Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from December, 2010

Finding Chicago Naturalization Records

I was looking at FamilySearch’s historical records section over the holidays and noticed that the Soundex cards for Cook County naturalization were added on December 22. Now that they’re online for free, it seems like a good time to talk about Cook County naturalization research. In this post, I’ll focus on finding the records, but I’ll try to share some of the interesting things I’ve discovered about the Cook County naturalization process in another blog post soon. If you're looking for Chicago and Cook County naturalization records you'll want to begin with the Soundex index to naturalization petitions for U.S. District & Circuit Courts, Northern District of Illinois and Immigration and Naturalization Service District 9, 1840-1950 . (I just call it “The Soundex Index.”) It’s the same as NARA publication M1285 and it includes entries for people who naturalized in northern Illinois, northwestern Indiana, southern and eastern Wisconsin, and eastern Iowa. Online Access

Stockyards Fire Anniversary: Who Died in the Fire 100 Years Ago?

An article by Becky Schlikerman on the Chicago Tribune website-- 100 years since Stockyards fire raged --caught my eye this morning and turned my attention to a fire that happened in the city's stock yards one hundred years ago tomorrow. The fire marshal, James Horan, was killed in the blaze and his descendants will commemorate the anniversary of the tragedy with a wreath ceremony. Mr. Horan's death certificate is available at FamilySearch and we can learn a lot about him from that record. He was born in Chicago in 1859, the son of Irish immigrants, and he had served the city as a fireman just short of thirty years at the time of his death. Notice how the names of the cemetery and undertaker are written. Is it possible that the family had a difficult time deciding where Mr. Horan would be buried? Or perhaps someone mistakenly wrote the wrong information and then corrected it? The informant, Daniel Horan, was Mr. Horan's brother and I can imagine him stepping in to help t

Pre-Fire Sinai Congregation Marriages

It's quiet at the Wilmette Family History Center today and so I decided to explore the Chicago entries in the Family History Library catalog as a way of learning more about the new FamilySearch website. One of the titles that caught my eye was Marriage and death records, 1861-1905 from Chicago's Sinai Congregation, Film 1013426, Item 16. The reel was available and so I decided to take a look. The congregation's first service was held on 21 Jun 1861 and mention of it is made on the first page. The next page begins with January 1868 marriages and the entries seem to be numbered sequentially beginning with #91 and ending with #528. Following those entries there's a page that begins with marriage #1 from July 1861 (see the image) and the numbers then climb to #90. This means that there are approximately 150 pre-Fire marriages recorded in the book. It's a treasure of value to all of us but especially to those who have ancestors' names recorded there. The re