…would anyone care to join me?
I 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.