ILLINOIS STATE ARCHIVES
Kane County Circuit Court Case Files Index (1836–1870)
Compiled by the Illinois Regional Archives Depository System, Northern Illinois University
The Kane County Circuit Court Case Files Index was compiled by interns for the Illinois Regional Archives Depository at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. Interns who helped compile this index include: Kimberly Dvorak, Kathleen France, Rebecca Looney, James Rock, Jr. and Steve Wellington. The 10,582 records in the database were extracted from the Kane County Circuit Court Case Files (IRAD Accession 1/0007/01).
Each entry found in the index contains the following categories of information: the names of the plaintiff and defendant; the month and year the case was heard by the court; the box and case numbers; and the type of case. Names of plaintiffs and defendants were transcribed directly from the case files. Every attempt was made to obtain accurate spellings of names. If the spelling of a name could not be determined from the case jacket, a search of the various case documents was conducted. However, names were often spelled a variety of ways throughout the case documents. It was also sometimes difficult to decipher handwriting in some case files. Therefore, when searching this index, we suggest that researchers check alternative spellings of names if they do not find an entry for the name for which they are searching.
The Kane County Circuit Court Case Files include chancery, criminal and common law proceedings. These case files generally show the names of the plaintiff, defendant, judge and clerk of the court; the court dates; and usually the charge or cause of action. Documents contained in these case files include: summonses, affidavits of witnesses, subpoenas, bonds, receipts, depositions, declarations, decrees and orders of the court, jury and witness lists, indictments, warrants, writs of habeas corpus, verdicts, dismissals and transcripts of coroner's inquests.
In 1857, two special courts called Courts of Common Pleas were created in the cities of Elgin and Aurora. These courts had similar jurisdiction to that of the circuit court. Because these municipal courts functioned separately from the circuit court in the courthouse at Geneva, their case files remained separate. IRAD does have the case files for the Courts of Common Pleas in Elgin (IRAD Accession 1/0269/08) and Aurora (IRAD Accession 1/0269/01). However, the case files for these Courts of Common Pleas are not included in this database. Indexes to the Elgin and Aurora Courts of Common Pleas are available on microfiche at the Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD) at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb.
Copies of the files found in this index may be obtained by mail or telephone. Inquiries should be made directly to the Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD) at at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. IRAD cannot accept requests by e-mail at this time. Please contact:
Illinois Regional Archives Depository
c/o Regional History Center
Founders Memorial Library
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115