Skip to main content

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 works for records at least through 1915. I'll talk about later records in another blog post.)2) Go to the catalog, locate the film number, and click on the camera icon next to it. (One easy way to approach this process is to search for the film number in the catalog, click on the record series title that appears in the search results,  and then scroll down or use Ctrl-F to locate the correct film number.)

3) Make sure the digital folder number matches the "film number" on the top left of the screen. (It's confusing. That "film number" is really the digital folder number.) Then, type the image number in the box and hit return. The certificate you are looking for will appear as a highlighted thumbnail. Click it to enlarge.

(If you have trouble figuring out the images, check the sidebars on my chicagogenealogy.com tutorial pages; they were written with films in mind, but they're applicable to the digital folder images as well. Or just email me from the contact page on the website and I'll happily help you find what you need.)These records are a wonderful resource for Chicago genealogy and I hope they will remain accessible in this way for many years to come. Many thanks to the Cook County and FamilySearch for making them available in this way.

Comments

This is great news! Thanks for sharing.
ron said…
When I accessed the Film Viewer a pop-up appeared: "To view these images you must do one of the following:
Access the site at a family history center
Access the site at a FamilySearch affiliate library.

Is there a secret to viewing not at a FHC or affiliate? Your instructions seem to imply it is possible.
Cyndy said…
No secret. If the pop-up says you need to be at a FHC or an affiliate library, then you do. The thing to know is clicking on the icon that you see in an index may take you to the Cook County Clerk's website where you can purchase the record but in many cases you don't need to because you can access the certificate on FamilySearch by going in through the catalog. Oh, and if I take my laptop to my local FHC, I can access the FHC/affiliate library images from it as long as I'm logged into the wireless. It makes it pretty convenient to do downloads.
Larry said…
If, like me, you don't have a laptop, but DO have a USB drive, that works about the same for saving digital images at a FHC. Just plug the USB drive into a monitor or computer. Then when you find an image you want to save, click on download, and in the list of places to save the image, one will be your USB drive.

Popular posts from this blog

Chicago Lying-In Hospital Birth Records

When I look at birth certificates, I focus on names and dates and places--information I can add to a family tree. When I look at hospital records, I come face to face with the realities of giving birth. I think the records from the Chicago Lying-In Hospital and its satellite clinics provide fascinating and important family history details and I believe they merit a closer look. The hospital records are listed in the Family History Library Catalog (FHLC) as Chicago, Illinois birth records, 1896-1933 . The added author is Northwestern Memorial Hospital and I think the originals are most likely held by the Northwestern Memorial Hospital Archives . These hospital books document services provided by four clinics connected to Dr. Joseph Bolivar DeLee, the physician who founded the Chicago Lying-In Dispensary at Maxwell Street and Newberry Avenue in 1895. D r. DeLee was interested in improving birthing conditions and his clinics offered care to needy women while providing train

Chicago Telephone Books, 1878-1971

This morning my husband and I drove down to the Harold Washington Library at 400 S. State in Chicago so I could explore the resources available at the library for Chicago research—specifically telephone books and newspapers other than the Chicago Tribune . There was a public parking lot just around the corner from the library and the all-day weekend fee was $10.00. Not bad. (During the week parking would cost about $21 but it's easy and inexpensive to get to the library by public transportation, too.) This blog post will focus on telephone books. The first Chicago telephone book appears to be The Telephone Journal , vol. 1, no. 1, published in October 1878. (For a short history of the telephone in Chicago see FundingUniverse.com's page for Illinois Bell Telephone .) The first book includes information about the telephone service along with a three-page “List of Subscribers”--names of businesses and a few individuals along with an address and numbers for “wire” and “call.”

Preparing to Retrieve Locked Images from FamilySearch

Once you reach this page, save the URL so it will be easy to get back to the image when you visit the family history center. Sometimes people email me to ask how to find the Chicago vital records that are indexed on  FamilySearch . Here's a quick answer to that question. The first step is to see if the record is available for free on FamilySearch.  Here's how to do that: 1) Find the index entry and click on the arrow to open the "Document Information." 2. Note the digital folder number and the image number. 3. Go to the FamilySearch Catalog and select Film/Fiche Number under "Search For." 4. Search for the digital folder number. 5. Click on the title link for the record collection that contains the digital folder. 6. Find the digital folder number. Is there a camera-with-a-key icon next to it? Good news! You should be able to find the record on FamilySearch . Click on the camera icon and read on! Is the camera icon missing? Then please scroll to the bottom