Today I visited some ancestral lands in McLean County, Illinois. I started my day at the courthouse where I discovered that it is a waste of time to go to the county clerk's office. I had decided to start my day at the courthouse because the Museum of History doesn't open until 10 a.m., and the courthouse opened 2 hours earlier. Basically I discovered that the county clerk only issues certified copies of marriages and that they cost $12. You can order a photocopy of the certificate from IRAD for less than that. The Museum of History has the microfilm available as well.
The other hassle in downtown Bloomington is that the parking is only for 90 minutes so you have to go move your car every 90 minutes. I had seen a parking enforcement guy when I parked the first time so I knew I'd better move in 90 minutes.
After visiting those, I made a trip to the Denman Cemetery where many of my Taylors are buried. Their graves are the ones nearest the road, but I discovered that someone needs to bring a weed eater to tend to their graves. The rest of the cemetery is well-kept. It's just my ancestors' graves that are in need of TLC. There were also some broken and missing markers in that corner of the cemetery. I'm pretty certain that my great grandmother's sister's grave is among those with lost markers. I didn't find it, and I looked through broken markers.
After that I toured the town of Carlock where my great grandfather had a dry goods store. It's pretty small, but I did see the church where the family attended.
I definitely need to make another trip to McLean County in the future, but my time was limited. I'm now in the Chicago area for the National Genealogical Society's Conference in the States.
I will try to upload photos of my McLean County trip sometime later.