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Genealogy

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A number of resources are available for individuals doing genealogical research using vital records filed in the state of Illinois. Births and deaths before January 1, 1916 and marriages before January 1, 1962 are recorded only in the office of the county clerk where the event occurred. Most county clerks have indexes to the records that are prior to 1916 that are available for the purpose of genealogical research.( List of county vital records Web sites or county clerk addresses ) These indexes generally provide the name, date and place of occurrence and are located in county courthouses located throughout the state. Although self-service access to the indexes is generally permitted, the law limits physical access to the individual records to the clerk's staff. When you locate a record from the index, it will be necessary for the clerk to pull the record for you once you have paid the appropriate search fee. Please check with the county clerk for fees and policies on reviewing indexes.

   
FORMS
Application for search of death record files

Application for verification of dissolution of marriage record files

Application for verification of marriage record files

Ordering Information
     

Birth Records

Access to birth records is restricted due to privacy rights and fraud prevention. Uncertified copies of birth records for genealogical purposes are available to individuals who may not otherwise be entitled to receive a certified copy, if the person's date of birth precedes the current date by 75 years or more. Birth certificates filed before 1916 must be obtained from the county clerk. (List of county vital records Web sites or county clerk addresses)

A GENEALOGICAL copy of a birth record of a deceased individual, which occurred more than 75 years ago, may be available to eligible parties upon completion of a special application form and showing proof of death. Eligibility will be determined upon receipt and review of the documentation submitted. You may request this special application form at DPH.Vitals@illinois.gov or by writing to:

Illinois Department of Public Health
Division of Vital Records
925 East Ridgely Ave.
Springfield, IL 62702-27397

Death Records

Many public and genealogical libraries, including the Illinois Regional Area Depository (IRAD) system, have statewide microfiche indexes of Illinois deaths that occurred more than 50 years ago, but not prior to 1916. In addition to microfiche, the Illinois State Archives maintains a database index on death certificates for the years 1916 to 1950.

Uncertified, genealogical copies of death records of persons who died more than 20 years ago, but not prior to 1916 may be requested either from IDPH or from the county clerk in the county where the death occurred. ( List of county vital records Web sites or county clerk addresses ) Requests of IDPH, Division of Vital Records cost $10 and can be made by mail.

The Illinois State Archives has microfilm copies of death records for deaths that occurred more than 50 years ago. In accordance with a policy agreement with IDPH, the Illinois State Archives will provide unofficial and uncertified copies of death certificates only in cases in which the decedent was 25 years or older at the time of his or her death. Click here for information on requesting copies from the Illinois State Archives..

Copies of death records filed before 1916 may be obtained from the county clerk in the county where the death occurred or from IRAD if it holds death records for that particular county.

Marriage Records

Copies of marriage records can be obtained from the county clerk in the county where the marriage occurred.( List of county vital records Web sites or county clerk addresses ) IDPH, Division of Vital Records does not provide copies of these records. It does have a statewide index of marriages from 1962 through the current index date available and for a $5 fee can verify the facts of a marriage or perform a search, if you do not know the county where the marriage occurred. To request a search, you can use the (application for verification of marriage record files) and submit it by mail.

The Illinois State Archives has a database containing information on more than 1 million marriages for the years 1763 to 1900. Copies of marriage records included in the Statewide Marriage Index, 1763 to 1900, may be obtained from (IRAD) if it holds marriage records for that county or from the county clerk in the county in which the marriage occurred. There is no statewide index for marriages for the years 1901 to 1961. Some individual county indexes prior to 1916 are available in the (Illinois State Archives).

Civil Union Records

Copies of civil union records can be obtained from the county clerk in the county where the civil union occurred (List of county vital records Web sites or county clerk addresses). IDPH, Division of Vital Records does not provide copies of these records.

Dissolution of Marriage Records

Copies of dissolution of marriage decrees can only be obtained from the circuit court clerk in the county where the dissolution of marriage was granted. (Click here for a list of circuit court clerks ) If you do not know the county of dissolution of marriage, IDPH, Division of Vital Records has a statewide index from 1962 through the current index date available. Staff will search this index for a $5 fee. (Please note, the index is by husband's name only.) To request a search, you can use the (application for verification of dissolution of marriage record files) and submit it by mail. There is no statewide index for dissolution of marriages prior to 1962.

Dissolution of Civil Union Records

Copies of dissolution of civil union decrees can only be obtained from the circuit court clerk in the county where the dissolution of civil union was granted. (Click here for a list of circuit court clerks). IDPH, Division of Vital Records does not provide copies of these records.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

LINKS

 
925 East Ridgely Ave., Springfield, IL 62702