Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Cook County Birth Registers

Spent some time looking at the 1890/91 Cook County birth register yesterday. The names are in A-Z order for each month (someone must have had all of the certificates before making the entries or recopied them?), but I noticed that there are some miscellaneous names at the end of each month--something important to keep in mind while searching.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Stillbirth Entries in Chicago Death Index

The Chicago Death Index (aka Burial Permit Index) lists some entries for stillbirths (SB) before 1916 but where are the certificates?

Friday, March 04, 2005

Cook County Deaths: IRAD vs FHL Films

I did a bit of detective work today and I now believe that the early Cook County death certificate films at IRAD are exactly the same as the ones available through the Family History Library. The IRAD film that I looked at had the FHL film number on the box and the certificate numbers on the reel (and the gaps) matched those on the FHL film perfectly.

Undertaker's Reports on Burials, 1863

Went down to IRAD at Northeastern Illinois University on the advice of a fellow researcher and had a wonderful time looking at the Undertaker's Reports on Burials for Jan-Jul of 1863. They are similar to the death registers I've seen--name, death date, age, cause of death, birthplace, cemetery name (if I remember correctly)--and I'm told that IRAD has indexed them and that the index will eventually be made available.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Chicago Birth Certificate Film Oddities

When I first started doing lookups, I had to look at up to four films to find some of the death certificates in the teens--until I figured out the pattern and the exceptions to the pattern. Now I need to do the same thing with the birth certificate films. Apparently, for some years (in the teens?), the December birth certificates for one year were filed with the certificates from the beginning of the following year. What this seems to do is push the months off the expected pattern. For example, with three repeats of certificate numbers, I'd expect them to be Jan-Apr, May-Aug, Sep-Dec, but it looks like sometimes April may actually be in the second group: Dec-Mar, Apr-Jul, Aug-Nov? Time for a bit of new sleuthing.

Census Fun

Spent some time looking for John Oates/Oades in the 1870 census this week.

John Oades (Oates) born 8-15-1819-England-farmer
Wife: Cecelia-born 4-12-1816-England
Son: Richard-born 1841-1842-England
Son: William? -single-born in IL? 1855 or so
Son: Fergus-born-6-1843-England
Daughter: Ablen (Ellen) IL-1858
Son: Edwin -9-23-1866

I got side-tracked by a John Oats married to a woman of the right name with a son Fergus in the household, wrong age, and then stumbled on the right family searching for people named John, born in England, in Cook County. If I hadn't known that they had lived in Northfield in 1880, I might have skipped over it.

HORDS, JOHN (1870 U.S. Census)
Age: 55, Male, Race: WHITE, Born: ENGL
Series: M593 Roll: 213 Page: 459

Missing Cook County Certificates

Groups of Cook County death certificates from the late 1880s appear to be missing, not only on the Family History Library films, but also on the IRAD films, even though there are entries in the index for them. (So, was the index created before the certificates were lost/destroyed or was the index created, not from certificates at all, but from registers?)

They don't generally appear interfiled with the Chicago certificates, but I was lucky enough to find one that way this week.



Interesting thing was that the certificate actually seemed to be a Chicago form which might explain why it was filed where it was.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Not in Death Index?

Searched the online death index yesterday for an entry for Margaret Lamb, buried 14 Dec 1894, but couldn't find her even using the One-Step and searching for "M" "L" "1894." So, I tried the Chicago Death Index (microfilm). I didn't see a match under "Margaret" but then my eye caught a "Maggie" a few lines above and the date was close enough that it struck me it was a match. Knowing that she was there, I decided to scroll through the death certificate film for "L" for December 1894 and it didn't take too many cranks to find her death certificate. The handwriting is dark and thick and the surname could be misread as "Laub" or something similar but I still can't find an entry in the index even WITH the correct certificate number.

Rule #1: Even if a name doesn't appear in the online index, don't give up!
Rule #2: Don't overlook nicknames . . .

Time to Blog?

It's been a year and a half since I launched and I've learned a lot about Chicago vital records from all the lookuping I've done since. Just recently, I've begun to think that I should keep track of the odd things I see, the new things that I learn, and maybe blogging would be a good way to do that.

New Album Will Celebrate Chicago's Musical Heritage

Chicago has a rich musical history and On Big Shoulders , "an Americana album featuring 12 of Chicago's best musicians collaborat...