Illinois, Cook County Marriage Records - FamilySearch Historical Records

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Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871-1920
This article describes a collection of records at
Cook, Illinois, 
United States
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Flag of Illinois
US Locator Map Illinois Cook.PNG
Location of Cook County, Illinois
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Location of Illinois
Record Description
Record Type Marriage Index
Collection years 1871-1920
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Cook County Clerk, Chicago

What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

This collection consists of a named index to marriages for Cook County, Illinois (including Chicago). It covers the years 1871 to 1920.

Before 1877, couples were not required to obtain marriage licenses. Beginning in 1877, the marriage records were kept in register books. By the early 1900s, most events were recorded on pre-printed forms. In 1962, an Illinois register of marriage began. Marriage records were submitted to the county clerk by the ministers or justices of the peace who performed the marriages.

Most of the marriage records prior to 1871 were destroyed by the Great Chicago Fire. If the marriage occurred before the fire and appeared in a newspaper, it’s possible that the marriage could be listed in the Sam Fink Index (see “Related Websites” on this page). Information within the Sam Fink Index can include the newspaper’s name in which the marriage appeared.

When searching this collection, a record may show a spade icon. This indicates that the record has a numbering discrepancy. A second search may return an unmarked marriage record without the icon.

Image Visibility[edit | edit source]

Whenever possible FamilySearch makes images and indexes available for all users. However, rights to view these data are limited by contract and subject to change. Because of this there may be limitations on where and how images and indexes are available or who can see them. Please be aware some collections consist only of partial information indexed from the records and do not contain any images. For additional information about image restrictions see Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.

What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

The following information may be found in these records:

  • Names of bride and groom
  • Ages of bride and groom
  • Town of residence of bride and groom
  • Date license was issued
  • Date marriage was solemnized
  • Name of person officiating at marriage

After 1916, the following information was added:

  • Birth date of bride and groom
  • Full names of parents
  • Employer

How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]

Before searching this collection, it will be helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor
  • The approximate date of marriage
  • The place where the marriage occurred
  • The name of the intended spouse

Search the Index[edit | edit source]

Search by name on the Collection Details Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

When you have located your ancestor’s marriage record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors.

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Add any new information to your records
  • Search for other vital records, such as birth and death
  • Search the family in census records
  • Look for other records in Cook County, such as church, land and probate

I Can't Find the Person I'm Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Check for variant spellings of the surnames
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties
  • If you know their religion, search for the marriage in church records
  • Search family records such as a family bible

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the state of Illinois.

Known Issues[edit | edit source]

Click here for a list of known issues with this collection.

Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.