Skip to main content

Now Online: Chicago Catholic Church Records to 1915


You can now browse Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic church records online for free at FamilySearch and because the Archdiocese includes nearby towns, you will also find records for places like Oak Park, Evanston, and Cicero.

To access the images, you'll need to log into FamilySearch but if you don't already have an account, no worries. It's quick and easy to sign up and it's free. To find the images, go to FamilySearch, click on "US, Canada, and Mexico" under "Browse by Location," and scroll down to "Illinois, Chicago, Catholic Church Records, 1833-1925."

These records were digitized from Family History Library microfilm and even though the date in the title goes to 1925, you'll find that the records for most parishes end with 1915. That was the cutoff year when the records were filmed.

So, here are some tips for accessing the records.

1) Many of the books have index pages in the front.

2) If you're not sure which parish to search, locate the family's address in a city directory or on another record, a birth certificate, for example. Then use that address with the search tool at ChicagoAncestors.org to find out which parishes were close to the address.

3) If you're looking for a marriage register entry, find a copy of the marriage license first. Many will list the parish name. If the record doesn't, find the priest in a city directory to see where he was serving, or if it's an early marriage, try searching my priest/parish database for ideas.

4) It's helpful to narrow parishes by ethnicity. I usually use the list at POINTers in Person for that purpose.

Eventually, these records will be indexed, but in the meantime, happy searching.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Great Tip! Thanks for all of the search tips and links too.

Popular posts from this blog

Chicago Lying-In Hospital Birth Records

When I look at birth certificates, I focus on names and dates and places--information I can add to a family tree. When I look at hospital records, I come face to face with the realities of giving birth. I think the records from the Chicago Lying-In Hospital and its satellite clinics provide fascinating and important family history details and I believe they merit a closer look. The hospital records are listed in the Family History Library Catalog (FHLC) as Chicago, Illinois birth records, 1896-1933 . The added author is Northwestern Memorial Hospital and I think the originals are most likely held by the Northwestern Memorial Hospital Archives . These hospital books document services provided by four clinics connected to Dr. Joseph Bolivar DeLee, the physician who founded the Chicago Lying-In Dispensary at Maxwell Street and Newberry Avenue in 1895. D r. DeLee was interested in improving birthing conditions and his clinics offered care to needy women while providing train

Chicago Telephone Books, 1878-1971

This morning my husband and I drove down to the Harold Washington Library at 400 S. State in Chicago so I could explore the resources available at the library for Chicago research—specifically telephone books and newspapers other than the Chicago Tribune . There was a public parking lot just around the corner from the library and the all-day weekend fee was $10.00. Not bad. (During the week parking would cost about $21 but it's easy and inexpensive to get to the library by public transportation, too.) This blog post will focus on telephone books. The first Chicago telephone book appears to be The Telephone Journal , vol. 1, no. 1, published in October 1878. (For a short history of the telephone in Chicago see FundingUniverse.com's page for Illinois Bell Telephone .) The first book includes information about the telephone service along with a three-page “List of Subscribers”--names of businesses and a few individuals along with an address and numbers for “wire” and “call.”

Illinois Residents: Consider Supporting a Bill to Make Coroner's Records Available for a Reasonable Fee

Just got an email from the Chicago Genealogical Society with information that's relevant to Chicago/Cook County genealogical researchers. In short, there's a bill coming up that would reduce the cost to obtain a coroner's inquest record from the current exorbitant fees (it can run hundreds of dollars to get a file) to an affordable rate. If you are an Illinois resident, consider voicing your opinion on the issue. Information about the bill can be found here: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocNum=4210&GAID=15&DocTypeID=HB&LegID=123197&SessionID=108&SpecSess=&Session=&GA=101 And, this form can be used to submit comments: http://my.ilga.gov/WitnessSlip/Create/123197?committeeHearingId=17574&LegislationId=123197&LegislationDocumentId=156293