Please review our Sacramental Records Policy in Book 4, Section 900 of the Archdiocese of Chicago Policy Books (http://policy.archchicago.org) for detailed information on our records policy.
904.1.1. Policy - All researchers seeking records up to and including the year 1925 shall be referred to the Archdiocese of Chicago Archives and Records Center for access to registers via microfilm. Microfilm copies of all sacramental records up to that date, and most cemetery records, are available for research in the Archives and Records Center. Research directly in registers at the Archives and Records Center or at parishes is expressly forbidden in order to protect the originals from wear, provide proper supervision, and ensure privacy of records that might fall beyond December 31, 1925. These rules are designed to protect the legal rights and the exercise of responsibilities of all concerned, both civilly and canonically. Under no circumstances are sacramental registers to be removed from parish premises.
Records before 1915
They are also available on microfilm at the Archdiocese of Chicago Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Archives and Records Center.
Records between 1915-1925
St. Josaphat’s sacramental records between 1915 and Dec. 31, 1925 are yet not digitized, but may be opened by the parish staff at their convenience. Copies of these records are available to all researchers through parish staff when time allows.
Records after 1925
Records dated after Dec 31, 1925 are closed. Those interested in their own records or the records of family members may be issued information contained in the records under certain circumstances. A request to search records must be signed, contain proof of identification, the name of parents, and dates of birth so that there is no doubt that the person requesting the information is entitled to receive it.
Archdiocese of Chicago Genealogical Research Policy
AUTHORIZED RECIPIENTS OF GENEALOGICAL RECORDS:
1. There is open access to all sacramental records prior to January 1, 1926.
2. Sacramental records after January 1, 1926 and all school and orphanage records have restricted access. These people would include:
a. The person named in the record (if over age 18 or an emancipated minor);
b. A parent or legal guardian of the person named in the record (if the person is
under age 18 or incapacitated);
c. Other parties as designated in writing by person (a or b) above;
d. If person (a) above is deceased, their heirs may have access to the records,after supplying the Archives with an official copy of the deceased person's death certificate and an official birth, baptismal, or marriage certificate showing that the requester is the next of kin. If the official documents are not available, notarized copies are acceptable. All documentation will be returned.
3. Other parties as designated by court order, subpoena, summons, or statute.
904.2.2. Policy If a person is seeking his/her own record or has a legitimate reason to request another family member's records, the pastor or authorized parish personnel shall examine the registers and issue the required information either directly or by mail. If the requestor is not known to parish personnel, a signed request with proof of identification (picture ID) is required. If the request is in writing it must be signed and include the name of parents, date of birth and other pertinent information so that there is no doubt that the person requesting the information is entitled to receive it. Genealogical research is only permitted in records prior to December 31, 1925. Records after that date may be accessed only by the person in the record or their next of kin. Next of kin must provide notarized copies of death certificate(s) and birth certificate(s) linking them directly to the person/people in the record. These requests must also include an approximate date of the sacrament as neither the Archives and Records Center nor parishes have the resources to do extensive research. Please see the procedures for requesting genealogical certificates at archives.archchicago.org/sacramen.htm for more detailed information. Death records from the parishes are open for research.
904.3.4. Policy Certificates issued directly to a parish or other church entity for the purposes of canonical investigation (e.g. pre-nuptial preparation, tribunal, etc.) shall be clearly marked "For Canonical Investigation Only" with a red ink stamp. Certificates issued to a next of kin following the policy stated in §904.2.2 must be clearly marked "For Genealogical Purposes Only" with a red ink stamp. These genealogical certificates should not bear the seal of the parish, school, or institution unless is it is needed for legal reasons. In these few cases, the requestor must provide the legal document that requires the sealed certificate (e.g. a completed citizenship application, probate documents, etc.).