Did you know that many of the Chicago Archiocese’s early church records are available on FamilySearch? Some are indexed, but you can view them all by browsing the digitized records. Here’s how:
Go to the FamilySearch website.
Sign In to your free account. If you don’t have one, click “Free Account” and sign up. You will need an account to see the records.
Click on Search, then Records.
Click on the United States in the map under Research by Location. Choose Illinois.
Under Illinois Historical Records, click on “Show all 80 collections.”
Find the collection called “Illinois, Chicago, Catholic Church Records, 1833-1925.” DON’T click on the name of the collection, but go over to the icon that looks like a camera, and click on that.
You will go to a list of the parishes in Chicago, including some outside of Chicago but within the diocese. Click on the name of your parish, then choose the type of record you’re looking for (Baptism, Marriage, Death) and the span of years that covers your research.
You will be able to browse through digitized records kept in the church books. You may have to take some time to fugure out how the books are arranged, but it will be worth it. Remember that these are early records, for the most part from the 1800s or early 1900s.
Give it a try and good luck with your Chicago Catholic research!