Oak Woods Cemetery, Chicago Illinois

Vicki’s note -here is a quote of the information that I found on “FindAGrave.com for those of you looking for ancestors who were buried in Cook County, Illinois.  Oak Woods Cemetery contains grave sites for many Confederate Prisoner of war soldiers from nearby Camp Douglas.  This points out how we need to think outside the box – maybe your Southern relatives died and were buried in the North, and vice-versa.   This Cemetery has many many famous south Chicago citizens from the early 1860s on including  Mayor Harold Washington, civil rights activist Ida B. Wells, and Olympian Jesse Owens..  There is also information about obtaining burial records from this Cemetery, and Cook County, IL.  You can search for first name/last name, but most of the actual records are not all free on-line!  Over-all indexes are online at Ancestry.com, and Family Search.org.

“Oak Woods Cemetery

1035 East 67th Street
Cook County
Illinois USA
Postal Code: 60637
Phone: 773-288-3800

Cemetery notes and/or description:
4/29/13: A photo volunteer reported that the cemetery office (773) 288-3800, stated that looking up plot location information this was a genealogical lookup, the Oak Woods Cemetery Association does not have the staff to perform this service and there is a $10.00 fee per lookup request for location information for the interred.

Oak Woods Cemetery records are housed onsite; some availability of in-depth record searches.
Contact the Director of the cemetery by phone or mail.
Oak Woods Cemetery Assn
Unis Nowak, Manager
1035 E 67th St, Chicago, IL 60637
(773) 288-3800

The Cook County Clerk’s office serves as the official record keeper for births, marriages and deaths that occur in Chicago. www.cookcountygenealogy.com

Oak Woods Cemetery is located in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois. It is a private cemetery owned and operated by Dignity Corporation, and is not affiliated with any church denomination. It is one of the more significant historic cemeteries on Chicago’s south side with burial sites of renowned figures like Mayor Harold Washington, civil rights activist Ida B. Wells, and Olympian Jesse Owens. The cemetery was established in 1855 but burials did not take place until 1860.

At the time of its opening Oak Woods was beyond the city limits, but it is now part of a very urban neighborhood called Greater Grand Crossing. The cemetery is located at 1035 E. 67th Street and covers an area of 183 acres. Oak Woods is bound by the streets 67th to the north, Woodlawn / Dorchester to the east, 71st to the south and Cottage Grove to the west. Oak Woods is 1.5 miles east of Interstate 94 at the 63rd Street exit. The grounds are beautiful and include grassy hills, ponds, large trees.

Burial records have not been indexed and are not online. There are records at the cemetery office; however, unless you are a family member you are not allowed to look at the record due to privacy guidelines. The only information provided to the general public is the location of the grave. To obtain this information you must have the deceased’s name and year of burial. The burial record contains: the person’s name, year of burial, age at burial, owner of the grave, section, lot, and grave number. They will also tell you if there is a marker. However, they will in some cases say there is not one when there is, so always check. Maps of the cemetery, section and lot are provided.

If you call the office they will do a look-up for one or two burials. If you have more than that you must make a request in writing and there is a fee. The staff are great in assisting the public.

Camp Douglas, in Chicago, Illinois, was one of the largest Union Army prisoner-of-war camps for Confederate soldiers taken prisoner during the American Civil War. Based south of the city on the prairie, it was also used as a training and detention camp for Union soldiers. The Union Army first used the camp in 1861 as an organizational and training camp for volunteer regiments. It became a prisoner-of-war camp in early 1862. Later in 1862 the Union Army again used Camp Douglas as a training camp. In the fall of 1862, the Union Army used the facility as a detention camp for paroled Union Army prisoners pending their formal exchange for Confederate prisoners.
Camp Douglas became a permanent prisoner-of-war camp from January 1863 to the end of the war in May 1865. In the summer and fall of 1865, the camp served as a mustering out point for Union Army volunteer regiments. The camp was dismantled and the movable property was sold off late in the year. In the aftermath of the war, Camp Douglas eventually came to be noted for its poor conditions and death rate of between seventeen and twenty-three percent. Some 4,275 Confederate prisoners were known to be re-interred from the camp cemetery to a mass grave at Oak Woods Cemetery after the war.




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