Illinois Servitude and Emancipation Records (1722–1863) Illinois State Archives


This database includes approximately 3,400 names found in governmental records involving the servitude and emancipation of Africans and, occasionally, Indians in the French and English eras of colonial Illinois (1722–1790) and African-Americans in the American period of Illinois (1790–1863). The Archives extracted the names of servants, slaves, or free persons and masters, witnesses, or related parties from selected governmental records to produce this database. After searching the database, researchers can see an abstract of the record by clicking the record number of the appropriate entry. Currently the following records are included in this database:

Document Type

The following list provides brief descriptions of the kinds of documents involving servitude and emancipation found in the records listed above:


For an unofficial and uncertified copy of the original or published record, please provide the following information: name of county; servant or slave, and other party; date of entry; and file, volume and/or page number of record. Many of the documents, especially for the colonial period, fail to give any name or only provide a given name for the slave or servant. For those documents lacking the slave's or servant's name, the researcher can locate an entry if the name of the owner, witness or related party is known. As a result of limitations on staff research time, the Archives can do no more than two name searches per request. If you would like an unofficial and uncertified copy of the record, please include your mailing address. Please contact:
Illinois State Archives
Reference Unit
Margaret Cross Norton Building
Capitol Complex
Springfield, Illinois 62756
217-524-3930 (fax)
Submit a Request Via the Internet

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