Burials at Cedar Bluff Cemetery

Rural and Longwood Streets

Rockford, Illinois


Click on a letter below to view the burial records 



What is this database


This is not just a verbatim copy of the burial records of Cedar Bluff Cemetery (View map). It was initially compiled from several sources of cemetery records including lot plat maps, lot/grave ownership cards, burial permits, and other miscellaneous information made available to the project volunteers.  Additional data has been entered from gravestone inscriptions, but that part of the project has only been completed for a small portion of the cemetery as of this date.  Also, some entries have been “enhanced” by data from the Social Security Death Index, newspaper obituaries, probate files, local histories, funeral home and monument company records, county death records, etc.  The 11,659 records in this database include burials through 1999. 


Over the 150 years of Cedar Bluff burials, there was a large variance in the record keeping expertise and legibility of the handwriting of the sextons and their helpers, as well as that of the fiduciary trusteeship of bank personnel.  Using the supplementary sources mentioned above helped clarify some of these problems.


Many early burial records may just say “baby”, “Mrs. Smith”, or just “Jones”.  Those without some distinguishable identification are excluded from this list.  Also, most “pre-need” purchase records have not been included.


Therefore, this is not an “official” Cedar Bluff Cemetery record; it is a guide for the family genealogist or historical researcher that simply was not previously available.  It is recommended that serious genealogists seek original records as their documentation source rather than referencing this index. 



Codes and Format


Dates are shown as year-month-day (e.g. 1902-03-30).  If it is known to be the death date, a suffix “D” is added.  Likewise if only the burial date is known, the suffix “B” is added.  If the death did not occur in Winnebago County, IL, and was noted on a record, the death location is included in the Notations column.


If you are looking for a name like DeWitt, DuFoe, or LaRoque, note that the software program we used sorts capital letters ahead of lower case letters.  DeWitt will be ahead of Dean, DuFoe ahead of Duckett. and LaRoque ahead of Labella.


In the grave location columns, “LNS” means the location was not specified in available records, but we may find some of these later when copying marker inscriptions.  “CCB” means that if you wish information or have knowledge of the burial site, you should contact the Cedar Bluff Cemetery Sexton.  “PF” originally meant Potter’s Field, but includes other single grave burials; it is the open area in the northwest corner of the cemetery with mostly unmarked graves.



“X” in the Marker column indicates that the site was checked and there is some kind of marker for the person.  It may be an inscription on a large central monument, or individual headstones.  “MEM” in the grave location columns means that the person was not probably buried here, but was included in a memorial inscription on a monument.


In the Notations column, “V, CV, FGV, SV, or BV” notes that a vault was used.  However, absence of this should not be interpreted as no vault.  For many years, vaults (of some type) have been required.



Cemetery History


Cedar Bluff Cemetery Association was formed February 18, 1847.  Founding trustees were E. H. Potter, Willard Wheeler, Bela Shaw, Selden M. Church, Hollis H. Holmes, and Lucius Clark.  Final organization was made November 28, 1851.  Twelve acres were purchased from Bela Shaw for $400.  The tract was surveyed by Duncan Ferguson, April 13, 1853 (History of Rockford and Winnebago County, Illinois, Charles A. Church, 1900).  About 1905 - 1910, the cemetery nearly doubled in size by acquiring property east to Davis Street.


In an article in the Rockford Morning Star of June 11, 1905, it was estimated that there had been approximately 4,000 burials in Cedar Bluff Cemetery up to that time.  In the Rockford Daily Register Gazette of December 22, 1923, someone came up with an estimate of 13,080 total burials, a badly exaggerated guess.  Based on records available to the compilers of this index, it is likely that the total number of burials at Cedar Bluff through 1999 is in the range of 12 - 13,000.





The Society first wishes to thank the Welte family, especially Jim and his son Jeff, for giving permission as the current administrators of the Cedar Bluff Cemetery, for us to tackle this project.  All records were made available, down to the last scrap of paper, in the cemetery “office”, as well as records at Bank One, successor to the Third National and First National Banks, the fiduciary trust overseers.


The four volumes of Obituaries from the Rockford Newspapers, abstracted and edited by John Molyneaux, covering 1840 - 1874 were a helpful reference in verifying some records.


We also thank the following Society members who gave of their time and energies in the compilation of the database to this stage.  This included microfilm extraction, computer input, photocopying plat books and burial permits, copying gravestone inscriptions, searching for obituaries, etc.



Bob Allen

Allan Anglemire

Helen Anglemire

Bob Buckardt

Liz Buckardt

Ed Dreger

Marilyn Dreger

Catherine Edlen

Bob Jansen

Dorles McCarthy

Ken Michel

Shirl Reed (Project Coordinator)

Wayne Ring

Miriam Ring

Virginia Skoglund

Phyllis Sundstedt

Helen Teter

Miriam Tunison



Cedar Bluff Cemetery Association                                            (815) 963-7731 (Cemetery Office)

c/o Julian-Poorman-Welte Funeral Home                                  Leave a message

304 North Fifth Street

Rockford, IL 61107