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Showing posts from February, 2012

CGS Publication: Chicago Cemetery Records 1847-1863

A number of years ago, I had an opportunity to look at undertakers reports from 1863 held by the Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD) at Northeastern Illinois University. I was thrilled to find these pre-fire death records and asked about the possibility of offering my help to index them to make them more accessible. I was told that there was a project already underway. There was! In 2008 the Chicago Genealogical Society published a book titled Chicago Cemetery Records 1847-1863: Sexton's Reports and Certificates, Treasurer Receipts, Deeds, and Undertakers' Reports . It's a useful resource for early Chicago research and I'll introduce you to it in this post. Below you'll find the main sections listed along with an example entry and a quick summary (in parenthesis) of what the information means. The book includes a name index which makes it easy to use. Chicago Cemetery Records 1847-1863 can be found in many libraries (see WorldCat Entry ) or it can be

Explore the Chicago Examiner, 1908-1918, for Free

Recently Bonnie Brown, a fellow Chicago researcher, sent a message to the IL-COOK-CHICAGO-L list at Rootsweb to make sure that we were aware of a free online resource for Chicago newspaper research -- Harold Washington Library's digital images for the Chicago Examiner , 1908-1918. It wasn't long before people began posting news of their success in finding family-related information. If you haven't explored images, you should! If you want to browse the newspaper by topic, you can access it through a link from the library's Digital Collections page . Highlights include "Cubs World Series," "White Socks World Series," "Eastland Disaster," and "Plan of Chicago." Other topics include "Jane Addams and Hull House," and the "1912 Olympics." If you want to search the newspaper, go to the library's main page , click on " A-Z Research Databases ," click on the letter "C," and select "

What to Do when the Church Name isn't on the Marriage License

Cook County marriage license images, 1871-1920 are online for free at FamilySearch up through 1920. If you find that your ancestors were married by a justice of the peace, it's likely that there's no other marriage record available. The Cook County Circuit Court Archives website says "Justice of the Peace Court records were destroyed as allowed by Illinois statute in the early 1970s." But, if they were married in a church, there's a good chance that you can find a church marriage record and in some cases--if it was a Catholic marriage in a Polish parish, for example--the ecclesiastical record might have additional information such as witness names or parent names. If the church name is listed on the marriage license, the next step is to find where the records are held. The Newberry Library's " Guide to Chicago Church and Synagogue Records " is a good place to start. But, if the church name isn't listed, you'll have to do some detective