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Sacred Heart (East St. Louis) Catholic Parish Records

Compilation Copyright 2020, Gloria Dettleff. Donated to and for the use of the
St. Clair County Genealogical Society (SCCGS), as per Agreement, January, 2020.

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. Source: images online at FamilySearch.

This database is for genealogical research purposes only. Commercial use is expressly prohibited. In keeping with the compiler’s wishes and SCCGS’s Terms and Conditions of Use, you may not publish material from this site in whole or in part in any electronic, print or other medium, except as unique elements that are part of a unique family history or genealogy. For special circumstances, seek required permission in writing from SCCGS and the compiler. Kindly credit this work in your citation.

Kindly send corrections or comments to, attention Ms. Dettleff.

CitationTranslation Aids | Priests at the parish
Baptisms (1902 – 1907; some 1908-1912)  | Marriages (1902 – 1932)  | Burials A – L and M – Z (1902 – 1957)
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The parish

Sacred Heart parish at Eighth and Baugh Avenue, East St. Louis, and Diocese of Belleville, was formed in 1902 from St. Patrick’s parish. Rev. Charles Gilmartin was appointed pastor, holding that position for 58 years and beloved by many.

At its start, about 175 mostly Irish Catholic families comprised the congregation but also included parishioners of German heritage and a great number of transient families due to irregular employment at the stock yards and packing houses of East St. Louis. East St. Louis industries acted as a magnet for new immigrant families of Czech, Lithuanian, Polish, and Mexican heritage.

With the city’s rapid growth came a new church building, dedicated in 1925. The former church building which housed the church and school was repurposed for the school and a parish auditorium. In 1912, a two-story frame building adjoining the school was constructed for more classrooms. By 1919 about 450 children attended the school.

Two world wars and the construction of Interstates 64 and 55 contributed to a decline in attendance and eventual merger with St. Adalbert parish in 1967. Sacred Heart parish officially closed in 1976; the church building was demolished in 1979.


Burnett, Betty. A Time of Favor: The Story of the Catholic Family of Southern Illinois. St. Louis, Mo.: Patrice Press, 1987.

St. John’s Orphanage edition of The Messenger. History of the Diocese of Belleville. Belleville, Ill: Publisher Joseph Nicholas Buechler. 1919.

The records

  • The Society and the compiler recommend researchers verify information provided here with the original record from which it was derived, available online at FamilySearch. If the online image is unsatisfactory, help may be requested from the Archives of the Diocese of Belleville at (618) 722-5057.
  • Researchers are urged to correlate information here with that found in other records before forming conclusions about a person, family, or relationship. Further research (click).
  • Some entries apparently were copied from an earlier book. Not all entries were recorded in strict chronological order for reasons unknown to the compiler.
  • 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.
  • Some priests recorded more information than others.


  • Many baptismal records included the person’s later marriage date and place.
  • A parent’s location might refer to place born or current residence. Sponsors may be relatives.
  • Only a few baptisms 1908-1912 were recorded, transcribed from a page inserted in the front of the baptismal book.
  • The baptismal index at FamilySearch includes names of others baptized beyond 1907 (FamilySearch’s cut-off year). For baptisms 1908-1930, see Further research.  
  • Generally, infant baptisms took place a few weeks after birth; the year baptized ordinarily was written at the top of the page. The appropriate year born and baptized was added by the compiler unless otherwise written by the priest.


  • Surnames of women witnesses may be her given or married name.

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  • While the dates died and buried were recorded, only the death date was included in this compilation.
  • Burial places noted in the record are included in this compilation.
  • Burials for most parishioners were in Mt. Carmel (Belleville), Holy Cross (Fairview Heights), and Calvary cemetery in St. Louis. Read more about St. Clair County cemeteries and inventories published in books.


Further research

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Sample citation to a specific record in this database

Gloria Dettleff, compiler, “Sacred Heart (East St. Louis [Illinois]) Catholic Church Marriages (1902 – 1932),” St. Clair County Genealogical Society ( : date viewed); [ancestor’s name, date of marriage].

Sample citation to a digital image of the original church register

FamilySearch provides a citation with each image on its website.

Translation Aids

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