Cook County Marriage Licenses

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How to Find Chicago Marriage Licenss Before 1871

Because of the Chicago fire, only a few civil marriage records exist before 1871. Sources for these licenses include:

Cook County, Illinois Marriage License Records, 1870-1880 by Leona Hopper Newbill (FHL Film 0848650 Item 2)

Some Cook County Marriages Prior to Fire abstracted by Joan L. Alguire (FHL Fiche 6050058)

Alternate sources of information include:

  • Newspaper Notices

Historical Newspapers, Birth, Marriage, & Death Announcements, 1851-2003 (Ancestry.com; subscription website)
Sam Fink's Index to Marriages Mentioned in Chicago Newspapers, 1833-1871 (FHL Film 1321939; Entries from Sam Fink's marriage index are included in the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index). The index includes the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Evening Journal, Chicago Democrat, Chicago Evening Post, Chicago Record-Herald, Chicago Daily News, Chicago Examiner, and the Inter-Ocean.

  • Church Marriage Records

Catholic: Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic parish records have been filmed to 1915. Check the Family History Library Catalog to see what's available. Do a place search for "Chicago" and then select "Church Records."

Other Denominations: See Newberry Library's Guide to Chicago Church and Synagogue Records.