Illinois, Diocese of Belleville, Catholic Parish Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Illinois, Diocese of Belleville, Catholic Parish Records, 1729-1956 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
St. Clair County, Illinois, United States
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Location of St. Clair County, Illinois
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Record Description
Collection years
Archive


Record Description

The collection consists of images of parish registers recording the events of baptism, first communion, confirmation (to 1907), marriage (to 1930) or death (to 1956) in the Diocese of Belleville (Illinois), Roman Catholic Church. The index to some volumes may reference pages within a given volume beyond our current publication dates. As such, these images are not currently available. In addition to traditional parish registers, this collection includes a small number of census, church history, family and financial records.

Entries are recorded in register books in columns or paragraphs without columns. The text of the records is in Latin and/or English.

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Illinois, Diocese of Belleville, Catholic Parish Records, 1729-1956.

Record Content

Information found in the Church records usually contain the following:

  • Name of child
  • Date and place of baptism
  • Date and place of birth
  • Parents' names
  • Names of godparents
  • Notes by priest or clerk

How to Use the Records

To begin your search it is helpful to know

  • The name of your ancestor
  • Identifying information such as the event date or names of parents or spouse.

Search the Collection

To browse by image:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒ Select the County
⇒ Select the City/Town/Village
⇒ Select the Parish
⇒ Select the Record Type, and Year Range which takes you to the images.

Look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination. Keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.

Using the Information

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Save a copy of the image or transcribe the information. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details. Add this new information to your records of each family. You should also look for leads to other records about your ancestors. For example:

  • Use christening and birth records of christenings (baptisms) to identify a person’s birth date and place. These are an excellent substitute for civil birth records.
  • Use confirmation records to identify a person’s birth date and place and his or her age. If only the age is given, use it to calculate the person’s death date.
  • Use death or burial records to identify a person’s birth date and place. Use age at the time of death or burial to calculate the person’s birth date. These are an excellent substitute for civil death records.
  • Use marriage records to identify a couple and the marriage date and place and to begin compiling a family group. These are an excellent substitute for civil marriage records.
  • Use church records in general to identify other family members who may have served as witnesses to an event.

Unable to Find Your Ancestor?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Look for an index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby localities.

General Information About These Records

Church records in the United States began in the early 1600s. They can be found in the churches, church archives, or university archives. They normally record christenings, confirmations, marriages, and deaths.

The Roman Catholic Church is the largest Christian church in the world. Traditionally, Catholic records have been kept at the parish level, so a majority of records will be found at the church where the event transpired.

Older Catholic records and records of defunct Catholic parishes have often been moved to archives, historical archives, or university libraries. Roman Catholics were numerous in Illinois after 1860, especially in the northern industrial areas.

To know who were members, Churches were required to record the date a person was baptized in the Christian religion. Many churches also recorded the date of birth along with the date of baptism. Churches were also required to record the burial and marriage dates of the members of the local congregation. Only some churches performed confirmations and were required to record the names of those that were confirmed members of the church.

Church records are considered a primary source. They are usually reliable because they are kept by the priest or a clerk appointed by the priest, who usually recorded an event at or very near the time it occurred.

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Related Websites

The St Clair County Genealogical Society has some later records in this data set. Here is a finding aid by parish name to the microfilmed duplicates: http://www.stclair-ilgs.org/cathaid.htm

Related Wiki Articles

How You Can Contribute

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.


Citations for This Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.


Collection Citation:

"Illinois, Diocese of Belleville, Catholic Parish Records, 1729-1956" Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Diocese of Belleville, The Catholic Church of Southern Illinois, Belleville.

Image Citation

The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Illinois, Diocese of Belleville, Catholic Parish Records, 1729-1956.