[APG Public List] Record Access in LaSalle County, Illinois

Michael John Neill mjnrootdig at gmail.com
Wed Dec 30 18:17:50 MST 2009

I would suggest contacting someone at the LaSalle County Genealogy Guild.
Their website is

"Locals" often are a good approach to take in situations such as this, as
they are often known to the staff, probably interact with them outside the
courthouse, are voters, may have lived there their entire lives, etc. When I
go back to my "home county" courthouse, everyone knows me, and that makes a
huge difference.

Michael John Neill
Casefile Clues
On Tue, Dec 29, 2009 at 12:27 PM, David Suddarth <dwsuddarth at gmail.com>wrote:

> Hi everyone,
> I was recently in LaSalle County, Illinois and had the opportunity to do
> some research.  I found an index entry at the LaSalle County Genealogy Guild
> for the naturalization record of my great grandfather and his brother, who
> were naturalized in the County Court in 1904.  So, I headed to the county
> courthouse in order to have a look at the records.
> When I asked to see the records, I was told that I could not because
> naturalization records are not public records.  I told the lady behind the
> counter that I believed they were, in fact, public records, whereupon she
> once again stated that they were not and never have been.  I could leave the
> information with her along with my name and address (which I did) and they
> would send me copies of any information they could make available, but I
> could not see the records myself.  Noticing that the book in which the
> records I wanted to see was laying on top of a cabinet in the waiting area,
> I asked if I could look up the pages myself.  She replied that she "could
> not let me do that" and stated again that they were not open to the public.
> I asked if I could see a copy of the law which restricted the access of
> these records.  She replied that I could not (along with rolling her eyes),
> said that was their policy and then she left the counter.  I asked to see
> her supervisor, was told no and given a business card for the department.
> Seeing that I was not going to get anywhere, I left.
> I did not have a copy of the law with me to show, but I really don't think
> it would have made any difference.  I have never had a problem accessing
> records before (I have been lucky), so this was new to me.  Is there a
> better way I could have handled the situation?
> --
> David W. Suddarth
> St. Paul, MN

Michael John Neill
Weekly "Casefile Clues" Column
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