08 July 2008

Illinois: Cook County vital records, Steve Morse

No sooner do the Cook County (Illinois) Vital Records go online, then Steve Morse announces a One-Step search for these very useful genealogical records.

Illinois dictates that genealogical vital records are birth certificates 75 years or more old (1933), marriage certificates 50 years or more old (1958) and death certificates 20 years or more old (1988).

Records are being added to the online resource, and an explanation of which records are  included is here. To search the county site, visitors must register - it is free to register to search the index

At Steve's site, place your cursor over Vital Records (upper left side) and click on Chicago Vital Records. Steve has eliminated the need to compute the Soundex code and makes it easy to find a spouse's  name.

Tracing the Tribe reported several months ago that Cook County's Clerk was preparing to place the vital records index online. As of last week, it is working although records are being added - if you don't find something expected, try again in a few days.

Records begin circa 1872 - prior to that, county vital records were destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

To see and dowload an actual record of interest there is a $15 fee. Records obtained through the site  will be marked "For Genealogical Purposes Only".


  1. After attending the SCGS Jamboree, I subscribed to this site. How exciting to come to read new blogs tonight, and find information on a great new online retrieval service. I have found documents I want already, and look forward to exploring a lot more. Thanks for sharing so much useful info.

  2. I am unable to find any marriage records for 1914-1915 for anyone with the last name of Cohen...surely there were Cohens married during that time period. I am also unable to find which records have been uploaded and which are not.
    Anyone else have any information about this?