I’m having a pity party…

…would anyone care to join me?

BalloonsI knew it was too good to be true.  I really did.  Honest.

Free can only last so long.  So what is my major malfunction?  About a week or so ago, I heard that FamilySearch had removed various images from its collection of Cook County, Illinois records.  I didn’t realize the extent of the collection or more appropriately – the extent of my use of it – until the last few days.

From the FamilySearch website:

Due to the provisions and guidelines of a newly revised contract with Cook County,  FamilySearch has removed all images for Illinois, Cook County vital records from its historical records collections online; free indexes to the collections will remain.

As part of our new agreement, FamilySearch will receive an additional 4.7 million records for FamilySearch patrons from the over 9 million free indexed records in the Cook County collection. The following collections are affected by the change:

          • Illinois, Cook County Birth Certificates, 1878-1922
          • Illinois, Cook County Birth Registers, 1871-1915
          • Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878-1922
          • Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871-1920

They also tell you that you have three choices to obtain the images:
1.  Ordering the microfilm and viewing it at a nearby Family History Library.
2.  Going to the Cook County Genealogy website and pay $15 for each image (!!!).
3.  Request a digital copy from the Family History Library (photo duplication).

So I am having a pity party – something that I was using at least weekly, has now become a bit more difficult and a bit more expensive.

While I have spent many hours in front of a microfilm reader and can certainly go ‘old school’… it sure was nice to go and search through some images when I woke up at 3:00am thinking about those darn elusive ancestors!

Final thoughts:  the goal is to get more people interested and engaged in genealogy, right? The note above from FamilySearch states that they will get additional access to records from Cook County – meaning one more resource for those records – so I will try to keep that in mind as I continue to find ancestors from the index, sans the image.

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About Our Lineage

I invite you to join me as I share my journey of successes, surprises, and of course, disappointments. All belong to my passion called Genealogy.
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4 Responses to I’m having a pity party…

  1. That is very disappointing! I used those records a lot in researching my husband’s family. 😦

  2. Kyla Burke says:

    That is really frustrating because I use FamilySearch all the time too for Cook County. I hope their additional records are worth it. Personally, using Cook County Genealogy to order records doesn’t work so well for me since their site says it is continuing to add more records so if you don’t find what you are looking for, then check back. 😦

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