How to Find Chicago Church Records

If you're researching Catholic families, you should know that Archdiocese records for Chicago and some surrounding areas are available on microfilm through the Family History Library system. These films have been digitized and the images are available for browsing in's Illinois, Chicago, Catholic Church Records, 1833-1925. Most of the records available in that collection end at 1915; very few go beyond that.

The POINTers in Person website has the parishes listed alphabetically with information on address, founding dates, and ethnicity. Links for the parishes will take you to the corresponding entries in the Family History Library catlog.

The website will let you see which parishes were closest to a particular address (make sure you convert street names and addresses, when needed) and this is particularly helpful if you're trying to determine where children might have been baptized. This website also includes information about when parishes were founded and provides Family History Library film numbers.

"Index" to St. Patrick's Marriages: The International Genealogical Index, available at, can serve as an index to at least some St. Patrick's marriages. To see the relevant entries, visit this page, select "North America" as the region and type in batch number M390564. Add a surname, if you wish, and then click on "search."

How to Find Non-Catholic Church Records

The librarians at the Newberry Library have put together an excellent comprehensive guide to Chicago church records. The Newberry Library Guide to Chicago Church and Synagogue Records.

Local Repositories that Hold Church Records

The Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Archives and Records Center

Visit the Archdiocese of Chicago's Archives website to learn how to access school, orphanage, and sacramental records. Archives Website

Archives of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center

Newberry Library

If you know of another repository that should be added, please let us know.