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Researching your family tree? County Web site may help

Friday, August 15, 2008
Pioneer Press

A new Web site offered by the Cook County Clerk's office is intended to help users research their ancestry.

Cook County Genealogy Online will be unveiled at 5 p.m. Monday during the International Conference on Jewish Genealogy, in Ballroom B at the Chicago Marriott, 540 N. Michigan Ave..

The online database will make available more than 6 million historical Cook County vital records, with free index searches. For a fee, genealogists can download high-resolution scans of original documents.

Cook County Clerk David Orr stated he sought to make genealogy research in Cook County more convenient and accessible to genealogists around the world.

The site, which has already gone live, so far has recorded registrations from nearly 100,000 people in 45 countries.

The site also will allow the Vital Records department to be more efficient, Orr stated, because less staff will be needed to do research that online users now will be able to do themselves.

By Illinois law, genealogy records are defined as birth certificates 75 years or older; marriage licenses 50 years or older; and death certificates 20 years or older.

More than 600 people plan to attend the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies' six-day, 28th annual conference in Chicago.

For more information about the conference, contact Anne Lee at federlee@msn.com or visit www.chicago2008.org.



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