Guide to Jewish Genealogy in Chicagoland

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Private Organizations

Newspapers, institutions, private libraries, and organizations in Chicagoland 

A Look at Cook
Chicago Daily News Photos 1902-1933

Chicago Genealogical Society

ChicagoGenealogy.com

Chicago Historical Society
ChicagoHistoryMuseum
Chicago Streets

Chicago Sun-Times: Online

Chicago Tribune Historical Archive
Chicago Tribune: Online
Computer-Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois (CAGG-NI)
Family History Centers
Illinois Genealogical Research

Illinois State Genealogical Society
Newberry Library
Proquest (Illinois Newsstand)

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A Look at Cook

Website: www.alookatcook.com 

Description of Resources:

Finding aids and maps for Federal Census 1870-1930.

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Chicago Daily News Photos 1902-1933

Website: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/ndlpcoop/ichihtml/

Description of Resources:

A collection of photographs from the archives of the Chicago Daily News.

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Chicago Genealogical Society

P. O. Box 1160
Chicago, IL 60690-1160
Phone: 773-725-1306
Website: www.chgogs.org

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ChicagoGenealogy.com

Chicago & Cook County
Genealogical Record Lookups

E-mail: ChicagoGenealogy@comcast.net 
Website: www.chicagogenealogy.com 

Description of Resources:

Cynthia provides a service by doing lookups at a local Family History Center. She provides very fast and inexpensive responses. Most of the records are early vital records held at the Wilmette FHC.

Access to records and fees:

The fees are a fraction of what it would cost if ordered through Cook County Vital records. Once you receive the records, you simply mail her a personal check.

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Chicago Historical Society (now ChicagoHistoryMuseum)

ChicagoHistoryMuseum (formerly Chicago Historical Society)

1601 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60614

Phone:312-642-4600 (Research Center)
Fax: 312-261-2077
Website: http://www.chicagohistory.org

Website: http://www.chicagohistory.org/collections/genealogy.html 
                    (Heraldry & Genealogy Research)

Website: http://www.chsmedia.org/househistory/nameChanges/start.pdf  
                             (Chicago Street name changes)
Website: http://www.chsmedia.org/househistory/1909snc/start.pdf 
                           (1909 address conversion table)
Website: http://www.chsmedia.org/househistory/polk/start.pdf 
                       (Chicago City Directory 1928/1929)
Website: http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/11479.html 
                  (Fire Maps (Robinsons) of the City of Chicago for 1886)

Description of Resources:

Of particular interest and value is a complete collection of Chicago city and telephone directories. The city directories (for 1839 to 1917, 1923 and 1928/9) are available in hardcopy in the Research Center or on microfilm. Also available are the Chicago "crisscross" directories (on microfilm) for 1928, 1950, 1952, 1953, and 1978 to the present, and suburban telephone directories for 1920 to 1971, and 1978 to the present. The volumes of the Chicago Blue Book for 1890 to 1916 serve as directories of the more prominent citizens of the city.

Access to records and fees:

Inquiries by phone or by visiting museum research center.

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Chicago Streets

Website: www.rootsweb.com/~itappcnc/pipcnstreet.htm

Description of Resources:

Dan Niemiec of  POINTers in Person (Chicago North) has created an excellent website for dealing with Chicago street name changes and those Chicago streets that no longer exist. 

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Chicago Sun-Times: Online

Website: www.suntimes.com
Website: http://www.suntimes.com/index/obituaries.html  (death notices page)

Description of Resources:

Search Obituaries/death notices on-line back to September 24, 2001.

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Chicago Tribune: Online

Website: www.chicagotribune.com
Website: www.legacy.com/chicagotribune/LegacyHome.asp  (death notices page)

Description of Resources:

Obituaries/death notice and news articles searchable on-line back to January 1985.

Access to records and fees:

Some records only accessible by paying $2.95 per document.  Can charge to credit card. They also have fee schedules by the month or year.

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Chicago Tribune Historical Archive

Website:  Chicago Tribune Historical Archive (via Library subscriptions only)

Description of Resources:

Two versions of these complete on-line copies of the Chicago Tribune are available.

1. Newsbank (www.newsbank.com) offers a subscription website that has two search windows. The one on the left searches transcribed death notices and allows you to specify a specific year and also allow you to add an additional text search to narrow down the results. It returns in text format the death notices for individuals who meet the criteria. The window on the right allow for search of the complete newspaper. The project is evolving and while it currently covers (1860-2000) there may be some gaps and you cannot use it for a conclusive search of the Chicago Tribune. 

2. ProQuest provides a scanned version of the Chicago Tribune (1890*-1984) via its Proquest Historical Newspapers service. These are searchable by entering the text you are searching. Be sure to read the "Search Tips" to aid your search. The results are adobe acrobat (pdf) files. If you are searching for death notices the results of your search will be the complete list of notices for a specific day. It contains a complete copy of the newspaper including ads and images. 

* While the collection's title indicates that it starts in 1890, we have been able to find articles as early as 1849.

It can be found at the Newberry Library, Skokie Public Library and other libraries subscribing to this national service of newspapers.


Access to records and fees:

Accessible at public libraries mentioned above at no charge.

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Computer-Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois (CAGG-NI)

P. O. Box 59567
Schaumburg, IL 60159-0567
E-mail: CAGG_NI@Yahoo.com
Website: http://www.rootsweb.com/~ilcaggni/
Website: http://www.rootsweb.com/~ilcaggni/librarys/  (Guide to resources in local libraries)

Description of Resources:

Meetings held the third Saturday of each month at the Schaumburg Township Library at 10:30 a.m. Website contains information on all programs and a guide to the resources in the local libraries.

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Encyclopedia of Chicago

The Encyclopedia of Chicago is a joint production of the Chicago Historical Society, the Newberry Library, and Northwestern University. The website includes thousands of historical resources including a section on the Jews of Chicago. It went online in 2005.

It is free of charge.

E-mail: encyclopedia@chicagohistory.org 
Website: http://encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org
Website: http://encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/671.html (Jews of Chicago)
Website:
http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/223.html?sssdmh=dm13.198854
                          (Chicago cemeteries including Jewish cemeteries)

 

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Family History Centers (FHCs)
 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (The Mormons) plays a major role in the collection, storage, and distribution of genealogical information throughout the world.  Their main repository, the Family History Library, is located in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Through their genealogical programs they have amassed more than 2 million rolls of microfilm and over a half million microfiche.  These include virtually every type of record available and includes records from all around the world. These resources are made available to the public and are not restricted to members of their church. Their catalog is now available on their website at Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In addition, they have established a system of branch libraries, called Family History Centers, which now number over 1600 in 57 countries. A number of these Family History Centers are located in the Chicago metropolitan area. These FHCs are allowed to order (on loan) microfilms and microfiche from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, which can then be viewed in the local center. In addition, the FHCs have a number of microfilms on permanent loan which are of special interest to Chicago researchers. We will list here only the resources that are available at the local centers on permanent loan.   

The centers have irregular hours and thus you should call first.


          Wilmette FHC
            2727 Lake Avenue
            Wilmette, IL 60091
            Phone:  847-251-9818 

This is the oldest and largest center in the Chicago area.  

Description of Resources:

1.         Death Records:

1871-1933 Chicago Death Record Index (film)  
1871-1916 Cook County Death Index (fiche)  
1878-1915 Chicago Death Certificates (film)-all
1916-1947 Chicago Death Certificates-all
1878-1909, 1914, 1906-1922 Cook County Death Certificates-over half  

2.         Marriage Records:

1871-1916 Chicago Marriage Index (film)  
1871-1920 Chicago Marriage Licenses (film)-all through 1916

3.         Birth Records:

1871-1915 Chicago Birth Register (film)  
1878-1915 Chicago Birth Certificates (film)-all
1871-1948 Chicago Delayed Birth Certificate Index  
1896-1933 Births Northwestern Memorial Hospital: Chicago  
1871-1916 Cook County Birth Record Index (fiche) 

4.         Census Records:

1880 Federal Census CD)-Complete index  
1860 Census Index (Cook County) film
Ancestry on-line subscription -1920, 1930 all states.

5.         Naturalization Records:

6.         Hamburg Departure Index:

Covers departures for 1855-1921. Each film of the index covers a 2-6 month period.

7.         World War I draft records:
Have maps helping you determine which draft board the individual belonged to.

Access to Records and Fees:

Copies at the center are 25 cents per page. If you need to request an item from Salt Lake City, the fees are as follows at the Wilmette FHC:  

      
Microfilm 

30 day loan $5.75 per film
60 day loan (additional 30 days)  $5.75 per film 
Indefinite loan (additional after 60 days) $5.75 per film  


      
Microfiche   $1.50 per order

An order consists of:  

-several fiche with consecutive numbers having the same title  
-several fiche with one number which are listed as being part of the same set of fiche (i.e., Fiche 1 out of 2, etc.)  
 
The orders generally take 1-2 weeks to arrive from Salt Lake City.  

                
If it is not convenient for you to go to the center, ChicagoGenealogy.com provides a fast and economical service to obtain records.

Buffalo Grove FHC 
15 Port Clinton Road
Buffalo Grove, IL 60090
Phone: 847-913-5387 

Hyde Park FHC  
5200 S. University Avenue  
Chicago, IL 60615  
Phone: 773-493-1830

Schaumburg FHC
1329 W. Schaumburg Road
Schaumburg, IL 60193
Phone: 847-885-4130

Arlington Heights Library also serves as a FHC to order materials.     

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Illinois Genealogical Research

E-mail: mollx@hotmail.com
Website: www.mollx.com 

Description of Resources:

Molly Kennedy works out of Springfield, IL (the state capital) and provides a very reasonable service to records in the state archives. She will obtain death certificates, marriage records, state census, obituaries/death notices, and other records. See her website for exact list of records available and her fees. She has recently started a rudimentary transcription of the 1865 Illinois State Census.

 

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Illinois State Genealogical Society

Phone: 217-789-1968
E-mail: mjschuetz@msn.com
Website:
www.rootsweb.com/~ilsgs/

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Newberry Library

60 West Walton
Chicago, IL 60610
Phone:  312-255-3512
Fax:  312-255-3658 (to submit questions)
E-mail:  genealogy@newberry.org
Website:  www.newberry.org

Website: www.chicagoancetors.org (dedicated to genealogical records)

Description of Resources: 

1.     Birth, Death Records:

Illinois Death Index 1916-1947  
Cook County Birth Index 1871-1916  
Cook County Death Index 1871-1916  

2.     Chicago City Directories:

1839-1870 (irregular)  
1871-1917 (every year)  
1923, 1928/29

Chicago criss-cross directories 1952, 1953, 1955 

3.     Federal Census:

1790-1850 All states  
1860-1880 select states  
1900-1920 Illinois  
Book indexes through 1790-1850  
Some book and CD-ROM indexes for 1860  
CD-ROM indexes for all states in 1870  
The 1880 National Index and Census CD-ROM set  
1880 Soundex for select states  
Soundex index Illinois  for 1900-1920.  

4.    Cemetery Records:  

Records of Waldheim and Forest Home; Microfilm ca;; # 1215  
(need more detail)  

5.    Cook County Voter Registration:

1888-1892 registrations  

6.       Newspapers:  

Chicago Daily News 1879-1935  
Chicago Tribune 1849-1872, 1928-1939, 1940-1964  

7.       Gazetteers and Maps:

Cohen, Chester G.,  Shtetl Finder:Jewish Communities in the 19th and early 20th centuries in the pale of settlement of Russia and Poland, and in Lithuania, Latvia, Galicia, and Bukovina, with names of residents.  

Mokotoff, Gary. Where Once We Walked: A guide to Jewish communities destroyed in the Holocaust.  
 

8.  Chicagoancestors.org

Honorary Street Names (some streets in Chicago have 2 names; the official name and an honorary name.

Chicago City Directory Street Guides:
      1866, 1870, 1875, 1180, 1885, 1892, 1900, 1910, 1923

1866 City Directory (front section - business-government/organizations
1870 City Directory (front section - business)
1871 Edward's Census
1880 City Directory

Favorite links to other Chicago sites.
 

9.       Immigration:

Immigration & Naturalization Service Naturalization Index for
      Chicago and Cook County Naturalizations 1871-1950  

Sack, Sallyann Amdur. The Russian consular records index and catalog.  Call # oCS856 J4 S23 1987. Indexes immigration, passport, visa and related records of citizens primarily between 1917 and 1926.  

Germans to America, 1850-1897
(ongoing).  Ed. Ira A. Glazier et al.  Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 1988-.  Call # E184.G3 G38 1988 (2nd floor open shelf). 

The publishers have issued a second series of Germans to America, covering the 1840s.  The Newberry has volumes 1-4 (Jan. 1840-Oct. 1848) of this series.  Call # E184.G3 G39 (2nd floor open shelf).

Migration from the Russian Empire: Lists of Passengers Arriving at the Port of New York, 1875-1891
.  Ed. Ira A. Glazier.  Call # E184.R9 M54 1995 (2nd floor open shelf). 

Moser, Geraldine.  Hamburg Passengers from the Kingdom of Poland and the Russian Empire: Indirect Passage to New York, 1855-June 1873.  Landsmen Press, 1996.  Call # folio E184.J5 M667 1996.  Names are listed alphabetically and by date. 

Sack, Sallyann Amdur. The Russian Consular Records Index and Catalog.  New York: Garland, 1987.  Call # CS856.J4 S23 1987 (2nd floor open shelf).  Indexes immigration, passport, visa, and related consular records of Russian citizens, primarily between 1917-1926.

Filby, P. William with Mary K. Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index,  plus supplement volumes (Call # CS68.P636, 2nd floor open shelf).  Indexes published passenger lists (from journals, books, articles) and other immigration-related records only.  Note the code number in bold after the passenger's name.  This code refers to the published item cited in the front of the volumes, many of which are available at the Newberry.

Moser, Geraldine. Hamburg Passengers from the Kingdom of Poland and the Russian Empire: Indirect Passage to New York, 1855-June 1873.  Landsmen Press, 1996.  Call # folio E184.J5 M667 1996.  Names are listed alphabetically and by date.

Morton Allan Directory of European Steamship Arrivals for the Years 1890-1930 at the Port of New York and for the Years 1904-1926 at the Ports of New York, Philadelphia, Boston and Baltimore
.  New York: Immigration Information Bureau, 1931.  Call # HE945.A2 M678 1931 (2nd floor open shelf).  Ships are listed by year, ship line, and date of arrival.



Access to Records and Fees:

Free and open to the public.

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Proquest (Illinois Newsstand)

An online information service.

Description of Resources:

Contains articles/death notices from

    Chicago Tribune: 1985-present
   
Chicago Sun-Times: 1985-present
    Daily Herald: 1997-present
    Additional Illinois newspapers

Access to records and fees:

Available at: Skokie Public Library
                   Most libraries
 

 

                  

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Guide to Jewish Genealogy in Chicagoland 
Copyright 2004-2014 by Mike Karsen

Last update:11 April 2014