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Cook County ILGenWeb Genealogy
Obtaining Cook Co. IL Marriage Records and Information

There are numerous ways for obtaining Marriage Certificates for Chicago/Cook Co., Illinois.

The Illinois State Genealogical Society has microfilmed the marriage index from the late 1800's thru early 1900's.

This index can be found at your local FHC, or if you live in Cook County, the index, and records can be found at the Cook County IRAD location or can be ordered by one of our volunteers. Marriage applications did not exist this early, and were not required, so they usually cannot be found.

Once you have the index information, you can order the record either thru the Cook County IRAD location (if 1800-1900 time frames) or from the Cook County Bureau of Vital Statistics Office.

Another source for Marriage applications and certificates (1900s and on) is the Cook County Bureau of Vital Statistics Office.

For a small service charge ($5.00 per order), you can order as many 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

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.

PLEASE NOTE: it is important to remember, that as with all genealogy information we use, the indexes are not always 100% accurate. You may have a family member that you are researching, and are 200% certain they married in Cook County, but are not listed on the indexes, and you may be right. If this is the case, you might try calling the folks at the Cook County Vital Records office and perhaps they can direct you to someone that can help you with your research.

Another thing to keep in mind regarding marriages for family that lived in Cook County, is that in the late 1800s and early 1900s, a lot of couples went to Indiana (Lake and Porter Counties) to get married. It was usually easier and quicker than Cook County, and these counties are still referred to, by some genealogists, as "marriage marts". Make sure to check the county records in either Lake or Porter INDIANA counties if you find no records for your research in Cook County.

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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