Thanks to Ann M. for sharing a note to me about this.
FamilySearch.org now has added a new database of Chicago archdiocese Roman Catholic Church Records. So far, the data is UNINDEXED. Only images are available and so far only about 178,000 images are present on the entirety of the file.
Here is a link that will get you to the entire list of Roman Catholic churches that are contained in the database:
FamilySearch has set up the process in a way that once you open up the general file you will be presented with a master list of the churches that are contained in the entire database. If you know of an ancestral connection to a particular parish you can select that parish and focus on the data that is there for you to BROWSE through because the file currently contains only unindexed images of material.
But what a goldmine of data if your research connects back to these Roman Catholic church records for the Archdiocese of Chicago!!!
At this point, if you have an “Account” with FamilySearch, you will need to enter that information in. I have an account as an indexer. If you don’t have an account, it is a piece of cake. You will want to do this if you visit here frequently. At first I did not enter in my account information and when I tried accessing the images I was getting a message that said “Images Not Available. Try Again Later”. I did not pay close enough attention at this point but it also had a message that said “Sign In”. I signed in and the data I was looking for was there when I re-entered the church of interest to me.
I was personally interested in the St. Mary of the Angels church records. Within this series of church records, FamilySearch indicated there were 9 subfiles for the church covering Baptisms, Communions, Confirmations, Marriages and Deaths. Now I can view the images as if I were looking at a microfilm reader.
If you are doing Chicago Catholic Church research on your ancestors, please make note of this newly added database to the FamilySearch series of material we can access.
Look at the large list of the churches that are being set up for data ultimately coming to them. See if there is a church that applies to your own research. Give it a try. See if you see any images you can browse through until the data becomes indexed.
So the lesson to be learned here is that you now know this data exists but that you will have to return frequently to see if data for your church of interest is actually present. In either case, you will initially start using the image data as if you were looking at it on a microfilm reader because the names are not yet indexed.
DO NOT FORGET TO SIGN IN WITH YOUR ACCOUNT INFORMATION (USERID AND PASSWORD). IF YOU DO NOT HAVE AN ACCOUNT WITH FAMILYSEARCH, NOW IS THE TIME TO SET ONE UP.
I want to offer a big thanks to Ann M. for giving me an idea that this database is at least in the FamilySearch series of databases under North America and specifically under Illinois. I am sure I would have stumbled into seeing it at some point in the future when I make my rounds looking for new stuff. But I am so glad I found it now and can share this with all of you, especially with those having Chicago Catholic ancestral connections.
Take a look at the setup of this material and maybe your ancestors’ images are contained somewhere among all of the churches present in this large list.
Schaumburg Township District Library