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Showing posts from September, 2017

Celebrating Digital Access: Chicago Delayed Birth Index

Today I'll focus on the  Chicago Delayed Birth Index  that's newly available in digital format through the  FamilySearch  Catalog. You can view the index images if you visit a family history center or FamilySearch affiliate library; you won't be able to view the images from home. And, you may be able to find the matching records online, too. First, a little bit of background. For those of you who are unfamiliar with delayed birth registration, it was a way of creating a civil birth record, sometimes long after the birth, when an original wasn't filed at the time of the event. It's particularly relevant to Chicago research because many early births went unreported. Many of the entries in this index are for records that were recorded in the 1940s. Why? One reason might have been that people who were going to work for the war effort needed to be able to prove their citizenship. [1] So, when should you use this index? Checking this index is a good next step

Celebrating Digital Access: Chicago Death Index, 1871-1933

Sample Image from the Chicago Death Index, 1871-1933 [1] Over the next few weeks, I'll be highlighting Chicago sources that are newly-available in digital format through FamilySearch's Catalog. First up is a multi-volume set titled [deep breath] Indexes to deaths in the city of Chicago during the years 1871 to 1933 : showing name, address and date of death . I just call it "the Chicago death index, 1871-1933" or "the CDI" for short. One thing you should know about it right up front is that the title is a bit misleading. It mostly lists Chicago deaths, but it also includes some out-of-town deaths--entries for people who died outside the city but were probably brought to Chicago for burial. 1) When you're looking for deaths 1871-1877. As far as I know, this is the only public index that covers the early deaths. If you find a match, contact the Cook County clerk's office. My husband's ancestor appears and I was able to get the matching de

Which Chicago Vital Records are Available on FamilySearch?

Visit a Family History Center to access the Chicago and Cook County vital records. Find your local FHC here . In the days to come, I'll be exploring the Chicago vital records that are newly available on FamilySearch  (to those who visit a family history center or a FamilySearch affiliate library) and, in preparation for that, I felt like I needed to see what was there. So, I made the list that you'll find below. And, if you'd like a copy for reference, you can download/print from here . Here are a few quick observations: All of the birth records  on microfilm have been digitized and made available for viewing except for three Cook County birth registers (which in most cases aren't needed anyway). Marriage licenses look to be complete, 1871-1941. (Great news, right?!)  I was surprised to see the Chicago death certificates , 1916-1945, haven't been made available but I'm thrilled to see the earlier records. Now that the coroner's death cer

Some Chicago Vital Record Images Online at FHCs

I'm SO excited to share this news!  I was searching the FHL catalog this evening, opened the entry for Chicago Death Certificates, 1878-1915 , clicked the camera icon, and got a message that the images were only viewable at a family history center or a FamilySearch affiliate library. So, I did what anyone who is married to a family history center director would do. I said, "We need to go take a look!"  Sure enough, the images for these records are available online again--just not from home. And so are a LOT of other wonderful Chicago records-- early birth certificates and coroner's certificates, to name a few. I'll be blogging about the specifics in the days to come but at quick glance, the strategy for accessing them seems to be to this: 1) Find the name in the Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878-1994 index on FamilySearch and note the film number, the digital folder number , and the image number . In this case it's 1030909, 004004149, and 00984. (This wor

Celebrating FamilySearch's Digital Access: New Blog Post Series

Single microfilm shipment. I'm going to miss these little boxes! Yesterday was the final day to order FamilySearch microfilms and I'll have to admit, I felt unsettled. Last chance. Last chance! I kept wondering if there were any films that I was going to really, really wish I could view at my local Family History Center months down the road. And, you know what? I don't think so. A couple of weeks ago I scrambled to order a reel with records from Maine because they weren't online. They will have to be read page by page and it's something I don't want to ask anyone to do for me. Yesterday, taking one last look in the Family History Library Catalog to see if I'd missed anything I should order, I noticed the images are now available on FamilySearch . As much as I love microfilm--and I really do--it's time to embrace the new system. In celebration of the the end of an era--and the beginning of another--I've decided to write a series of blog

IRAD at NEIU: Collections for Chicago Research

I'm an administrator for an active Chicago Genealogy Facebook group  and with so many indexes for records online now, one question that's asked over and over is, "How can I get [fill in the name of a record type here]." Recently, someone asked about a marriage license from 1891 and my first thought was that the record could be obtained from FamilySearch microfilm at the Wilmette Illinois Family History Center or the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. It's less expensive than getting records directly from the county, and if a researcher can't go in person, there are plenty of local researchers who offer document retrieval services at those places for a reasonable fee. But then I remembered there's another great option for getting early Cook County marriage licenses that is likely often overlooked--the Illinois Regional Archives Depository at Northeastern Illinois University, better known as IRAD at NEIU . Their holdings include Cook County marr