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Chicago Genealogy Source: Union Ridge Cemetery

14 Nov 2019 10:58 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Looking for information on Union Ridge Cemetery? The history of the cemetery? Do you have an ancestor buried in the cemetery?

Union Ridge Cemetery is located on the north side of Chicago at 6700 West Higgins Road, in Norwood Park Township. In 1838, the farmers living in this small community recognized the need for a cemetery and Henry Smith donated a small corner of his land for that purpose. Initially the cemetery did not have a name, it was just “the Cemetery” and on the 19th century maps its location was known as “Smith’s Ridge.” Section “O” is the original cemetery. Following the Civil War and the interment of about 67 veterans, the cemetery came to be known as Union Ridge Cemetery.[1]    

In 1991 and 1992, a group of Chicago Genealogical Society members volunteered to do a full cemetery reading of the Union Ridge Cemetery. The primary reason for doing the reading was because the cemetery association had no records prior to 1890.  A rechecking of the stones was done in the summer of 1994. A book was compiled to preserve this data and published in 1995. Some of the contents of this book include:

-          Early History of Norwood Park

-          Maps

-          History of Union Ridge

-          1941 Map of Union Ridge area

-          The Reading

-          Some Early Settlers in Cook County

-          Civil War Burials in Union Ridge

FindAGrave website currently reports the cemetery has been 72% photographed. Maybe you are lucky your ancestor has been photographed.  But can you read the gravestone? This cemetery reading was done 25 years ago. That is 25 Chicago winters the gravestones have weathered since the reading. It is worth checking out the discoveries from years ago. If you ancestor’s gravestone has not been photographed, you could discover the gravestone’s section and information appearing on it. Keep in mind the reading recorded only existing stones and what could be read at the time.

Where can you find the Chicago Genealogical Society Union Ridge Cemetery Book? On CGS’s website in the members only section. Thank you CGS volunteers for completing this project 25+ years ago.  

Happy researching!


1 Chicago Genealogical Society, Union Ridge Cemetery, Chicago, Illinois (Chicago : Chicago Genealogical Society, 1995), p. vii.

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