Cook County Cemetery

Database

Enter a portion of the last name:    

This is a preliminary upload of the name database. There are currently just over 7800 entries at this time, but some 1600 do not have a name and are sadly unknown.  

 This database currently contains many omissions, misspellings, and mechanical errors, but has been uploaded for the purpose of placing the names online and making them available, rather than letting them languish on one personal computer. As time permits these listings will and are being refined, corrected,  and improved. At least one thousand additional names will be added as these are waiting to be transcribed. And then there are many microfilm reels that have yet to be searched.  Thank you for your understanding. 

Sources of the information

This list has and continues to be compiled from a variety of sources including the following:

  1. Death Certificates filed in Cook County and/or the State of Illinois 1878-1922

  2. Cook County Coroner's Reports 1878- August 1904

  3. Monthly death and burial entries and reports within the Journal of Proceedings, Board of Cook County Commissioners for the years 1866-1912

  4. Death Register December 8 1898 - February 25 1914   

    Containing only a small amount of TB patient deaths (and burial information) at Dunning.   This ledger found and transcribed at the Oak Forest Hospital medical records department. The bulk of this ledger contains the burial information of those interred at Cook County Cemetery at Oak Forest Illinois, the cemetery that superceded Cook County Cemetery at Dunning in 1912 when  Dunning was sold to the State of Illinois and was renamed Chicago State Hospital. Cook County built and opened a new facility for the poor in Oak Forest and at the same time opened a new cemetery which operated from about 1912-1958

  5. A few surviving Journal pages from the Cook County Institution at Dunning

 A note about Death certificate forms

There were many different forms over the years used to record the death of those buried at Dunning. Some of those included city Board of Health physicians Certificate of Death, Return of Death from a Hospital, Certificate of Death from the Coroner, and others. The amount of information varied depending on the certifcate form and the year that the form was used. There are many deaths at the Dunning institution that have been lost forever. Most all who died before the 1871 Chicago Fire, and those where the institution did not file an official death certificate, but only simply noted the death and burial in their records.

Spelling

Surnames  as well as given names were frequently spelled or mis-spelled in several different ways on the primary documents. With few exceptions, I have transcribed the name most exactly the way they were indexed unless the death certificate indicated otherwise.

Unknown Burials

There are a large number of unknown people buried at Dunning. They are no less important than those who have been identified by name. The unknown entries in this book may well be the only recognition of that person in death. I have attempted to include as much descriptive data as possible, so that someone might be able to include or exclude an unknown person from their particular search for a relative. Dates are the moste relevant clue to their identity.

Babies

There are a large number of babies buried within the new grounds, currently well over 1000. In addition, there were many young children as well.

Dates

The date shown is usually a disposition (burial) date but in some cases can be a death date or the date that the death certificate was prepared. Whenever possible, I attempt to make the entry as clear as possible.

Grave numbering

There appeared to be at least three separate grave numbering schemes for the burials in the "New Grounds" 500’x 500’ (5.739 acre site) located 733 feet north and a bit west of the intersection of Oak Park Ave. and Irving Park Blvd.  This section appears to have been first used in the spring of 1889 and platted officially in November of 1890.  These were separate sections for general burials from outside the institution,  Poor House graves (those who died in the Cook County Poorhouse at the institution - in later years called the "infirmary", Insane Graves (those who died in the Insane Asylum at the institution, and Baby Graves. The system was not always accurate, as a death that occured in the poor house could have been buried in an insane grave, or vice versa.

After 1912 when the cemetery was renamed Chicago State Hospital Cemetery, a grave numbering for those began. There are currently about 250 or so known burials from 1912-1922.

No grave numbering system has yet been found for the Old Grounds sections, representing burials between 1854 and the Fall of 1889. There was most likely a detailed numbering system, but was most probably lost when ledgers and records of the Old Grounds were  damaged and destroyed.

As time goes on this database will become larger, and better. Your patience in this regard is appreciated.

As possible, I am happy to receive comments, inquiries, questions, and even additions.

I am Barry A Fleig and can be contacted at Barry.Fleig@cookcountycemetery.com