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St. Joseph (East St. Louis) Catholic Church

Compilation Copyright 2020 by Gloria Dettleff
Donated to and for the use of the St. Clair Genealogical Society 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. The Society and the compiler recommend researchers verify information provided here with the original record from which it was derived, available online at FamilySearch. Should the online image be unsatisfactory, help may be requested from the Archives of the Diocese of Belleville at (618) 722-5057.

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.

Sample Citation | Translation Aids
Baptisms (1902 – 1907) | Marriages (1902 – 1932) | Burials (1902 – 1957)
Priests at St. Joseph

St. Joseph Catholic Church, East St. Louis, in the Diocese of Belleville of Southern Illinois dates from 1902. Father Thomas Bannan started this church from territory previously served by St. Patrick’s (104 families) and St. Elizabeth’s (64 families). It was the smallest parish in East St. Louis, composed of mostly Irish immigrants. Its boundaries were Pennsylvania and Summit Avenues on the north; by Broadway on the south; the “first belt line” on the east and by 13th Street on the west. The church on Illinois Avenue had a Renaissance architecture rather than the Gothic and Romanesque styles that prevailed prior to this date. The church took seven years to build and was the first church to have an inclined floor allowing everyone to view all aspects of the church interior. The church experienced a steady decline in membership starting in the 1960s and closed in 2006.

More information can be found at this link. Abstracts on this website were created from images of the original church books online at FamilySearch. Follow the Browse link there to records arranged by county, city, then parish.

The records

  • “CW Hosp” in the records is the abbreviation for Christian Welfare Hospital, East St. Louis, Illinois.
  • Square brackets  [   ]  indicate wording added by the compiler to clarify an entry.
  • The letters n and u were difficult to distinguish from each other, as were some other letters. The information contained in each entry varies with the person who wrote it and his familiarity with the people involved.


Marriages (1902 – 1932)

  • Many entries are out of sequence.

Burials (1902 – 1957)

  • Some death dates may be burial dates.
  • Many entries are out of sequence.
  • Some entries were written where ever space could be found.
  • The deceased’s address appears beginning 1948 but was not transcribed.
  • When a burial place was mentioned it is included in this database.


Name spelling and pronunciation

  • 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 name as written in Latin was transcribed.
  • Researchers are advised to determine the name by which the person was called by comparing information on this website to other independently created records, for example, church histories.

Additional Resources

  • Baptisms, marriages, and burials for this church are on microfilm reels 32–34 (described here) among SCCGS holdings the Belleville Public Library, and the St. Louis County Library (main) – courtesy of the St. Clair County Genealogical Society and the Diocesan archives. FamilySearch online images include marriage and burial records after 1930.
  • Researchers are encouraged to find other documents to support information in the database, e.g., an obituary notice, death certificate, marriage record, and will or probate case file.
  • If a person died in Missouri 1910-1968, their death certificate may be digitized and freely accessed on the Missouri Secretary of State web site That site also has abstracts of pre-1910 death records but not images.

Sample citation to a specific record in this database

Gloria Dettleff, compiler, “St. Joseph (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.

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Translation Aids



Belleville Diocesan Review for 1928, The Messenger (supplement). Belleville, Ill.: Buechler Printing Company. [1929].

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

East St. Louis [City] Directory. Alton, Illinois: Huber Directory Co.1928

St. John’s Orphanage Edition of The Messenger. History of the Diocese of Belleville. Belleville, Ill: Joseph N. Buechler, publisher. 1919

The Messenger: Catholic Newspaper of the Diocese of Belleville: Commemorating Our Time of Favor, April 24, 1988. 1988.

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