I don't know when it happened, and maybe this is old news, but Chicago death registers, 8 October 1871 to 29 February 1879, are now available for viewing on FamilySearch under the title Illinois, Cook County, Chicago, death registers, 1871-1879.
For years, I've been saying "they must have death registers" but I'd never seen one. I'd just seen evidence of their existence.
Remember the Indexes to deaths in the city of Chicago during the years 1871 to 1933 : showing name, address and date of death? Here’s the index entry for James A. Smith who died in 1875. The “D” refers to a death register, the “120” is the page number, and the “13” is the line number.
|Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, death registration no. D-120-13 (1875), James A. Smith; Cook County Clerk’s Office, Chicago.|
It was great to have the information but it was clearly a derivative record. I knew it had to have been copied from a death register–that was the only logical explanation–and I longed to see the record the information was copied from.
Well, this morning, that dream came true. I discovered the record images are now online and knowing that I could only access them from a Family History Center or an affiliate library, I took a quick shower, dropped my husband at work, and headed to the Orange County FamilySearch Library.
Here’s the matching register entry:
|Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, “Deaths 4, Jan. 1, 1875 to May 31, 1876,” p. 120, line 13, James A. Smith (1875); digital image, (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSYX-R311-K?i=122&cat=3157227 : accessed 7 March 2019).|
And why is this so exciting? Because it means researchers can now access information about early post-Fire Chicago deaths without needing to rely on the Clerk’s office for help.
If you can’t get to a Family History Center to access the index and the register pages, I can search for you. Just send me a project request through my profile on Genlighten.com.
And, please post a comment to let me know if this post was of help to you in your research. I'd love to hear from you.