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CGS Publication: Chicago Cemetery Records 1847-1863

A number of years ago, I had an opportunity to look at undertakers reports from 1863 held by the Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD) at Northeastern Illinois University. I was thrilled to find these pre-fire death records and asked about the possibility of offering my help to index them to make them more accessible. I was told that there was a project already underway. There was!

In 2008 the Chicago Genealogical Society published a book titled Chicago Cemetery Records 1847-1863: Sexton's Reports and Certificates, Treasurer Receipts, Deeds, and Undertakers' Reports. It's a useful resource for early Chicago research and I'll introduce you to it in this post. Below you'll find the main sections listed along with an example entry and a quick summary (in parenthesis) of what the information means. The book includes a name index which makes it easy to use.

Chicago Cemetery Records 1847-1863 can be found in many libraries (see WorldCat Entry) or it can be purchased from the Chicago Genealogical Society for $40.00.

Have you used the book? Has it been of help to you?


"Sexton's Receipts and Certificates, Treasurer Receipts, Deeds" 1847-1859

August 1851
South half [of]; 517; [blank]; [New]; Edward Cleghorn; $5.00; [blank] 2

(Date of deed or receipt, location in cemetery, name of grantee, amount, comments, page)

Undertakers' Reports 1863 (January - July)

February 1863
15; 15; dtr of W. K. Greenleaf; 2 years, 4 months; ND; Scarlet fever; Chicago; Chicago Cem; Unknown

(Date of death, date interred, name, age, residence, disease, where born, where interried, physician)

Oak Woods Cemetery: Lots Sold to the City of Chicago (Deeded 1867)

13; Andrew Gausen; 1; 7; $64.72

(Lot number, deeded to, number of burials, possible vacancies, charges)

'Old Catholic Cemetery' Records (Dates appear to be from the 1850s and 1860s)

DEHN, Carolina 8  11 8/16/63 4/7/64

(Name, Age, Date of Death, Date of Burial)

Additional Sections

The book also includes Chicago ward boundaries 1837, 1851, 1857, and 1863 and information about the IRAD system.


N. LaRue said…
Wow! I haven't heard of this book. I agree with you totally - what a wonderful resource for pre-fire research! Thanks for sharing the info!

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