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 this site are for Chicago and Cook County dating back to 1872.
To improve our customer satisfaction, the Cook County Clerk’s Office is offering a new version of the Genealogy Online website. In this version, customers should submit any request for genealogical records along with the necessary payment. Upon receipt of a request, the Clerk’s office will look up the genealogical records for the customers and send the genealogical documents via email or mail. Genealogy requests may take up to 8 weeks to process.
The requests are accepted online as well as through mail.
It was not mandatory in the State of Illinois for records to be filed with the County Clerk until January 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 were filed prior to 1916, it would have been filed in the county where the event occurred.
Please note, the Chicago Fire of October 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: