Guide to Jewish Genealogy in Chicagoland

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Residence Records

Residence records help us trace where our ancestors lived in Chicagoland. The first fact one should know was that Chicago re-numbered their streets in 1908 which affected many of places where our ancestors lived.  Please read the FAQ about this change.

The following record types will help you trace the journey of your ancestors:

City Directories
Federal Census
Voter Registration Cards
Property Records

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City Directories

Published before telephones were prevalent and before phone books were printed.  They generally contain name, residence address, occupation, and work address (optional).  They were published in Chicago 1839-1870 (irregularly), 1871-1917 (every year), 1923, 1928/1929. 

The 1844 Chicago City Directory can be found online at:

http://yeoldedirectoryshoppe.com/1844chIL.html  or

http://distantcousin.com/Directories/IL/Chicago/1844/

The 1855/6 Chicago City Directory can be found online at:

http://distantcousin.com/Directories/IL/Chicago/1855_6/

1866, 1870
Chicago City Directory (business) via Newberry Library
1880 Chicago City Directoryvia Newberry Library

The 1928/29 Chicago City Directory (by street only) can be found at ChicagoHistoryMuseum.

Others can be found at:

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Federal Census

Chicago first appears in the 1840 census after being incorporated as a city in 1833. Settlers living in what is now Chicago were indexed in the 1830 census as part of Putnam County. They appear in the 1820 census as part of Clark County. Illinois became a state in 1818 and was not included in any prior census.

Since 1850 the census was published every 10 years (except 1890 lost due to a fire). By law a census has to be over 72 years old before it is released. Thus the latest census now available to the public is 1930. The Chicago census can be found at:

National Archives and Record Administration (NARA)
Newberry Library
Chicago Public Library (Harold Washington)
Allen Country Public Library
On-line at various local libraries via Ancestry.com and Heritage Quest

The census records for residents of various Jewish Orphanages can be found at:
Jewish Orphanages in the United States website.

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 Voter Registration Cards

The availability of voter registration records in Chicago is very inconsistent.

The following are available:
1888-1892: alphabetical listing including name, address, where born, date of naturalization.
1921-1996: by precinct and ward, then alphabetically.
1940-1944: alphabetical listing.

The best place to call is Chicago Board of Election Commissioners. Some of the 1888-1892 records are available at:

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Property Records

Details on how to obtain property records will provided at a later time.

The Cook County Assessor has a website with current photos of all properties in Cook County.  Go to their website to view these photos.

        

 

                  

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

Last update:11 April 2014