Located on the second floor, the genealogy collection contains over 4,400 books and hundreds of reels of microfilm. The collection concentrates on Elgin and Kane County, Illinois, but also contains materials relating to twenty-five other states, mostly east of the Mississippi River, and five European countries.

Online Library Resources

Elgin Area Memories is the starting point to access an online archive of historical Elgin Photographs and memorabilia from the local area. Details about local residents may be found in these publications.

Heritage Quest Online
Requires a Gail Borden Public Library Card Number if accessed from outside the library.

Ancestry Library Edition
Can only be accessed within the Gail Borden Public Library.

Elgin Death Records
The Elgin, Illinois Death Records have been available on microfilm since 1995. Funding from the Elgin Genealogical Society and permission from the Elgin Heritage Commission has allowed this valuable resource to be digitized.

Genealogy Basics Course
Take this free six-week online course, with a real professor, using your Gail Borden Library card.  This class will help you learn everything you need to get started on researching your family history.

Recommended Links

The oldest and largest free genealogy site. Databases, internet mailing lists, and ways to contribute to others' research.

The best one-stop source for genealogy information on the state and county levels.

Cyndi's List
The most comprehensive list of genealogy links on the World Wide Web. Covers all family history subjects.

LDS Affiliate Library

Gail Borden Public Library is a designated LDS (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) Affiliate Library. LDS materials, ordered and paid for online, can be delivered for viewing to Gail Borden. Gail Borden will provide microfilm viewers for users of this service. More information can be found on the LDS Family Search Website.

Back to the main research page

Getting Started

cover of genealogy handout

Download this guide to local resources. 

Elgin Newspaper and Vital Record’s Index

The Elgin Newspaper and Vital Record’s Index is a searchable database of articles from the Courier News and Daily Herald for articles concerning Elgin.


One on One Assistance

The Elgin Genealogical Society Volunteers are happy to assist you on your next genealogy research project.  They are at the Gail Borden library on the second floor by the microfilm and genealogy collection.

  • 2nd week of every month: 3-5pm on Tuesday and Wednesday and 2-4pm on Thursday
  • 3rd week of every month: 10am-noon on Wednesday
  • 4th week of every month: 3-5pm on Tuesday and 2-4pm on Thursday
  • 5th week of every month: 2-4pm on Thursday

For more information you can contact the Elgin Genealogical Society via Email at elgingenealogy@gmail.com.

Area Genealogical Groups