Local History & Genealogy
The Vespasian Warner Public Library's Archive has a large collection of documents, newspapers, photographs, postcards, and artifacts that covers the history of DeWitt County. The library also houses the collections of the DeWitt County Genealogical Society and the DeWitt Clinton Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
For information about the Vespasian Warner Public Library Archive, please call the library at 217-935-5174 or email
Below are listings of our holdings. Not all images are available online at this time, however, if you would like a scanned copy of any image, please contact Bobbi at .
Documents, photographs, and artifacts related to DeWitt County history.
A partial list of photographs in our collection.
C.H. Moore Collection
This is the original collection from the library's opening in 1908. Includes numerous works on Illinois history and biography. For information on C.H. Moore, please visit the DeWitt County Museum website.
Civil War Collection
Diaries, photographs, artifacts
Digitization of these items was made possible by a grant from the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation.
Clinton Area Yearbooks
Includes Clinton, Heyworth, LeRoy, Kenney, Maroa-Forsyth, and Wapella.
Digitized versions of Clinton yearbooks are available.
On microfilm. 1854-present.
Letters, service records, and photographs. Available in the Illinois Digital Archive.
Helen Hume Thorp Collection
Wapella and Rucker Chapel History
Letters, newspaper articles, and photographs.
Weinberg Library of Comparative Religion
Donated by Dr. Harold Weinberg
Archives & Special Collections
Online Library Databases
Ancestry.com: Only available in the library building.
ProQuest, the owner of Ancestry.com, is providing temporary remote access to Ancestry during the COVID-19 outbreak until June 30, 2021. Please contact the Library at to receive the password for remote access. Once you have received the password,
Newspaper.com: Only available in the library building. This website will allow you to view digitized local papers from 1854-1963.
African American Gateway - A growing resource for African American research compiled by Allen County Public Library of Fort Wayne, Indiana
Clinton Cemetery Viewer - Explore City of Clinton cemetery records using this interactive GIS map. Search by Burial Names or Owner Names.
DAR Genealogical Research System - Online genealogical portal including their Ancestor Database, Member Database, Descendants Database, DAR Library Catalog, and DAR Genealogical Records Committee database.
FamilySearch -An international, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping all people discover their family story.
Find a Grave - Free resource for finding the graves of famous folks, friends and family members
Illinois State Archives - Illinois birth, death, marriage, and veterans records
Illinois State Genealogical Society - Indices and databases provided free to the public by the ISGS
PERSI (Periodical Source Index) - PERSI indexes journal articles published by thousands of local, state, national and international genealogy and local history organizations. It is free to search PERSI, but online access to articles is through subscription only.
General Genealogy Resources
Cyndi's List - A free jumping-off point for online genealogical research
Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter - Daily online genealogy newsletter
Family Search Wiki - Genealogical research advice and information on where to find record collections.
First Search - Contact the Library for login.
Illinois Online Genealogy Records - Find genealogy records: vital records (birth, marriage, and death), census, cemeteries, probate, land, libraries, societies, churches, newspapers, etc. for Illinois
National Archives: Genealogy Ethnic Heritage - Selection of links to websites that are useful for ethnic genealogical research compiled by NARA
National Archives: Resources for Genealogists - Selection of links for beginning genealogical research, searchable databases, and preservation tutorials
American History Teachers' Collaborative - lesson plans, local primary documents, and examples of best practices from a central Illinois collaborative led by the Urbana School District.
DocsTeach - ready to use tools for teaching with documents prepared by the National Archives.
National History Day and Archives Toolkit - a wiki for getting the most out of National History Day.
Databases & Research Tools
The DeWitt County Genealogical Society was formed in 1974 to help collect and preserve genealogical history and other resources about the people of DeWitt County.
PO Box 632
Clinton, IL 61727
You can also fill out the form below.
DeWitt County Geneological Society
DCGS items available at the library:
Census 1840 - 1930
Death Index 1878 - 1980
Marriage Index 1839 - 1979
Birth Index 1878 - 1915
Funeral home records
DeWitt County histories and atlases
Clinton city directories (earlist-1915)
Circuit Clerk's records index
Materials about other counties and states
DeWitt County Early Marriage Licences, 1839-
Additional Local Records