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Founded in 1849, St. Ansgarius Episcopal Church was the first parish established for the growing community of Swedish immigrants in the city of Chicago. The church was formed jointly by the Swedish and Norwegian communities within the neighborhood of Swede Town (present-day River North). Gustaf Unonius (1810-1902), a Swedish pioneer and Episcopal priest, served as the church’s first pastor for 10 years.
Most of the Norwegian members of St. Ansgarius left the parish in 1868 due to continued tensions with the Swedish congregation. The now-Swedish church would serve as an important center for Swedish-American life in the city into the 20th century, until St. Ansgarius was effectively closed in 1920. While the church was reopened 4 years later, it was rededicated as St. Francis in 1943 and ultimately closed in 1997.
The St. Ansgarius Episcopal Church Records presents the surviving records and registry of this influential and significant parish as freely accessible and in the public domain. Browse through parish communicants lists (members of the parish who had received the sacrament of Confirmation) sacramental records (baptisms, burials, marriages, and more), and learn about the day-to-day management of the church through the pastor's diary and vestry meeting minutes.
The original items digitized in this collection are cataloged in the Swedish-American Archives of Greater Chicago, owned by the Swedish-American Historical Society and deposited at the F. M. Johnson Archives and Special Collections at North Park University in Chicago. Due to the fragility of the original material, we direct most patrons to this digital collection if they are interested in researching St. Ansgarius parish. Please contact archives staff at firstname.lastname@example.org or (773) 244-6224 for more information, or if you wish to make an appointment to visit or research.
Conservation and digitization of the St. Ansgarius Episcopal Church records was made possible by generous grants from the Swedish Council of America and the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation.
Questions about this collection? Contact: email@example.com or 1-773-244-6224.