More documents

Before I moved to DC, I submitted several records request. The documents arrived about a month after I sent the forms, and my parents sent me everything before their two week trip to Europe, which they’re currently enjoying as I write this blog.

For this batch of documents, I focused on my great-grandfather’s birth, marriage and death certificates. Unfortunately, Davir Orr and his less-than-stellar employees at the Cook County Records Office didn’t certify two of the three documents, even though I explicitly wrote in a detailed letter that all document have to be certified in order for the Luxembourg Ministry of Justice to recognize them as official.

I explained this in an earlier post, but Illinois has a whacky law — one of many — that makes any birth certificate older than 75  years old, any marriage certificate older than 50 years old and any marriage certificate older than 20 years old not an officially certified document. These two uncertified documents, stamped in red ink on the back, are “FOR GENEALOGICAL PURPOSES ONLY.” Every time I read the stamp on the back of the documents I hear Gilbert Gottfried shrilly screaming those words, followed by an “Aflac” or two.

So, per usual, Illinois government is making my life rather difficult. Meanwhile, my girlfriend in Iowa can call up random hamlets in Luxembourg where my ancestors lived more than 100 years ago, and the local officials in these small towns can find everything I need in a day, certify it and send it to me through the mail free of charge. Strange how that works.

For anyone hoping to obtain dual-citizenship in Luxembourg as an American citizen who resides in a state other than Illinois, be grateful to your relatives. Illinois is notorious for corruption, money-sucking politicians and suspicious fires that destroy records departments.

Anyway, before I bore everyone with one of my rants, here is Francis Albert Eischen’s vital records.


4 thoughts on “More documents

  1. Trevor,

    Do I only need to do this for my grandfather? My great grandfather and great grandmother also immigrated from Luxembourg, so I’m now wondering if I only need to do this for one relative of Luxembourgish nationality?


    • If your grandfather meets the requirements (born before 1900 in Luxembourg and died after 1900 with his Luxembourg citizenship in tact) then no. But I had great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents who applied, so I made sure to do both just to be on the safe side.

      Email me at if you have further questions!

  2. Hi Trevor, I am a Chicagoan living in Germany and looking into applying for the Luxembourg citizenship through my great great grandfather. And I, too, would be getting the marriage certificate and other documents from Cook County. What would be your suggestion in obtaining these documents in the correct format that is required? Thanks, Kirstin

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