Requests for obituaries should be directed to the Wilmette Public Library.
Photocopies of certificates indexed on our website are $5.00 each. They can be obtained by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope and a check for the correct amount to our mailing address listed on the Contact the Museum page. Requests are handled as time permits and during busy times, you may not hear back from us immediately.
If you don't find the information you're looking for here, try searching the online databases at the Illinois State Archives websites.
Please note: When the handwriting on a certificate was difficult to read, a "best guess" was entered in the index. If you don't find an entry under the expected spelling, check alternates. For example, a name beginning with "T" might appear in the index under "F" or "I."
The birth certificates in the Museum's collection document some, but not all, births in Wilmette and Gross Point between the years 1893 and 1926. Except for a few certificates from the 1920s, the majority of these documents are delayed birth registrations, filed between 1940 and 1946 by Dr. Martin Seifert, M.D., registrar and head of the Wilmette Health Department. Many of the certificates have birth affidavits, or certificates of correction attached.
Information found on the birth certificates may include the child's name, date of birth, sex, whether twin or triplet or other, number in birth order; parents' names including maiden name of mother, ages, birthplaces, occupations, residence address; number of children born to mother and number of children born to mother living at the time of the child's birth.
The marriage certificates in the Museum collection include eight out-of-state marriage certificates for the years 1922-1927.
Information found on the marriage certificates may include the names, ages, residences, occupations, and number of previous marriages for the bride and groom; names of parents including maidens; names of witnesses; date and place of marriage; and name of the person officiating.
The "Gross Point Register of Permits to Dispose of Human Body" book, now in the Museum collection, records deaths of Gross Point residents between 1902 and 1919.
Information found in the Gross Point permit book may include the permit date; name of person/business permit was issued to; name and age of deceased; date and place of death; cause of death; name and location of cemetery; name of physician, midwife, or coroner; and name and position of person issuing permit.
The death certificates in the Museum collection document deaths in Wilmette between 1913 and October, 1953. Sisters from the Maria Immaculata Convent appear at the beginning of the index with their birth names, when available, listed in the "Notes" column. Certificates with no surname given are indexed under "Unknown."
Information found on the death certificates may include the name, sex, color, marital status, occupation, address of usual residence, age, birth date and birth place of the deceased; the date, place and cause of death; the names and birth places of the deceased's mother and father, the burial date and place, the name and address of the undertaker, and the name of the informant.
The Wilmette Newspaper Index is available at the Wilmette Public Library website. As of February 2007 the database included obituaries and death notices from 1923-1928 (full text) and from 1977-2007 (abstracts) with more being added on a regular basis. The database also includes abstracts of general Wilmette news from 1991-2007
Requests for copies of obituaries should be sent to the Wilmette Public Library and not to the Museum. Library staff members handle requests as time permits. There is currently no charge for the service, although they welcome donations.
This index provides access to out-of-town death certificates and permits for burial and transport for deaths that occurred out of state for the years 1915-1928.