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St. Joseph (Freeburg) Catholic Parish

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.

Kindly credit this work, click for citation example. Commercial use is expressly prohibited.

Baptisms (1859–1906) | ♦ | Marriages (1859–1931) | ♦ | Burials (1859–1956)


St. Joseph Catholic Parish was established in 1857 as part of the Alton Diocese and is in the Diocese of Belleville in Southern Illinois since 1887. Settlers came to Freeburg from Austria, Bohemia, France, and Germany. The parish drew Catholics from the nearby communities of Paderborn, Fayetteville, and Georgetown (now Smithton). The first resident pastor was Rev. B. Bartels (1860), preceded by the Rev. Francis Bloesinger (1857-1859), and followed by Rev. Ferdinand Bergmeyer, OSF (1861-1863), Rev. Bernard Theo. Elshoff (1863-1865), Rev. Francis Trojane (1865-1868), Rev. Carl Oberprantasher (1868-1873), Rev. A Wirtschoreck (1874-1895), Rev. John Bruns 1895, Rev. G. Jansen (1895-1920). The school began in 1861. In 1912 an English Gothic church was completed.

About these records, this database, caveats

There are many differences between the typed and handwritten records.

  • 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. If the image is unsatisfactory (much ink bled through), request help from the Archives of the Diocese of Belleville at (618) 722-5057.
  • Earlier church records were written entirely in Latin and translated to give the gist of the meaning to the best of the compiler’s ability. More recent entries may be written in English.
  • Square brackets [  ] indicate wording added by the compiler to clarify an entry.
  • Researchers are urged to correlate information here with that found in other records before forming conclusions about a person, family, or relationship. Further research.
  • 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.
  • Some priests recorded more information than others.



  • location mentioned for parents might refer to place born.
  • Baptisms up to 1930 are on microfilm in SCCGS holdings at the Belleville Public Library and St. Louis County Library on Lindbergh. Find the microfilm roll for this parish here.


  • A bride or groom’s location may refer to current residence, or perhaps place born. The census may help pinpoint location.


  • This parish has its own cemetery in which burials continue today (2021). When noted in the book, the cemetery is included here.
  • Verify the actual place buried with the cemetery sexton’s book, an obituary, funeral card, or death certificate, or probate record. Courthouse, IRAD, and library addresses.


Sample citation to a specific record in this database

Gloria Dettleff, compiler, “St. Joseph (Freeburg [Illinois]) Catholic Church Baptisms (1859–1906),” St. Clair County Genealogical Society ( : 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.

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Further Research


Translation Aids



  1. Diocese of Belleville. Centennial Heritage Festival and Picnic, Sunday, September 27. Belleville, Ill.: The Diocese, 1987.
  2. Burnett, Betty. A Time of Favor: The Story of the Catholic Family of Southern Illinois. St. Louis, Mo.: Patrice Press, 1987.
  3. Diocese of Belleville. History of the Diocese of Belleville. Strasbourg, France: Éditions du Signe. 2011.

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