Cook County, Illinois Genealogy
Guide to Cook County, Illinois ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth, marriage, death, census, family history, and military records.
|Cook County, Illinois|
Location in the state of Illinois, United States Genealogy
Location of Illinois in the U.S.
|Founded||January 15, 1831|
|Address||Cook County Courthouse|
69 W. Washington St.
Chicago, Illinois 60602
Cook County Website
Cook County Organization[edit | edit source]
Some alternate records are available for these records prior to 1871, which were destroyed in the Chicago fire.
- Federal Land Patents
- Chicago Title Insurance (found in the Cook County Recorder's Office)
- Will Index Documented Record of Wills
- Abstracts of Probate Proceedings
County Courthouse[edit | edit source]
County records are most often kept at the County Courthouse or another local repository. For further information about where the records for Cook County are kept, see the Cook County Courthouse page.
Historical Facts[edit | edit source]
Cook County was named for Daniel P. Cook who was the first Attorney General of the State of Illinois and Representative in Congress from 1819 to 1827. When the county was formed in 1831, it's total population was about one hundred people, spread over 2,464 square miles. Parts of Cook County were subsequently carved off to form Lake, DuPage, Will, and McHenry counties, trimming the county to its current size of 946 square miles. As of 2005, Cook County was the second most populous county in the United States (after Los Angeles), with a population of 5.3 million. Just over half the county's population reside in Chicago, the county seat.
Description[edit | edit source]
The county was named for Daniel Cook, one of the earliest and youngest statesmen in Illinois history. He served as the second U.S. Representative from Illinois and the state's first Attorney General. The County Seat is Chicago and was founded January 15, 1831. It is located in the Northeast area of the state.
Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]
- 15 January 1831: Cook County was created from Putnam County by an act of the Illinois State Legislature as the 54th county established in Illinois. The unincorporated Fort Dearborn settlement at the mouth of the Chicago River became the new county's seat.
- 12 January 1836: - Will County formed from portions of Cook, Iriquois, and Unorganized Territory.
- 16 January 1836: - McHenry County formed from north-western section of Cook county.
- 9 February 1839: - DuPage County formed.
- 1 March 1839: - Lake County formed from northern-most section of Cook county.
For animated maps illustrating Illinois county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Illinois County Boundary Maps" (1790-1869) may be viewed for free at the MapofUS.org website.
Record Loss[edit | edit source]
1871 The Great Chicago Fire from October 8-10 destroyed all records.
Marriages for Cook County from 1833-1871 have been compiled from early Chicago newspapers and may be found in the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index.
A copy of the Index to Chicago and Cook County Marriages and Deaths Reported in Chicago Newspapers 1834–1889 compiled by Sam Fink is available on microfilm at the following locations. (The only additional information these records provide is the name of the newspaper in which the marriage appeared.)
For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:
- Burned Counties. By Michael John Neill at 24-7 Family History Circle.
- When the Records are Gone. By Arlene Eakle at Arlene Eakle's Tennessee Blog.
- Burned Counties Research in the FamilySearch Research Wiki.
Resources[edit | edit source]
African American[edit | edit source]
- Afro-American Genealogical and Historical Society of Chicago (AAGHSC)
PO Box 37.7651
Chicago, IL 60637
The following have information concerning African American research.
- African American Genealogy (US) has more information about the kinds of records
- Illinois State Archives pamphlet on African American Research describes what records are at the State Archives with an online method for ordering records.
- African American Resources for Illinois
Black's Blue Book:Business and professional directory; a compilation of names, addresses and telephones of all Chicago's colored business and professional people. - Chicago: F.S Black, 1917-1913.-4V.: F548.9.N3 B6
Scott's Blue Book: a standard classified business and service directory of greater Chicago's colored citizens' commercial, industrial, professional, religious and other activities.- Chicago: Scott's business and Directory Service, 1939-1965. 6 v. F548.9N3 S4
Archives[edit | edit source]
Illinois Regional Archives Depository[edit | edit source]
Ronald Williams Library
Northeastern Illinois University
500 North St. Louis Avenue
Chicago, IL 60625-4699
Search the on-line indexes for the following IRAD databases that include Cook County and City of Chicago records:
- Illinois Statewide Marriage Index (1763-1900)
- Illinois Statewide Death Index, 1916–1950
- Illinois Statewide Death Index, Pre-1916 (1871-1915 for Cook County)
- Chicago City Council Proceedings Files Index (1833–1871)
- Chicago Police Department Homicide Record (1870–1930)
- Cook County Coroner's Inquest Record Index (1872–1911)
To request copies of original records listed in these databases, see the IRAD-Northern Illinois University wiki article. Additional records are available, but are unindexed, or the index is not available on-line.To see a listing of all Cook County records available through IRAD, search the Local Governmental Holdings database. Select "Cook"in the county list box, and hit [Submit Query].
National Archives at Chicago[edit | edit source]
7358 South Pulaski Road
Chicago, IL 60629-5898
(773) 948-9050 fax
Records created or received by Federal agencies in Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, and Federal courts in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin are housed at the National Archives at Chicago.
- Naturalization Records: from U.S. District Courts (RG 21) in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin Link
- Archival Holdings Guide Link
Illinois and Michigan Canal and Regional History Special Collection[edit | edit source]
Howard and Lois Adelmann Regional History Collection
One University Parkway
Romeoville, IL 60446-2200
Lewis University - Howard and Lois Adelmann Regional History
[actually in Will County; but collection includes records that pertain to Cook County]
Hours: Monday–Thursday 2:00–4:00 p.m.
Call 815-838-0500 extension 5529 before visiting
Biography[edit | edit source]
The Chicago History Museum has a tremendous collection of on-line resources including the Biographical Dictionary of Chicago, part of the Encyclopedia of Chicago, and a photo index of portraits taken by early Chicago photographers. The Museum's collection includes tens of thousands of images from early photographers E.L. Brand and C.D. Mosher, among others, all indexed by the name of the person in the photograph, as well as by photographer and studio. Their collection can be searched at the Chicago History Museum Research Center.
The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois has a Cook County edition as well as an Evanston edition. These volumes include a state history section along with a county history and biographies of Cook County and Evanston residents. See the wiki article for links to available copies and indexes.
Cemeteries[edit | edit source]
Burr Oak Cemetery
4400 W. 127th Street
Alsip, IL 60803
Searchable burials database provides burial information, a map of the cemetery, and a photo of the headstone, if available. The cemetery filed for bankruptcy in 2009 following allegations of grave tampering and the re-selling of graves that resulted in numerous lawsuits. The Cook County Sheriff's Office continues to research and publish updates to the database.
Cook County Cemetery in Dunning Over 38,000 burials over seventy years, the cemetery served as an institutional cemetery for Cook County. A web site is available with the home page providing a lot of history about the cemetery. The database a work in progress, has over 7800 entries.
Chicago City Cemetery
City Cemetery existed as a burial ground from 1843 until about 1866, when further burials were legally prohibited. During that time, more than 20,000 were buried in the cemetery, which was subdivided into a Catholic Cemetery, a Jewish Cemetery, and a Potters Field. Among the number were approximately 4,000 Confederate soldiers who died at Camp Douglas who were buried in Potters Field. Dis-internments began as early as 1860, as families of lot owners re-interred their loved ones in newly opened Rosehill, Graceland or Calvary cemeteries. Following the Chicago Fire of 1871, a major effort began to vacate the cemetery. The land was converted into a public park, now known as Lincoln Park. The Ira Couch family mausoleum still stands at the back of the park.
A well-researched account of the old City Cemetery is available on the website Hidden Truths: The Chicago City Cemetery and Lincoln Park. The website also include an online database of original Cemetery lot owners and a map.
4001 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60613-1992
(773) 525-9091 fax
Graceland Cemetery was established in 1860 by Thomas Bryan, a prominent Chicago lawyer and is owned and operated by the Trustees of the Graceland Cemetery Improvement Fund, a not-for-profit trust. The cemetery's web site includes Grace of prominent Chicagoans buried there. Genealogy Inquiries can be made by mail, fax, or e-mail.
In 1946, the Aaron Miner Chapter D.A.R. (Chicago) prepared a List of Cemeteries in Cook - Lake - Will Counties Containing Graves of the Military Dead Who Served in the Wars of the United States. Ancestry ($) digitized this publication.
Catholic Cemeteries, Archdiocese of Chicago
- 1864 - 1989 - Illinois, Archdiocese of Chicago, Cemetery Records, 1864-1989 at FamilySearch — index and images
Looking for the burial location of a family member or friend? To serve the many families that visit the Catholic cemeteries, self-serve kiosks have been installed in major cemetery offices in the archdiocese. The kiosk is an all-encompassing 'open book' to burial records with exact locations & maps for Catholics buried in Chicago. The best part is each kiosk has the same information. Find the nearest kiosk to do all research in one location, versus hunting at each individual cemetery. Currently there are kiosks at 15 locations throughout Cook County.
Census[edit | edit source]
For information and tips on accessing census records online, see Illinois Census.
Federal[edit | edit source]
State[edit | edit source]
Church History and Records[edit | edit source]
List of Churches and Church Parishes
Baptist[edit | edit source]
American Baptist-Samuel Colgate Historical Library
3001 Mercer University Drive
Atlanta, GA 30341
Chicago Baptist Association
original records; no date
Chicago Baptist City Mission Society
original records 1889--1943
Auburn Park Baptist Church
original records; 1891--1903
Baptist Forward Movement for Missionary Education
original records 1918--1919
Highland Park Baptist Church
original records; 1917
Immanuel Baptist Church
23rd Street South Michigan Avenue
original records; 1881--1948
LaSalle Avenue Baptist Church
original records; 1868--1919
Church of Christ[edit | edit source]
Episcopal[edit | edit source]
Lutheran[edit | edit source]
321 Bonnie Lane
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
Hours: Monday–Friday 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Appointments in advance of visits are advised.
Genealogy: Research Request
Lutheran Churches of Chicago: A Genealogical Guide
Methodist[edit | edit source]
- 1857-1929 - First United Methodist Church, Evanston, Baptism Index 1857-1929 in International Genealogical Index at FamilySearch - free. Batch C730941.
- 1857-1929 - First United Methodist Church, Evanston, Marriage Index 1857-1929 in International Genealogical Index at FamilySearch - free. Batch M730941.
German Church Records[edit | edit source]
Roman Catholic[edit | edit source]
The Archdiocese of Chicago
Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Archives and Records Center
711 West Monroe Street
Chicago, IL 60661
See the Genealogical Information Guide regarding collections that may be useful in genealogical research, including:
- Sacramental Records
- Orphanage Records
- School Records
- Deceased Priest Files (Restricted Collection)
- Western Tablet, The New Word and the Chicago Catholic
- Parish Commemorative Books
- Other Collections and Records
Catholic Parish Information Hosted by Ethnic Societies
The Polish Genealogical Society of America has created a comprehensive Marriage Index for Polish Parishes in Chicago through 1915.
Directories[edit | edit source]
- Fold3.com ($) has Chicago City Directories 1843-1917, 1923 (only 3 yrs. missing) available online.
- Google Books has The Lakeside Annual Directory of the City of Chicago for 1876 and 1887.
- The spurring metropolis that is Chicago and the directories that came out during late 1800’s and early 1900’s could help you find ancestors that made a pit stop in those urban records or took up long term residence. Social registers, blue books and other directories could be what you need to fill that gap in your timeline between the missing 1880-1900 Federal Census and assist during the 1909 and 1911 Chicago city street renumbering. Most suburbs are listed within these publications and can be also be considered Cook County resources.
- The Bon-Ton Directory of 1879 will help in locating the “most prominent and fashionable ladies” of Chicago and the surrounding suburbs.
- The Elite City and Club lists for 1883-84 (reversed), 1885-86 and 1888-89 are available to check if your relatives were members of clubs such as the Amateur Musical Club or other social clubs of that area and era.
- The Social Register for the years 1899-1907, 1908, 1912, and 1922 offer such sections as the names of married maidens.
- The Chicago Blue Book of Selected Names of Chicago and Suburban Towns, which has coverage from 1890-1915 on Archive.org. Using these with census records or Chicago City directories (available on Fold3.com) can establish the address change for 1909 and 1911 street renumbering. Have a missing ancestor? Using these directories to find neighbors may help in tracking them down in censuses.
- A post-1930 census gem is The Selected Directory of Italians in Chicago for the years 1930 and 1933-34.
History[edit | edit source]
Land and Property[edit | edit source]
Property research in Cook County is challenging and very time consuming. It is the reason one generally needs to exhaust every other type of record for Cook County before tackling the land research. The pre-1985 documents are available only through the office of the Cook County Recorder of Deeds.
118 North Clark Street
Chicago, Illinois 60602
See the Township and Sectional Map of Cook County for information about townships, subdivisions, and sections.
To do land research in Cook County, one needs to have the legal description of the property. It is possible to obtain a legal description if one has the "modern" address of the property. Link to the Legal Description Search Request page at the Cook County Recorder of Deeds' Website.
In Cook County there are two (2) types of conveyance (indexes) systems. One is a “regular” system that uses a geographic index instead of Grantor-Grantee indexes. The other is a Torrens or Registry System. Used for only a portion of properties in Cook County, those that had a clouded-title situation. It was a means of registering title to land with a financial guaranteed by a government unit that the title was “good”. A court action established the title and every subsequent transaction for the property had to be registered. Transactions for Torrens properties are either written in red in the tract books or there is a “T” after the grantee’s name. The Torrens systems was phased out a number of years ago.
With a legal description in hand, one needs to locate the property in the specific tract book. There are 1000+ tract books for Cook County. The tract books are ledgers. Each transaction for a particular parcel of land is recorded chronologically in the books.
Identifying the records in the tract books is the first step. The numbers recorded in the tract books are transaction numbers. To locate the deed one needs to find the transaction number in the deed books, another set of indexes. There is another set of numbers in the deed books (paging books). These are the numbers for the volume or book, the page, and the item of the recorded instrument (deed). One then orders the microfiche for the document.
It is very expensive to make copies of property records in Cook County. The first two (2) pages of each document are $10.00 and then $1.00 for each additional page.
Pre-Fire land records are privately held by a title-guaranty company. One must make an appointment to view the records. These too are organized by legal description.
Another “quirk” to be aware of is out-of-county property recordings.
Many genealogy books describe how to find land records for rural America. For ancestors who lived in a city like Chicago, though, a very different set of resources is available. There are a number of online databases that give information about historic residences in Chicago and Cook County. Armed with an address from a census, you may be able to flesh out details about an ancestor's life and get a glimpse of where they lived.
It is possible that your ancestor was responsible for the construction of the building that they lived or worked in. The Chicago Historical Society has an index to building permits issued between the years of 1898-1912. The index is searchable by original owner's name, historical street name, architect, and the contractor issue date.
The historical street name field in this search hints at the fact that Chicago streets have undergone several name changes over time. The Newberry Library has three excellent documents detailing the changes. Specifically, there are .pdf files for the 1909 and 1911 street re-numberings and a general index to old and new street names.
With a current address for a historical property, it is easy to find and see the current structure at a location, for example by using Google Maps street view . To find out if the current structure is where an ancestor lived, a helpful tool is the Cook County Assessor's search. It is available through their webpage:. The basic search requires an identifying PIN for the property, however, an advanced search provides a more convenient search by address. In this search, be as general as possible in the street name for best results (for example, enter 59 instead of 59th Street). In addition to a description of the property, the results of this search provide a recent picture and the structure's age. This page will tell you if the building you see today is the same one that an ancestor lived or worked in many years ago.
Maps[edit | edit source]
- Maps of Illinois (1788-1940)
- Township Map of 1870 Cook County, Illinois with numerous small settlements. (My Genealogy Hound)
- FamilySearch Places:Cities and Towns- How to Use FS Places
Museums[edit | edit source]
- Chicago History Museum
1601 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60614-6038
Our Research Collections encompass a broad category of documents, images, publications, and printed materials that are generally available for hands-on use by the public in the Museum’s Research Center. We have material that helps researchers searching for ancestors who lived in Chicago, such as histories of local churches, yearbooks of Chicago area schools, city directories and criss cross directories.
Military History and Records[edit | edit source]
Civil War[edit | edit source]
Civil War service men from Cook County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies or regiments that were formed from men of Cook County.
- - 1st Regiment, Illinois Light Artillery, Batteries B, E, H, I, L, and M.
- - 2nd Regiment, Illinois Light Artillery, Batteries L and M.
- - 4th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Company A (Also known as Grant's Escort) and Company B (Also known as Carrnichael's Cavalry Company).
- - 8th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Companies A, D, E, F, G, K, L, and M.
- - 9th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Companies A, B, C, D, F, H, I, K, L, and M.
- - 10th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Company D.
- - 11th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Company A.
- - 12th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Companies A, B, C, D, E, G, H, I, K, and M.
- - 12th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies A, E, I, and K.
- - 12th Regiment, Illinois Infantry (3 months, 1861), Companies A and K.
- - 13th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Companies A, B, C, D, E, and H.
- - 13th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company I.
- - 14th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Companies A, D, K, and M.
- - 15th Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry, Company A
- - 16th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Companies A, B, C, D, G, I, L, and M.
- - 17th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Companies A, B, C, H, K, and L.
- - 19th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies, A, C, D, E, F, G, and K.
- - 23rd Regiment, Illinois Infantry, (Irish Brigade), Companies B, C, E, F, G, H, I, and K.
- - 24th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company A, new Company A, Companies B, C, D, E, F, G, and H.
- - 33rd Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company C.
- - 36th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company A.
- - 37th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies D and G.
- - 39th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies A, C, E, F, G, H, and K.
- - 42nd Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies B and G.
- - 44th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company E.
- - 45th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company C
- - 51st Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies A, G and K.
- - 52nd Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company G.
- - 55th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company B.
- - 57th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies A, B, C, E, F, G, and I.
- - 58th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies A, B, D, E, F, and H.
- - 59th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies D, F, and K.
- - 61st Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company I.
- - 65th Regiment, Illinois Infantry (Scotch Regiment), Companies F, G, H, I and K.
- - 72nd Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies A, B, C, D, E, F, H and K.
- - 82nd Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies A, B, C, D, F, G, H, I and K.
- - 88th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies A, D, E, G, H, I and K.
- - 89th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies A, B, C, D, and K.
- - 90th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies E, F, G, H and I.
- - 100th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company F.
- - 113th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies A, C, E, and G.
- - 127th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies B, G, and H.
- - 132nd Regiment, Illinois Infantry (100 days, 1864), Companies A, B, G, I, and K.
- - 134th Regiment, Illinois Infantry (100 days, 1864), Companies A, C, D, E, F, G, I and K.
- - 142nd Regiment, Illinois Infantry (100 days, 1864), Companies A, G, and I.
- - 147th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies D, F, H and K.
- - 153rd Regiment, Illinois Infantry (1 year, 1865), Companies E, F, H and I.
- - 156th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies C, E, I, and K.
- - 69th Regiment, New York Infantry, Company D.
- - 14th Regiment, Missouri Infantry (Union), Company I
:- 6th Regiment, Missouri Infantry (Union), Company I
:- 7th Regiment, Missouri Infantry (Union), Company I
:- 8th Regiment, Missouri Infantry (Union), Company G
- The Roll of Honor, Containing the Names of Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines of All the Wars of Our Country Who Are Buried in the Cemeteries of Cook County by Eli Robert Lewis (Chicago, Ill.: Printing Products Corp., 1922). Digitized, searchable book.
- Despite the destruction of the 1890 Federal Census, a few 1890 Census Veterans Schedules for the city of Chicago in Cook County survived. They are available on roll 118 of "Special Schedules of the Eleventh Census (1890) Enumerating Union Veterans and Widows of Union Veterans of the Civil War" (NARA M123). The schedules list veterans and their widows who served as Union soldiers in the Civil War. For more information on the 1890 Veterans Schedules see Union Census Records.
World War II[edit | edit source]
Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]
Cook County Clerk of Circuit Court has posted an index to their Naturalization Declaration of Intentions. If you find the record in the index, you can order these records for a small cost. They also hold the petitions and naturalization certificates for the Superior Court. An index to the petitions and naturalization certificates from the Superior Court may be found in the FamilySearch Catalog, film numbers 1,023,967-1,023,968.
- 1800-1998 - Illinois, County Naturalization Records, 1800-1998 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1906-1991 - Illinois, Northern District Petitions for Naturalization, 1906-1994 at FamilySearch — index and images
Newspapers[edit | edit source]
- 1800s-1999 U.S., Newspapers.com Marriage Index, 1800s-1999 at Ancestry - index ($)
- The Hyde Park Herald (1882–2008) - Digitized; searchable collection of newspapers from the South Side Chicago neighborhood.
- Oak Lawn Public Library Obituaries from Local Newspapers - Index to 200,000+ obituaries and death notices published 1 January 1985 to the present in the following newspapers: Beverly Review, Blue Island Forum, Blue Island Sun Independent, Daily Southtown, Oak Lawn Independent, Oak Lawn Reporter, Southtown Economist, Southtown Star, Southwest Courier, Southwest News-Herald (Chicago edition), Southwest News-Herald, (Oak Lawn edition), and the Star (Oak Lawn edition).
- Index to the Obituaries and Death Notices Appearing in the Dziennik Chicagoski 1890-1929, courtesy: Polish Genealogical Society of America.
- The Chicago Tribune from 1849 to 1986 has been digitized by ProQuest.
- Dziennik Zwiazkowy Historical Newspapers. This resource has 10 years (1908-1917) of a Chicago Polish newspaper, available for download as a pdf. Please note that this is not the newspaper in the PGSA databases.
- 1922-2017 - Illinois, Kane County, Elgin, Gail Borden Public Library District, Local Newspaper Obituary Digital Index, 1922-2017 at FamilySearch — index
Obituaries[edit | edit source]
- 1885-2002 Maywood, Cook County, Illinois, U.S., Maywood Herald Obituary Card Index, 1885-2002 at Ancestry - index, images available through FamilySearch
- 1970-1990 Illinois, Cook County, Obituaries, ca. 1970-1990 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1970-1990 Cook County, Illinois, U.S., Obituaries, 1970-1990 at Ancestry - index and images, ($)
Places and Localities[edit | edit source]
Populated Places[edit | edit source]
For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit Hometown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:
‡This populated place also has portions in an adjacent county or counties
†This is a 'Former' Township
Probate Records[edit | edit source]
Online Probate Indexes and Records
- 1772 - 1999 Illinois Wills and Probate Records 1772-1999 at Ancestry.com — index and images $
- 1819 - 1988 Illinois Probate Records 1819-1988 at FamilySearch.org — images
Repositories[edit | edit source]
- County Courthouse
County records are most often kept at the County Courthouse or another local repository. For further information about where the records for Cook County are kept, see the Cook County Courthouse page.
- Family History Center
- Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD)
- Public Libraries
A wiki article describing an online collection is found at:
Taxation[edit | edit source]
Vital Records[edit | edit source]
The records for Chicago and Cook County are available for as early as 1871. Earlier records were destroyed by Chicago fire of October 8, 1871. Many Cook County, Illinois births, marriages, and deaths indexes and images are now available online:
Cook County, Illinois Births - Online, Index and Images[edit | edit source]
- 1871-1915 Illinois, Cook County Birth Registers, 1871-1915 - Free, Index and Images
- 1871-1940 Illinois, Cook County, Birth Certificates, 1871-1940 at FamilySearch — index
- Cook County Births from Cook County Clerk Website - Index: Free (but you must register); Images: $ (some images on demand)
Family History Library Chicago birth index, 1871-1916 fiche 6016532
Cook County, Illinois Marriages - Online, Index and Images[edit | edit source]
- 1587-1959 Illinois, United States Marriages at FindMyPast — index $
- 1805-1985 Illinois, Church Marriages, 1805-1985 at FamilySearch — index
- 1810-1934 Illinois, County Marriages, 1810-1934 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1833-1889 Illinois, Civil Marriages, 1833-1889 at FamilySearch — index
- 1871-1920 Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871-1920 - Free, Index and Images
- Cook County Marriages from Cook County Clerk Website - Index: Free (but you must register); Images: $ (some images on demand)
Cook County, Illinois Deaths - Online, Index and Images[edit | edit source]
- 1749-1999 Illinois Deaths and Burials, 1749-1999 at FamilySearch — index, some images
- 1850-1880 Illinois Mortality Schedules, 1850-1880 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1878-1994 Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878-1994 at FamilySearch — index
- 1916-1947 Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths, 1916-1947 Includes Cook County and Chicago.
- Cook County Deaths from Cook County Clerk Website - Index: Free (but you must register); Images: $ (some images on demand)
- Additional Death Indexes for Cook County - Various
Family History Library Chicago death index, 1871-1916 FHL fiche 6016533
For birth and marriage records after these years, check with the Cook County Clerk's Office.
For death records after these years, check with the Cook County Clerk's Officeor the Illinois Department of Public Health
Chicago and Cook County Birth Index, 1871-1916 on microfilm
Instructions on how to search the Chicago and Cook County Birth Index on microfilm as well as Family History Library microfilm numbers can be found in the FS book 71266 found online.
These birth index microfilms can be searched at the following repositories.
These microfilms can also be loaned to anyFamily History Library Center.
Voter Registration[edit | edit source]
- 1888 – 1892 Illinois, Chicago, Voter Registers, 1888-1892 at FamilySearch — How to Use this Collection; index and images
- Chicago Voter Registration Lists 1888, 1890, and 1892
- Newberry Library microfilm: Record and index of persons registered and of poll lists of voters, 1888-1892
Libraries[edit | edit source]
Arlington Heights Memorial Library[edit | edit source]
500 North Dunton Avenue
Arlington Heights, IL 60004-5910
847-392-0100; Fax: 847-506-2650
Website: Arlington Heights Memorial Library
The genealogy collection includes books, periodicals, newspapers, maps, and several databases to help with family history research. Also includes local census and local cemetery information.
Harold Washington Library Center[edit | edit source]
400 South State Street
Chicago, Illinois 60605
(312) 747-4875 Special Collections, 9th Floor
(312) 747-4890 fax
Website: Harold Washington Library Center
The Newberry Library[edit | edit source]
60 West Walton Street
Chicago, IL 60610-7324
Website: The Newberry Library
Reading Room hours
Tuesday–Friday: 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. (item requests 9:00 am–noon, and 1:00–4:00 pm)
Saturday 9:00 am–1:00 pm (Item requests 9:00 am-noon)
Genealogy and Local History Section
Elk Grove Village Library[edit | edit source]
1001 Wellington Avenue; Elk Grove Village, IL 60007-3391
847-439-0447; Fax: 847-439-0475; TDD: 847-439-0865
Website: Elk Grove Village Library
Hours: Monday–Thursday 9:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m.; Friday 9:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.; Saturday 9:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.; Sunday 1:00–7:00 p.m.
Oak Lawn Public Library[edit | edit source]
9427 South Raymond Avenue; Oak Lawn, IL 60453; 708-422-4990
Website: Oak Lawn Public Library
Hours: Monday–Thursday: 9:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.; Friday & Saturday: 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.; Sunday: 1:00–5:00 p.m. (mid-September through mid-May)
The Oak Lawn Public Library Local History collections includes photos, yearbooks, phone books, and a collection of obituaries from local newspapers. The local Obituary Index is searchable online, and includes 200,000+ obituaries and death notices published since 1 January 1985 in a dozen southwestern Chicago-area newspapers. Copies of local obituaries available using the Obituary Search Request form.
Family Search Centers[edit | edit source]
Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries
- Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
- FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.
Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries
There are eight FamilySearch Centers in the Chicago area:
- Buffalo Grove Illinois Family History Center
- Chicago Heights Illinois Family History Center
- Chicago Illinois Family History Center
- Chicago Illinois Hyde Park Family History Center
- Orland Park Illinois Family History Center (Palos Park)
- Schaumburg Illinois Family History Center
- Westchester Illinois Family History Center
- Wilmette Illinois Family History Center
Each Family History Center's operating hours and collections are unique, so contact the Family History Center nearest you to learn what resources are available.In some cases, you may opt to visit a center further from your home in order to take advantage of a center's unique on-site collections or hours that are better suited to your schedule.
Societies[edit | edit source]
- Berwyn Historical Society
1401 Grove Avenue
PO Box 479
Berwyn, IL 60402
- Blue Island Historical Society
13018 Maple Avenue
Blue Island, IL 60406-2094
- Chicago History Museum
1601 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60614-6038
Chicago Genealogical Society[edit | edit source]
- Chicago Genealogical Society
PO Box 1160
Chicago, IL 60690-1160
- Edgewater Historical Society
5358 N Ashland Ave
Chicago, IL 60640
- Glenview History Center
1121 Waukegan Rd
Glenview, IL 60025
- Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest
129 Lake Street
Oak Park, IL 60302
- Hyde Park Historical Society
5529 S Lake Park Ave
Chicago, IL 60637
- Mount Prospect Historical Society
101 S Maple St
Mount Prospect, IL 60056
- Niles Historical and Cultural Center
8970 N Milwaukee Ave
Niles, IL 60714
- Norwood Park Historical Society
5624 N Newark Ave
Chicago, IL 60631
- Palatine Historical Society
PO Box 134
224 East Palatine Road
Palatine, IL 60067
- Park Forest Historical Society
227 Monee Road
Park Forest, IL 60466
- Park Ridge Historical Society
721 N Prospect Ave
Park Ridge, IL
- Ravenswood-Lake View Historical Association
6728 N. Jean Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60646-1303
- Ridge Historical Society
10621 S Seeley Ave
Chicago, IL 60643
- Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society
7363 N Greenview Ave
Chicago, IL 60626
- South Holland Historical Society
16250 Wausau Ave (lower level)
South Holland, IL 60473
South Suburban Genealogical and Historical Society[edit | edit source]
- South Suburban Genealogical and Historical Society
3000 West 170th Place
Hazel Crest, IL 60429-1174
Library is located in the same building as the Hazel Crest Municipal Center/Police Department.
- Oak Forest Hospital Cemetery Burial place for indigent people who died in Cook County and also for people who died at Oak Forest Hospital when it was a TB Sanitarium for Cook County. Three rolls of microfilm covering seven books of burial records (4 March 1911-17 November 1971)
- Pullman Car Company Employee Records Pullman Car Works (111th Street and Cottage Grove Avenue) was one of the largest employers in the Chicago area. There are approximately 200,000 packets for individuals in the collection (1900-1949).
- Tinley Park Historical Society
6727 174th St
Tinley Park, IL 60477
- Western Springs Historical Society
916 Hillgrove Ave
Western Springs, IL 60558
- Wilmette Historical Museum & Wilmette Historical Society
609 Ridge Road
Wilmette, IL 60091
Email:[mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
- Winnetka Historical Society
411 Linden St
Ethnic Societies[edit | edit source]
The Czech Slovak American Genealogy Society of Illinois[edit | edit source]
P.O. Box 313; Sugar Grove, IL 60554
Czech & Slovak American Genealogy Society of Illinois: CSAGSI
Library (T. G. Masaryk School; 5701 22nd Place; Cicero, IL 60804)
Open second Saturday September through May from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.
1. Cemetery and Church Resource Page
2. Topical Index to Korney Articles (1996–2009)
Irish American Heritage Center[edit | edit source]
4626 North Knox Avenue; Chicago, IL 60630; 773-282-7035
Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois[edit | edit source]
P.O. Box 515; Northbrook, IL 60056-0515; firstname.lastname@example.org
Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois
Search 68,000 entries from 14 local cemeteries included in the JGSI Online death index
Italian[edit | edit source]
Polish Genealogical Society of America[edit | edit source]
984 North Milwaukee Avenue; Chicago, IL 60642-4101; PGSAmerica@pgsa.org
- Birth Index
- Dziennik Chicagoski Death Notice Index: 1890–1929
- Dziennik Chicagoski Death Notice Index: 1930–1971
- Marriage Index for Polish Parishes in Chicago through 1915
- Poles of Chicago 1837–1937
- Polish White Eagle Association
- PRCUA Insurance Claim File
- Holy Trinity School Class 1883, Chicago, IL
- St. Hedwig Orphanage Census 1920, Niles Township, IL
Websites[edit | edit source]
- Cook County, IL History, Records, Facts and Genealogy
- Cook County IL Genealogy
- Illinois Genealogy Network Group on Facebook
- The Cook County ILGenWeb Project, an member of The ILGenWeb Project, an affiliate of The USGenWeb Project.
- Newberry Library Genealogy Collection and Links
- Cook County, Illinois Genealogy and Family History (Linkpendium)
- Wikipedia has additional information about Cook County, Illinois.
FamilySearch Historical Records Collections[edit | edit source]
- Illinois, Cook County, Birth Certificates - FamilySearch Historical Records
- Illinois, Cook County Birth Registers - FamilySearch Historical Records
- Illinois, Cook County Deaths - FamilySearch Historical Records
- Illinois, Cook County Marriage Records - FamilySearch Historical Records
- Illinois, Cook County, Maywood, Maywood Herald Obituary Card Index - FamilySearch Historical Records
References[edit | edit source]
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Cook County, Illinois. Page 192-199 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 194-197.
- The Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago © 2005 Chicago Historical Society. The Encyclopedia of Chicago © 2004 The Newberry Library http://encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/335.html
- Cook County, Illinois official web site http://www.co.cook.il.us/portal/server.pt/community/government/226/about_cook_county
- US Census Bureau Quick Facts, Population as of 2008. http://quickfacts.census.gov]
- Wikipedia contributors, "Cook County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cook_County,_Illinois 4/11/2017.
- Illinois Miscellaneous Genealogical Records: From Counties, Bond, Boone, Calhoun, Cook, Crawford, Du Page, Johnson, Knox, Lake, Will, Pope: Kentucky county, Mercer: Missouri county, Ralls. Evanston, Ill.: Illinois Society, D.A.R., 1946. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
- Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/1/10/Igiillinoisac.pdf.
- Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/9/9c/Igiillinoisd.pdf.
- Wikipedia contributors, "Cook County, Illinois," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cook_County,_Illinois, Last accessed 19 December 2019.