Cathedral of St. Peter (Belleville) Catholic Parish Records
Compilation copyright by Gloria Dettleff
SCCGS presents this data unaltered and as donated to the Society for genealogical research purposes only. SCCGS does not certify the accuracy of this data but recognizes it was done in good faith by an experienced compiler. In keeping with the compiler’s wishes and SCCGS’s Terms and Conditions of Use (click), you may use unique elements that are part of a unique family history or genealogy but may not otherwise publish material from this site in whole or in part in any electronic, print or other medium. For special circumstances, seek required permission in writing from SCCGS and the compiler. Commercial use is expressly prohibited.
History, Bishops and priests, about these records, caveats, citations, further research
In 1842 a parcel of land was purchased in Belleville by Father Joseph Kuenster upon which the cornerstone for St. Peter Church was laid. At that time the church was in the Diocese of Alton. In 1845 the church school began in the church basement. A new church was built in 1863 and the church was declared a cathedral iin 1887 with creation of the Diocese of Belleville. A fire in 1912 nearly destroyed the cathedral which was reconstructed in 1913. The interior was renovated in 1939, the exterior in 1957. A south nave was constructed between 1966 and 1968 and the sanctuary updated in accordance with Vatican II (altar facing the congregation; no communion rail). Stained glass window descriptions and a history of the school are outlined on the bottom of the parish website.
Some Bishops and Pastors
The Reverends Joseph Kuenster (1842–1845), J. H. Oslangenberger (1845–1855 ), P. J. Baltes (1855–1870), Louis Hinssen (1870–1883), and Benedictine Fathers Lucas, Alphonse, Chrysostomus, and Beno (1883–1888);
Bishop John Janssen (1888–1913), and Rectors Revs. C. J. Zwiesler (1888–1889), F. H. Budde (1889–1896), H. J. Hagen (1896–1908), and Msgr. Joseph H. Schlarman (1908–1913);
Bishop Henry Althoff (1914–1947), and Rectors Msgr. Joseph H. Schlarman (1914–1930), Msgr. Joseph M. Mueller (1930–1947);
Bishop Albert Zuroweste (1948–1976), and Rectors Msgr. Raymond Harbaugh (1947–1955), Msgr. Gregory Holtgrave (1955–1971), and Msgr. James McCormick (1971–>
About these records, this database, caveats
- Baptisms: Some took place in Highland (Madison County) or Mascoutah. In the 1880s, baptisms and burials are intermixed with the marriage register.
- Marriages: Only 3 marriages were recorded in 1847; maiden names (1857–1910) were bound into the spine; marriages (1890s, 1900s) often were signed by a priest other than the officiant; marriages (1920s) are not in chronological order.
- Burials: Some death dates seem a bit “off” – see the original image for assessment; beginning 1930s, ages and birth dates are not visible; many entries in the 1910s were recorded twice. Early burials were on the family farm, the Old Burial Ground across the street until 1850, Walnut Hill Cemetery beginning in the 1850s, and Green Mount Catholic Cemetery (1877).
- The Society and the compiler recommend researchers verify information provided on the SCCGS website with the original record extracted from images are online at FamilySearch. Also, verify the actual place buried with the cemetery sexton’s book, an obituary, funeral card, death certificate, or probate record. Courthouse, IRAD, and library addresses.
- Researchers are urged to correlate information here with that found in other records before forming conclusions about a person, family, or relationship. Further research (scroll down).
- Baptism images through 23 December 1930 are available on microfilm roll 19 (see sidebar).
- If the image is unsatisfactory (much ink bled through), request help from the Archives of the Diocese of Belleville at (618) 722-5057.
- Square brackets [ ] indicate wording added by the compiler to clarify an entry.
- Terminology reflects the time period and Roman Catholic Canon Law, both have changed over time.
- Cramped handwriting, faint images, possible transcription errors, and names spelled phonetically or with diacritical marks will undoubtedly affect this compilation. Search tips may help locate an ancestor’s name if misspelled.
- Given names abbreviated in the church book are spelled out when the English equivalent is certain (Elizabeth for Eliz., Louis for Ludovicus). When no apparent equivalent was known or ambiguous, the Latin name or initials were transcribed.
Sample citation to a specific record in this database
Gloria Dettleff, compiler, “Cathedral of St. Peter (Belleville, Illinois) Catholic Baptisms (1842 – 1906),” St. Clair County Genealogical Society (https://stclair-ilgs.org : date viewed) ; [ancestor’s name, date of baptism].
Sample citation to a digital image of the original church register
The FamilySearch website provides a citation with each record.
- Births filed at the Courthouse (1878–circa 1912) are on the SCCGS Member website.
- Civil marriages filed at the courthouse are indexed on the Illinois State Archives’ Statewide Marriage Index to 1906, and in the SCCGS Quarterly 1906–1950 beginning with Volume 30 Number 2 (2007).
- If a person died in Missouri 1910-1968, access their death certificate on the Missouri Secretary of State web site.
- The Illinois State Archives’ Statewide Death Index (1916 – 1950) is the gateway to order less expensive death certificates through the Illinois State Genealogical Society than the County Clerk’s office.
- Deaths and Stillbirths filed at the St. Clair County Courthouse (1878–1916) are abstracted in the SCCGS Quarterly, Volumes 31–43 (2008–2020). Use the surname index and Table of Contents to narrow a search.
- Latin language aids
- French language word list
- Given names translated from French and Latin into English , courtesy American-French Genealogical Society.
- Burnett, Betty. A Time of Favor: The Story of the Catholic Family of Southern Illinois. St. Louis, Mo.: Patrice Press, 1987.
- Diocese of Belleville. Centennial Heritage Festival and Picnic, Sunday, September 27. Belleville, Ill.: The Diocese, 1987.
St. Clair County Genealogical Society, PO Box 431, Belleville, IL 62222-0431.
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