Cook County

10 Dec 2015

Explore Chicago Collections Online

The brand-new Explore Chicago Collections online portal unites Chicago’s many archival collections, providing genealogists with greater access to Chicago history.
Explore Chicago Collections online with this free portal containing a search engine and record-finding tool for Chicago primary sources and archives.. Explore Chicago Collections online lets researchers, genealogists, teachers, students, and the public search in one location to find or access over 100,000 maps, photos, letters, and other archival materials held at 21 member organizations. Member institutions include the Chicago History Museum, the Newberry Library, Alliance Française de Chicago, and others.
Rather than search at each institution, users can browse an enormous wealth of digital material by topic, neighborhood, city, and more. Additional resources available coming up through the Explore Chicago Collections online site include library guides, a virtual reference desk, educational materials, and eventually, digital exhibits, and more.

A $194,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation was awarded to the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Library, which has […]

22 Oct 2013

Mapping 1890 German Ancestry is Tuesday’s Tip

Today’s post is about mapping 1890 German ancestry in the U.S. There are more Americans of German extraction living in this country today than any other ethnicity. At least seven million German natives emigrated to the United States between 1800 and the present. Most arrived between 1840 and 1914, with peak immigration to America in the early 1880s, as was the case with my German ancestors. Driven by limited opportunities in German-speaking countries of Europe, many emigrants settled in the Midwest, large cities in the East, the state of Washington, and parts of Texas and California.
Using data from the now-lost 1890 census, the map above shows relative population density of “natives of Germanic nations” across the U.S. Twenty individuals or more per square mile are the darkest areas; the lightest color shows fewer than one-half per square mile.
Cities and areas with sizable Germanic populations established German-language schools, churches, clubs and fraternal organizations, theaters, cemeteries, […]

27 Sep 2013

Hidden Truths: Mapping the City Cemetery in Chicago for Follow Friday

Hidden Truths: Mapping the City Cemetery in Chicago is a wonderful site by Pamela Bannos, a researcher who was curious about a why there was a large tomb for the Couch family in Lincoln Park. Performing dogged research through many archives, including Northwestern, Chicago History Museum, Chicago Public Library, Chicago Park District Special Collections, Chicago Title and Trust Company, and others, Bannos mapped the original city cemetery, researched the owners of plots, pursued every article she could find in the Chicago Tribune, and finally amassed this and other amazing work at her site.

Genealogists will be interested in particular in the mapping she’s assembled for City Cemetery, Jewish Cemetery, and Catholic Cemetery, on the present-day site of Lincoln Park, at these links:

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18 Sep 2013

What Did Chicago Look Like Before the Great Fire

What Did Chicago Look Like Before the Great Fire is available online at Smithsonian Magazine. One of the things I love about it is that it illustrates so well the power of digital mapping for both genealogists and historians.

The Smithsonian Magazine asked première map collector David Rumsey to supply a map for the project. Rumsey chose an 1868 map of Chicago from a guidebook called “The Citizen’s Guide for the City of Chicago.”

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