Monthly Archives: February 2013

Images For Cook County, Illinois Birth, Marriage, Death Records etc. No Longer Available At; New Agreement Established Between FamilySearch And Cook County, IL; Description Of Change Provided By FamilySearch Included

Hi Everyone! LogoYikes!  I do have some bad news to relay to all of you, especially for those of you that have had a lot of focus on Cook County, IL Birth, Marriage and Death Records that were routinely available as images at FamilySearch.

It is with a heavy heart that I must relay to you that the images are no longer available through Family Search and the databases they showed at the FamilySearch site for Cook County, IL records.

You can still search by the surname for these records and then see a transcription-like description of the information contained in the record.  BUT THE IMAGE IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE TO VIEW FOR FREE FROM WITHIN FAMILYSEARCH!

Ann M., one of our frequent attendees at our program shared this with me.  I thought that can’t be true.  However, looking at the material I sadly saw that only the descriptive index item of information is available with no ability to see the image.

I did look at one of the text descriptions of one of the database files for Cook County, IL information.  FamilySearch, I give them credit for this, did provide an explanation and some guidelines on alternatives on what to do for the researcher who uses these records.

Here is a FamilySearch provided description of what transpired between FamilySearch and Cook County, IL that changed the availability of these fabulous images we all so loved.  The description from FamilySearch follows in Italics after the separator line:


Image Visibility

Due to the provisions and guidelines of a newly revised contract with Cook County,  FamilySearch has removed all images for Illinois, Cook County vital records from its historical records collections online; free indexes to the collections will remain.

As part of our new agreement, FamilySearch will receive an additional 4.7 million records for FamilySearch patrons from the over 9 million free indexed records in the Cook County collection. The following collections are affected by the change:

  • Illinois, Cook County Birth Certificates, 1878-1922
  • Illinois, Cook County Birth Registers, 1871-1915
  • Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878-1922
  • Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871-1920

Original images can be ordered or viewed through the following mediums.

1.  Microfilm and microfiche from the Family History Library are available via Online Film Ordering in most parts of the world. The film number is included in the source information found on the index of the record.  

2.  Illinois, Cook County web site  (pay site)

3.  Request a digital copy of items found in the Family History Library  catalog services from the Family History Library (photoduplication). Include source information found on the index of the record in your request.


There you go.  We enjoyed the images we had previously been able to access.  But alas, since Cook County, IL has a “paysite” for this information, it seems that it was only a matter of time until that permission was no longer granted to FamilySearch to allow the images to be posted and available for free from FamilySearch.

Your alternative might simply be to access the images for cost from the Cook County, IL paysite for this information.

I don’t think the pain of losing these images has set in with me at this time!

Granted, the indexed information is all there but it was so nice and helpful to be able to look at the image, especially when you know that so many transcription errors can exist from the original to the indexed item.  Other clues could also be garnered from the image for the various components of the records that might not have been included in the transcription process, such as a doctor’s name, a funeral home’s name, a church’s name.  These were often great clues to see in the image that were not extracted into the indexed item.

Oh well, we can’t cry over spilled milk! (Actually, I think we can for a little while, but then we have to move on!).

I wish I had better news to report to you.

But it is what it is!

Next time you access the Illinois, Cook County data at FamilySearch you will see no images.  Now you know why.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Our Next Genealogy Program Is Coming Up On Tuesday Evening February 12, 2013 At 7:30 PM

Hi Everyone!

I thought I would post this reminder of our next upcoming Genealogy Program at the Schaumburg Township District Library.

There is no pre-registration required in order to attend the program.  There is no fee charged to attend.  Anyone can attend this program.  You do not have to be a library card holder with the Schaumburg Township District Library in order to attend.

Here are the details of our upcoming program for Tuesday evening, February 12, 2013:

Jennifer Holik

Jennifer Holik

The Genealogy program will be held on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 7:30 PM in the 2nd floor Classroom. The guest speaker for the evening will be Jennifer Holik. Jennifer will present a program titled “Engaging the Next Generation: Parents and Grandparents Inspiring Children About Genealogy”.

This presentation will look at ways that parents and grandparents can instill the love for family history research into the next generation of family history researchers. Encourage children to join you as a family history researcher. Jennifer will share how we can best connect living generations in the pursuit of family history.

Jennifer Holik is a genealogical research professional and the owner of Generations and co-founder of The In-Depth Genealogist. Jennifer has over twenty years of research and writing experience. She has authored articles for local and national genealogical publications; authored and published a set of kids’ genealogy curriculum books in 2012; is an Expert Author for; and writes for several blogs.

The doors to the room will open at approximately 7 PM so participants can pick up any handouts, review books and journals and interact with other participants. Tony Kierna, the STDL genealogist, will start the program at 7:30. Introductions of new participants will occur as well as a brief review of handouts and genealogical matters. It is expected that the guest speaker’s presentation will start at around 7:45-8:00 PM. We will end the session by 9:30 PM.

For further information contact Tony Kierna at 847-923-3390.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Swedish American Museum Of Chicago Offers Recurring Swedish Genealogy Research Assistance On Each 4th Saturday Of The Month; Research Help Also Available Each Wednesday Afternoon From Noon To 3 PM; Free For Members Of The Museum, $10 Fee For Non-Members; Link To Full February 2013 Newsletter Included

Hi Everyone!

Swedish American Museum LogoI received a recent e-mail newsletter from the Swedish American Museum of Chicago.

One part of the newsletter noted that the museum is offering recurring genealogy help sessions on each 4th Saturday of the month.  For those that are members of the museum, the service is free; for those that are non-members but would still like to obtain some Swedish genealogical assistance, the fee is $10.

Research help is also being offered on Wednesday afternoons from Noon to 3 PM.  This service is also free for members and will cost $10 for non-members.

Here are the details contained from the e-mail I received regarding the genealogy help that is being offered that follows in Italics after the break line:


The Nordic Family Genealogy Center hosts genealogy sessions from 10 a.m. to noon on the fourth Saturday of most months. Check the Swedish American Museum’s website for specific dates and topics. Annual membership: $20 for Museum members; non-members pay $10 per session.

  The Genealogy Center is also open for individual research Wednesday afternoons between noon and 3:00 p.m. Individual assistance is provided by experienced members of the Nordic Family Genealogy Center. There is no charge for Museum members: non-members pay $10 per visit. Reservations recommended and can be made by calling 773.728.8111.


In fact, the genealogy program being offered on Saturday, February 23, 2013, from 10 AM to Noon is titled “Fermented Herring For Anyone?”.  This genealogy session will be exploring fermented herring-a delicacy from Northern Sweden, among other food traditions. This session will be led by Kerstin Nicholson. If possible, bring your laptop computer and family information to class.

If you have Swedish ancestral research needs and you live in the area, you might want to consider connecting with the Swedish American Museum in Chicago for help as well as just to be aware of all of the activities the museum is offering both for Swedish genealogy and for Swedish cultural information.

All of the contact information for the museum is above as well as in the full newsletter link below.

Here is a link to the full contents of the newsletter material I received from the Swedish American Museum of Chicago:

February 2013 Events At The Swedish American Museum Of Chicago

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library