Sunday, October 19, 2008

Cook County Vital Records—Another Update

Yesterday, at the Illinois State Genealogical Society’s 40th Anniversary Conference, a representative of the Cook County Clerk’s office provided an update on the status of their vital records digitization project.

The Clerk’s website currently provides access to 8 million records. Additional records are being added to the website regularly. These include: 1) records which become newly available under Illinois state law (births-after 75 years; marriages-after 50 years; deaths-after 20 years) and 2) older records which have been newly indexed and digitized. When I asked the representative for a rough estimate of when the digitization of the older records would be complete, she estimated it would be finished in 1-2 years.

The representative indicated that anyone who has a problem with a record that they download should contact the Clerk’s office by email. The office has retained the records in book and microfilm form, so if a download is unreadable, or does not match the index, they are able to help you get the record that you need.

The Cook County Clerk’s website can be found at:

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