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Illinois, Chicago, Catholic Church Records - FamilySearch Historical Records

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Illinois, Chicago, Catholic Church Records, 1833-1925
CID1452409
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Chicago, Cook, Illinois, 
United States
Illinois flag.png
Flag of Illinois
US Locator Illinois.png
Location of Illinois
Record Description
Record Type Church Records
Collection years 1833-1925
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites



What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

The collection contains the following records:

  • Births/Christenings (1833-1899)
  • Deaths/Burials (1845-1899)
  • Marriages (1833-1899)

The Parish Directory covers parishes in the Archdiocese of Chicago. The records are 95% in English with the remaining 5% distributed in Czech, Latin, and German. See also Genealogical Sources

To Browse This Collection[edit | edit source]

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Illinois, Chicago, Catholic Church Records, 1833-1925.

What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

Baptism

  • Child's name
  • Birth date and place
  • Christening date
  • Names of parents and their origin
  • Godparents' names

Marriage

  • Date and place of marriage
  • Names of bride and groom
  • Residences of bride and groom
  • Groom's baptismal date
  • Bride's baptismal date
  • Groom's parents' names
  • Bride's parents' names
  • Witnesses' names

Death / Burial

  • Date and place of interment
  • Name and age of deceased
  • Residence of deceased
  • Death date
  • Cause of death

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

Church records in the United States began in the early 1600s. They can be found in the churches, church archives, or university archives. They normally included records of christenings, confirmations, marriages, and deaths.

The Roman Catholic Church is the largest Christian church in the world. Traditionally, Catholic records have been kept at the parish level, so a majority of records will be found at the church where the event transpired. Older Catholic records and records of defunct Catholic parishes have often been moved to archives, historical archives, or university libraries.

To know who were members, churches were required to record the date a person was baptized in the Christian religion. Many churches also recorded the date of birth along with the date of baptism. Churches were also required to record the burial and marriage dates of the members of the local congregation. Only some churches performed confirmations and were required to record the names of those that were confirmed members of the church.

Sample Images[edit | edit source]

How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor
  • The type of event: baptism, marriage or death
  • The date the event occurred
  • The names of family members and their relationships

Search the Index[edit | edit source]

Search by name by visiting the Collection Details Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

View the Images[edit | edit source]

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:

  1. Select the Parish or Town
  2. Select the Record Type and Year Range to view the images


How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

When you have located your ancestor’s church record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details such as a title, an occupation, or land ownership. Add this new information to your records of each family. You should also look for leads to other records about your ancestors.

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Use christening (baptismal) and birth records to identify a person’s birth date and place. These are an excellent substitute for civil birth records
  • Use death or burial records to identify a person’s birth date and place. Use age at the time of death or burial to calculate the person’s birth date. These are an excellent substitute for civil death records
  • Use marriage records to identify a couple and the marriage date and place
  • Church records are considered a primary source. They are usually reliable because they are kept by the minister, or a clerk appointed by the minister, who usually recorded an event at or very near the time it occurred

I Can't Find the Person I'm Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Look for variant spellings of the names or for nicknames
  • Check the records of other congregations in the area or nearby communities

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the state of Illinois.


Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?[edit | edit source]

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Historical Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.