Illinois, Diocese of Belleville, Catholic Parish Records - FamilySearch Historical Records

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Illinois, Diocese of Belleville, Catholic Parish Records, 1729-1956
This article describes a collection of records at
Belleville, St. Clair, Illinois, 
United States
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Flag of Illinois
US Locator Map Illinois St. Clair.PNG
Location of Belleville, St. Clair County, Illinois
US Locator Illinois.png
Location of Illinois
Record Description
Record Type Parish Records
Collection years 1729-1956
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Roman Catholic Diocese of Belleville

What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

This collection includes Catholic church records from 1729 to 1956 from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Belleville, Illinois. The records included are baptism, first communion, confirmation, marriage, and death. (The confirmation records end at 1907, and the marriage records end at 1930.) This collection may also include some censuses, Catholic church history, family records, and financial records.

The text of these records is in either English or Latin. (The link at the bottom right that translates words from Latin to English may be useful.)

Image Visibility[edit | edit source]

Whenever possible FamilySearch makes images and indexes available for all users. However, rights to view these data are limited by contract and subject to change. Because of this there may be limitations on where and how images and indexes are available or who can see them. Please be aware some collections consist only of partial information indexed from the records and do not contain any images.

For additional information about image restrictions see Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.

To Browse This Collection[edit | edit source]

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

What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

The following information may be found in these records:


  • Name of Child (usually only first name)
  • Names of Parents (sometimes the mother’s maiden name is given)
  • Baptism Date
  • Birth Date (occasionally the birth date is not listed)
  • Sponsors’ Names (these are often adult family members)
  • Priest Name (who conducted the baptism)


  • Marriage Date
  • Groom’s Name
  • Bride’s Name (sometimes her maiden name is given)
  • Parents’ Names


  • Death Date
  • Name of Deceased
  • Name of Spouse
  • Father’s Name
  • Church Membership
  • Priest’s Name

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

There were many Roman Catholics in Illinois after 1860, particularly in the northern industrial areas. They were good record keepers because priests were able to read and write, unlike many church members at that time.

Sample Images[edit | edit source]

How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]

Before searching this collection, is helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor
  • The approximate date of a baptism, marriage or death
  • The names of your ancestor's parents
  • The name of an intended spouse

View the Images[edit | edit source]

View images in this collection by visiting the Collection Browse Page:
  1. Select County
  2. Select City/Town/Village
  3. Select Parish
  4. Select Record Type, and Year Range to view the images

How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

When you have located your ancestor’s church record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details. You should also look for leads to other records about your ancestors.

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Add any new information to your records
  • 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

I Can't Find the Person I'm Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • 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

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the state of Illinois.

Known Issues[edit | edit source]

Click here for a list of known issues with this collection.

Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?[edit | edit source]

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 Historical Records/Guidelines for Articles.

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