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Cook County, Illinois
Genealogy, History & Facts

Cook County, Illinois Facts

Cook County

When was Cook County, IL Created?
Cook County was established on January 15, 1831 from Putnam County. This county was named for Daniel Pope Cook (1794–1827), politician and first Attorney General of Illinois .

What is the County Seat of Cook County, IL?
The County Seat is located in Chicago also, the county government website is .

What counties are adjacent to Cook County, IL?
Bordering Counties are   Lake County (north), Berrien County, Michigan (east), Porter County, Indiana (southeast), Lake County, Indiana (southeast), Will County (south), DuPage County (west), Kane County (west), McHenry County (northwest)

What cities and towns are in Cook County, IL?
Cities and towns located in the County include  Berwyn, Blue Island, Burbank, Bridgeview, Calumet City, Chicago, Chicago Heights, Country Club Hills, Countryside, Des Plaines, Elgin, Evanston, Harvey, Hickory Hills, Hometown, Markham, Northlake, Oak Forest, Oak Lawn, Palos Heights, Palos Hills, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Cicero.

What Townships are in Cook County, IL?
Townships located in the County include Leyden, Lemont, Hanover, Evanston, Elk Grove, Bremen, Berwyn, Bloom, Barrington, Cicero, Calumet, Proviso, Oak Park, Northfield, Norwood Park, Orland, Palos, Palatine, Lyons, Maine, New Trier, Niles, Stickney, Schaumburg, Riverside, Rich, River Forest, Thornton, Wheeling, Worth.

Cook County, IL Vital Records

Where can find Cook County Birth, marriage, Divorce and Death Records?
Cook County vital records can be found at the Illinois Department of Public Health has copies of birth, marriage, divorce and death records. There is a fee for each copy requested. Please refer to the information to the Statewide Vital Records in Illinois for current fees and application process.

You can search online for Cook County Birth, Marriage, Divorce or Death Records. You can also Order Electronically Online or can download an application for Illinois Birth CertificateMarriage CertificateDivorce CertificateDeath Certificate Applications to mail.

Cook County, IL Census Records

What Cook County, IL census records are available?
There are many types of census records for Cook County guide you in researching your family tree. Federal Population Schedules are available for 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragment), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940.

Cook Co. Mortality Schedules can be found for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Cook Co. Industry and Agriculture can be obtained for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Cook Co. Union Veterans Schedules is available for 1890. One can find free online and printable census forms to help you with your research. See Also Illinois Census Records Research Guide

Cook County, IL Courthouse and Government Records

Cook County Courthouse

What genealogical records can I find in the Cook County Courthouse?
The below facts shows exactly what death, marriage, birth, property, wills, and court records are typically in Cook County. The years listed below are the first noted records with this county. See Also Illinois Corthouse Records Research Guide.

  • Cook County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
    • Address: County Building, 118 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60602
  • Cook County Clerk maintains records and issues certificates of vital statistics (birth certificates, death certificates, and marriage certificates) for the entire County.
    • Phone: 312-603-5656
    • Marriage Records: 1856
    • Birth & Death Records: 1871
  • Cook County Recorder of Deeds serves the people of County by receiving, filing and maintaining all records related to real property in our county. These documents range from all types of conveyance deeds, mortgages, releases and assignments, property liens, as well as, assorted federal, state and local liens. The Recorder’s office is responsible for the recordation and storage of plats of subdivision, land surveys and monument records. Many other types of miscellaneous documents are recorded, such as; foreign birth certificates, foreign marriage licenses, and military discharge paperwork to name a few. The Cook County Recorder’s Office has land records from 1871 onward. Prior to 1871, the Chicago Title Insurance Company has pre-fire tract and copy books as abstracted from the original documents filed in the Cook County Recorder’s Office and from the issuance of the first government land patents. The Illinois State Archives has the original documents related to the government land patents. Federal land sale began from the various land offices in Illinois in 1814…”
    • Phone: 312-603-5050
    • Land Records:1871 see above
  • Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court, commonly known as the Circuit Clerk, is the keeper of the files and records of the Circuit Court. The Circuit Clerk's Office retains documents some of which include criminal law, chancery, support, probate, adoption, ect.... A will index survives that begins in the year 1850. The Illinois Historical Records Survey lists a record series titled “Documented Record of Wills,” which begins in 1851 and a series titled “Abstract of Probate Proceedings” beginning in 1861. All other probate records begin in 1871.
    • Address: Archives Department, Rm. 1113, Richard J. Daley Center, Chicago, IL 60602
    • Phone: 312-603-6601 or 312-603-6628
    • Probate Records: 1871 see above
    • Court Records: 1871
  • Cook County Treasurer's Office is responsible for the statutory duties required as County Treasurer and as Ex-Officio County Collector of Real Estate Property Taxes and Drainage District Taxes for the entire county.
  • Chicago Voter Registration, 1892
  • Chicago Voter Registration, 1888  
  • Chicago Voter Registration, 1890  
  • Northeast Illinois genealogical source materials  
  • The county archives of the state of Illinois
  • Local Government Records Database - provides a listing of the local governmental records held by the Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD) system
  • BLM Land Records

Cook County, IL Societies and Family History Resources

What genealogical and historical societies, archives, museums, associations and libraries are available for Cook County, IL?
A list of Cook County Historical  and Genealogical Societies, Libraries, Archives. See also list of Statewide Illinois Archives, Historical & Genealogical Societies.

Where can I connect with other Cook County, IL Researchers through message boards and forums?

What other genealogical resources are available in Cook County, IL?
The following are web links to Genealogy, Records and Resources pertaining to Cook County. These genealogy links fall into 3 categories: Commercial Sites, Private Sites or Organization Sites. Some have free access some require a cost. This is simply a collection that has been gathered or submitted. I do not recommend or promote one genealogy site over another.

Cook Co. IL Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Cook Co. IL Books, Newspapers & Publications

Cook Co. IL Cemeteries & Church Records

Cook Co. IL Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Cook Co. IL General and History Websites

Cook Co. IL Military Records

Cook Co. IL Schools & Directories

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