Illinois Genealogy Trails


Cook County
History and Genealogy

part of the Genealogy Trails Group

Illinois Genealogy Trails is an ALL-VOLUNTEER organization whose goal is to put genealogical and historical information online for the free use of all researchers.
We transcribe genealogical and historical data so that you can track your ancestors through time, no matter where their trails led them.

This Cook County website needs a dedicated host!

We're looking for folks who share our goals of putting free data online and who are interested in helping this website be as successful as it can be. If you are interested in joining Genealogy Trails, view our
Volunteer Page for further information
(Enough knowledge to make a basic webpage and a desire to transcribe data is required)

Until a permanent host volunteers, you can send your family's information to this website, via email, to US

We're looking to add the "raw data" folks can use to build their family trees (rather than the actual trees themselves). This includes the transcribed data from the vital records, biographies from the county histories as well as the county history information itself, transcriptions of obituaries, burials data from cemetery trompings and/or readings, the data from military pensions and other service records; enumerations from census years, any newspaper gleanings for the family members including birth announcements, marriage announcements, death notices/obits and anything in between.

To help us get the data online quickly, it's very helpful to send the data transcribed (rather than sending in a graphic).



**We regret that we do not have the time to conduct personal research for you of ANY kind.**
We don't have time to find obituaries, death/birth/marriage/census/school yearbook or cemetery records for you and still find time to transcribe data to put on this website. Thank you for understanding!

Chicago was incorporated as a town in 1833

, situated in the northeastern section of the State, bordering on Lake Michigan, and being the most easterly of the second tier of counties south of the Wisconsin State line. It has an area of 890 square miles; population (1890), 1,191,922; (1900), 1,838,735; county-seat, Chicago. The county was organized in 1831, having originally embraced the counties of Du Page, Will, Lake, McHenry and Iroquois, in addition to its present territorial limits. It was named in honor of Daniel Pope Cook, a distinguished Representative of Illinois in Congress." (Historical Encylopedia of Illinois, 1901)

City of Chicago History

"Little is known about the Chicago area from 1700 until about 1779 when the pioneer settler of Chicago, Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, from Sainte-Domingue (Haiti), built the first permanent settlement at the mouth of the river just east of the present Michigan Avenue Bridge on the north bank....Du Sable, who appears to have been a man of good taste and refinement, was a husbandman, a carpenter, a cooper, a miller, and probably a distiller. In Du Sable's home, which he shared with his Indian wife, the first marriage in Chicago was performed, the first election was held, and the first court handed down justice. The religion of the first Chicagoan was Catholic and every contemporary report about Du Sable describes him as a man of substance who started the story of Chicago as well as the story of the African American in Chicago." [Source: A.T. Andreas "History of Chicago from the Earliest Period to the Present Time" Chicago, 1884]

DuSable and his wife had two children, a boy named after his father, and a girl named Suzanna, whose birth is considered the first recorded birth in the Chicago area. Today a plaque marks the site in Chicago where his home stood, a high school in the city was named in his honor, and a memorial society exists to revere his memory. DuSable died at St. Charles, Missouri.

The first white settler in Chicago was purported to be Quebec-born
John Kinzie, an Indian trader. He established Kinzie's Trading Post in 1804, close to the Chicago River or Lake Michigan.
[Read about the
American Fur Company and Chicago]

Cook County Data


Church Histories & Records

Cities and Towns

City Directories

County History

County Records

Family Bibles



Native Americans

Newspaper Gleanings


School Records

Vital Records
(Births - Marriages - Deaths)

Wills/Probate Records



Cook Co. Libraries

Family History Centers in Northern Illinois

Where to Write for Records

IRAD Information
Available Records for Cook County



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Submit an obituary to be included on this site

Most Recent Website Updates

Mar 2015:
Naturalization Records

Feb 2015:
Naturalization Records
Poll Lists (voters) in the 1833, 1834 and 1835 elections.  
1833 Chicago Tax List
Death Cert. info for HOFFMAN

Jan 2015:

Nov 2014:
Obits for SCOTT, DEANE, HAZARD, HUSTED, HEIMBACH, SHAY, SHEHAN, STENGER, MELOY, VANPATTEN, MUELEEN;  1846 Fire News Story;  1846 Stage accident news story;  Class of 1865-66 at Eastman busines college; Marriage announcements of

Previous Updates

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Illinois Genealogy Trails Websites
Genealogy Trails 1st Anniversary providing free data

Neighboring Counties:

[McHenry County] -- [Kane County]

Will County]

Dupage County] -- [Lake County]

Visit the Main Illinois Genealogy Trails Website

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This website was updated in January 2015


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Copyright © Kim Torp and Genealogy Trails 1998-2015
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This website and its contents in the format presented, except where otherwise noted on the page, are copyrighted by Kimberly Torp and may not be copied, altered, converted nor uploaded to any electronic system or BBS, nor linked from any "pay-for-view" site, linked in such a manner as to appear to be part of another site including "frame" capturing, nor included in any software collection or print collection of any type without the express written permission of the author of this site.

Information is furnished for the free use of researchers who are interested for the purpose of researching their family histories and genealogies. However, copying & pasting the information presented here onto another website is prohibited! This website is considered to be a compilation of facts, and is therefore covered under current copyright laws.