Immaculate Conception (East St. Louis, Illinois) 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.
Efforts to organize this parish for Lithuanians began in 1895, located in the Diocese of Belleville. A private residence was rented for the parish, until the small frame church was erected at the corner of Fifteenth Street and Baugh Avenue, East St. Louis. The parish had 165 families (1917), mostly laborers employed in factories, foundries, and the stockyards.
History (continued), pastors, caveats, research ideas, citations
In 1911, and again in 1927, the church was enlarged; a fire destroyed the building in 1943. The new church cornerstone was laid in 1945. Ten years later the new church building with steeple was dedicated. A shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Siluva was erected by parishioners in 1951.
Also in 1911, the rectory was moved to face Fifteenth Street and a three-room school was added to the rear of the rectory. Approximately 82 students were enrolled circa 1918. The school was closed in 1966; a fire in 1976 destroyed the building.
When land for Highway 64 necessitated sale of many parishioners’ homes and area property the parish no longer functioned as such. Rather than close the church and lose an historic center for the Lithuanian Catholic community, Immaculate Conception Parish was suppressed in 2014, the church designated as a Chapel, and overseen in 2020 by the Pastor of St. Augustine of Hippo.
1895-1936 Revs. Joseph Servetka, Rev. Joseph Masiotas, Rev. Boleslaus Szlamas (1904), Rev. John Gadeikis (1907), Rev Joseph Petrovitch (1911), Rev. Francis Gugus (1915), S.E. Kolesinskis (1916)
1936-1940 Rev. Vincent Tikuisis
1940-1969 Rev. Anthony Deksnys
About these records, this database, caveats
- 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, “Immaculate Conception (East St. Louis, Illinois) Catholic Baptisms (1897 – 1907),” 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.
- 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 hone a search.
- Latin language aids
- Lithuanian Genealogical Word List
- Lithuanian localities, abbreviations, translation examples, courtesy JewishGen
- Given names translated from French and Latin into English , courtesy American-French Genealogical Society.
- St. John’s Orphanage Edition of The Messenger. History of the Diocese of Belleville. Belleville, Ill.: Joseph Nicholas Buechler, 1919.
- 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.
- ______. “Location of Old Parish Records.” https://www.diobelle.org/canonical-affairs/archives/list-of-closed-parishes : viewed 13 December 2021.
- The Messenger: Catholic Newspaper of the Diocese of Belleville : Commemorating Our Time of Favor, April 24, 1988. Belleville, IL: The Messenger, 1988.
- Yakstis, Bill. An Historical Perspective of the Lithuanian Immaculate Conception Church in East St. Louis, Illinois. [Belleville, IL]. 2019.
St. Clair County Genealogical Society, PO Box 431, Belleville, IL 62222-0431.
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