Obtaining inquest records from Cook County requires persistence.
On July 30th I requested my paternal 2nd great-grandfather’s 1912 inquest record in a letter that said;
“To whom this may concern,
I would like a copy of the inquest record regarding Herman Mangels, my 2nd great-grandfather.
Enclosed please find a copy of Herman’s death certificate showing an inquest was performed on or near his date of death which was January 10 1912 and
I am willing to pay reasonable copy costs or fees. Please let me know what those are so I can reimburse you for any expenses incurred by my request. My contact information is below.
After my signature, I added my physical address, my email address and my phone number.
“To whom this may concern,
I am writing to follow-up on my July 30th request for a copy of the inquest record regarding Herman Mangels, my 2nd great-grandfather.
Enclosed please find a copy of Herman’s death certificate showing an inquest was performed on or near his date of death which was January 10, 1912 and
Again, I signed my name and added my physical address, my email address and my phone number. A week later I received a letter that stated the following:
“Re: Herman Mangels, DOD 1/10/1912
Dear Ms. Aanenson,
This letter is to inform you that I am in receipt of your correspondence dated August 20, 2012.
All the old Coroner records are housed in a Cook County Warehouse. With that being said, to date, I have done two (2) searches of the warehouse to locate the inquest on the above named individual. Usually, five (5) attempts are done on any given inquest. I usually try [to] get to the warehouse once a week. Once I find the record, you will be billed. Per Public Act 096-1161, passed by the State of Illinois in July 2010, the charges for Coroner’s Inquest is five ($5.00) dollars per page of sworn testimony. If the record cannot be located, you will be notified as well.
Thank you for your patience,
Mary E. Marik, RHIA”
Grateful for the response and a greater understanding of the process, I sent a note card September 9th with the following;
“Dear Ms. Marik,
Thank you for your 8-27 letter explaining the process of searching for archived inquest records. It’s a bit more complicated than I had thought which makes me appreciate your efforts all the more. I will be patient and will continue sending positive thoughts your way that Herman Mangels’ file is an “easy” one to locate.”
On Friday October 26th I opened my mailbox and found a large envelope from the Office of the Medical Examiner, County of Cook, Dr. Robert J. Stein Institute of Forensic Medicine, 2121 West Harrison Street, Chicago Illinois 60612-3705.
Tomorrow I’ll share the contents.