Wilmette Illinois Family History Center

Special Updates:

 The Family History Center will be closed on May 26th for Memorial Day weekend.

Starting with February 14th, we will now be open on Wednesday evenings in place of  Tuesday evenings. Please see our updated hours for details.

Next Program:

Please join us on June 5th at 7 PM for our First Tuesday Education Program.

Our special guest will be Matt Rutherford, Curator of Genealogy and Local History at the Newberry Library, 

  •      Mr. Rutherford will talk about the genealogy-related collections at the Newberry, and how to use them in your research

This will be a wonderful presentation on the collaboration and coordination of our collections and resources available throughout Chicagoland.


Make Certain you Check out our Events Page for a Listing of our future First Tuesday Seminars

About Our Center

The Wilmette Family History Center is the oldest branch of Salt Lake City’s Family History Library in the Chicago area. It’s staffed by volunteers and open to the public free of charge.

Patrons visit our center to view films from FamilySearch’s extensive Family History Library catalog  including our large on-premises collection of 10,000 Chicago and Cook County films, to use our computers to access premium sites like Ancestry.com, ProQuest, and Fold3.com at no charge, and to ask our volunteer consultants for help using Family History Center resources.

We now have a completely new Microfilm/Microfiche reader/scanner/printer. You can now capture images on a thumb drive as well as print them.

Volunteering at the Family History Center

Our center is staffed entirely by volunteers, some from local congregations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and some from the community. If you have an interest in family history research and can spare a few hours a month, we could use your help! Please email our director if you’re interested in learning more.

Donating to the Family History Center

We have recently added more than 1,400 films and equipment to our Family History Center to create a complete library of Cook County and other local primary documents on microfilm.  Our Family History Center’s collection is the most complete local source of Illinois records. FamilySearch (the software company affiliated with the Family History Library) no longer provides access to microfilm documents as of September 7, 2017. While more than 1.5 billion images have already been digitized, that is only about half of the library of microfilm images that currently exists. Certain films and jurisdictions will not be available digitally due to changes in permissions and publishing restrictions. Cook County is one of the locales which had placed a restriction on image availability. Documents not already digitized nor filmed, will not be. Digital images of vital documents are only available while at a Family History Center or Affiliate. Indexes will continue to be available from home. Procurement of digital images that had already been microfilmed will be available through www.CookCountyGenealogy.com as an alternative to a Family History Center or for documents after 1947. Our goal was to acquire all the available already-filmed images of Birth, Marriage, and Death certificates that exist for Cook County. We accomplished that feat. Although there are a few films that were not accessible even to us. We acquired a complete collection in most instances with the assistance of several donations and generous patrons. We continue to offer our resources for free, but accept donations to assist our ability to offer new programs and technology.

Call or E-Mail

847-251-9818 | il_wilmette@ldsmail.net