30 September 2009

1877 Birth In Chicago

This is an entry from the 1877 Cook County, Illinois, birth register. The baby, was unnamed at the time of birth. A quick look at the other entries on the page indicated that the majority of births were apparently not registered at the time of birth. Always look at a record in context. In this case, that aspect of the record is not unusual.
The only real altering I did to the record was to cut just the bottom part of the image and split it in to two so that it would not be as wide. Obviously the yellow line was not on the original record either. I probably should have made a note that the line was added as a way to see where the record continued. When I copy images like this (which makes them easier to print and have the image be nice and readable and closer to the original size), I rarely copy just the entry.
There are quite a few clues here. What I should have done was to put the heading underneath the various entries so that others would know what the various things meant. Garabaldi is the name of the street where the family was living and where the birth took place. Without knowing what the heading was and given the few entries I copied, one might be tempted to think it meant something else. A few entries on the page in this column had "St" or "Ave" after the name making it a little more clear what the column was for had there been no heading. David Dodge was the doctor.
In an upcoming column of "Casefile Clues" we'll look at this document in more detail as part of a larger problem. This image was obtained on the pilot.familysearch.com site.

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02 October 2008

Cook County Illinois Declarations of Intent

The Cook County Illinois Clerk's Office has placed an index to declarations of intent in Cook County for the years of 1871 to 1929 on their website. This is an index only, but is searchable by first name, last name, and place of birth.

Please read about the collection before searching. Not quite the time period I need, but we all can't be lucky.


24 July 2008

The "blank" Chicago city directory on Footnote.com

The last city directory in the "browse section" of Footnote for the Chicago city directories indicates it is [blank]. It appears to be at least two years of directories combined, perhaps more. I panned through several pages and the print looks different, seeming to indicate at least two directories have been combined in one entry. I did notice the following title pages (or at least what I thought were title pages:

Is anyone familiar enough with the Chicago city directories to know what years are in this "blank" set?

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23 July 2008

A Little More Framework in the Chicago City Directories

I've been doing a little more work on the family of Thomas and Elizabeth Frame in the Chicago City directories on Footnote.com.
Elizabeth is listed as "Mrs. Elizabeth Frame" who boards at 89 Cottage Grove Av. in 1869--see image. Thomas is not listed (and he's not in the 1870 Chicago census either).

Backtracking to 1868, Thomas appears, listed as a painter with a residence of 118 W Randolph.

Thomas nor Elizabeth appears in 1867 and this appears to be consisent with their 1870 census entry in Chicago, which indicates they had a child born in Pennsylvania ca. 1867.
There are no entries for Thomas or Elizabeth in the 1870 or 1871 directories. Thomas does appear as a painter again in 1872 apparently living between Barry and Cushing streets.

I need to follow through this family until their death in the 1910s. Also I need to map out these locations on contemporary maps. Mapquest is out of the question for these addresses that are prior to the renumbering and renaming that took place in the early 1900s.


All the current online city directories at Footnote.com can be searched here. You can browse the Chicago ones by year from 1843-1909. Feel free to post searching suggestions for the city directories here. You can see what other city directories Footnote.com has as well besides Chicago.You can also get a free trial with footnote.com if you do not already have a subscription.

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Chicago City Directories on Footnote.com

I've been working with the Chicago city directories online at Footnote.com. Footnote currently has Chicago directories online from 1843-1909.

All the current online city directories at Footnote.com can be searched here.

Or you can browse by year from 1843-1909. Personally this is the approach I am using as the last name I am looking for is "Frame." I get too much "stuff" that I do not want searching for just this word alone.

This is the screen that is shown in the image. If you choose the desired year, a search box should show up on the bottom of the page where you can search that specific directory. The nice thing about browsing by year is that it allows you to either search just the specific year you have browsed to, or you can view image by image. The screen shown in this posting would allow the user to search all Chicago city directories at once.

The second screen image shows I have clicked on the 1866 directory and after some navigating on the page section (notice I am at set 289 - 300 of 1612). I want page 415, which starts at T. M. Fox [the names might not be overly clear as I shrunk the image just a little bit to fit on this post--it is BIGGER when you actually search them yourself].

Turns out, good old Thomas Frame was not in Chicago in 1866.

However, skipping to 1880 (only to find him for an illustration)---I know I need to go year by year. I did find two Thomas Frames. The image from the directory is shown in this post.

This is really fun. And for those who want to go "page by page," like I do, don't complain about how long it takes. It takes a while to roll through the microfilm too. The only thing is that this works best on a high speed connection.

Feel free to post searching suggestions for the city directories here. You can see what other city directories Footnote.com has as well besides Chicago.

You can get a free trial with footnote.com if you do not already have a subscription.

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07 July 2008

Cook County Vital Records Online

I've been reading other blog entries on this index at the Cook County Illinois County Clerk's Office. So far I have not seen comments about what is in the database.

There is nowhere on the site that I could find where one could see what years were in the database. My search for the last name of Jones in the years 1910 to 1915 resulted in only the handful of hits shown here. This seems a little on the low side to me.

A search of Smith birth from 1915 to 1920 yielded over 1000 entries. A search of Smith from 1910 to 1915 yielded less than 20.

I'm appreciative of having the index online for free, but am frustrated with being unable to find out just what is in the index. Comments to this are welcome.


04 July 2008

Cook County, Illinois, Vital Records

Cook County, Illinois' vital records office has put free online indexes to its vital records. The site is http://www.cookcountygenealogy.com/.

This is a great help to researchers. The website indicates that the database is "being updated" and to check back. It would be nice to know what time spans or years are currently covered in the index. Not knowing precisely what years are being searched is frustrating. It is very helpful to have the index at my fingertips.

Soundex options for searching are available. There is soundex "box" to check as there are on many sites. Instead the researcher should put the soundex code in the search box in place of the last name. To get the soundex code for a surname, visit the Rootsweb site.

Search the index, but before you pay the $15 per certificate fee, visit these two sites for their rates:

Their fees were less than $15 at the time of this writing.


17 August 2007

Chicago Ancestors dot org

Organizing information geographically is an excellent genealogical tool. For those with Chicago area ancestors a new piece of equipment in this toolbox has just been developed.
The Newberry Library is demonstrating a new website at the Federation of Genealogical Societies' conference in Ft. Wayne. I had the pleasure of seeing a quick demonstration of the at the library's booth just a few minutes ago. Rarely am I so excited as I am about this site. Chicagoancestors.org allows users to enter in an address, obtain google maps and see nearby churches and other items of genealogical interest.

The screen picture shows just part of my results for 339 Kensington Avenue, where my wife's great-grandmother was living when she was divorced in 1921. The church where her father married his second wife is shown (Elim Lutheran) as well as the church where she had her children baptized and where she married her second husband (Holy Rosary). The website even indicates if the Family History Library has microfilmed the church's records and the film numbers for those films. Wow.

Part of the screen I obtained when clicking on Holy Rosary is shown in this image.

Chicagoancestors.org gives users the ability of entering a Chicago address and learning about some resources located near that location. The site is still in development, but at this point one can see nearby Catholic and Lutheran churches, some homicides, some yearbooks, and more.

This site is still in development and staffers tell more additions are in the works.

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05 March 2007

Chicago Voters

Voter registration lists are an excellent genealogical resource when they can be located. The image shown here comes from voter's registration lists from the late nineteenth century in Chicago. These have been indexed and are on Ancestry.com. The article contains complete image samples. These records are helpful for tracking movements and also include date/place of naturalization for those voters who were naturalized citizens. Of course in these records from the nineteenth century, women are not included. If you don't know why, a review of American history is in order.

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