With over 38,000 burials spanning some seventy years, the Cook County Cemetery in Dunning, Chicago, Illinois, was a potters field serving the poor and indigent of the county. Those buried in the cemetery included deceased individuals from the County Poor house and farm opened 1854, the Insane Asylum opened 1869, the infirmary opened 1882, and the Consumptive hospital (TB), opened 1899. The cemetery received bodies from the Cook County Hospital, the city morgue, many Chicago area hospitals, and many city social institutions. About 120 bodies from the Great Chicago Fire in October 1871 were buried at the Cook County Cemetery in Dunning.
Records of those interred in the cemetery have been difficult to access. The vast majority of the records of who was buried at Dunning were destroyed in the 1960s when a storage room was flooded. Some records do remain but have not been conveniently available to the public. Barry Fleig, the former cemetery chairman of the Chicago Genealogical Society saw a need. He wanted to preserve the remaining records electronically before another disaster destroys the remaining fragile paper records.