Genealogy and House History Resources
Genealogy Resources Online
Ancestry.com is available for all to use in the library. This database offers access to a variety of government records, military records, voting lists, and digitized yearbooks from the United States and other countries.
HeritageQuest.com is accessible from anywhere with a Cicero Library card. HeritageQuest offers similar genealogical records compared to Ancestry, but you do not have to be in the library to use it.
The library also offers access to the Chicago Tribune online archives for all in the library and remotely for Cicero Public Library cardholders. To access this, please visit our online resources.
Geneaology Resources in the Local History Room
The Local History Room contains the following resources that may be helpful for genealogy research. In-person visits to the Local History Room are available by appointment only. If you have a genealogy question, you may contact the Reference Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 708-652-8084 x6.
Directories and Phonebooks
- Cicero City Directories: 1913, 1920 – 1945
- Telephone Books: 1973 – 2018 (some editions missing)
- The Mortonian: 1919-2021 (some issues missing)
- The Pioneer: 1958 – 1975 (some issues missing)
Newspapers and Other Publications
Below are newspapers available to view in the library on microfilm:
- Suburban Leader: March 2, 1927 – November 28, 1929 (incomplete, some editions missing)
- Cicero Life: January 18, 1933 – March 29, 2013
Below are newspapers available to read in print at the library:
- Cicero Town News: [year unknown] — Present (incomplete, some editions missing)
- Cicero Independiente (Bilingual English/Spanish): 2019 — Present (incomplete, some physical issues missing, all editions available online)
House History Resources
You spend a lot of time in your house! Ever wonder about who spent time in it before you? Or about the home itself? Below is a list of resources to help you get started with learning about the history of your home:
Searching your home’s address at the Assessor’s Office will provide you preliminary information about your home such as its age and value.
The Recorder of Deeds will provide you house records such as mortgages and deeds. To access this information, you will need the house’s 14 digit PIN number. The Cook County Clerk Assessor’s Office provides this number when you search their database by address.
The Building Department may also have information about a residential property’s plans, permits, and inspection history. Visit their website to find out how to access that information.
Census records can show a residential property’s former residents. There are two ways to search the census records:
If you know the prior residents’ names, you can search Ancestry by name and city. Then, you can click “Census and Voter Lists” to narrow the search results to census records only.
If the prior residents are unknown, you will need to locate the correct enumeration district (ED) of the house you are researching. To do that, use the Unified Census ED Finder at this website. After filling out the form, this website will provide links of potential matches from the Census. Use Ancestry to access these census pages directly.
Due to the 72 year privacy rule, the most recent census available for public view is from 1950. You can learn more about why at the US Census website.
What kind of house do I live in?
Check below to see if your home is a part of Chicagoland’s traditional-style architecture: