A resident for over fifty years, Barry A. Fleig is a devoted fan of all things Chicago. The streets, the maps, the buildings and the places for the dead. He has been a recognized authority on burying grounds, cemeteries, and burial sites with an emphasis on vanished cemeteries specializing in Chicago, Cook county, Lake and DuPage Counties.
His interest in cemeteries began in 1967 when he began researching his own family history.
For three years, he served on the Board of Management for the Chicago Genealogical Society, as their Cemetery Chairman. He has been the Vice-Chairman of the Association for the Ethical Protection of Burial Sites.
Mr. Fleig has aided in the identification and preservation of Russell Cemetery near Techny in Northfield Township, Cook County. His most significant accomplishment was the rediscovery, identification and research of a forgotten cemetery on Chicago’s northwest side. Mr. Fleig uncovered records and maps documenting the burial of over 38,000 bodies within twenty-seven acres of a 320 acre County Farm. The burials were made in Cook County Cemetery at Jefferson (Dunning) on property later known as the Chicago State hospital on Chicago’s northwest side. The whole story and a searchable database can be found at http://www.cookcountycemetery.com
He has worked as a consultant for the City of Chicago, the State of Illinois, and local construction firms regarding this cemetery. He worked with the Illinois State Preservation Agency for the design and construction of a Memorial Park to commemorate those buried in Cook County Cemetery. Almost nine acres of cemetery have been rediscovered and preserved under the Human Grave Protection act.
After fifty years in Chicago, he retired to Arizona but remains active in both cemetery research and family genealogy.