Illinois, Chicago, Catholic Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Illinois
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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, Illinois, United States
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Location of Illinois
Record Description
Record Type Church Records
Collection years 1833-1925
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
  • Many of the parishes in Chicago have the same name. This link provides you with excellent guidelines to assist you in ascertaining which parish your ancestors may have attended.



What is in This Collection?

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

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?

The baptismal records include:

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

The marriage records include:

  • 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

The death and burial records include:

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

Collection Content

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

How Do I Search This Collection?

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

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

View the Images

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?

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?

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?

  • 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?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names or for nicknames
  • Check the records of other congregations in the area or nearby communities
  • Consult the Illinois Record Finder Table to find other records

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.


Citing This Collection

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

"Illinois, Chicago, Catholic Church Records, 1833-1925." Database with images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Catholic Church parishes, Chicago Diocese, Chicago.

Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

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How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

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