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Cook County ILGenWeb Genealogy
Obtaining Birth Records and Information

1871 - 1916
Birth Certificate Information from the "INDEX TO BIRTH RECORDS - COOK CO. ILLINOIS BUREAU OF VITAL STATISTICS - FROM 1871 to 1916"

This index provides: name, birth date, Birth place (either Cook County or Chicago), and identification number (file number?): some Delayed Certificates are listed on this index and identified by "DS" in the ID Number.

This index is available at the Newberry Library in Chicago, or can be ordered (if not already available) at your local Family History Center of the LDS organization.

  1. These records can be ordered from
    Cook County Bureau of Vital Statistics Office
    P.O. Box 642570
    Chicago, IL 60664-2570
    (312) 603-7790

    The Vital Statistics is located downtown at the lower level of the Randolph Street entrance to the County Building. The department is open weekdays from 8:30am to 5:00pm.

    Ways to Order:
    1. For a small service charge ($5.00 per order), you can order as many birth certificates that you need and charge your record request to Visa, MC, Am Ex or Discover by calling Vital Chek at (312) 603-7799. OR
    2. You can mail in your request with a check or money order for $7.00 (for each requested certificate) made payable to the "Cook County Clerk" including a self-addressed stamped envelope. Please include all the pertinent information.

    NOTE: The birth certificates cost $7.00 each, even if not found -- so the more info you provide, the more likely you will get your certificate! The staff is stricter about relationship and date of birth when allowing persons to order birth certificates. It may be easier to obtain certificates if you explain that they are for Genealogy purposes. The certificate then comes marked as such so that it can't be used for illegal purposes. More than likely, if the date of birth was less than 50 years ago, you will not be able to obtain a birth certificate for that individual unless you are the person or his/her parent.

  2. Another possible source for the Birth Index AND Birth Certificates are your local Family History Resource Centers of LDS. One Cook County IL Mail-List member writes:

    "You find the number and date of the certificate you want, then order a film from Salt Lake that has the actual certificate. When the film arrives, LDS calls you, you make a photocopy. The cost is about 1/2 of what Cook County wants."

There are numerous "volunteers" who do will provide you with copies of these Indexes that are listed on the Cook Cnty ILGenWeb USGenWeb - Research Resources Page under the category "Volunteers". Most charge a very small fee for providing the copies.

For the "do-it-yourselfer":
on-site research can be conducted at your local FHC
the following indexes may be available at (or can be ordered and sent to ) your local FHC:

  1. 1871-1915, Chicago Birth Registers, 54 reels, film numbers 1287720 ...1287764, and some films that end with 1315959.
  2. 1878-1894, County birth records, from Cook County Courthouse, Chicago ...films 1287765...1287794.
  3. 1878-1894, Register of births outside of the city, from Cook County Courthouse, Chicago ... films 1315972 - 1315973.
  4. 1896-1933, Chicago, Illinois birth records, from Northwestern memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL ... films 1315895 ...1315997.
  5. 1916-1918, Birth Corrections and delayed births, from Cook County Courthouse, Chicago ... films 1309023 ...1309261.
  6. 1916-1922, County birth records, from Cook County Courthouse, Chicago ...films 1308554 .... 1308642 (NOTE: These are unindexed).

OR if you live in/near Chicago, take a trip to the
Illinois Regional Archives Depositories
Genealogical Research: Local Governmental Records in IRAD
Illinois Regional Archives Depository
Ronald Williams Library
Northeastern Illinois University
5500 N. St. Louis Avenue
Chicago, IL 60625-4699
Telephone: (773) 794-6279

Hours: Monday - Friday, except state holidays
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

It is our understanding that the IRAD research center has SOME marriage, birth, and death records for Cook and City of Chicago (ONLY), but please call ahead to see what their current year ranges are available for each of the record groups!

As always, good luck on your research! And have FUN!

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Last updated: 20 Nov 2007 by the Cook County ILGenWeb County Coordinator
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