Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois

“Making the Most of the County Clerk’s Genealogy Resources" by Angela Wright Madison

  • 19 Mar 2017
  • 12:30 PM
  • Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Rd, Northbrook

Program: Sunday, March 19, 2017
Program starts 2:00 p.m. at Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook.

Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois to host Cook County vital records program

Angela Wright Madison, manager of the Bureau of Vital Records in the Office of Cook County Clerk David Orr, will describe the bureau’s family history research tools at the Sunday, March 19, 2017, meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois. The presentation, called “Making the Most of the County Clerk’s Genealogy Resources,” will begin at 2 p.m. at Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook, Ill. This event is free and open to the public.

The JGSI meeting facilities at Temple Beth-El will open at 12:30 p.m. to accommodate those who want to use or borrow genealogy library materials, get help with genealogy websites or ask genealogical questions before the main program begins at 2 p.m. For more information phone 312-666-0100.

The presentation will cover genealogy records, who can have access to them, and where and how to obtain them. This session will touch upon some of the unique and interesting vital records found in the collections of the Cook County Clerk’s Office, which is based in the Richard J. Daley Center in Chicago.

Angela Wright Madison has been with the Cook County Vital Records Bureau since September 2014. She is responsible for the genealogy, mail tracking, document processing and correspondence/Vital Chek departments. Prior to working with the Cook County government, she worked for IBM, Jones Lang LaSalle, ParTech, Baxter International and Deloitte Touche. Her background is in public accounting, internal auditing, international accounting, and corporate finance and systems. She graduated cum laude from Howard University in 1988 with a bachelor's degree in business administration-accounting.

The genealogy unit of the Cook County Clerk’s Bureau of Vital Records provides non-certified versions of birth, death and marriage records for the purpose of genealogical research. Records found on their Genealogy Online website are for Chicago and Cook County dating back to 1872.

This historical record database has more than 8 million genealogy records, 6 million of which are searchable. The Genealogy Unit continues to add more records as the database is updated. Records are added to the database frequently. If a record does not appear, check back again later, the office staff suggests.

The State of Illinois did not require records to be filed with the County Clerk until Jan. 1, 1916. It is possible that a birth or death occurred and no records were officially filed with the County Clerk’s Office. However, if a record was filed prior to 1916, it would have been filed in the county where the event occurred.

The Chicago Fire of Oct. 8, 1871 destroyed all Cook County vital records prior to that date. After some rebuilding, record keeping resumed in 1872.

Under Illinois law, genealogical vital records are defined as:

  • ·      Birth certificates that are 75 years or older (before today’s date in 1941)
  • ·      Marriage certificates that are 50 years or older (before today’s date in 1966)
  • ·      Death certificates that are 20 years or older (before today’s date in 1996)

Prior to the presentation, the JGSI “help desk” will operated from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m., as it does at each regular monthly meeting. Member volunteers at the help desk will access online databases and answer genealogical questions one-on-one for members and visitors as time allows.

The JGSI library has more than 800 volumes of interest to Jewish family historians. Many are available for borrowing by JGSI members for a limited time. All are available for perusing from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. at each regular monthly meeting.

© 2019 JGSI   P.O. Box 515, Northbrook, IL 60065-0515 • 312.666.0100 •
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