Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from May, 2010

Finding Chicago Death Records that "Aren't On" FamilySearch: Indirect Approach

I recently received a request for help in finding a death certificate for William J. Quinn. It doesn't come up easily in search results at FamilySearch's Record Search even though it's there. QUINN, WILLIAM J 1892-01-21 CHICAGO 04 MO U 00014953 COOK Here's how I found it: I checked the Cook County Coroner's Inquest Index . If the name was there, William would have had a coroner's death certificate (different from the inquest) and I don't think those records are online. Searching "Quinn" and scanning for the death date, I didn't find a match. Next I used Stephen Morse's One Step access to the Illinois Statewide Death Index to find "Q" deaths for January 1892. (The certificate numbers for Chicago death records before 1916 group the records together by first letter of surname within each month.) I found a number of possibilities and so I chose the one that I though had the best chance of being indexed correctly: Charles Quinl

Using Birth Registers to Search for Birth Certificates Not Coming Up on FamilySearch

I’ve had a number of researchers tell me, “I can’t find a birth certificate for that person on FamilySearch’s Record Search . It must not be online yet . . . “ I’m going to stick my neck out here. I suspect (but don’t know for certain) that the birth certificates available on FamilySearch now include all of the Chicago records that were available when the records were microfilmed . My guess is that if a researcher can’t find a birth record online, it’s for one of two reasons: 1) The birth wasn’t reported so there’s no birth certificate to be found. 2) The name is misspelled in the index. One of the best ways to check for both possibilities up through 1915 is to use the Chicago birth registers which are also online. A little bit of background. It seems reasonable to me that the birth registers were created to log birth certificates that were returned to the county. The entries in all but the earliest books group names together by the first letter of the surname for each mon