Cemeteries and Graves Project
Welsh graves in Chicago
At its inception in 1853 the Cambrian Benevolent Society of Chicago determined to provide Welsh people in the city in indigent circumstances with a proper burial and place of rest. To this end they purchased plots in area cemeteries and contracted with a local undertaker, H. Sheldon.
The first graves were in the old Chicago City Cemetery (now part of Lincoln Park) which was later closed because of its proximity to living areas in a rapidly growing city. From 1866 Graceland Cemetery was used and later sites at Forest Home and Oak Ridge (details below).
Graceland Cemetery is on Chicago’s North Side and is situated between Montrose Ave and Irving Park Road east of Clark St. The Cambrian section is not far from the main entrance.
Forest Home Cemetery was once an Indian burial ground. It is situtated between the Eisenhower Expressway and Roosevelt Road and just east of the boundary between Maywood and Forest Park. The address is: 863 S. Des Plaines Ave, Forest Park.
Oak Ridge Cemetery can be found at 4301 Roosevelt Road, Hillside, IL. It is situated between Mannheim and S. Wolf Roads, south of Roosevelt Road.
We have recently begun a study of the records in our possession and hope, eventually, to have a complete listing of Welsh graves in the Chicago area. There is still much to be done and we have been working with cemetery staff to check for accuracy and to fill in the blanks. Our hope is that we will ultimately have a resource for those who may be searching for information about Welsh ancestors. The Board has also authorized funds to repair and restore a marker at Oak Ridge Cemetery, to straighten tilted headstones and, to generally tidy up the area.
If you need specific information or if you have information that would add to our knowledge please contact any member of the Cemeteries and Graves Committee or the Cambrian Board.
Cemeteries and Graves Committee
Dilys Rana, email@example.com