Chicago Genealogical Society


  • 13 Aug 2021 9:24 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    With the 150th Anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire coming in October, maybe you are looking for a good read on the subject. Carl Smith’s Chicago’s Great Fire: The Destruction and Resurrection of an Iconic American City would be a good book to consider checking out.

    Published in 2020, this book is one of the most recent books on the subject. Chicago’s Great Fire covers the agonizing experience of the fire and all the aftermath Chicagoans faced.  

    An added bonus, there are great maps in the book that were created by Dennis McClendon of Chicago Cartographics. Dennis gave a great webinar for CGS in October 2020. CGS Members can view the presentation in the members only section of the CGS website.

    Check your local library for a copy.

  • 22 Jun 2021 1:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Are you tired of the standard Zoom backgrounds? Want to show your love for Chicago? Would you like to impress your family and friends with a neat Chicago Zoom background?

    The Chicago History Museum is offering FREE ZOOM backgrounds from their image collection. They offer several images you can download and use. There are instructions on both downloading the images and what to do on Zoom to set it up. Check out the Chicago History Museum website for more details Zooming through History - Chicago History Museum

  • 15 Jun 2021 1:20 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    CGS Members,

    The Latest Chicago Genealogist is Here!

    See the online 2021 Summer Edition, Vol. 53, No. 4

    To access the electronic version - on this website sign into the Members Only Section (button on the upper right side). Select The Chicago Genealogist tab. Look for the newest version “Vol 53, No 4 2021” on the top row. Click on it and then you can read & enjoy the newest issue.

    Requested paper copies will be mailed once the printing is finished.

  • 7 Jun 2021 4:54 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Planning a visit to Cook County City Hall for vital or deed records? A recent visit found the procedures have been changed for entry. Now, you can only enter the building via the Washington Street door (not Clark Street). Also, you are required to wait outside now. You can not enter the building until they have room for you in the department you want to visit. Since summer is here, be prepared to stand outside. 

  • 17 May 2021 10:38 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Is your Chicago Ancestor’s house a historically significant building today?

    The Chicago Historic Resources Survey (CHRS), completed in 1995, was a decade-long research effort by the City of Chicago to analyze the historic and architectural importance of all buildings constructed in the city prior to 1940. During 12 years of field work and follow-up research that started in 1983, CHRS surveyors identified 17,371 properties which were considered to have some historic or architectural importance. The CHRS database identifies each property's date of construction, architect, building style and type, and Chicago Landmark status.

    Search for a building - Website:

    Search the database by Architect, Address, Year Construction, Community or Style.

    Fullerton Pkwy Search Example

    629 W Fullerton Pkwy Ammon House Example


  • 10 Apr 2021 10:30 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Chicago Genealogical Society announces Special Joint Webinar with the Afro-American Genealogical and Historical Society of Chicago (AAGHSC) - May 1, 2021, 10:00am CST.

    Funeral Home Collections: Utilizing Genealogical Societies and Others for Crowd Sourcing with Ari Wilkins

    What useful information can you get from a funeral home for genealogical research? Funeral home records can contain so much more than a death certificate and obituary! Files can reveal the deceased and the family’s extended genealogical information, church affiliations, financial status, and even how they planned for the future. This lecture also describes processing the large donated funeral home collection using a genealogical society.

    Ari Wilkins, a graduate of Louisiana State University, has been actively researching family history since 1998. Ari worked with the esteemed genealogist, Dr. James Rose, for many years on his final project Generations: The WPA Ex-Slave Narrative Database. She is the owner of the genealogical consulting company, Black Genesis. Ms. Wilkins also works as a contributor for Proquest’s African American Heritage database.

    Ms. Wilkins has spoken nationally at the National Genealogical Society, Federation of Genealogical Societies, Texas State Genealogical Society, Ohio Genealogical Society, Samford Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research, American Library Association, and a multitude of local societies.

    Ari has been a Library Associate at Dallas Public Library since 2007. She teaches a series of basic research classes using popular genealogical websites. She specializes in African American research.

    Registration is required and registration fee is $5.00. Please register for Funeral Home Collections: Utilizing Genealogical Societies and Others for Crowd Sourcing on May 1, 2021 10:00 AM CST at:

    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.  

  • 29 Mar 2021 12:34 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    CGS Members – make sure you read the latest issue of the Chicago Genealogist, vol. 53 no 3 Spring 2021

    In this issue:

    • Learn about Jefferson Park Pioneers: The James and Sarah (Teague) McGrane Family
    • Follow A Research Trail - How I Found the Correct John Smith
    • Who says you can’t find a property record before 1871? Adam Glos and Wife to Peter H. Fippinger Abstract of Title 1851 - The Fippinger Property in Bellwood, Cook County, Illinois
    • Are you researching someone in Chicago in 1849 and can’t find out what happened to them? Check out - Chicago Deaths From Cholera - Part 1: 11 June to 23 July 1849
    • Want to learn more about the CGS Ancestor Certificates program? Honoring Your Chicago Ancestors - Program Notes December 2020

  • 9 Feb 2021 4:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Good news! The Chicago History Museum will be reopening March 4, 2021. The Research Center will open March 9th. Before you plan a research trip and catch-up on all your back log, know before you go:

    • A reservation is required for the Research Center. You can make a reservation starting the last week of the month for the following month. They are operating at a reduced capacity for social distancing.
    • In 2021, CHM is renovating the underground storage facility which houses the archives and manuscript collections. Some items will not be available to use for research. It is highly recommended to search the online catalog ARCHIE on the CHM website to see if what you are interested in using is available to use. Contact the Research Center if you have any questions by emailing

    More information on the CHM website Home - Research Center - LibGuides at Chicago History Museum   

  • 11 Jan 2021 9:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Downtown Cook County Vital Records Office at Daley Center 50 W Washington, Suite CL-25 has moved to the Cook County Building at 118 N Clark Street, 1st Floor. More information on their website. Vital Records | Cook County Clerk's Office 

  • 4 Jan 2021 11:14 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Chicago Genealogical Society is saying goodbye to 2020 and hello to 2021. We are excited about our upcoming programs to kick-off 2021. Hope you can join us!

    4 January (7:00pm) - The South Side in Ten Families

    *** Monday, 7:00pm CST via ZOOM ***

    Mark Hansen, the author of The City in a Garden: A Guide to the History of Hyde Park and Kenwood, will recount episodes in the history of Chicago through brief portraits of ten South Side families.

    6 February (1:30pm) - Everyone Has a Story: Why everyday life stories are worth capturing and how to do it

    *** Saturday, 1:30pm CST via ZOOM ***

    Our speaker will be Nora Kerr. Do you want to capture your own life story or that of a loved one? Take a trip down memory lane or get inspired to interview your family members. You'll leave inspired to tackle this important life work. Whether you're a writer, a storyteller, or a curious child or grandchild of someone with a lot of history, this workshop is for you!​ We’ll address questions such as...

    • ​What makes a good story?
    • How do I get started?
    • ​How should I organize them?
    • What tools do I need?

    8 February (7:00pm) – Open Mic Meet-Up: Genealogy Discoveries Made During Lock Down 

    *** Monday, 7:00pm CST via ZOOM ***

    Share a discovery you have made during the Covid-19 Lock Down with your fellow CGS members. Have you discovered a new online resource? Were you able to get a record from a closed repository? Did you learn a new technology that is a game changer for your research? Have you interviewed a relative using ZOOM? Join us to share your discovery or watch and listen to others share their successes. This meet-up will have a host to run the Zoom and to give the opportunity for everyone to share as time permits. If you plan to share a discovery please keep it to 5 minutes or less to allows others to also share. 

    8 March (7:00pm) – Friedrich Eiler: Building an Identity from Scant Clues

    *** Monday, 7:00pm CST via ZOOM ***

    Our speaker will be Jill Morelli, CG. The ability to combine fragments of identity to form a single individual is an important skill for all genealogists. This case study illustrates the techniques used to identify the unknown! Friedrich first appeared in a marriage record for my great grandmother, Ida Berg. It was a surprise to know she had married again, but that wasn't the last of the surprises. Working from the known information, the identity of Friedrich was determined using correlation tools, source analysis and collaboration with a descendant. Not all of our ancestors can be the model citizens and Friedrich was far from it, but he serves as a great vehicle for illustrating tenacity and patience, reasonably exhaustive research and the joys of collaboration.

    **Registration is required for all CGS Events via the Chicago Genealogical Society website under Events. Registration will be closed 1 hour before event. The webinar will take place virtually via ZOOM. All people registered will receive an email the morning of the event with log-in instructions and a link. This information is not to be shared.

Chicago Genealogical Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.  Address: PO Box 1160, Chicago, IL  60690-1160

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software