Today Chicago is home to 10 million people. Chicago has a rich and varied history. Before European settlers found Chicago it was the land of the Potawatomi Indians. The first non-native settler in Chicago was Jean Baptiste Point duSable in the 1780s. In 1803 Fort Dearborn was built and was destroyed in the War of 1812. A brass marker on North Michigan Avenue marks the former location of Fort Dearborn today. The defining moment of Chicago history was the "Great Chicago Fire" in October of 1871. Between October 8 and 10 in 1871 the fire ravaged about 3.3 miles of Chicago killing between 200 and 300 people and leaving over a hundred thousand people homeless. Yet, out of the ashes of this disaster rose the great city we know today. The fire burned many records. The city cemetery which was located on land that is called Lincoln Park today was also destroyed. In 1870 the city population was 298,977. By 1890 the population exceeded one million citizens.
For clients whose ancestors lived in Chicago or it's many suburbs there are a multitude of possible records and resources available to research. Many of these records and resources are not available online. I am experienced at finding these local treasures that may only be available locally. Below is a list of some of the repositories, libraries and other locations where the lives of you ancestors can be researched. The list represents some Chicago resources and includes links to that location's website.
Many different types of record sets are available. The great Chicago fire of 1871 did destroy a huge number of records, however, some records prior to the date of the fire survived. Although a wide variety of records and resources for the Chicago area are available online, much is only available locally. As an experienced genealogist, I am aware of what is available and where to find it. I provide the same enthusiasm, diligence and care for your family history as I have for my own. Chicago has a rich, exciting and very interesting history. Do you know how your ancestors fit into this history?
The cultural diversity of the past is very much present in the identity of Chicago. As early as 1870 the immigrant populations consisted of 48% of the total population - much larger than other American cities. This diversity remains in the tastes and smells of the city and Chicago is known for it's love of ethnic foods. Chicago was a huge destination for immigrants from the mid 1800s through the 1930s. Although the neighborhoods they lived in have changed over time, there are still remnants of neighborhoods still known as Chinatown, Little Italy and Greek town to name a few. Descendants of these immigrants have a vast array of records and resources available to assist in learning about the journey their ancestors experienced. The Chicagoland area hosts many cultural museums most of which contain libraries or research centers. Some of them have websites which I have listed on the Chicago Links page.
If you want a free assessment to learn if I can help you with your family history contact me. Please provide me with the names and year of birth of the ancestors you wish to learn more about when contacting me.
Italian Genealogy | Chicago Links | Illinois