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ILLINOIS STATE ARCHIVES


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Record Descriptions – Circuit Court/Circuit Clerk

Accounts

Accounts show the date, the page of recordation, the name of the person remitting or receiving payment, and the total payment.

Aliens' Register

Record of aliens in the county shows the name and age of the alien, the nationality, the country from which the person came, the place of intended settlement, and the date arrived in the county.

Anti-Saloon Violation Case Files

Files of violations of local option laws include general information showing the date, the names of the defendants, and the charges; bail bonds show the amount and the court date; criminal capias bills set the bail; subpoenas name witnesses; and jury verdicts give names of the jurors and the judgment of the court.

Chancery Record

Record of chancery court proceedings shows the names of the plaintiff, defendant, judge, clerk, master in chancery, sheriff, witnesses, and lawyers, and the court term. It contains pleas, judgments, orders, and decrees, concerning divorce, injury, wills, real and personal property foreclosures, and partitions.

Circuit Clerk's General File

File includes writs of execution, criminal case files, recognizance bonds, and fee bills.

Circuit Court Bond Record

Record contains appeal and injunction bonds. Appeal bonds show the name of the person bonded, to whom bonded, the amount and obligation of the bond, the court to which appeal was directed, the names of witnesses, endorsement, and seal. Injunction bonds show the names of the person bonded and of the complainants, to whom bonded, the amount of the bond and the reasons for restraint by injunction, the obligation, endorsement, and seal.

Circuit Court Case Files

Case files for chancery, criminal, and common law proceedings show the names of plaintiff, defendant, judge, and clerk of court, the court dates, and usually the charge or cause. Documents contained in these case files include: summonses, affidavits of witnesses, subpoenas, bonds, receipts, depositions, declarations, decrees, jury lists, witness lists, indictments, warrants, writs of habeas corpus, verdicts, dismissals, and transcripts of coroner's inquests.

Circuit Court Common Law Record

Record of proceedings in common law cases shows the date and the names of the plaintiff, defendant, and lawyers. It includes court orders, appeals, damages, orders for dismissal and probation, and discharges from probation.

Circuit Court Criminal Order Book

Record shows the date of the court order, the names of the plaintiff and defendant, and the type of case.

Circuit Court Criminal Record

Record of proceedings in criminal cases shows the date; the names of the defendant, judge, clerk, and lawyers; the charge; the disposition of the case; and itemized fees, fines, and payments.

Circuit Court Default Judgment Record

Record shows the court term, the names of the plaintiff and defendant, the amount of the judgment, and the amount demanded in suit.

Circuit Court Dockets

Dockets show the court term; the date; the names of the plaintiff, defendant, clerk, judge, sheriff, witnesses, and lawyers; and the actions of the court.

Circuit Court Index

Index shows the names of the plaintiff and defendant, the type of action, the court terms when the action began and when the action was settled, the book and page where the case was recorded, and the date of judgment and the book and page where judgments, executions, and fees were recorded.

Circuit Court Order Books

Record shows the date of the court order; the names of the plaintiff, defendant, and judge; and the type of case. The record may also contain petitions for the sale of real estate, indictments, bonds, and replevins.

Circuit Court Record

Record of circuit court proceedings shows the date, the case number, an abstract of the proceedings, the type of action, the final disposition of the case, and the names of the plaintiff, defendant, and judge.

Confessions Record

Record shows the court term; the names of the plaintiff, defendant, and attorneys; the date; payment of indebtedness with the amount of the debt; and an acknowledgment of judgment.

Criminal Transfer Docket

Docket shows the case number; the names of the plaintiff, defendant, and witnesses; the charge; the date of each appearance in court; an abstract of each appearance; and any court orders.

Declarations of Intent

Declarations of Intent, which were required to be filed at least two years before final certification as a citizen, show the petitioner's name and nationality, usually his age and nativity, the date and port of entry, an oath of allegiance and a renunciation of allegiance to any foreign power, with the filing date and the signature of the clerk of the court.

Delinquent Fees Record

Record shows the names of the plaintiff and defendant, the court term, the name of the clerk, the fee book and page number, the case number, the costs and fees, a clerk's certification of the copy, the name of the sheriff, and an execution to sell chattel property of the delinquent party to pay fees and costs.

Execution Files

Files contain court orders to the sheriff for the seizure of property to satisfy judgments, and they show the names of plaintiff and defendant, the amount of judgment, the date interest was computed, the type of suit, the date of the order, the signature of the clerk, the amount of fees, and the sheriff's certification of payment. Files frequently itemize the costs.

Execution Order Book

Record shows the receipt number; the court term; the names of the plaintiff, defendant, clerk of the court, and the plaintiff's lawyer; the date of the order and the date of issuance; and the order to the sheriff to issue the execution.

Fee Book Index

Index shows the name of the person owing fees and costs to the court, the amount due, the fee book and page, and the date paid.

Fee Books

Record shows the names of the plaintiff and defendant, the court term, the type of case, the filing date, an itemized account of fees and costs, the total fees and costs, and whether paid.

Filing Receipt Book

Books show the general docket number, the term number, the names of the plaintiff and defendant, what papers were taken and by whom, when they were taken and when they were returned.

Grand Jury Jail Reports

Reports to the circuit court from the grand jury concern the sanitary condition of the county jail, the humane treatment of prisoners, and compliance with the laws regulating jails. Infrequently, the grand jury made recommendations to the court. Reports were signed by the foreman and clerk of the jury, and occasionally by the jurors.

Judgment and Execution Files

Files show the date, the names of the plaintiff and defendant, the amount and type of judgment, the damages, costs, and fees, a description of the case, the case number, and the date of satisfaction or the reason for no satisfaction.

Judgment Docket and Claims Register

Docket shows the court term; the names of the plaintiff and defendant; the date and type of judgment; the amount of debt, damages, costs, and fees; the book and page of recordation; whether execution was issued; and whether the judgment was satisfied.

Judgment Dockets

Dockets show the date of judgment, the names of the plaintiff and defendant, the type of judgment, and the amounts of damages, costs, and fees. Dockets may also contain the names of the judge and lawyers, the dates of execution and delivery, and the volume and page recorded in the fee book.

Judgment Transcript Record

Record of transcripts of judgments from justices of the peace shows the names of the parties, copies of relevant documents, notes sued on, summonses, judgments, executions, bills of costs, the date, and an abstract of the proceedings.

Jury Registers

Registers usually show the name and number of the juror, the dates empaneled and discharged, the number of days of service, the number of miles traveled, the amount paid for service and for mileage, signed by the juror.

Justice's Transcript Record

Record shows the names of the plaintiff, defendant, and justice of the peace, the dates a summons was issued and returned, any fees for service and mileage, a transcript of judgment, showing against whom judgment was rendered, the amount, the date, and costs, a copy of the execution issued, with the filing date and certification by the justice of the peace.

Lien Dockets

Dockets show the name of the person filing the lien, the date, the name of the person against whom the lien was filed, the amount of the claim, a description of the property charged with the lien, an acknowledgment of satisfaction, and release of the lien.

Master's Report of Sale

Reports show the name of the state and county; the date and court term; the names of the complainant, defendant, master in chancery, and the judge; a copy of the published sale notice; a legal description of the property for sale; the name of the buyer; the costs and fees; the amount of sale; the type of case; and the date and place of the sale.

Military and Minors' Naturalization Record

Record contains copies of Petitions for Citizenship and Final Certificates. Petitions show the petition number; the names of the petitioner, judge, and witnesses; a renunciation of allegiance to a foreign power; an oath of allegiance to the United States; the dates of enlistment and discharge; and the term of military service. Certificates show the names of the petitioner, judge, and witnesses; an affidavit of the minor's age; a certificate of arrival; and certification by the clerk of the court.

Military Naturalization Petition Record

Record shows the petitioner's name, nativity, and age, the names of witnesses, the petitioner's rank, and the date of the petition, signed by the petitioner.

Military Naturalization Record

Record contains copies of Petitions for Citizenship, Oaths of Allegiance, and Final Certificates. Petitions show the date, the name of the petitioner, his nativity, the number of years of residence in the United States, the dates of enlistment and discharge, the unit of military service, a renunciation of previous allegiance, and the signature of the petitioner. Oaths show the name and signature of the petitioner, a renunciation of previous allegiance, and are dated and certified by the clerk of the court. Final Certificates show the date, the names of the petitioner, judge, and character witnesses, the army in which the petitioner served, and are dated and certified by the clerk of the court.

Minors' Naturalization Record

Record contains copies of Petitions for Citizenship, Oaths of Allegiance, and Final Certificates. Petitions show the date, the name of the petitioner, the petitioner's nationality, the number of years resident in the United States and in Illinois, a renunciation of previous allegiance, and the signature of the petitioner. Oaths show the name and signature of the petitioner, dated and certified by the clerk of the court. Certificates show the date, the names of the petitioner, judge, and witnesses, a renunciation of previous allegiance, and certification by the clerk of the court.

Naturalization Papers

Papers may include Declarations of Intent, Petitions for Citizenship, Final Oaths, Minors' Papers, and Soldiers' Papers. Declarations of Intent show the name of the person applying for citizenship, the date, the person's nationality, and place of residence. Declarations may also show the person's age, port of embarkation, port of entry, and occupation. Petitions show the petitioner's name, term of residence in the United States, and a witness's affidavit on the petitioner's character and residence. Final Oaths show the name of the person becoming naturalized, a renunciation of allegiance to any foreign power, and an oath of allegiance to the United States. Minors' Papers include a father's affirmation, if possible, and two references. Soldiers' Papers show the dates enlisted and discharged from military service, the soldier's company, and the signatures of two witnesses.

Naturalization Record

Record shows the names of the petitioner, witnesses, judge, and clerk of the court, an oath of allegiance, usually the petitioner's former allegiance, and a note that a declaration of intent to become a citizen has been filed. Record may include a copy of the Declaration of Intent, copies of Minors' Petitions and Oaths, or copies of Soldiers' Petitions and Oaths.

Probation Record

Record shows the name of the defendant, the lawyer, the probation officer, and the judge; the case number, charge, date, indictment, amount of bail, date of arraignment, plea, conditions and length of probation; and the application for probation and admission to probation.

Publication Notices

Notices show the court term, the newspaper, the number of copies printed, the date of first publication, the date of mailing notice, and the address.

Recognizance Bonds

Bonds give the name of the prisoner, the charge, the date of appearance, the name of the examining magistrate, the amount of the bond, and the date of the scheduled appearance in court. Justification of bail, which lists the name of the security, his residence and occupation, with a legal description of the real property pledged, accompanies the bond.

State's Attorney Fee, Fine, and Forfeiture Reports

Reports list the case number or court term, the name of the defendant, the court, the charge, the fees, fines and forfeitures, remarks, and totals, signed by the state's attorney and witnessed by the clerk of the court.

Witness Ledger

Ledger of fees paid to witnesses shows the names of the witness, the plaintiff, and the defendant, the number and page of the fee book, the amount and date paid, and the signature of the witness.