17 June 2009

Chicago: accessing online records


"RESEARCHING YOUR ANCESTORS in Chicago and Cook County can be a bit
arduous. You can wait months to find out if a vital record exists and to obtain a copy of it. Finally, a website has been created that will change all that,
www.cookcountygenealogy.com ." Source: Chicago Records Go Online by Diane L. Richards. Internet Genealogy Magazine, Dec/Dan 2009, page 40.

Ultimately, this site will contain:

  • Birth records 75 years or older (before today's date in 1934)
  • Marriage records 50 years or older (before today's date in 1959)
  • Death records 20 years or older (before today's date in 1989).

Ol' Myrt has an ancestor -- her INFAMOUS & ELUSIVE Dolly (Yockey) Weiser, who supposedly died in Cook County, Illinois. At this time, Dolly's death certificate isn't in the collection. I did however, search just for the surname Weiser, and found Frederick Weiser's 11 Aug 1919 death certificate.

One thing Ol' Myrt noticed about this website
-- if you forget your password, you must register under a different email account. This site has no provision for sending you an email reminder of your existing password. That isn't a big deal, since most of us have more than one email address. However, since this is a fairly easy fix for the web designers, reminders of passwords should be added as an alternative for old folks like me who forget things sometimes.

So to view a copy of his death certificate, the website explains I must pay $15 for the image. The site explains: "Upon completion of payment, you will be able to download the original image of your record(s). The download will be a .zip file and will be available immediately. Please do not leave the site without downloading your records. You'll find more information about downloading here. You may return to the site within 30 days and download your records via My Account screen. Please review Software Requirements and Downloading Help before you checkout. A credit card fee of $1.75 will be charged for your total order."

Myrt's recommendation?
Line up a list of birth, marriage and death records before completing one order, to avoid paying $1.75 credit card processing fees for individual record requests.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)

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