St. Patrick (East St. Louis) Catholic Parish Records
Compilation Copyright 2019, Gloria Dettleff, compiler, translator, and SCCGS. Donated to and for the use of the St. Clair County Genealogical Society (SCCGS), per Agreement, revised January 2020.
The compiler and SCCGS volunteers present this work in good faith to the best of their ability using images of the church records online at Browse link 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. Please send corrections or comments to email@example.com, attention Ms. Dettleff.
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St. Patrick parish and school
Historic St. Patrick’s parish was part of the Diocese of Alton until 1887 when the Diocese of Belleville was created. The first brick church (1862) was located at Illinois and Sixth Streets, East St. Louis, and served a mostly Irish congregation. Though records begin in May 1861, Catholics in the area traveled to Cahokia or St. Louis for services until their numbers were large enough to support a parish. German parishioners who wished to attend services in their native language successfully petitioned the bishop and established St. Henry in 1866.
An addition to St. Patrick’s church was dedicated in 1871. A new organ was installed in 1895. Damaged during the 1896 cyclone and condemned in 1929, a new site for the parish buildings eventually developed at Summit and 33rd and was dedicated in 1931 during the Great Depression. The parish closed in 2006. Priests who served at St. Patrick’s.
Classes were held in the church basement and run as a public school until 1888. In 1903 the cornerstone was laid for a new St. Patrick’s grade school with facilities for parish meetings and an auditorium. This building served as Central Catholic High School for boys in East St. Louis until the new school was built in 1931 at the 33rd and Summit location.
Though county histories do not mention that St. Patrick’s had its own graveyard, the earliest death book indicates “the parish cemetery” was used. The German cemetery mentioned in the burial book probably refers to land purchased in 1870 by St. Henry although a few burials pre-date that purchase. Some St. Patrick’s burials were written as East St Louis C, the C might stand for catholic or city. Calvary generally refers to that cemetery in St. Louis.
St. Patrick’s parish registers
Images of the original baptism, marriage, and burial books for St. Patrick’s (East St. Louis) were viewed online and abstracted. Gratefully, the Diocesan Archives allowed proofreaders to use the original books thereby rendering entries readable which had been overwritten in different color inks or buried in tight binding. In many instances proofreaders searched county marriage and death indexes, the U.S. Census, and some St. Louis resources to help interpret letters or words. Unsatisfactory handwriting, ink, spellings, image quality, and tight binding will undoubtedly impact the compilation. Please contact the Diocesan Archives at (618) 722-5057 if further help is needed after viewing the image on Family Search.
- [ ] Square brackets indicate material added by the compilers after viewing the original book, e.g., words buried in a tight binding, compiler’s comments. The length of ____ an underscore does not represent the number of missing letters.
- Some letters were very difficult to decipher, e.g., an uncrossed F looked like T, an undotted i looked like e. Lower case LL looked like le; G like Y; L like S; m like n.
- Many entries are written in English rather than Latin.
- O’ and Mc were sometimes omitted. Names often misspelled include Eugine, Henery, Luisa, and Roberth. Mary and May look similar. Abbreviated names are spelled out when certain of the translation, e.g., Xtopher = Christopher; Michl = Michael. Francis and Frances were interchangeable. A person also might be called by a middle name, a nickname, or one derived from German or Irish. For example, Jacob in Latin is James but a German may call the man Jacob. Further research may determine the name most used.
- Civil birth, death, and marriage certificates, if recorded, may provide additional information. See links.
- If a person died in Missouri 1910-1968, their death certificate may be digitized and freely accessed on the Missouri Secretary of State website. That site also has abstracts of pre-1910 death records but not images. Deaths in Illinois 1916–1950 are indexed here. The Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) provides a copy service.
- The place buried may be discovered or confirmed in other sources such as an obituary, funeral card, civil records, or a probate record.
- St. Patrick’s baptismal records to 1930, communions, and confirmations on microfilm are at the Belleville Public Library. The sequence of St. Patrick’s records on microfilm is found on reels 36, 37, and 38 on this finding aid.
Sample citation to a specific record in this database:
Gloria Dettleff, compiler, “St. Patrick Catholic Church, East St. Louis, Illinois, Baptisms (1861-1889)”, 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 image.
- Latin language aids
- French language aids
- 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.
Dedication Souvenir: St. Patrick’s Church, East St. Louis, Illinois. May 30, 1957.
LaChance, Lorraine. Memoirs and Memories: A Parish in Review. Belleville Public Library A.C. R 282.09 LaChance
St. John’s Orphanage edition of The Messenger. History of the Diocese of Belleville. 1919. Belleville, Ill: Published by Joseph Nicholas Buechler.
St. Clair County Genealogical Society, PO Box 431, Belleville, IL 62222-0431.
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