Illinois Vital RecordsEdit This Page

From FamilySearch Wiki

Revision as of 21:42, 24 July 2011 by Tmacentee (Talk | contribs)
United States  Gotoarrow.png  Illinois  Gotoarrow.png  Vital Records
Adopt-a-wiki page
ISGSlogo.jpg This page adopted by:
Illinois State Genealogical Society
who welcome you to contribute.
Adopt a page today

Introduction to Vital Records 

Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents. United States Vital Records has additional research guidance on researching and using vital records. A copy or an extract of most original records can be purchased from the Illinois Vital Records State Department of Health or the County Clerk's office of the county where the event occurred.

Contents

 
Vital Records Collage.JPG
  

Vital Records Reference Dates

Illinois' vital records start the following years:


Births Marriages Deaths
Earliest 1877* County Formation 1877*
Statewide Registration 1916 1962 1916
General Compliance 1922 1877 1919

* A few Illinois counties kept birth and death records before this date.

Illinois Birth, Marriage and Death Records Online

The following is a list of online resources useful for locating Illinois Vital Records which consist of birthsmarriages, divorces, and deaths. Most online resources for Illinois Vital Records are indexes. After locating a person in an index always consult the original record to confirm the information in the index.

Marriages:

Deaths:

Order a copy of the certificate:

Illinois State Archives Global Search (free):

  • The Global Database Search created by the Illinois State Archives examines all index databases on the their website and can be searched by name. A list of all databases containing the name you enter will be returned. You must click on a database from the list which is returned and enter the name again to search for the record in that database. The search field is at the bottom of the webpage.

Chicago and Cook County:
For Chicago and Cook County online vital record databases, see Cook County, Illinois Vital Records

Birth Records

Because of legislation passed in 1843, a parent could report a birth to the county. However, very few births were recorded and only a few scattered counties have incomplete records. In 1877, the State Board of Health required all births be reported to the county clerk, although many were not reported because compliance was not enforced.[1] In Illinois, the statewide registration of vital statistics began in 1916 and was generally complied with by 1922.

After 1916, birth records usually give the name and sex of the child; the names, birthplaces, and ages of the parents (with the mother’s maiden name); the occupation of the father; and the number of children born to the mother. Birth records of adopted children may give the birth parents but have frequently been amended to show only the adoptive parents.

There is a 75 year restriction on obtaining birth records for those not entitled to obtaining a birth certificate. For births after 1916, a copy of the birth certificate can be obtained if the individual is deceased. You must request a special form from Illinois Department of Public Health.[2]

Copies of birth certificates for genealogical purposes can be obtained from the county clerk in the county where the birth occurred or the Illinois Department of Public Health, Division of Vital Records online, by mail, by fax, and in person,

Birth Records on Microfilm:
Some statewide birth records for Illinois have been collected and put on microfilm. You can locate some at the following locations:

  • Illinois Regional Archives Depository System (IRAD): IRAD is run by the Illinois State Archives to archive records from local governments in Illinois. There are seven depositories covering the state of Illinois. You must know the county the birth took place. Click here to see what records are available for the county you are searching. Click here for a map to determine what depository to contact.

Delayed Birth Records

Delayed registrations of births can be located in the county where the birth occurred or the county of residence in the state when the individual applied for the delayed birth record.

Some delayed birth records are located at Illinois Regional Archives Depository System (IRAD) depositories. IRAD is run by the Illinois State Archives to archive records from local governments in Illinois. There are seven depositories covering the state of Illinois. Click here to see what records are available for the county you are searching. Click here for a map to determine what depository to contact.

The Family History Library has microfilms of delayed birth registrations dating from 1941 for some counties which can be loaned to your local Family History Center. Use the Family History Library Catalog to locate the correct microfilm. 
How to locate a microfilm number in the Family History Library Catalog. 
How to locate a Family History Center.

Marriage Records

Several types of marriage records were kept, such as marriage registers, marriage returns, and marriage applications. Sometimes only one type of marriage record was preserved or filmed.

The marriage registers before 1877 provide the date of marriage, names of the bride and groom, and the person who performed the marriage. Starting in 1877, pre-printed marriage register books in Illinois provided columns for ages, residences, birth places, and sometimes the names of the parents or guardians of the bride and groom.

Marriage returns were reported by the minister or Justice of the Peace who performed the marriage. County histories can be checked to learn which religion and congregation a minister served. Ministers’ returns may reveal that the marriage took place in a private residence, often the home of a parent or relative.

The county clerk usually kept marriage records from the time the county was organized. A few records date from the 1790s, but couples were not required to obtain a marriage license until 1877. 

The counties continue to record marriages to the present day and only county clerks can issue certified copies of the marriage certificate. A statewide register of marriages was started on 1 January 1962 as county clerks forwarded marriage information to the Illinois Department of Health. If you do not know the county where a couple married after 1962, the Division of Vital Records can search their statewide register and provide the marriage date and county.

Illinois, Cook County Marriage Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

Gretna Greens:

When an Illinois eloping couple's marriage is not in their home county, search for it in alternate places like Crown Point, IN, or South Bend, IN, or Evansville, IN, or Lee County, Iowa.[3]

Marriage Records on Microfilm

Marriage Indexes

Online Databases

Death Records

Because of legislation passed in 1843, members of a family could report a death to the county. However, very few deaths were recorded and only a few scattered counties have incomplete records. A new law was passed in 1877 had the State Board of Health require all deaths be reported to the county clerk, although many were not reported because compliance was not enforced.[4]  In 1916, death records were mandated by the state with copies sent to the state capital. Compliance to this law reached 95% by 1919.[5]

After 1916, death records usually give information about the deceased, such as name, age, birth date, state or country of birth (sometimes the city or town), names of the parents (frequently including the maiden name of the mother), and the informant (who may be a close relative). The date and place of death are given. Sometimes burial information, the cause of death, and the names of the physician and mortician are provided. The length of residence in the state or county may also be given.

Illinois, Cook County Death Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths (FamilySearch Historical Records)

1877 - 1916

Copies of death records from 1877 to 1916 can be obtained from the following locations:

  • Illinois State Archives Reference Room (ISA). The following is required: decedent's name, date of death, name of county (and if provided, township of death), and death certificate number. They have death records for deaths that occurred more than 50 years ago. Earlier deaths are not available at the ISA.
  • County Clerk. Contact the county clerk in the county the death occurred. Addresses of Illinois county clerks. Try the county clerk first - they are often more affordable and faster than the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Death Records on Microfilm: Microfilm copies of many counties of Illinois can be found at the following locations:

1916 - Present

Copies of death records from 1916 to the present can be obtained from:

  • Illinois State Archives Reference Room (ISA).  In person. The following is required: decedent's name, date of death, name of county (and if provided, Township of death), and death certificate number, They have death records for deaths that occurred more than 50 years ago.  Earlier deaths are not available at the ISA.
  • County Clerk.  Contact the county clerk in the county the death occurred.  Addresses of Illinois county clerks. Try the county clerk first - they are often more affordable and faster than the Illinois Department of Public Health.
  • Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH)Orders can be made online, by mail, by fax, or in person. Requirements for ordering from the IDPH include: decedent's full name, date of death, city and county where death occurred (if known), your relationship to the decedent, reasons for requesting record and a legible/readable copy of your valid photo identification card. You can obtain an uncertified, genealogical copy which is cheaper than a certified copy.

Death Records on Microfilm:

The Family History Library has the following microfilms of Illinois death records from 1916 to 1947, which can be loaned to your local Family History CenterHow to locate a Family History Center.

  • Death Certificates for the State of Illinois, 1916-1945, Excluding Chicago with the Exception of Stillbirths; Index, 1916-1938 FHL Films
  • Illinois Death Certificates and Stillbirths, Including Chicago, 1946-1947 FHL Films

Death Indexes

Online databases:

Indexes on Microfilm: The Family History Library has a microfilm index of Illinois death records from 1916 to 1938, which can be loaned to your local Family History Center. How to locate a Family History Center.

  • Death Certificates for the State of Illinois, 1916-1945, Excluding Chicago with the Exception of Stillbirths; Index, 1916-1938 FHL Films:

Divorce Records

In the early 1800s, the legislature, the circuit courts, and city courts granted divorces. Illinois divorce records may indicate the date and place the marriage was dissolved. Circuit or city courts have handled most divorce proceedings. The Superior Court of Cook County in Chicago also has jurisdiction over divorces.

The Illinois Department of Public Health, Division of Vital Records has a register of divorces statewide and can verify the date and county of a divorce or annulment recorded after 1 January 1962. Requests can be made by mail, fax, or in person.

The actual records before and after 1962 are available in the county where the divorce occurred, and certified copies may be obtained from the Clerk of the Circuit Court for that county.

Illinois Regional Archives Depository System (IRAD) has divorce records for many counties. IRAD is run by the Illinois State Archives to archive records from local governments in Illinois. There are seven depositories covering the state of Illinois. You must know the county the divorce took place. Click here for a map to determine what depository to contact. Click here to see what records are available for the county you are searching.

The Family History Library has microfilm copies of divorce records for some counties. They can be loaned to your local Family History Center. You must know the county where the divorce took place. Use the Family History Library Catalog to locate the correct microfilm searching the county in the topics of court records, divorce records and/or vital records. 
How to locate a microfilm number in the Family History Library Catalog. 
How to locate a Family History Center.

Adoption Records

The Illinois Department of Public Health has a program called, the Illinois Adoption Registry and Medical Information Exchange (IARMIE) program. As taken from the IDPH website:

This program provides a means by which registrants may authorize or prohibit the release of identifying information, including a copy of the adopted person's original birth certificate, to others involved in their surrender or adoption. Confidential facts may be released to registrants only after at least two specified parties to the adoption have filed explicit mutual consent for the exchange of this information.
Vital medical information may be exchanged anonymously by an adopted or surrendered person (a person given up for adoption, but not adopted) or family members if the adopted person is deceased or birth parents and members if the birth parent is deceased through the new Medical Information Exchange. The availability of medical information is dependent on parties to an adoption voluntarily filing and agreeing to exchange these facts.

Visit the IARMIE website.

Additional Helps

Tips

  • Information listed on vital records is given by an informant. Learn the relationship of the informant to the subject(s) of the record. The closer the relationship of the informant to the subject(s) and whether or not the informant was present at the time of the event can help determine the accuracy of the information found on the record.
  • If you are unable to locate vital records recorded by governments, search for church records of christening, marriage, death or burial. A family Bible may have been used to record births, marriages and deaths. Other substitute records.
  • Privacy laws may restrict your access to some vital records. Copies of some vital records recorded in the last 100 years may be unavailable to anyone except a direct relative.

Fire.png
Burned, Lost, or Missing Records

For a list of record loss in Illinois counties see the following:

Substitute Records

These links will take you to wiki pages describing alternate sources for birth, marriage and death records.

  • Church Records: Depending on the denomination, church records may contain information about birth, marriage and death.
  • Cemetery Records: Cemetery records are a rich source of birth and death information. These records may also reveal family relationships.
  • Census Records: Census records are a valuable source for birth and marriage information. You may also determine approximate time of death when the individual disappear from the census. This is a good place to begin a search.
  • Newspapers: Besides obituaries, local newspapers may contain birth and marriage announcements and death notices. Also check newspaper social columns for additional information. 
  • Periodicals: Local genealogical and historical societies often publish periodicals which may contain abstracted early birth, marriage and death information.
  • Military Records:  Military pension records can give birth, marriage and death information,  In addtion, soldiers' homes records can included this same information.
  • Probate Records: If no death record exists, probate records may be helpful in estimating when an individual has died. Probate records in the 20th Century often contain the exact death date.
  • History:  Local histories, family histories and biographies can all be sources of birth, marriage and death information. Often this information is found in county-level records or in surname searches of the Family History Library catalog.

More Online Illinois Vital Records Links

FamilySearch Historical Record Collections

Online collections containing these records ares located in FamilySearch.org.

Wiki articles describing these collections is found at:

Illinois County Marriage Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

Illinois, Cook County Marriage Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

Illinois Death and Still Births (FamilySearch Historical Records)

References

  1. http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/archives/death.html
  2. http://www.idph.state.il.us/vitalrecords/genealogicalinfo.htm
  3. Arlene H. Eakle, "Have you searched and searched for a marriage without finding it?" in Genealogy Blog at http://www.arleneeakle.com/wordpress/2007/02/19/have-you-searched-and-searched-for-the-marriage-without-finding-it/ accessed 8 January 2011).
  4. [href="http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/archives/death.html" http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/archives/death.html]
  5. Schweitzer, George K, Illinois Genealogical Research (Knoxville, TN: George K. Schweitzer, 1997)

You can learn more about state and county vital records as well as the laws of Illinois affecting them in:

  • Guide to Public Vital Statistics Records in Illinois by the Illinois Historical Records Survey FHL Collection To search for a copy near you, use WorldCat.
  • Illinois Genealogical Research by George K. Schweitzer FHL Collection To search for a copy near you, use WorldCat.




 

Need additional research help? Contact our research help specialists.

Need wiki, indexing, or website help? Contact our product teams.


Did you find this article helpful?

You're invited to explain your rating on the discussion page (you must be signed in).