These pages are a part of the ILGenWeb Project. They provide a resource for genealogists searching in Will County, IL. You can post queries about surnames you are researching, see who else might be researching the same names as yourself, ask volunteers to do reference lookups, volunteer to do reference lookups, and get information on searching in Will County. My name is Dennis Partridge, and I am currently the host of Will County, you can email me here, if you have any questions. I do not live in Will County, nor Illinois, but I will attempt to answer your research questions or point you in the direction of somebody who can.
About the County
Will County is located in northeastern Illinois, south of Cook County. The county seat is in Joliet, Illinois which is located approximately 40 miles southwest of Chicago on the Des Plaines River.
The county received its name from Dr. Conrad Will, a member of the first Constitutional Convention and a member of the Illinois Legislature until his death in 1835. In the year 1836, January 12th, Will County was formed from Cook County and Iroquois County and included besides its present area, the part of Kankakee County, Illinois lying north of the Kankakee River. Will County lost a small area when Kankakee County, Illinois was organized in 1852, but since then its boundaries have been unchanged.
It is divided into 24 townships: Channahon, Crete, Custer, Du Page, Florence, Frankfort, Green Garden, Homer, Jackson, Joliet, Lockport, Manhattan, Monee, New Lenox, Peotone, Plainfield, Reed, Troy, Washington, Wesley, Wheatland, Will, Wilmington, and Wilton.
From the 1854 US Gazetteer WILL, a county in the E. N. E. part of Illinois, bordering on Indiana, has an area of 1236 square miles. It is intersected by the Kankakee and Des Plaines rivers, branches of the Illinois. The surface is generally level, and destitute of timber, excepting small groves. The soil is very fertile, and much of it is under cultivation. The soil of the prairies is a deep, sandy loam, adapted to Indian corn and grass. In 1850 the county produced 527,903 bushels of Indian corn; 230,885 of wheat; 334,360 of oats; 32,043 tons of hay, and 319,054 pounds of butter. It contained 14 churches, 3 newspaper offices; 3472 pupils attending public schools, and 200 attending other schools. Quarries of building stone are worked near the county seat. The Des Plaines river furnishes water-power. The county is intersected by the Illinois and Michigan canal, by the Chicago branch of the Central railroad, the Chicago and Mississippi, and by the Chicago and Rock Island railroad. Named in honor of Conrad Will, for many years a member of the Illinois legislature. Capital, Joliet. Population, 16,703.
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The USGenWeb Project has grown into a national volunteer effort providing a page for each county in the US. This project began in 1996 in Kentucky and continues to grow daily. Volunteers coordinate the collection of materials and oversee the contents of their county pages. The Will County IL page is affiliated with the ILGenWeb Project and the USGenWeb Project.
Special thanks to former Will County Coordinators: Ted Cash, 1998-2007; Deb Vieau Haines 2007-2014
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