Chicago Genealogical Society


  • 8 Sep 2021 9:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    How to Use Pinterest

    Even if you “don’t do” Social Media, give the concept in this blog post a listen . . .

    Wouldn’t it be great if you could find lists of websites that were curated by experts when you’re researching a genealogical topic?  Like a list of recommended research sources for the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 that was compiled by the Chicago Genealogical Society.  This is exactly what you’ll find if you go to our CGS Pinterest Board called “Recommended Great Chicago Fire Research Sources” at

    And wouldn’t it also be great to create your own list of your favorite websites and to borrow parts of other people’s lists that they update for you (so you don’t have to search for any new website links)?

    This in a nutshell is Pinterest.

    After you create a free account, you can search for Boards (other people’s lists of websites).  When you look at a Board, instead of a bullet point list you’ll see descriptive Pins like the one at the right (small visual bookmarks with a link to a website).  When you click on a Pin, your computer opens a new window displaying that website.  You can always use other people’s Pins, or by clicking the red Save button inside of a Pin, you can save it to your own Pin collection. 

    CGS has set up its Pinterest page at with nine Boards:

    • “About Us . . . Chicago Genealogical Society”
    • “Blog Recommendations”
    • “Chicago Military Research Recommendations”
    • “Ethnic Chicago Genealogical Resources”
    • “Of Interest”
    • “Recommended Great Chicago Fire Research Sources”
    • “Research Resources Recommendations”
    • “Research Guide Recommendations”
    • “Social Media . . . Chicago Genealogical Society”

    If you’d like to get started with Pinterest, we suggest that you visit the Pinterest Help Center at  And here are some topics that can help you get started:

    If you’re hesitant to join any Social Media platform due to privacy concerns, we recommend that you use a name other than your legal name, and you display a Profile photo of a sunset or other object.

    We hope you’ll come visit our CGS Pinterest page and use our Boards to enhance your genealogical journey.

  • 31 Aug 2021 8:55 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We're sharing our "Chicago Genealogical Society’s Recommendations for Commemorating The 150th Anniversary of The Great Chicago Fire on October 8, 2021." We hope they will help enrich your understanding of what some of our Chicago ancestors experienced.

  • 24 Aug 2021 11:10 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Chicago Genealogical Society Quarterly has been published since 1969 and the issues are loaded with genealogy gems. One such gem is church records from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of St Paul, Austin (Chicago). The church is located on Menard Avenue at Iowa Street.

    A CGS member transcribed and recorded in the quarterly in the 1970s and 1980s church records. Also, included is a historical sketch that was compiled in 1961 for the 75th anniversary of the church.

    The Chicago Genealogical Society published four listings:

    Marriage Records – 1886-1900 (Vol. 8, No. 3, Spring 1976), information included groom and bride names & addresses, ages, birthdates, licenses number, wedding date, and attendants. A picture of the church appears on this issue’s cover. Picture above.

    Birth and Baptismal Records – 1884-1900 (Vol. 16, No. 4, Summer 1984), information included name, birth date, baptismal date, and parents.

    Confirmation Classes – 1887-1900 (Vol. 20, No. 4, Summer 1988), information included child, father, birthdate, and baptized.

    Death Book 1 – 1886-1901 (Vol. 21, No. 1, Fall 1988), information included name, date of death, date buried, age, and survivors.

    These issues are available through CARLI (Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois) Digital Collections site.

    Select “Browse all items in collection” and then look for volume and issue number.

    Happy Researching!

  • 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

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

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