326 Belle Street, Alton, IL
Phone: 618-462-0651
Fax: 618-462-0665


The Hayner Public Library District provides a variety of genealogy-related services to support your research efforts. We have information from various states in addition to Illinois, and other countries, too.  A wonderful resource of The Hayner Public Library District for genealogy research is our digitized newspaper collection. The database is keyword-searchable, and you can print the articles you need. There is a charge of fifteen cents per page for printing black and white documents and a charge of thirty cents per page for printing color documents. The collection includes the Alton Telegraph Archives dating as far back as 1836, and Access NEWSPAPER ARCHIVE to locate newspaper articles in other parts of the country.

A library card issued from an Illinois Heartland Library System member-library is required in order to access the computers at Hayner Library.  If you do not live within the Illinois Heartland Library System you may obtain a guest pass to access the newspaper archives and databases. A photo ID is required to obtain a guest pass.

When you visit us, you can also use our computer research databases. We offer Ancestry® Library Edition, HeritageQuest OnlineTM, and Digital Sanborn® Maps.  These computer databases open up a whole world of research possibilities.  With our Family Tree Maker CDs you can research immigration lists, vital records, the Civil War and so much more.

Quarterly Genealogy Programs are held at the Genealogy & Local History Library. Subjects and dates are published in our library newsletter, or you can call us.  We invite topical speakers to share their knowledge with us.

If you wish, you may schedule a one-on-one session with a member of the Hayner Genealogy & Local History Library staff.  Call us at 618-462-0677, ext. 2865 to set up an appointment. There is no charge for this service.  We will be happy to meet with you to help you along with your research or get you started.

If you are out-of-town, we also offer a lookup service. A simple query is $5.00 per name researched. You must request your lookup in writing to The Hayner Public Library District, 401 State Street, Alton, Illinois 62002. When you send your letter of request, please include a business-size, stamped, self-addressed envelope and your payment check made out to The Hayner Public Library District. Please include your email address so we can contact you with any questions about your query. Include enough information so we can do a thorough search for you.  Please do not send original documents—copies will be fine.  If you have questions about our services, you can call us at 618-462-0677, ext. 2865 or send questions to our email address at genealogy@haynerlibrary.org

For more details of our Illinois Room collection, see the Illinois Room link on the Library Services menu.

We appreciate the donation of your family history resources when you are finished with them. They can help someone in the future to discover their family origins. Plan a visit to come in and browse our wonderful, historic collection. To discuss your donation, contact as at (618) 462-0677, ext. 2865.

Our genealogy collection in the Illinois Room inlcudes:

Genealogical Books

  • Madison County Illinois Federal census Indexes for 1820 through 1930
  • Madison County Illinois State census indexes for 1845 and 1855
  • Illinois Census Returns for 1810, 1818, 1820
  • Census materials from other Illinois counties and other states
  • Most Madison County Cemetery Inventories; Cemetery records for surrounding counties
  • Madison County Naturalizations and Intentions 1816-1900
  • Plat Maps and Atlases for Madison County and surrounding counties
  • “Madison County Marriage Index 1813-1882″


  • ANCESTRY® LIBRARY EDITION—worldwide records: vital, military, census, immigration, etc.
  • HERITAGEQUEST ONLINE™—census, periodicals, Revolutionary War records, etc.
  • FAMILY TREE MAKER – PLUS MANY CDs—vital records, immigration, military, etc.
  • SANBORN® FIRE INSURANCE MAPS—location of homes and businesses on streets in Alton
  • CIVIL WAR CD-ROM (a compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies)


  • Illinois Census for various counties, but primarily Madison County starting 1820 to 1930
  • Selected Records of the War Department relating to the Confederate Prisoners of War, 1861-1865

Military Records

  • “Adjutant General of the State of Illinois: Annual Report 1863-1872″
  • Alton Military Prison records
  • Pension records from various eras
  • Civil War CD-ROM (a compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies)
  • Records of Veterans from Madison County and surrounding counties


  • Digitized Alton newspapers from 1836—obituaries, births, deaths, marriages, probate, etc.
  • National newspaper digitization—articles of newspapers from other cities in U.S. and other countries

and many more items to assist you with your genealogical and historical research. Visit us and see where your family history research takes you.

Additional Genealogy Websites

These websites also facilitate genealogy research.

Illinois Research:

Missouri Research:

United States Research:

Global Research:

Genealogy Research Information/Tutorials:

Contact Us

The Hayner Public Library District
Genealogy & Local History Library
401 State Street
Alton, IL 62002-6137

618-462-0677, ext. 2865