Cook County, Illinois Genealogy Guide

Cook County, Illinois (Map It) was created on January 15, 1831 from Putnam County. Cook County was named for Daniel Pope Cook (1794–1827), politician and first Attorney General of Illinois . Learn More About State of Illinois History

Cook County is bordered by  Lake County (north), Berrien County, Michigan (east), Porter County, Indiana (southeast), Lake County, Indiana (southeast), Will County (south), DuPage County (west), Kane County (west), McHenry County (northwest)

Cook County Cities, Towns & Villages include  Berwyn, Blue Island, Burbank, Bridgeview, Calumet City, Chicago, Chicago Heights, Country Club Hills, Countryside, Des Plaines, Elgin, Evanston, Harvey, Hickory Hills, Hometown, Markham, Northlake, Oak Forest, Oak Lawn, Palos Heights, Palos Hills, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Cicero.

Cook County Townships include  Leyden, Lemont, Hanover, Evanston, Elk Grove, Bremen, Berwyn, Bloom, Barrington, Cicero, Calumet, Proviso, Oak Park, Northfield, Norwood Park, Orland, Palos, Palatine, Lyons, Maine, New Trier, Niles, Stickney, Schaumburg, Riverside, Rich, River Forest, Thornton, Wheeling, Worth. View the Cook Federal Township Plats of Illinois from 1804-1891.

A Cook County, Illinois General Highway Maps includes County, City and Township maps which contains detailed information about roads and boundaries, these maps may include rural communities, churches, and cemeteries.

Cook County, Illinois Courthouse Records

Cook County, Illinois Courthouse
Cook County, IL Courthouse

The Cook County Courthouse is located in Chicago, Illinois. Most of the major records for the county (Cook) were destroyed in the Chicago Fire of 1871, total record loss (1831–1871) due to a Fire on October 9, 1871. Learn More About State of Illinois Court, Tax, Land and Probate Records.

Please contact the each clerk's department to confirm mailing address, hours, fees and other information before visiting or requesting information because contact information sometimes changes.  The Clerk's Office DOES NOT DO RESEARCH.  The documents are available to interested parties, barring confidential issues.  Most staff will assist people in finding the materials, but it is up to the individual to do the research.

The following dates indicates what vital, land, probate, and court records are in Cook county. The date listed for each category of record is usually the earliest registration filed. The earliest date does not indicate that there are numerous records for that year and does not mean that all such events were actually registered.

  • Cook County Clerk has Marriage Records from 1856 and Birth & Death Records from 1871. The County Clerk maintains records and issues certificates of vital statistics (birth certificates, death certificates, and marriage certificates) for the entire County.
  • Cook County Recorder of Deeds has Land Records from 1871 see above. The County Recorder of Deeds serves the people of County by receiving, filing and maintaining all records related to real property in our county. These documents range from all types of conveyance deeds, mortgages, releases and assignments, property liens, as well as, assorted federal, state and local liens. The Recorder’s office is responsible for the recordation and storage of plats of subdivision, land surveys and monument records. Many other types of miscellaneous documents are recorded, such as; foreign birth certificates, foreign marriage licenses, and military discharge paperwork to name a few. The Cook County Recorder’s Office has land records from 1871 onward. Prior to 1871, the Chicago Title Insurance Company has pre-fire tract and copy books as abstracted from the original documents filed in the Cook County Recorder’s Office and from the issuance of the first government land patents. The Illinois State Archives has the original documents related to the government land patents. Federal land sale began from the various land offices in Illinois in 1814…”
  • Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court has Probate Records from 1871 see above and Court Records from 1871. The County Clerk of the Circuit Court, commonly known as the Circuit Clerk, is the keeper of the files and records of the Circuit Court. The Circuit Clerk's Office retains documents some of which include criminal law, chancery, support, probate, adoption, ect.... A will index survives that begins in the year 1850. The Illinois Historical Records Survey lists a record series titled “Documented Record of Wills, ” which begins in 1851 and a series titled “Abstract of Probate Proceedings” beginning in 1861. All other probate records begin in 1871.
  • Cook County Treasurer's Office is responsible for the statutory duties required as County Treasurer and as Ex-Officio County Collector of Real Estate Property Taxes and Drainage District Taxes for the entire county.
  • Local Government Records Database provides a listing of the local governmental records held by the Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD) system

Cook County, Illinois Census Records

Cook County, Illinois Vital Records

Cook County, Illinois Resources

Cook County, Illinois External Links