Advice sought from Chicago researchers

Over 25 million Italians have emigrated between 1861 and 1960 with a migration boom between 1871 and 1915 when over 13,5 million emigrants left the country for European and overseas destinations.
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RussoTiesi
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Advice sought from Chicago researchers

Postby RussoTiesi » 21 Aug 2011, 15:55

I'm accompanying my wife on a business trip to Chicago later this week, and I'll have exactly one day to conduct research there in person (I'll be carless and staying downtown, so efficiency is a must).

My focus will be naturalization records (for family residing in Chicago from roughly 1900-1977), and I'm planning on visiting the Cook County archives and the U.S. District Court. Am I correct to assume that Great Lakes NARA is not worth a visit, as their index to naturalizations is online at the Family History site? Is there any other archive I should attempt to hit if I have the time?

I'd appreciate hearing any suggestions that may be offered.
Researching following surnames: Russo Tiesi, Terranella, Randazzo, Pancamo; and the following towns: Chiusa Sclafani and Campofelice di Fitalia

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Re: Advice sought from Chicago researchers

Postby corrado » 22 Aug 2011, 07:08

The same card index is at Great Lakes on 76th and Pulaski as at the 11th floor archives of the Daley Center ( county court house) at Nara they may tell you they are different but they are not! It was compiled during the depression as a WPA project.
For obtaining the records that is a diffent story. There were 4 courts one could naturalize in in Chicago, District Court (federal) and superior court ( cook county). NARA can give you a certified copy of a district court naturalization. The county will not certify anything. You have to write to homeland security. So for opinion I think you are better off with NARA, unless you know it is not federal court. the 11th floor archives on the Daley center will give you a copy of a county record but not certified. It would be helpful to know where they naturalzied. The card index shows where they naturalized. good luck.

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Re: Advice sought from Chicago researchers

Postby corrado » 22 Aug 2011, 07:14

I see you are staying downtown, then the Daley center is you place! I will say getting to the NARA from downtown is not at all easy, it is very far from the city center. You can do it on the el and a bus. Orange line to Pulaski and then a bus south for about 4 miles. I would say it a good hour to hour and a half trip on public transport from the loop.

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Re: Advice sought from Chicago researchers

Postby corrado » 22 Aug 2011, 07:18

I had no idea that the index is available on line.... wow I have been wasting a lot of time if that is the case. Oh by the way another place you can look at the cards in the Newberry library, it is open to the public and has lots of other sources you may be interested in like old city directories and such. If you want to look at old parish records you can go to the lds library in winetka or the catholic archives in the downtown, but the catholic archvies are you must make an appointment. I don't think the Newberry has the catholic archives... I hope this isn't all confusing.

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Re: Advice sought from Chicago researchers

Postby RussoTiesi » 23 Aug 2011, 03:54

Thanks, Corrado, for sharing your expertise with me. I was a little disappointed to find out that the Catholic Archdiocese Archives are closed all week due to a Society of American Archivists meeting. Still, I'll have plenty of ground to cover in a brief period. The directories at the Newberry sound helpful.
Researching following surnames: Russo Tiesi, Terranella, Randazzo, Pancamo; and the following towns: Chiusa Sclafani and Campofelice di Fitalia

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Re: Advice sought from Chicago researchers

Postby corrado » 23 Aug 2011, 04:24

If you havde a car you can rip up to the LDS library in Winetka, you don't need an appointment and they are more helpfull the the archciocese. In any case you can order the films from salt lake in your home town. They stop in the 1915-1917 range, and there will be no more done as the archdiocese will not allow the lds to film anymore.

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Re: Advice sought from Chicago researchers

Postby RussoTiesi » 23 Aug 2011, 15:30

You just saved me some time and money--I didn't realize the films they have there are the same as the LDS films.

I'm probably coming back to Chicago in November (this time by car), so I'll plan on a journey to the Winnetka library then.

Thanks again.
Researching following surnames: Russo Tiesi, Terranella, Randazzo, Pancamo; and the following towns: Chiusa Sclafani and Campofelice di Fitalia

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Re: Advice sought from Chicago researchers

Postby corrado » 27 Aug 2011, 20:20

yes check out their hours, they are only open 3 of 4 days a week... but it is worth the trip!

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Re: Advice sought from Chicago researchers

Postby RussoTiesi » 29 Aug 2011, 16:13

Lessons learned: After a full day of researching in Chicago, I thought I'd share some of the lessons I learned in case others plan on going there to research.

1) Cook County Archives: The Daley Center opens at 8, but the archives don't open until 8:30. It's a good idea to get there early though, as you have to pass through security, and the archives gets awfully busy around 9:30. The staff is helpful, but overworked, so try to know exactly what you want before you get there. They have the actual naturalization petitions from the circuit court, so it's pretty neat to touch the same paper your ancestor did long ago. Before you visit, I'd recommend printing out a copy of the naturalization index card of the ancestor you are researching, as this will speed up the search. Finally, the credit card machine wasn't working, so it's a good idea to have some cash (photocopies are pretty expensive, and certification was about $9).

2) U.S. District Court, Rm 2062, 219 S. Dearborn: The court has indexes to naturalizations performed by the court up until about 1970. Unfortunately, past patrons have damaged and even razored out some of the microfiche entries, so you need to get permission in advance. Call 312-435-5691 to arrange a viewing. Only having a day to visit, I wasn't able to get permission, so I'm not sure how helpful the indexes are.
Researching following surnames: Russo Tiesi, Terranella, Randazzo, Pancamo; and the following towns: Chiusa Sclafani and Campofelice di Fitalia


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