Illinois Ancestors: FamilySearch lists Illinois mortality schedules

Illinois Ancestors: FamilySearch lists Illinois mortality schedules

Mortality schedules were first created at the same time the 1850 federal Census was enumerated and consist of lists of people who had died between June 1849 and May 1950. Similarly, mortality schedules were created at the time of the 1860, 1870 and 1880 Censuses, and identified people who had died June 1859 to May 1860, June 1869 to June 1870, and June 1879 to May 1880.

FamilySearch allows researchers to search names and images in its database, "Illinois Mortality Schedules,1850-1880," at

Learn more about this database at, especially which counties are included. It is also important to note that "census mortality schedules are usually accurate, but this accuracy depended on the knowledge of the informant and the care of the census enumerator."

FamilySearch lists Cook County deaths

A name index to deaths for Chicago and Cook County covering the years 1878 to 1939 and 1955 to 1994 is available for searching on FamilySearch at These records may contain the following information: name of deceased, gender and race of deceased, age at death in years, months and days, date and place of death, cause of death and duration of illness, occupation, marital status, nationality and place of birth, place of burial, and name and address of reporting doctor. After 1916, the following information was added: names of parents, birthplace of parents, date of burial, name of informant and employer.

FamilySearch blog lists WWI collections

"With over 4.7 million U.S. troops serving around the world and countless other men and women involved in supportive services, the chances are pretty high that someone in your family tree participated in World War I — and created records in the process." FamilySearch has "a robust collection of World War I records" and is a good place to start searching. Read the narrative at and then click on any or the links that are available, such as draft registration cards, World War I service cards, naturalization of soldiers and U.S. Muster Rolls of the Marine Corps.

Military searches made easier

It should be noted that FindMyPast has posted a helpful website, 10 Tips for Finding Your Military Ancestor, at, that applies to ANY war, not just WWI. This website also has links to helpful British and Irish articles and videos.

Barb Snow, who posts several how-to websites on the internet, has provided "Your Guide to Finding Ancestors in US Military Records" at She notes, "Military records can provide much information — ranging from letters home to burial arrangements to medals and honors." Her page is "still in progress" but has many links to helpful material.

Genealogist Joe Beine also has a helpful website, Military Records and Research Guides, at Itincludes links to How to Find WWI Draft Registration Cards, How to Order CivilWar Pension Records, and How to Find Military Service Records for Civil War Soldiers as well as links to military indexes and records. Beine also links to his other websites dealing with census records, Irish genealogy Native American genealogy, naturalization records, passenger lists and state genealogy guides.

Archives research helped by guide

Laura Schmidt, an archivist at the Marion E. Wade Center, Wheaton College, has written an article for the Corinth Historical Society, "Using Archives: A Guide to Effective Research," which is available to read/download at It includes such information as the differences between archives and libraries, how to identify an appropriate archives for your research, how to access historical materials and research archives, requesting materials remotely, notes on copyright, and a sample finding aid.

Queries, genealogical questions from researchers and genealogical materials readers would like to share will be printed in this column free. Joan Griffis may be reached via email at or by sending a letter to Illinois Ancestors, c/o The News-Gazette, P.O. Box 677, Champaign, IL 61824-0677.

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