Chicago City Directories

City Directories can be a great source of information on ancestors who lived in the 1800s and early 1900s, especially in big cities where it’s hard to find anything on the average Joe. Ancestry and Fold3 both have a collection of directories for Chicago, but we found recently that the 1910 directory is incomplete in…

Chicago Catholic Church records

Did you know that many of the Chicago Archiocese’s early church records are available on FamilySearch? Some are indexed, but you can view them all by browsing the digitized records. Here’s how: Go to the FamilySearch website. Sign In to your free account. If you don’t have one, click “Free Account” and sign up. You…

The Influenza Epidemic of 1918 Starts Locally

Now that we’re clear from flu season, let’s all take a minute to be thankful for not being affected by an epidemic. In September 1918, the Great Lakes Naval Base was hit hard and fast, spreading the Spanish Influenza faster than doctors and hospitals could keep up throughout Chicago. The naval based tried its hardest…

Cook County Obituaries and More

About once a week we get asked by a well-meaning genealogist how they can get an obituary of an ancestor or relative who died in Cook County. We finally figured out that when people unfamiliar with the northern Illinois area Google “Cook County Library,” the Cook Memorial Public Library District is the first hit to…