When researching Chicago address changes over time, genealogists might discover a few hurdles. In 1909 and and 1911, some Chicago house numbers were changed. Streets have also been renamed over the years. So how do researchers find correct addresses today for Chicago addresses in the past?


Menu of resources provided by Chicago History Museum for researching Chicago addresses over time.

Chicago History Museum LibGuides

The Chicago History Museum features essential resources for Chicago address change research. But historians, genealogists, and other researchers were dismayed when their excellent guide to this topic disappeared. Also gone were PDF versions of three rare printed volumes supporting this research. Online searches did not reveal equivalents at CHS or elsewhere online.

Good news! Chicago History Museum now delivers this information in a LibGuide. (LibGuide templates help librarians share and update information more easily.)

Building and House History LibGuide

Chicago History Museum’s Building and House History helps users get started. This LibGuide provides information on Chicago building landmark status. Links to the Cook County Assessor, the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), and Sanborn maps are also featured.

Building and House History: Address Conversion Guide

Next visit the CHS LibGuide titled Building and House History: Address Conversion Guides. Be sure to consult the address conversion LibGuide for guidance on using the following three titles.

Downloading Chicago House Re-Numbering and Street Name Change PDFs

If you have trouble downloading these three titles from the links in the LibGuide, try this instead. Open Firefox. Then paste the link directly into the browser’s search field. A download begins labeled “start.pdf.” Rename these files immediately as all three PDFs are labeled “start.pdf.”

  • Guide to Chicago 1909 Street Number Changes  http://www.chsmedia.org/househistory/1909snc/start.pdf 
  • Chicago 1911 Street Number Changes http://chsmedia.org/househistory/1911snc/start.pdf 
  • Street Name Changes http://chsmedia.org/househistory/nameChanges/start.pdf

Experiencing problems? Email CHS at this link.

Newberry Library

The Newberry Library offers resources at their Chicago Neighborhood Guide page. A clickable list of specific neighborhoods provides more information. Printed resources, neighborhood maps, and help with census records are also covered.

Researching Chicago Addresses Over Time


South King Drive, Bronzeville, Chicago. (Roberto Ramirez, Pinterest)

Other resources include the following:

Download step-by-step guide on building research from the Chicago Landmarks Commission.

How to Research the History of Your Home” features a YouTube webinar from the Chicago Bungalow Association on researching vintage homes.

The Chicago Historic Resources Survey features architecturally and historically significant buildings before 1940 in a searchable database.

ALookatCook.info offers information on Chicago census enumeration districts and more.

The Historic Chicago Schools website contains information on both architectural and social history for a number of Chicago’s public schools.

The Library of Congress digitized some Sanborn Fire Insurance maps for Chicago. If you are new to Sanborn maps, or would like a refresher, here is a Sassy Jane blog post on using these maps.

Visualizing Chicago Before the Great Fire” can also help your early Chicago research.