Friday, December 2, 2016


Anyone who has recently looked for a burial location for a Catholic in Chicago knows that several years ago the Archdiocese had all the records automated and made available at kiosks in each of its cemeteries. Originally the kiosks also printed out section maps but that never worked too well, so it was discontinued.  However, finding burial places of deceased Catholics in the Chicago area was made very easy.

Today it was announced that the LDS Church site Family Search ( has made all of the Archdiocese of Chicago cemetery records through 1989 available online at no charge (you just have to register with the site, but it's free).

The announcement describes the records this way: "Index and images of miscellaneous records of cemeteries under the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Chicago [Illinois]. The majority of the collection is comprised of burial index cards. A small percentage of the collection includes burial registers, daily burial logs and registers of cemetery lot owners. Cemeteries within the Archdiocese of Chicago are located in both Cook and Lake counties, Illinois." 

I decided to do a spot check and see what I could find.  First I looked for my father's record, and here it is:

It correctly notes that we had his grave moved in 1977 when I bought a larger plot.

Then I checked my grandfather's record:

and again, everything looks OK.

But I found something interesting when I checked my grandmother's record:

The record incorrectly lists her "home address" as 830 (G)ray Avenue in Evanston.  That was not her address - it was the address of my uncle who was the executor of her estate.  So you can't always assume that the person you are looking up actually lived at the "home address" listed in their record.

Then I decided to look for one of the records they usually don't release to the public to see if it was there - and it was.

Here's his original burial record at Mount Olivet Cemetery:

and the record that reflects that they had him moved to Mount Carmel Cemetery:

so it appears they are including some records that had previously been "secret."  

This is a tremendous tool for researchers and I am very happy these records have been made available online - and at no cost.

Now if we could just get Rosehill Cemetery to do the same with their records, I could live happily ever after.

Happy hunting!

Special thanks to Mike Kelly who brought this tremendous news to my attention.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jim - when I saw your grandfather's record, it gave me goosebumps. My great-grandmother was Gertrude Kramer Pape (1859-1919), and she lived at 1043 Sherman! My grandfather John Pape built the house around 1882 and continued to live there through 1925 (no later than 1928 though). I know Kramer is a pretty common name, but I have to wonder if we are somehow related.