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Showing posts from October, 2009

Cook County Indigent Burials, 1911-1971

Another guest post written by Barbara, a fellow researcher at the Wilmette Family History Center. This time she shares information about searching indigent burial records. My cousin and I have been trying to track down my “Prodigal Grandmother” for over a year now but have had no luck. Information from her step-niece seemed to indicate that she was quite poor and might have died indigent in Cook County. Through searching the internet I discovered that Cook buried their indigent at Oak Forest Cemetery on the grounds of Oak Forest Hospital. There are no visible grave markers there to indicate where the indigent are buried but there is microfilmed information on who was buried in the cemetery and where. The South Suburban Genealogical and Historical Society ( www.ssghs.org ) has a large room in a public building in Hazel Crest and they house the microfilmed records of the infants and adults who were buried by the County from 1911 until 1971. After 1971 the indigent were buried i

Adoption Research: Using the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin to Find Birth Names

I have learned a lot from conversations with other researchers and recently a patron at the Wilmette Family History Center told me how she found a birth name for her father who was adopted in 1927. The resource she used was new to me and I was intrigued. I thought others might benefit from her experience and so I asked her to write a guest post for my blog. She graciously agreed and you’ll find her contribution below. Update (2 Dec 2018): There is one Genlighten.com provider who can help find adoption information in Cook County: Illinois Adoption Lookup for Cook County, Chicago, 1934 - 1963 from julic My sincere thanks to Barbara, the author of this guest post. ADOPTIONS IN COOK COUNTY Unknown to most adopted people and their families, there is a record that can be easily accessed that will give the birth name of the child given up for adoption in the majority of cases: the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (CDLB). Adoptions are legalized through the county level of the court s

Lookups through Genlighten: I Tried on Your Shoes Today and I Like Them

Two blog posts in one day. I’m on a roll. And no, I haven’t done a bit of housework but I did shower. That counts for something. So, a little background to start. I’ve been doing lookups for about five years and people are always asking me, “Do you know how I can find someone who does what you do in … ” You name the state or country. And my answer has always been, “No.” And people have also asked to pick my brain about how they might offer lookups like I do as a way of earning a bit of extra income. Well, a couple of years ago, in the spirit of my husband’s entrepreneurial 3rd great grandfather who came to Chicago in 1835 to open a hat and cap store, we decided to address those questions and with the help of some experts in website design and coding www.genlighten.com is now up and running in private beta. (Private beta just means that we need to give you a registration code if you want to try it out and we’re happy to do that. ChiGen_1 will work.) The site is a work in progre

Sometimes Children Just Want to be Found

Last week I received a request from a researcher who had an urgent need for information from a death record so that she could prepare for an upcoming trip to Chicago. I told her I thought I could help and that I would have the record for her the next day. Unfortunately, when I got home from the Family History Center I discovered that I had scanned the wrong certificate. It’s an easy mistake to make and it doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. I locate records using a regular microfilm reader and then I transfer the film to my scanner where I peer through a tiny magnifying glass to move the right frame into the scanning window. Sometimes it’s easy to misread the numbers. So, having made a promise, I went back to the FHC to get the correct record. And it’s here that the story begins. I noticed that the child died of diphtheria and I remembered that the record that I had scanned by mistake had been for a child of the same surname so almost without thinking I moved the film one rec