Skip to main content

Have a Horrible Copy of a Chicago Vital Record from Microfilm? Try Again Online!

Back in the day, before many Chicago vital records were made available in digital format on FamilySearch,  I retrieved hundreds--maybe even thousands--of Chicago birth, marriage, and death records from microfilm.

Here's one of the records I printed long ago. I was really good at tweaking the settings and, I promise you, this is absolutely the best I could do.

Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, death certificate no. 17017 (21 March 1908), Charles B. Smith; FHL microfilm 1239777; Wilmette Family History Center, Wilmette, Illinois.

I don't remember why, but not too long ago I decided to look for the same record on FamilySearch and this is the image that I found:

Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, death certificate no. 17087 (21 March 1908), Charles B. Smith; digital image, "Chicago death certificates, 1878-1915," FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/42925 : accessed 12 March 2019) > microfilm 1239777, digital folder 4004622 > image 841.

Comparing both images, it appears that they are of the same certificate. I'm thinking three things:

1) The online certificate image was created from the original, not from the microfilm. I talked with the FamilySearch folks who were digitizing records in the Cook County Clerk's office some years back and I remember them telling me they were working with some records that had already been microfilmed.

2) Just because a film number appears in the FamilySearch index entry doesn't mean the published image came from the film.

3) This is probably something that's unique to Chicago records and very few others.

So, for what it's worth, if, by chance, you have a hard-to-read printout or digital image that was made from FamilySearch microfilm, it might be worth checking online to see if you can now get a better copy.





Comments

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.”

Illinois Residents: Consider Supporting a Bill to Make Coroner's Records Available for a Reasonable Fee

Just got an email from the Chicago Genealogical Society with information that's relevant to Chicago/Cook County genealogical researchers. In short, there's a bill coming up that would reduce the cost to obtain a coroner's inquest record from the current exorbitant fees (it can run hundreds of dollars to get a file) to an affordable rate. If you are an Illinois resident, consider voicing your opinion on the issue. Information about the bill can be found here: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocNum=4210&GAID=15&DocTypeID=HB&LegID=123197&SessionID=108&SpecSess=&Session=&GA=101 And, this form can be used to submit comments: http://my.ilga.gov/WitnessSlip/Create/123197?committeeHearingId=17574&LegislationId=123197&LegislationDocumentId=156293