The Illinois State Archives has two different statewide death record indexes on their website. One is for deaths that occurred from 1916-1950, the other is for deaths prior to 1916. The first is a complete index, but the index prior to 1916 is still a work in progress.
Today, without even noticing at first, I realized that Kane County had been entered. I was looking for someone I’ve never researched before. When I found what I was looking for, I at first moved on, without giving much thought to what had just occurred. About a half-hour later, it dawned on me that pre-1916 deaths had not previously been entered for Kane County. So I started plugging in known names of those who died prior to 1916 and there they now were.
According to the page Counties Included in the Pre-1916 Illinois Statewide Death Index, Kane County is complete for 1877 to 1915. A note at the bottom of the page indicated the page had been updated on 2/22/11. It does not indicate which counties have recently been added/updated, so there may be more than just Kane County.
This is certainly a relief as I plan my Kane County research trip. While I had found some of the death records while in SLC in 2009, further research uncovered more people who died during that period. I was all set to work at the IRAD at Northern, searching the index first and then acquiring the records. Now, from the comfort of my home, I can search the index and have the details ready to find the actual records, thus saving me lots of time that I can now spend on other research!