St. Clair County Genealogical Society - Purpose, Lecture Schedule, Projects

The St. Clair County Courthouse
completed in 1861

St. Clair County Genealogical Society (SCCGS)

Helping genealogists discover their Illinois roots since 1977.


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SCCGS is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3), all-volunteer group of genealogists, founded in 1977 and incorporated in 1978 which aspires to:

*Preserve and perpetuate ancestral records for educational and historical purposes;

*Encourage the study of family history and to teach the methods of genealogical research;

*Promote genealogical publications;

*Promote the preservation and safeguarding of genealogical data; and

*Publish and circulate literature relative to the purposes and acquisitions of the Society.


The old nostalgic courthouse with its four tall, stone columns, is the SCCGS logo. Built in 1861, some genealogically valuable old record books were discarded when the building was demolished in 1972. The logo serves as a tribute to our past, reminds us of the records lost, and silently urges us to achieve some of the purposes set forth by the Society.


The green and yellow colors of the society reflect colors found in flags of both the St. Clair County the city of Belleville. They remind us of the fertile fields that drew many of our ancestors to the area and crops produced by their labor.


1978 – Illinois State GS (ISGS) Local Service Award (to Robert Buecher)
1982 – ISGS Local Service Award (to Marsden Eisloeffel)
1985 – Newsletter and Quarterly each awarded 2nd place by ISGS
1986 - SCCGS Quarterly awarded first place in ISGS Competition.
1988 - St. Clair County History, Volume 1 published
1990 - SCCGS facilitates transfer of original county Will Record Books to IRAD .
1990 - Cemetery Committee receives Illinois State Historical Society Award for Excellence – Shiloh Cemetery.
1990 – ISGS Community Service Award (to Rosemary Bechtoldt – Poor Farm and Society service)
1990 – ISGS Special Recognition Award (to Robert Buecher)
1991 – Receives Illinois Humanities Council mini-grant 11171-0491 of $1350.00
1991 - Cemetery Committee receives National Genealogical Society Award of Merit
1992 - St. Clair County History, Volume II published, proceeds to the BPL
1993 – ISGS Special Recognition Award for St. Clair County History, Volume II (Diane Renner Walsh)
1998 - Public website debut, grows to 600 pages by 2014.
2010 - Probate microfilm acquisition ($15,255); 33.6% from donors.
2011 – ISGS Community Service Award (Robert Buecher)
2012 – Member website debut, Society marks 35th anniversary

Recent Projects and Acquisitions

Funeral Card Collection

Contact SCCGS to volunteer.



  • Meetings featuring free lectures are held the first Thursday of each month. Time: 7:30 p.m. Location: St. Luke Parish Center, North Church and East "C" Sts., Belleville, Illinois. Cross-corner from church. (Guests always welcome.) Lecture summaries appear in the Society Quarterly.

  • Inclement Weather Policy Meeting is canceled if District 118 Schools are closed on meeting day. Check local TV and radio stations for those updates.

  • Join us on FACEBOOK

Lecture summaries appear, with permission, in the Society Quarterly.
May 5, 2016 Desktop Publishing: Getting Your Manuscript Ready for Printing

Whether you are writing an article for a journal or finally completing a family history book, there are some things you can do to ensure the process of getting your words into print goes smoothly. Learn how to best prepare a manuscript so it reflects all the hard work you have put into creating its contents.

This month's speaker, Ilene Kanfer Murray, is a retired language arts and computer teacher and publications director of the St. Louis Genealogical Society. She teaches genealogy and computer classes, edits the society’s monthly newsletter, works on the society’s website, co-leads the society’s annual research trip to Salt Lake City, and lectures throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area. She is the author of University City, Missouri: Its People and Events, 1906–1931, as well as numerous articles in genealogical publications.

May 7, 2016 Click image for more information.
June 2, 2016 Pineapples, "Camos", and Old Genes – Using multiple techniques to solve genealogy problems in the 50th state. Research techniques and sources used to establish a family tree in Hawaii from the present day to the early 19th century will be demonstrated by our speaker, Robert McDonald this month.

Techniques & sources used include:

  • Knowledge and understanding of Hawaii – History, culture and immigration
  • FAN principle
  • Census, BMD and Catholic Church records
  • Passenger Manifests, Divorce, Will and Probate Records
  • Newspaper Articles and Obituaries
  • City Directories, School Yearbooks and Cemetery records
  • Military & Civilian Personnel Records
  • DNA Testing (Autosomal, Y-DNA and mtDNA tests)
  • Serendipity

Bob was born on a sugar plantation in Hawaii and grew up on the west side of Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Oregon State University and served in the US Air Force as a Communications & Computer Systems officer, with assignments throughout the US and Europe.

Bob has been working on his family tree since he was ten years old and made significant progress on filling in a barren paternal line over the past 13 years. He has leveraged those mathematical problem solving skills to conduct research and detailed analysis into his family’s past.

Bob’s greatest genealogical achievement was using DNA to determine the identity his paternal grandfather. He has used a variety of sources to document his family tree and is quite familiar with the holdings of both the Hawaii State Archives and National Personnel Records Center.

July 7, 2016Reconstructing People's Past Behavior From Trash

The main job of an archaeologist is to interpret the past from excavated artifacts, architectural, and other aspects of culture. In reality the goal is to reconstruct the life-way of those who have come before--essentially deriving behavioral aspects of their lives from the archaeological record (primarily trash!). There is a major difference between prehistoric and historical archaeology simply because for the latter there are written records, various forms of documentation, and in some instances individuals who were actually associated with the excavated site and its inhabitants.

This presentation will deal with two historic farmsteads, one in Illinois, the other on the Zuni Indian Reservation in New Mexico. Both excavations featured large amounts of 19th and 20th century trash and piecing together the behavior of the families required a variety of analytic techniques, some with surprising results--the subjects of this talk!

Theodore "Ted" Frisbie is an SIUE Emeritus Professor of Anthropology who received his BA and MA from the University of New Mexico, and his PhD from SIU Carbondale in 1971 (all degrees in anthropology). Although his specialty is Southwestern Pueblo Archaeology, Ethnoarchaeology, and Ethnology, he has been involved in a number of Midwestern projects including SIUE Archaeological Field Schools (The Search for Fort Russell, and "Elmhurst" the Love Family Farm), The Cultural Resource Management Project prior to construction of Interstate 255 (area in close proximity to Cahokia Mounds), another CRM project at the St. Louis Armory (analysis of glass and ceramic artifacts, for example. He is widely published and presented papers at state, national, and international conferences and invited speaking engagements throughout the U.S. and abroad.

August 4, 2016 Brick walls?      Anyone who has performed genealogical research for any length of time has run into more than few of their own brick walls. Join us as Belleville native Larry Darnell shares some tips and insights from his own experiences moving beyond those frustrating roadblocks. He will also be sharing timely information about digital storage and the preservation of your precious research.

Larry Darnell has been actively researching and documenting his family history for nearly 20 years. He has a 35+ year career in IT and is a Software Application Development Manager for Enterprise Holdings. He has been married to his wife Judy for 35 years and has two grown children. Larry and Judy make their home in Dardenne Prairie, Missouri.


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P.O. Box 431, Belleville, IL 62222-0431

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Posted 1997. Latest revision 24 April 2016.