Everyone Didn’t Go to Chicago or Springfield
Many of us have found ancestors in Chicago, Cook County. Immigrant workers and emancipated slaves flocked there for work. More privileged ancestors settled there to establish businesses and to capitalize on its central location. But research n the neighboring rural counties and other parts of Illinois is not mentioned often, even though they too have a past full of activities, struggles, and successes. These smaller rural counties are filled with valuable resources for family search if your family happened there.
It would behoove the researcher looking for a missing ancestor, to forsake a failed Cook County search and widen their research efforts to neighboring northern or central counties.
Widening Your Search
I got the clue needed from the county formation information provided on FamilyHistory 101 (http://www.familyhistory101.com/county/il-county-kane.html) which showed an extreme amount of activities in these northern counties in 1836. I found my “subject” in Winnebago, Ogle, Kane, and Dekalb counties, after narrowing the possibilities based on the information given on how a county was formed. For example:
Kane County was created on January 16, 1836 (Laws, 1836, p. 273) and was formed from unorganized land (La Salle County ) and Cook County. Present area, or parts of it, formerly included in: LaSalle County (1835–1836) , Putnam County (1825–1835) , Fulton County (1823–1825) , Pike County (1821–1823) , Clark County (1819–1821) , Crawford County (1816–1819) , Edwards County (1815–1816) , Madison County (1812–1815) , St. Clair County (1801–1812) and Knox, Northwest Territory (1790–1801).