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Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois

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6140 S. Drexel Blvd., Chicago IL

Resident Name Index 1894 - 1943

Database contains 709 records

Following the 1871 Great Chicago Fire, German-speaking Jews began moving from downtown to the Near South Side. They later moved further south to the Grand Boulevard, Washington Park, and Kenwood-Hyde Park areas. They built facilities to care for the sick (Michael Reese Hospital), orphaned children (Chicago Home for Jewish Orphans), and the aged (the Drexel Home).  Source: Spertus.edu. Drexel opened at 6140 S. Drexel Blvd. in 1893 and closed in 1981. The original building was demolished in 1959 for construction of a north wing addition to the 1950 expansion.

Mike Karsen authored an article about the Drexel Home which appeared in the Spring 2017 edition of Morasha.

The Drexel Home Name Index is a handwritten book consisting of 2 sections. The front section is an alphabetical index. The Drexel Book contains admissions from 1894-1943. Residents were added to the book by the first letter of their last name, as they were admitted. The back section (about 350 pages) has intake biographies of 750 residents. They were recorded in the order they were admitted and have extensive genealogical information which typically included: when and where born, when came to US, when came to Chicago, occupation, date died, and where buried; some entries have other additional information.

JGSI, in conjunction with the Spertus Institute of Chicago archives, undertook this project to preserve and make available the genealogical information of the Drexel Home for the Jewish Aged residents. JGSI member volunteers made this project successful. Special thanks go to:

  • Debbie Kroopkin (Originator of project)
  • Mike Karsen and Wendy Hauser (Photographing the book pages)
  • Marcia Hirsch (Cropping and preparing images)
  • Dennis Aron (Transcribing page data: DOB DOD Burial Notes-2)
  • Terry Taylor (Transcribing page data: DOB DOD Burial Notes-2)
  • Ron Miller (Database creation and search engine creator, website designer)

Example of hand-written entry.

email: JJCD@jgsi.org


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JGSI is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.