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Conducting Ownership Search in McHenry County Illinois

How to DIY Ownership Searches in McHenry County
with Illinois Abstract Service

· Ownership Report,McHenry County,Methods

Conducting Ownership Search in McHenry County Illinois

  1. Background
  2. GIS Search
  3. Recorder
  4. Treasurer
  5. Judgement 
  6. Questions? - Order with us!


Sixth largest County in population in Illinois. The County seat is in Woodstock, while the Western half of the County and Northern most parts remain heavily farming, the denser populated areas are more aliened with Chicago in terms economic influence. More can be found here, regarding McHenry County.

GIS Search

Beginning a proper Ownership search in McHenry County requires narrowing the PIQ (Property in Question). Does this effect just one parcel? Does the parcel affect in reality several? For example - you want to conduct a ownership search, but the structure sits on one parcel, while it has adjoining land that might be affected by an encumbrance.

A Grantor/Grantee name search will provide numerous results from different tracts of land. We need to be able to be able to identify our Assessors Parcel Number (APN) or Property Information Number (PIN).

Use the McHenry ​County website navigate and locate your parcel for verification. Once that is done you can move onto your land search. Two other aids exist as well for locating your pin: Parcel Map Search by PIN and Address Search.


The McHenry County Recorder, can be searched online using the Tapestry and Laredo services.

When viewing an online land search, unless mentioned - you will need to call to confirm the coverage date, also called an effective date. McHenry County also has a limited free search as well, which can be found here.

The coverage date is the date the Recorder of Deeds is covering for recordings, the time between the current date and the coverage date is known as the gap. This gap period is when you have the most risk in your search - because it is the unknown.

Theory of title searching, in Ownership Reports: start from the last insured Warranty Deed with Title Insurance and comb forward. You will want to annotate any documents you see on the record from this point. Every document recorded on record must be viewed with caution - you will see encumbrances and releases of encumbrances, transfers of title, perhaps TODI (Transfer on Death Instrument), probate records.

Pull all documents affecting title and annotate them onto your report. You will need to read them to see how they effect, if they have limitations on dates


A tax search must be completed at the McHenry County Treasurer. A current tax year search can be completed through the Treasurer website. A more advanced multi year search can also be done online for McHenry County.

It is vital that you understand taxes accurately. Sold taxes will appear “paid by the County”, when in fact a tax buyer has bought them and will move to perfect the tax lien as soon as possible and take possession.

Judgement - Name search

Name searches are to identify personal and business liens or judgments. Name searches on all parties in title from the last Warranty Deed forward should be ran for good measure. Look at the local County court system docket search, as well as the State Tax lien search. As a bonus feature, the Illinois State Tax Lien Search also will identify any Federal Tax Liens. In addition, running a PACER search will be a good bankruptcy check.

Keep in mind:

  • Federal Tax Liens are active for 10 years from the assessment date of the tax.
  • Illinois the State has 20 years to collect on an Income Tax Lien.
  • Bankruptcies pose an active risk and should be noted for 7 years after filing.
  • Also, per ALTA (American Land Title Association) standards, a general judgment is considered collectible seven years from the date that said judgement was rendered. [For interesting comparison, Mechanic liens pose an active risk to the parcel for 2 years after filing.]


Questions? - Order with us! Still would like professional assistance? We are happy to help. Orders receive a full PDF report with referenced document copies

  • Legal description
  • PIN
  • Current record owner
  • Current tax status
  • Any open liens, mortgages or other adverse items of record
  • Name search on parties in title
  • Effective date

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