices during these extraordinary times forged the values that made our people and nation great!  No wonder they have been christened The Greatest Generation!

Hundreds of these memories were selected and published in an approximately 500 page 8.5″ x 11″ book entitled Tazewell County Veterans of World War II Remembrances.  The book has a high quality, long-lasting library binding.  Pictures of many of the veterans were included with their stories.

Many of these valiant men and women have since passed away.  Now, you can get 2 copies of the book for the original price of just one - $33 delivered to your home!  Get yours today before they are gone!

Tazewell County Genealogical & Historical Society is a FamilySearch Affiliate Library!  Visitors to our library have free access to many millions of additional digital images on the FamilySearch website than they can access from home.

Here's the details!

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TCGHS is a non-partisan, 501(c3) non-profit educational research institution whose mission is to "stimulate interest; to collect, preserve, and safeguard records; and to provide related educational services for the purpose of increasing and enriching public knowledge of our heritage."

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