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Illinois Genealogy Resources

Chicago and Cook County

Ethnic Resources

General Ethnic Resources
  • Allswang, John Myers. A House for All Peoples: Ethnic Politics in Chicago, 1890-1936. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 1971.
     
  • Allswang, John Myers. The Political Behavior of Chicago's Ethnic Groups 1918-1932. New York: Arno, 1980.
     
  • Berkow, Ira. Maxwell Street: Survival in a Bazaar. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1977.
     
  • Chicago, Department of Development and Planning. Historic City: The Settlement of Chicago. Chicago: The Department, 1976. Emphasis on ethnic groups that made the city.
     
  • Cressey, Paul Frederick. "The Succession of Cultural Groups in the City of Chicago." Ph. D. dissertation, University of Chicago, 1930.
     
  • Ethnic Newspapers Held at Harold Washington Library Center, Chicago Public Library.
     
  • Historic City: the Settlement of Chicago. Chicago: Department of Development and Planning, 1976.
     
  • Holli, Melvin G. and Peter d'A. Jones, editors. Ethnic Chicago: A Multicultural Portrait. 4th edition. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1995.
     
  • Holli, Melvin and Peter d'A. Jones. Ethnic Frontier: Essays in the History of Group Survival in Chicago and the Midwest. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1977.
     
  • Lindberg, Richard. Passport's Guide to Ethnic Chicago: a Complete Guide to the Many Faces and Cultures of Chicago. Lincolnwood, IL: Passport Books, 1993.
     
  • Nelson, Otto M. "The Chicago Relief and Aid Society, 1850-1874." Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society 59, 1 (Spring 1966): 48-66.
     
  • Newberry Library Ethnic Group and Country Guides: African-American, Bohemian, Canadian,Cherokee, English, Germanic, Hispanic, Irish, Italian, Jewish, Norwegian, Polish, Swedish
     
  • Ropka, Gerald W. The Evolving Residential Patterns of the Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Cuban. Population of the City of Chicago. New York: Arno, 1980.
     
African-American
  • A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum.  The A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum is a 501(c)3 institution. Its mission is to promote, honor and celebrate the legacy of A. Philip Randolph and contributions made by African-Americans to America's labor history. At the facility this celebration begins with the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, as they educate the public about their legacy and contributions.
     
  • African-American. Newberry Library.
     
  • Chicago Defender. 1909 -    Major African-American newspaper.  Microfilm copies held by the Chicago Historical Society, the Chicago Public Library, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. The Newberry Library has an obituary index to the Defender covering 1910-1935 by Lori Husband. Patricia Liddell Researchers published an additional obituary extraction for the years 1936-1939.
     
  • Drake, St. Clair, and Horace Cayton. Black Metropolis: A Study of Negro Life in a Northern City. New York, 1935.
     
  • Duncan, Ottis D. and Beverly Duncan. The Negro Population of Chicago: A Study of Residential Succession. Chicago, 1957.
     
  • DuSableMuseum.org. DuSable Museum of African American History.
     
  • Gossnell, Harold F. Negro Politicians: The Rise of Negro Politics in Chicago. Chicago, 1935.
     
  • Notable Chicago African Americans. Chicago Public Library.
     
  • Patricia Liddell Researchers. Chicago Branch of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society.
     
  • Reed, Christopher Robert. Black Chicago's First Century, Volume 1, 1833-1900. Columbia, Missouri: University of Missouri Press, 2005.
     
  • Robb, Frederic H., editor. The Negro in Chicago, 1779-1929. 2 volumes. Chicago, 1927-1929.
     
  • Spear, Allan H. Black Chicago: The Making of a Negro Ghetto, 1890-1920. Chicago, 1967.
     
  • Thackery, David T. A Bibliography of African American History of the Newberry Library. Chicago: Newberry Library, 1993.
     
  • Vivian G. Harsh Collection. Chicago Public Library - Woodson Branch. A large collection of material related to African-American genealogy.
Chinese Cuban
  • Ropka, Gerald W. The Evolving Residential Patterns of the Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Cuban. Population of the City of Chicago. New York: Arno, 1980.

Czech and Slovak

  • Bohemian National Cemetery Burials, 1888-1892  The Chicago Genealogical Society has published six volumes of burials (1877-1902) at Bohemian National Cemetery in Chicago. The second volume is currently out of print but you can search our online index for burials from 1888-1892. The index gives burial year, burial month, name of the deceased, and the issue date of an obituary in the Czech-language newspaper "Denni Hlasatel".
     
  • Czech and Slovak American Genealogy Society of Illinois. Sugar Grove, Illinois. CSAGSI was formed because people who have roots in Bohemia, Moravia, Slovakia, Silesia, or Ruthenia felt a need to develop, preserve and share genealogical, historical, and cultural knowledge of their ancestors.
     
  • CSAGSI Cemetery and Church Resource Page.
     
  • Hletka, Peter. The Slovaks of Chicago." Slovakia 19, no. 42 (October 1969): 32-63.
     
  • Obituaries from Czech Newspaper Denni Hlasatel, 1891-1899. Volume I. Chicago: Chicago Genealogical Society.
     
  • Obituaries from Czech Newspaper Denni Hlasatel, 1930-1939. Volume II. Chicago: Chicago Genealogical Society.
     
  • Obituaries from Czech Newspaper Denni Hlasatel, 1940-1949. Volume III. Chicago: Chicago Genealogical Society.
     
  • Palickar, Stephen J. "The Slovaks of Chicago." Illinois Catholic Historical Review 4, no. 2 (October 1921): 180-96.
     
  • Proba, Daniel. Czech and Slovak Leaders in Metropolitan Chicago. Chicago, 1934.
     
  • Reichman, John J. Czechoslovaks in Chicago: Contributions to a History of a National Group. Chicago: Czechoslovak Historical Society of Illinois, 1937.

Dutch

  • Netherlands Club of Chicago. The Club strives to serve the Dutch community as well as those with interests in The Netherlands.  To that end, we work closely with the Consulate General of The Netherlands in Chicago as well as NL Borrels in planning events such as Dutch American Heritage Day and also assist in the promotion of cultural events such as concerts. 
     
  • Vanderbosch, Amry. The Dutch Communities of Chicago. Chicago, 1927.

French

German

  • Archives of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
     
  • Chicago Historical Society Library. German language publication - Deutsche Amerikanische Geschichtsblatter, published between 1901-1937, by the German-American Historical Society of Illinois

    Has an extensive collection of German language newspapers on microfilm

    • Abendpost and the Sunday edition, Sonntagpost, 1889-1929 and 1977-1978
    • Illinois Staats-Zeitung 1871 - 1900
    • Der Westen 1871, 1874-1881, 1885-1886 and 1889-1900
    • Jewish Advance 1878-1879
       
  • The Conrad Sulzer Library. Has German-American selections in the historical collection.
     
  • Germanic - Newberry Library. The Newberry also holds microfilms of Waldheim, Forest Home, and Wunders cemeteries, where many German-Americans are buried,  holds a number of 19th century German-American newspapers from Chicago, and holds church records of various Lutheran churches in Chicago.
     
  • Goethe-Institut Chicago. Promotes German culture and language. Has some information about the history of Germans in Chicago.
     
  • Hofmeister, Rudolph A. The Germans in Chicago. Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 1976.
     
  • Illinois Chapter of Palatines to America.
     
    • Publishes the Illinois German-Americana
    • Volume I published in 1990 provides details about Illinois genealogical sources statewide
    • Volume II published in 1992 covers northeastern Illinois and several regional depositories
    • 1989 publication Early German Churches of Illinois
       
  • Townsend, Andrew J. The Germans of Chicago. Chicago, 1932.
     
  • University of Illinois at Chicago Library - Special Collections has:
     
    • The German Aid Society
      • Established in 1854 - rendered assistance to immigrants
      • Recorded names of immigrants in daily logs and on applications for assistance
      • Membership rosters and financial contribution sheets list names of donors including individuals and German-owned businesses
Irish
  • Birmingham, George A. From Dublin to Chicago: Some Notes on a Tour of America. New York, 1914.
     
  • Chicago's Irish Families, 1875-1925.  This database is a collection of records regarding many of the Irish families who made their home in this city between 1875 and 1925. Newly updated to add over 5,000 entries, information provided includes births, marriages, and deaths, often including names of relatives. Taken from a wide variety of sources, including local histories, parish records, local newspapers, and cemetery inscriptions, this can be an extremely helpful database for those researching Irish-American ancestors. Available through Ancestry.com.
     
  • Chicago Irish Genealogy.com. This page contains interesting information about the contribution of the Irish to Chicago. Most of the information comes from newspaper research. Newspapers consulted include downtown dailies such as the Inter Ocean, Tribune and Daily News, an Irish weekly, The Chicago Citizen a daily paper published in the Stockyards neighborhood, The South Side Sun 1884-1908 and the Catholic weekly, The New World.
     
  • French, Charles, editor. Biographical History of the American Irish in Chicago. Chicago, 1897.
     
  • Funchion, Michael. Chicago's Irish Nationalists, 1881-1890. New York: Arno, 1976.
     
  • Irish-American Heritage Center. Chicago, Illinois.
     
  • Irish-in-Chicago Mailing List.
     
  • The Irish of Chicago. From Illinois History Teacher.
Italian
  • Chicago's Italian Genealogy Information Station. Is a volunteer-run Web site with information about the history of Italian Americans in Chicago and its suburbs.
     
  • Chicago's Italians  1850-1985. From Illinois History Teacher.
     
  • Nelli, Humbert S. The Italians in Chicago, 1880-1930. New York: Oxford University Press, 1970.
     
  • POINTers in Person. POINT = Pursuing Our Italian Names Together. An Italian-American genealogy organization. Has a variety of databases.
     
  • Schiavo, Giovanni E. The Italians in Chicago: A Study in Americanization. Chicago, 1928.
     
  • Wright , Carroll D. The Italians in C 
  • Schiavo, Giovanni E. The Italians in Chicago: A Study in Americanization. Chicago, 1928.
     
  • Wright , Carroll D. The Italians in Chicago: a Social and Economic Study. New York: Arno, 1970.
Jewish
  • Berkow, Ira. Maxwell Stret: Survival in a Bazaar. Doubleday, 1977.
     
  • Bregstone, Philip P. Chicago and Its Jews: a Cultural History. Chicago: Privately published, 1933.
     
  • Chicago Jewish Historical Society.
     
  • Chicago Jewish Archives. Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies. Chicago, Illinois.mpaign 
  • The Chicago Pinkas. College of Jewish Studies, 1952.
     
  • Cutler, Irving. eet Peddlers." Shapiro, Beatrice Michaels. Memories of Lawndale. Chicago: Chicago Jewish Historical Society, 1991.
     
  • The Guide: The Whos, Whats and Wheres of Jewish  Chicago. Chicago Jewish News. Annual.
     
  • Guide to Jewish Genealogy in Chicago. by Mike Karsen.
     
  • Gutstein, Morris A. A Priceless Heritage: The Epic Growth of Nineteenth Century Chicago Jewry. New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1953.
     
  • Heimovics, Rachel Baron. Chicago Jewish Sourcebook. Chicago, 1981.
     
  • Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois
     
  • JewishGen.org. Guide to Jewish Genealogy in Chicagoland by Mike Karsen
     
  • Kraus, Bea. The Cantors: Gifted Voices Remembered. Chicago: Chicago Jewish Historical Society, 1996.
     
  • Meites, Hyman, editor. History of the Jews of Chicago. Chicago: Chicago Jewish Historical Society and Wellington Publishing, 1990.
     
  • On the History of Jews in Chicago. Ancestry.com subscription product. Original data: Felsenthal, Bernhard,. On the history of the Jews of Chicago : The Jewish congregation in Surinam ; A sermon by Moses Mendelssohn printed in Philadelphia 130 years ago. Title page   Front matter  On the history of the Jews of Chicago  The Jewish Congregation in Surinam  A sermon by Moses Mendelssohn, printed in Philadelphia. Baltimore: Press of the Friedenwald Co., 1894?.
     
  • Roth, Walter. Looking Backward: True Stories from Chicago's Jewish Past. Academy Chicago Publishers, 2002.
     
  • The Russian Jew in the United States. Ancestry.com subscription product. Original data: The Russian Jew in the United States : studies of social conditions in New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago, with a description of rural settlements. Title page  Front matter  Preface  Contents  I. Intoductory  II. General aspects of the population  III. Philanthropy  IV. Economic and indutrial condition  V. Religious activity  VI. Eductional influences  VII. Amusements and social life  VIII. Politics  IX. Health and sanitation  X. Law and litigation  XI. Distribution  XII. Rural settlements  XIII. Conclusions  Reading list  Index  Maps. Philadelphia: J.C. Winston Co., 1905.
     
  • Sentinel Publishing Company. The Sentinel's History of Chicago Jewry, 1911-1961. Chicago: The Company, 1961.
     
  • The Sentinel presents 100 years of Chicago Jewry. Ancestry.com subscription product. Original data: The Sentinel presents 100 years of Chicago Jewry. Title page  Front matter  Table of Contents  100 years  Bar and bench  Political office  Hias  General organization  First Illinois contacts  Fighting men  B'nai B'rith  American Jewish Congress  Education  College of Jewish studies  Music  Artists  Orthodox Shul  Michael Reese Hospital  Women  Zionism  Talmud Torahs  Board of Jewish education  Jewish press  Community centers  Jewish writers  When Chaim Weizman...Dahvened in Chicago  Landsmanshaften  Back matter  Concordia guards...Valiant fighting men  Hebrew Theological College of Chicago  The First Synagogue in Chicago  The Reform Temple  Jewish charities  Fraternal orders  The Yiddish stage  The First Chicago Minyan  For higher learning  Conservative Synagogue  Religious directory  The oppressed is Brethren to the oppressed  A diverse people and unity  Mount Sinai Hospital  Ambijan  Covenant Club  Daughters of Zion  Merkaz Ha Rabonim  Zionism....Retrospect and prospect  The lesson of a century. Chicago, Ill.: The Sentinel Pub. Co., 1948.
     
  • Sorkin, Sidney. Bridges to an American City: A Guide to Chicago's Landsmanshaften, 1870 to 1990. P. Lang, 1993.
     
  • Springer, Morris. "The Chayder, The Yeshiva, and I." Gross, Eva. Memories of the Manor. Chicago: Chicago Jewish Historical Society, 1993.
  • Synagogues of Chicago. 2 volumes. Chicago: Chicago Jewish Historical Society, 1991.
Lithuanian
  • Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture. Has a research library with historical and genealogical resources relating to Chicago's Lithuanian community.
     
  • Greene, Victor. For God & Country: The Rise of Polish & Lithuanian Ethnic Consciousness in America, 1860-1970. Madison, 1975.
Mexican
  • Ropka, Gerald W. The Evolving Residential Patterns of the Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Cuban. Population of the City of Chicago. New York: Arno, 1980.
     
  • The Mexicans in Chicago. From Illinois History Teacher.

Native American

Norwegians

  • Lovoll, Odd S. A Century of Urban Life: the Norwegians in Chicago before 1930. Northfield, MN: Norwegian American Historical Association, 1988.
     
  • Strand, Algot E., compiler. A History of the Norwegians of Illinois. Chicago, 1905. Includes an entire section on Chicago.

Polish

  • Chicago-Polish Mailing List.
     
  • Dziennik Chicagoski Death Notices, 1890-1929
     
  • Dziennik Chicagoski Death Notices, 1930-1971
     
  • Greene, Victor. For God & Country: The Rise of Polish & Lithuanian Ethnic Consciousness in America, 1860-1970. Madison, 1975.
     
  • Hollowak, Thomas L. and William F. Hoffman. Index to the Obituaries and Death Notices Appearing in the Dziennik Chicagoski, 1900-1909. Chicago: Polish Genealogical Society, 1987.
     
  • Hollowak, Thomas L. and William F. Hoffman. Index to the Obituaries and Death Notices Appearing in the Dziennik Chicagoski, 1910-1919. Chica 
  • Hollowak, Thomas L. and William F. Hoffman. Index to the Obituaries and Death Notices Appearing in the Dziennik Chicagoski, 1910-1919. Chicago: Polish Genealogical Society, 1988.
     
  • Hollowak, Thomas L. and William F. Hoffman. Index to the Obituaries and Death Notices Appearing in the Dziennik Chicagoski, 1920-1929. 2 volumes.  Chicago: Polish Genealogical Society, 1991.
     
  • Kantowicz, Edward R. Polish-American Politics in Chicago, 1888-1940. Chicago: University of Chicago, 1975.
     
  • Multicultural Difficulties in Chicago's Polish Catholic Community. From Illinois History Teacher.
     
  • Parot, Joseph J. Polish Catholics in Chicago, 1850-1920: a Religious Historyo, 1837-1937. Chicago: Polish Pageant, Inc., 1937.
     
  • Poles of Chicago  1837-1937 Index. Polish Genealogical Society of America.
     
  • Polish Genealogy Pathfinder. Chicago Public Library.
     
  • Polish Genealogical Society of America (PGSA)
     
  • Polish Marriages in Chicago through 1915. Marriages in Catholic parishes in Chicago compiled by the Polish Genealogical Society of America.
     
  • Polish Museum of America. Maintains archives dealing with the history of Poles and Polish-Americans. Many Illinois and Chicago organizations and publications are represented.
Puerto Rican
  • Padilla, Felix M. Puerto Rican Chicago. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame, 1987.
     
  • Ropka, Gerald W. The Evolving Residential Patterns of the Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Cuban. Population of the City of Chicago. New York: Arno, 1980.

Scottish

  • Illinois Saint Andrew Society. ISAS is one of the largest Scottish cultural organizations in the world. The Society is a vital force in sustaining Scottish heritage through initiatives to support music, art, literature, dance, history, genealogy, cultural/academic/business/law/medical exchanges, sport, food and drink.
     
  • MacMillan, Thomas C. The Scots and Their Descendants in Illinois." Transactions, Illinois State Historical Society 26 (1919): 31-85.
     
  • Scottish Genealogy Group. The Scottish Genealogy Group is an organization of individuals interested in researching their Scottish ancestry. The Group is part of the Illinois Saint Andrew Society, founded in Chicago by immigrant Scots in 1845.

Swedish

  • Anderson, Philip J. and Dag Blanck. Swedish American Life in Chicago. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois, 1992.
     
  • Beijbom, Ulf. Swedes in Chicago: A Demographic and Social Study of the 1846-1880 Immigration. Stockholm, 1971.
     
  • F.M. Johnson Archives and Special Collections. North Park University. Brandel Library. Chicago, Illinois. The collections include the denominational records of the Evangelical Covenant Church, the records of North Park University, and the collections of the Swedish-American Archives of Greater Chicago.
     
  • Swedes - Encyclopedia of Chicago.
     
  • Swedish American Museum Center. Chicago, Illinois. Features exhibits on Swedish-American history and has a genealogical collection.
     
  • Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center. Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois. Is a major national library for researching Swedish genealogy. The center holds a number of important records for Cook County research, including many recordsof Chicago's Swedish churches.
     
  • They Built Railway Cars  The Pullman Social Experiment and the Swedish Immigration. Heritage Books.

Syrian

  • Hadda, Safiyah Fahmi. "Socialization and Cultural Change among Syrian-Americans in Chicago." Ph.D. dissertation, University of Chicago, 1964.
     
  • Hitti, Philip. The Syrians in America. 1924.
     
  • Naff, Alixa. Becoming American: The Early Arab Immigrant Experience. 1985.
     
  • Syrians. - Encyclopedia of Chicago.