Cook County Births and Deaths to Go Online

chicago skyline.bmpAccording to a Chicago Tribune article,

If all goes as planned, newly digitized versions of county records such as birth and death certificates and marriage licenses will be available beginning in January on one searchable Web site that will revolutionize how such research is done, [Cook County Clerk David] Orr said…

The Web site is part of a massive yearlong effort to digitize the county’s 24 million vital records, which date to 1871, when record-keeping began after the Chicago Fire wiped out previous stockpiles, clerk’s office spokeswoman Kelley Quinn said.

The records have been scanned and indexed are are currently being loaded into a server and the website should be available in January. Once a record is found, there will be a fee to download and print non-certified copies of the records.

28 thoughts on “Cook County Births and Deaths to Go Online

  1. I am green with envy! To think that Cook County is doing this service for its people while my home state, New Jersey, is trying to devise every possible way to deny access to public records to its citizens. Perhaps Cook County can be an example to other counties and states of how it should be done!


  2. I think it is wonderful that you are rviding this service. people who are doing family history will be very pleased that you are making is so much easier to obtain records.(non certified) thankyou so much

  3. I can hardly wait for the Cook County births to be online. I have been trying to track my uncle’s birth in 1893 with no luck to date. Thanks for doing this.

  4. Missouri has been working on that for several months.
    I love it.
    Wish other states had the same because some of us can’t travel.

  5. Halaluya! I am so happy that this has been done. My husband was
    born and raised in Chicago and getting records is a very slow
    process. I am very greatful to Cook County for doing this due to the vast population in Cook County. Thanks for tellus about it and please tell us how we can reach them. Carrol T

  6. This is GREAT!!! Washington State is also making thier historic records available online. According to their digital archives website: Total Records Preserved Online: 24,908,793.

  7. Thank you, thank you!!! My grandmother was born in 1891 in Chicago. I have requested records and came up empty, but now “maybe” will be able to find her record.

  8. Great news.I hope I will be able to find details of my g.uncle who emmigrated to the area from England.

  9. I’m so grateful to hear this news – so helpful as I try to build a more complete picture of my Chicago tribe! Will any naturalization records be included?

  10. The Missouri Website for death/birth records online was/still is a wonderful help to me in determining if I have the right person or not, and finding out who the parents are!! I wish all states would do this wonderful service!

  11. I would love to see the birth and death certificates of the Chicago cousins, I am working on the Family Tree, but I can’t afford to pay your charges for the year.
    Thank you.

  12. This is great news. I’m sure interested persons will be glad to have information from a such creditable source. I hope the fee is reasonable and that enough additional data is included to help identify the individual. Long alpha lists of names are no help unless there are other facts to tie the name to your family. There is no point in remitting even $3.00 to Cook County to learn that “their” David W. LaPaugh is not “my” David W. LaPaugh. Am looking forward to the release of this new source.

  13. This is fantastic news, all of my father’s mother’s families/ancestors lived in Chicago from the time of immigration. I have sent for some records over the years, but with the increase in price and the number of records I need, I don’t have the financial resources to ask for any more. Keep us informed when this comes on-line.

  14. Maybe next year will have results.
    Have communicated with Cook County, three times to find birth record.
    1> no payment, not sufficient information
    2> Clerk searched incorrect year, and information.
    3> Three weeks awaiting response.
    Maybe, they will join Missouri, mostly complete, and helpful people, just have good head start. Many birth, death, marriage records on line. Don’t give up the search easily there are some obscure search locations.

  15. I actually found death dates for three people in my “tree”: two from 1938 and one for 1943. Would be nice to see downloadable materials. Hey, New York–get with it!

    Best states to find records are KY, FL, and CA.

  16. Great news! Both sets of grandparents settled in Chicago, coming from Poland. My paternal grandfather in 1871 and paternal grandmother in 1876. Maternal grandparents in 1910 and 1911. Now I can look for my paternal grandfather’s first wife.

    Grace Burkowski

  17. The Mormon Family History Center in Wilmette has both the birth registers and birth certificate films for Cook County in house, which means no fees to request the film from Salt Lake and no waiting until it arrives. That certainly is the cheapest way to get the records, provided you are in the area and can get there. They were working on getting all the death certificates. I haven’t been there in the past year so I don’t know how far they’ve gotten. I have to agree that on-line will be wonderful provided the fees are reasonable. When I first started researching my family, I used the Cook Co. office and I believe paid $10. per cert. if I had the state file #. Now it’s $15 with or without the file #. will do the work for $5 using the Fam. Hist. Ctr., so let’s hope that the online fee is less than that!!
    Judy Rosen


  19. So happy to read this announcement. I have been trying to find info about my grandfather who was born in Chicago in 1883. Thank you Cook County!!!!


  20. Thank you, Thank you, for putting all of these records on the on line. I have been waiting for the State of Kansas to do this. It will be a great help for all of us family searchers.
    I can’t wait for January l, 2008.

  21. even though I am not sure my 4th G-GF who was born in Ill in 1815 ever lived in Cook Co.but, it will open the possibility that I might find his name on a birth record with the parents names which I also know. Thanks for the effort to make these records available

  22. Wonderful news! I had almost given up hope of ever finding my Dad’s family. I live 12 hours away so this is great.

  23. This is wonderful! Maybe now I’ll be able to find some of my husband’s family records. Hope more states get their’s on the web.

  24. I think this is great. My Moms’ family were all born in cook county. Maybe I will be able to find the information I need.

  25. Has anyone learned when this web site will be up and running and what the url is or will be?

  26. I emailed the Cook County Clerk’s Office in January and was informed that technical glitches have moved the “go live” date to June/July 2008. I asked for the url to be, but that question was not answered.

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