Geneology Resources

Genealogical Certificates

Genealogical certificates or information produced from sacramental registers are confined to records prior to January 1, 1926, and the Archives only provides certificates from closed parishes. After that date, these records are only available to the person in the record or, if that person is deceased, his/her immediate next-of-kin. A complete and detailed genealogy policy can be found here.

To request a post-1925 sacramental certificate of a deceased relative, the requester must provide the Archives with proof of that person's death – an original or notarized photocopy of the death certificate is required – and proof of relation to the deceased person, an original birth or marriage certificate or notarized photocopy. Record requests forms can be found here.

If you are interested in browsing sacramental registers for parishes on FamilySearch.org at no cost, follow the instructions below. Sacramental records on that site go up to 1915, some go as far as 1925. You are also welcome to make an appointment to view sacramental records up to 1915 on microfilm at our facility. Email mrhall@archchicago.org to request an appointment.

Sign up or log-in to FamilySearch.org .
Click on Search – Records.
Under “Find a Collection,” type in Illinois, Chicago, then click on “Illinois, Chicago, Catholic Church Records, 1833-1925 ” underneath the search bar.
Under “View Images in this Collection,” click the link to browse.
Click the name of the parish.
Click the register that contains the sacrament and year you’re looking for.
Use the arrows above the image to scroll through the register. You can also print or download the image from this view.

If you are not sure which parish your relatives attended, click here for a PDF of this book.  It includes maps of Chicago city parishes; lists of these parishes arranged by begin date, ethnicity and alphabetically; the status of each parish and where their records are located.  You can also click here to download the data of these parishes in an Excel spreadsheet (address, begin/end date, status, ethnicity).

Print Resources

  • Bochar, Jack. Locations of Chicago Roman Catholic Churches, 1850-1900. Geneva IL.: Bochar Jack, 1990.

  • Culligan, Joseph J. You, Too, Can Find Anybody. A Reference Manual. Miami, Fl.: Hallmak Press, Incorporated, 1991.

  • Eichholz, Alice. Ancestry’s Red Book. American State, County, and Town Resources. Salt Lake City, UT.: Ancestry Publishing, 1992.

  • Guide to Genealogical Research in the National Archives. Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1982.

  • Humling, Virginia. U.S. Catholic Sources: A Diocesan Research Guide. Salt Lake City, UT.: Ancestry, 1998.

  • Illinois Libraries, Vol. 68, Number 4 (April 1986), Special Issue: Genealogical Collections in Illinois.

  • Illinois Libraries, Vol. 69, Number 8 (October 1987), Special Issue: Archival Developments in Illinois, 1981-1987.

  • Meyerink, Kory. Printed Sources: A Guide to Published Genealogical Records. Salt Lake City, UT.: Ancestry, 1998.

  • Neagles, James C. The Library of Congress: A Guide to Genealogical and Historical Research. Salt Lake City, UT.: Ancestry, 1990.

  • Szucs, Loretto Dennis and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking. The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy. Revised edition. Salt Lake City, UT: Ancestry Incorporated, 1997.

  • Szucs, Loretto Dennis and Smith Juliana. The Ancestry Family Historian’s Address Book: A Comprehensive List of Local, State, and Federal Agencies and Institutions and Ethnic and Genealogical The Ancestry Family Historian’s Address Book: A Comprehensive List of Local, State, and Federal Agencies and Institutions and Ethnic and Genealogical Organizations. Organizations. Salt Lake City, UT.: Ancestry, 1998.

  • Szucs, Loretto Dennis. Chicago and Cook County Sources: A Genealogical and Historical Guide. Salt Lake City, UT.: Ancestry Publishing, 1986.

  • Thompson, Rev. Joseph J. The First Chicago Church records, 1833-1844. Baltimore, MD.: Gateway Press, 1988.

Internet Resources

The following resources are available for genealogists as a complement to our services.

  • Chicago Street Numbering Changes (PDF)

  • Chicago Street Name Changes (PDF)

  • Cook County Ward Maps, 1870-1930 (Link)

  • A Complete Resource Guide to Genealogy (Link)

  • Get a Certified Genealogist from the Board for Certification of Genealogists (Link)

  • The Library of Congress, History and Genealogy Division (Link)