Search billions of records on

Welcome to Stephenson County, Illinois
Trails to the Past


Stephenson County was the Mother colony for the Ostfriesen settlements.  The Ostfriesens found land with rich soil in this section of Illinois and "they came", family after family all looking for a new life, a new farm, and a new way to support their family.  As the colony was growing, families lived together until they could get their own homes built.  Land was donated for a school to be built or land was donated for the churches to be built and land was donated for cemeteries.  My own family "came" but they settled in Ogle Co. and farmed.

As the area got filled up and land ran out new colonies were set up further south in Illinois and then into Iowa and Minnesota all looking for the same thing, a place to build a home, to farm and a place to raise a family and finally a place to die.

My heritage is Ostfriesen and I am the County Administrator for the new Stephenson County website on Trails to the Past.  I do not live in Stephenson Co. nor do I live in the State of Illinois so I cannot do any research for you.

I am looking for volunteers to submit information, I am looking for volunteers for researching or doing lookups in the area and if you are one of these people, please email me.


Trails to the Past Photograph Project [coming soon]
Illinois Gravestone Photo Project

Trails to the Past - US Forts
Trails to the Past - Ghost Towns
Trails to the Past Recipe Project

Stephenson County Information

Research Information
Volunteer Look-ups
Stephenson Co. Towns
Family Stories

Counties that join Stephenson Co.
Jo Davies, Ogle, Winnebago, Carroll and in Wisconsin, Green and LaFayette Counties

Counties are available for adoption in the Trails to the Past Project.  If you are interested in adopting the State of Illinois or a county in Illinois, please email

Copyright © Trails to the Past 2010
Trails to the Past - Stephenson County, Illinois: In keeping with our policy of providing free information on the internet, data may be used by non-commercial researchers, as long as this message remains on all copied material. These electronic pages may not be reproduced in any format for profit, nor for presentation in any form by any other organization or individual. Persons or organizations desiring to use this material for purposes other than as stated above, must obtain express written permission from the author, or the submitter and from the listed
Stephenson County Administrator.