TCGHS Logo Map Image


719 N. 11th Street
Pekin, IL 61554
Map & Directions

Email Us

Library Hours

Monday 9:00 am-1:00 pm
Tuesday 9:00 am-1:00 pm
  7:00 pm-9:00 pm
Wednesday   9:00 am-4:30 pm
Thursday 9:00 am-1:00 pm
Friday 9:00 am-1:00 pm
Saturday Closed
Sunday 2:00 pm-4:30 pm
Holiday Hours
Additional Hours by Appointment

Admission - Free

Parking - Free

Handicapped Accessible

Free Wi-Fi

Mailing Address
PO Box 312
Pekin, IL 61555-0312

Research Services

Photo of Research Staff

The Tazewell County Genealogical & Historical Society offers a variety of research services.  A fee is charged for all research performed by our volunteer staff.

Research requests are processed as quickly as possible in first-come first-served order.  Since we can receive between 40-60 requests/month, it can take 6-8 weeks for a response when demand is high.

For more information on specific services and how to order, use the links below.  Or, if your needs are not covered by one of the services described below, drop our research staff a note for an estimate of cost.

All research is done by volunteers — all proceeds go to support the Society's goals.

Surname Search

For a $20.00 donation (nonrefundable) we will search 10-15 of our indexed holdings for one surname (including spelling variations) and send you the results. 

For example, a “Smith” surname search will include everyone with the surname “Smith” listed in the resources.

If you are sure you have ancestors in 1820-1900 Tazewell County, this service is almost guaranteed to give you results.

Click the button for more details, including how to order and a list of the holdings that will be searched.

Surname Search Graphic

Pekin Home, Business, or Property Search

Photo of Carl Herget Mansion

For a $20.00 donation (nonrefundable) we will search 15-20 of our indexed holdings for one home, business, or property and send you the results.

Click the button for more details, including how to order and a list of the holdings that will be searched.

Obituary Research

We will search the TCGHS obituary index and, if necessary, make one trip to the Pekin Public Library to check the newspaper obituary file index for a fee of $5.00 for each obituary with a known death date.

Obituaries with only a known death month and year are $10.00 per hour.

However, not all obituaries are in our index.  Pekin Times obituaries are available beginning about 1916.  An exact date of death is needed to search for an obituary not in the index.  We can not do full year searches!

Charles Berry Obit

Marriage Licenses 1869-1950

Image of 1877 Marriage License

Tazewell County Genealogical & Historical Society has scanned the original returned 1869-1950 marriage licenses which were in long-term storage at the Tazewell County courthouse.  Each uncertified copy is $5.00.  Copies ordered online will be $5.45 (to offset the fees we are charged by the credit card payment processor).  Credit cards are not accepted for mailed orders.

TCGHS members may search an online index for free.

An index to the 1898-1938 marriage licenses have also been published in four printed volumes.  They can be consulted at our library or can be purchased.

An additional two-volume index to the 1939-1950 marriage licenses was later published.  They can also be consulted at our library or can be purchased.

Deeds 1830-1929

The Tazewell County Deed Collection contains original deeds, titles, and mortgages from 1830-1929. This information has been recorded at the Tazewell County Recorder’s Office.  However, the collection does not contain all records for this time frame.  So, not finding a deed in our collection does not mean no deed exists!

Deeds range from a ½ page to multiple pages. As some deeds are very fragile, an appointment must be made with a TCGHS archivist to see them in person.

Photocopies may be ordered for $1.00 per page which includes postage.  We have a free online index to the collection.

Jacob Tharp Deed

Courthouse Research

Limited research will be performed at the Tazewell County courthouse for a donation of $5.00 plus copy charges and/or applicable document fees as described below.  Prices subject to change.

  • Uncertified copies of Marriage, Birth, or Death records  - $5.00 document fee.  Please be aware that birth and death records were rarely recorded prior to 1916.  You must purchase certified copies if the record is less than 20 years old.
  • Probate Records - $8.00 - includes $5.00 TCGHS donation plus $3.00 for postage and up to three pages of copy.  We will bill you if there are additional pages to copy.
  • Naturalization Records - $3.00 for postage and up to three pages of copy.  We will bill you if there are additional pages to copy. (Note: The Society has extracted and published these records.  Our naturalization publications contain all information contained on the documents.)

Note: Due to county & state restrictions, TCGHS is unable to obtain certified copies for you.  You must apply for certified records directly from the Tazewell County Clerk's office.

Photo Service

If you know where your ancestor is buried, we can take photographs of his/her tombstone for you.  For a $10.00 nonrefundable donation, our volunteers will:

  • Drive to a cemetery and find your ancestor's grave.
  • Take a photograph of the cemetery entrance, a medium distance shot of the plot, and a close-up of the marker.
  • Take photographs of any additional graves at the same cemetery for only $2.00 each.
  • Send you your photos by email or by mail on a CD-ROM.

Photographs of other subjects will be taken at similar costs (ask for estimate).  All proceeds from the Photo Service go to the society's computer fund.

Photo of Cemetery


Copy Services

Photo of Toshiba Copier


On-site researchers can make

  • Black & White Photocopies
  • Color Photocopies
  • Computer Printouts

For off-site researchers, we will copy pages from our newsletters, county history books, microfilms, etc. for 25¢/ black&white page ($1/color page) plus $1.00 postage & handling.

Copying is restricted to materials not covered by another available research service.

One of the specified conditions of the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) is that a photocopy or reproduction of copyrighted material is “not to be used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research”.

If you make a copy (or request us to make a copy)  and later use it for purposes in excess of the above "fair use", you may be liable for copyright infringement.

The Tazewell County Genealogical & Historical Society (TCGHS) reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.

Permission must be obtained from TCGHS to publish or display any items copied from the Society's collections.

Pioneer Certificate Application Files

To honor the first families of Tazewell County, the Tazewell County Genealogical & Historical Society issues Pioneer Certificate to documented direct descendants of settlers who arrived in Tazewell County prior to 1875.  To date, almost 150 early families have been awarded certificates.

The application, with the completed lineage and documentation, is kept on file in our library and may be accessed by researchers.

If any of these documented Prairie Pioneers happen to be your ancestor, the Pioneer Certificate application file can be a treasure trove of resources such as legal documents, family photos, ancestor charts, family group sheets, research contacts, etc.

Photo of William & Phebe Hodgson - early settlers in Tazewell County
William & Phebe Hodgson

Photograph Collections

Photo of HH Cole
Henry H. ("H. H.") Cole

The Ehrlicher Research Center photo collection contains thousands of images. Here's parts of our current collection we would like to highlight:

Notable Men Photo Collection - Pioneering photographer H.H. Cole created a historical picture gallery of notable Tazewell County residents—displayed at one time on the hallway walls of the Tazewell County Courthouse. Many of these photographs are of early Tazewell County notable men. Our archivists scanned over 1500 of the 5″x7″ photos that had been stored in the basement of the Tazewell County Courthouse for decades.

World War I Soldier Photos - Included in the Society’s L Sidney Eslinger Glass Negative Collection are over one hundred glass plate negatives of identified Tazewell County area soldiers in uniform—probably from around World War I (1918). Our archivists have scanned these negatives (archival tiff format, 200 dpi). The original photographs were taken by Henry H. (“H.H.”) Cole—a pioneering Tazewell County photographer.

If neither of the above collections have an item of interest, please contact us and we'll check the rest of the collection.