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15 April 2014

Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths, 1916 to 1947

So many of those just beginning their family history research start with one of those most basic records, the Census.  It helps to identify a family at a certain time in a specific location. If the researcher knows where the family was from and some of the names of other family members, the census can be a great tool. The record below shows the family of Addie Cohen in Illinois at the time of the 1940 United States Census.


The record shows us that she is 80 years of age and a widow. Living with her in the household are 2 sons, Julius (age 51) and Sol (age 49). All three of them were born in the State of Illinois. To many this is where the first obstacles start to pop up, trying to identify what Addie's maiden name was and then identifying her parents. Now, as more and more states are making their records available to websites such as FamilySearch and Ancestry, it is becoming a little easier to answer those questions.
In the last week, www.familysearch.org has added a new Historical Collection, the Illinois Deaths and Stillborns, 1916-1947.  This collection, which as of this date has just under 2,900,000 records, will be a great source to break down the obstacles for Jewish families in Illinois. The record below is for the same Addie Cohen whose family we located in the census.


From this record we are able to add a lot of information to our records of her life. We now know that she was born in Urbana, Illinois on 17 August 1859 the daughter of Sol Bernstein and Fannie Wertheim. We also know that she died on 25 May 1943 also in Urbana and was buried in that same city on 27 May 1943 at the Mt. Hope Cemetery. The information for this came from FHL film #1983453.
As more and more people become involved in finding their families, lets hope more and more communities will make those records available.

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