Now that the county is selected, what records are available? Illinois research being one of my specialties, I already know some of the records will have been sent to archives at one of the universities or to the state archives in Springfield.
I have a wonderful book called "The Handybook for Genealogists", which is no longer in print. If you can get hold of one at a used book sale, grab it. Let's see what it can tell me about Macon County, Illinois.
Because the book is old (mine is from 1999), I know some of these records may not be at the courthouse and the courthouse address and phone may be incorrect.
But I do know now the earliest date that different types of vital records were created in the county. I know the courthouse had not burned as of 1999. The asterisk in front of the county name tells me that the records were surveyed by the WPA between 1936 and 1943. So somewhere there is a published list of the records that were available at that time.
Jumping to the Illinois archives website, I find a web page specifically about Macon County records. I learn the current address and phone numbers for the county clerks. I see that the IRAD (archives) depository for Macon County is the University of Illinois at Springfield. I also find a township map which I just copied into my Illinois resource folder on my computer. Sweet!
Following a link, I can check the Local Governmental Records Holdings. I search for Macon County records at University of Illinois at Springfield and get a great list of record sets.
At FamilySearch, I find another web page about Macon County and its records. It's jam-packed with information and some unfortunate broken links. I'll get back to that another day.
I have now learned that most of the records at the archives are copies. I think the records that I need are still in the county. I do see some record sets listed that I may need to access through the archives.
Tomorrow it will be time to to list record sets of interest.