Illinois, Cook County Marriage Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|Access the Records|
Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871-1920 .
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|Cook, Illinois, United States|
|Flag of Illinois|
|Location of Cook County, Illinois|
|Location of Illinois|
|Record Type||Marriage Index|
- 1 What is in the Collection?
- 2 Collection Content
- 3 What Can this Collection Tell Me?
- 4 How Do I Search the Collection?
- 5 What Do I Do Next?
- 6 General Information About These Records
- 7 Known Issues with This Collection
- 8 Citing this Collection
- 9 How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
What is in the Collection?
This collection consists of a name index to marriages for Chicago and Cook County, Illinois. It covers the years 1871 to 1920.
For copies of the certificate for this time period please contact Cook County.
To see a coverage map of FamilySearch's holdings of Illinois marriages, click here.
Due to the provisions and guidelines of a revised contract with Cook County, FamilySearch has removed all images for Illinois, Cook County vital records from its historical records collections online; free indexes to the collections will remain. The images are available at Cook County Genealogy, a third party affiliate, for a fee. The images can be downloaded from the site.
Microfilm and microfiche from the Family History Library are available via Online Film Ordering in most parts of the world. The film number is included in the source information found on the index of the record. https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Ordering_Microfilm_or_Microfiche
What Can this Collection Tell Me?
The following information is found in most Illinois marriage records:
- Names of bride and groom
- Ages of bride and groom
- Town of residence of bride and groom
- Date license was issued
- Date marriage was solemnized
- Name of person officiating at marriage
After 1916, the following information was added:
- Birth date of bride and groom
- Full names of parents
How Do I Search the Collection?
To begin your search, it will be helpful to know:
- The name of your ancestor.
- The approximate date of marriage.
- The place where the marriage occurred.
- The name of the intended spouse.
Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page:
Fill in the requested information in the boxes on the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the individuals in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.
Keep in mind:
- There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
- You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
- Your ancestor may have used different names, or variations of their name, throughout their life.
- If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
- Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.
For tips about searching on-line collections see the wiki article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.
|More images are available in the FamilySearch Catalog at Illinois, Cook County marriages, 1871-1920. Some catalog records link to multiple references. In this case, click on a reference to find a camera icon to see images.|
What Do I Do Next?
When you have located your ancestor’s marriage record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family.
I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?
- Use the marriage date and place as the basis for compiling a new family group or for verifying existing information.
- Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth of each partner to find a couple's birth records and parents' names.
- Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
- Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and land records.
- Not finding your ancestor listed in this database doesn't necessarily mean the ancestor didn't marry in Cook County.
- Use the parent’s birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
- The name of the officiator may be a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county.
- Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have been born, married, or died in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
- Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.
- The information in the records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
- Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after 1900.
- There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another record.
I Can't Find Who I'm Looking for, What Now?
- Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
- Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
- If you know their religion, search for the marriage in church records.
- Look for town records of marriages.
- Search family records such as a family bible.
General Information About These Records
Early records were kept in register books beginning in 1877. By the early 1900s, most events were recorded on pre-printed forms.
Marriage returns were submitted to the county clerk by the minister or justice of the peace who performed the marriage. Most of these records prior to 1871 were destroyed by the Great Chicago Fire. Only a few marriage records exist prior to that date. Couples were not required to obtain a marriage license until 1877. A statewide register of marriages was started in 1962 as county clerks forwarded marriage information to the Illinois Department of Health. A few marriage records have markers shaped like spades that indicates records with document numbering problems. When searching the collection displays a image with such markings, a second search might yield an unmarked marriage record with a new number without spades.
Known Issues with This Collection
For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.
Citing this Collection
Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.
- "Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871-1920." Database. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing Cook County Clerk. Cook County Courthouse, Chicago.
Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):
How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
| We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records. |
Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.