Original voter registration lists were thought to be unavailable for Chicago
and Cook County. Most of the old lists were supposed to be either destroyed
or in warehouses, inaccessible to the public. However, in the late 1980s an
amateur genealogist found 20 ledgers in the back room of the Voter Registration
department at the County Building. Recorded in these ledgers were several hundred
thousand voters for the years 1888, 1890, and 1892, covering the city of Chicago
and some other areas within Cook County, Illinois. The 1888 index covered the
city of Chicago as well as the city of Lake View, town of lake, and the village
of Hyde Park. These municipalities became part of the city of Chicago on 15
July 1889. The time period covered is very important because the 1890 federal
census is not available, thus we have included this database in our 1890
Census Substitute Collection.
The handwritten ledgers were microfilmed by the Illinois State Archives. Ancestry.com
has used these 25 microfilm rolls to create an electronic index of this valuable
collection. Fields in the original index include: names of individuals, nativity
(country of birth), date and place of naturalization; term of residence in precinct,
county, and state; current address. This electronic index lists name and nativity.
Once a name is found you will then be able to view the electronic image of the
index. Due to the age of the originals and/or the microfilming of the paper
ledgers, many pages of the index was not legible enough to convert to electronic
text, and have thus been omitted.
Taken from Section Thirty-Five: Voter Registration Lists and Tax Records,
Chicago and Cook County: A Guide to research by Loretto Dennis Szucs (Salt
Lake City, UT: Ancestry Incorporated, 1996).