Local History & Genealogy

Local History

Ida Public Library’s Local History & Genealogy Room is the best place to start your Boone County and Belvidere genealogy and local history research. The Local History & Genealogy Room contains a wealth of information on the history and people of Belvidere and Boone County, IL, as well as surrounding Northern Illinois counties, including Winnebago, DeKalb, and McHenry counties.

Please see the Indexes & Digital Materials page for a collection of indexes and finding aids for Local History Room resources. Many of our books, archival collections, and research materials are searchable through the Ida Public Library catalog.

Planning Your Visit:

Visitors are welcome to come and utilize the Local History collection when the Room is open and staffed. Our open hours differ from library hours, so please plan your visit accordingly. If traveling from a long distance, it is advised that you call ahead to check staff availability.

Research Requests:

If you cannot visit the Local History Room, our staff is willing to assist with your local history and genealogy research questions. You can contact us by mail, phone, or email. There is no charge for research services. Requested documents can be mailed or emailed to you; if documents are mailed, there is a charge of $0.15 per copy as well as a fee for postage. Monetary donations to the Local History Room are always appreciated.

We are always looking for donations of records relating to Boone County history. If you would like to make a donation, please contact Local History staff.

Our Collection Includes:

Boone County Resources
Resources for Neighboring Counties

DeKalb County

  • Cemetery Indexes
  • Local history books

McHenry County

  • Cemetery Indexes
  • Local history books
  • Marriage Index: 1837-1899
  • Naturalization Index: 1851-1906
  • Probate Index: 1840s-1980s

Winnebago County

  • Cemetery Indexes
  • Indexes of deaths and marriages from the Rockford papers
  • Local history books
  • Vital Records

Many more resources are available, so please contact us for more information.



Email: Localhistory@idapubliclibrary.org


Monday Closed
Tuesday 1pm-8pm
Wednesday 10am-4:30pm
Thursday 1pm-8pm
Friday 10am-4:30pm
Saturday 10am-5pm (2nd and 4th Saturdays only)

(Note: Local History staff will not be available on October 10 and 11. The Local History Room will be closed on those days. Thank you for your understanding.)

Local History and Genealogy Research Websites

Boone County and Illinois Genealogy Sites
- Boone County Historical Museum
- Cherry Valley Public Library
- Illinois Digital Archives
- Illinois State Archives- Databases
- Illinois State Genealogical Society
- Rockford Public Library Local History & Genealogy Room
- U.S. GenWeb Archives: Illinois
- Winnebago and Boone Counties Genealogical Society
Cemetery Research
- Belvidere Cemetery Association
- Findagrave.com
- Interment.net
General Genealogy Sites
- Cyndi’s List
- Family History Library
- Genealogy Trails
- National Archives and Records Administration
- National Archives “Access to Archival Databases”
- RootsWeb
- U.S. GenWeb Archives
- U.S. GenWeb
Immigration Records

- Castle Garden
- Ellis Island Records Search
- National Archives Immigration Records
- New York Passenger Arrival Records
- Ellis Island Digital Photographs

Land Records

- Bureau of Land Management
- General Land Office Records

Military Records
- Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Index
- Illinois Civil War Muster Rolls
- Military Research at the National Archives & Records Administration
- National Archives- Access To Archival Databases- Military Records
Multicultural and Ethnic Group Research
African-American Research
- AfriGeneas
- AfriQuest
- Digital Library on American Slavery
- FamilySearch: African-American Research
- Freedmen’s Bureau Online
- Freedmen’s Bureau- National Archives
European and Canadian Research
Canada: - Canadian Genealogy Centre
Canada: - Canadiana
Denmark: - Danish Demographic Database
Eastern Europe: Federation of Eastern European Family History Societies
Germany: – Cyndi’s List: Germany
Germany: - Genealogy.net
Germany: - Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe
Great Britain: - UK National Archives
Great Britain and Ireland: GENUKI
Ireland: - National Archives of Ireland
Ireland: – Irish Ancestors
Ireland: – Genealogy in Ireland
Jewish Research: Jewishgen
Norway: - DigitalArkivet
Norway: - RootsWeb Norwegian Genealogy
Sweden: - Swedish Roots
Hispanic Research
- Directorio de Genealogia Hispana
- FamilySearch: Mexican Research
- FamilySearch: U.S. Hispanic Immigration Tutorial
- The Genealogy of Mexico
- La Guia de Informacion Genealogica
- Latin American Network Information Center- Genealogy Page
- Mexican Family History Research
- Mexican Genealogy