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, 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 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 (above) 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.


For example, probate microfilm acquisition project completed July 2010. A portion of membership dues funded this project. Specially designated memorial donations amounted to 33.6 %. Total project cost was $15,255.50 over five years. Thank you members and friends.

Ongoing: Cemetery inventories, marriages after 1930, Funeral Card Collection, Freeburg United Church of Christ church records transcription, Walnut Hill Cemetery burials. Photographers needed.

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 7, 2015 Family History via the Internet - It's not just Ancestry and FamilySearch presented by Kathy Nevin.

In addition to FamilySearch and Find-A-Grave, listeners will hear about watch lists, applications for smart phones, and modern tools family history researchers use today.

Kathy Nevin is the Training Coordinator for the O’Fallon Family History Center (FHC) whose genealogy interests began in 1982. A native of Wayne County, Pennsylvania, Mrs. Nevin has worked in FHCs across the country wherever her husband’s Air Force assignments took them and is well acquainted with the technological developments at the centers. She and her husband have a large extended family for whom she continues to research the lives of their forebears.

June 4, 2015Saving Your Very Own History

Join us as Yvonne Meckfessel discusses proper ways to identify your own family treasures for future generations, mark your antiques, and share tips to record and preserve your written history. You might remember the history of your grandmothers beautiful teapot, but does the rest of your family know? Do your childen know that those salt and pepper shakers were given to you by a neighbor after you worked for her over a week? Don't let the history of your family treasures completely disappear.

Mrs.Meckfessel has 40 plus years working in genealogy. She is the author of four books, including "Pickle Pots, Stupid Hats and Other Stories," is a true story of hardships overcome by pioneer ancestors in Southern Illinois. Meckfessel believes that all of our ancestors should be thought of as heroes and honored as such due to their hard work and determination.

July 2, 2015An Entire Village Left Germany for Monroe and St. Clair counties in Illinois

Many families from Columbia, Millstadt, and Waterloo are descended from a group of immigrants who came in 1842 from Wernings, Germany. Gedern, Germany is the sister city to Columbia, Illinois, and Wernings is adjacent to and part of that German city now. The talk will document some of those families with the surnames Hilger, Koch, Mack, Hergenroeder, Schenk, Scheuermann, Rick, Lofinck, Gleiber, Erd, Kimmel, Dahmer, Acker, Neun – as well as those who arrived later – Reifschneider, Heusohn, Schaefer, and Scheller.

Our speaker, Mary Ellen Huetsch, Waterloo, is a retired teacher whose life-long genealogy passion was inspired by a high school homework assignment. She served on the board of the Illinois State Genealogical Society and belongs to several local societies. She is an and assistant in her husband's law office.

August 6, 2015 Outhouses
This tongue-in-cheek presentation looks at a necessary part of our ancestors' lives which has been totally and willfully ignored. Speakers David Braswell and Mardy Eisloeffel explore many aspects of this humble topic--design, construction, placement in relationship to other structures, maintenance, landscaping, and so on. Youngsters will be introduced to a quaint but fascinating vestige of their ancestors' lives, and old timers will wax nostalgic over a formerly necessary part of their own lives. Braswell and Eisloeffel have entertained audiences with this program over the past three decades . . . thus it is that you will be seeing slides of the presenters back when they had more hair and less belly!

David Braswell is a lifelong Belleville resident who has traced his ancestors back to Germany and visited there many times. He teaches German at Southwestern Illinois College and is an owner/operator of the Corner George Inn, a bed-and-breakfast in Maeystown, Illinois, along with his wife Marcia. Interested in all things historical, David is heavily involved in historical societies in both St. Clair and Monroe Counties, and has restored a number of buildings in historical Belleville and Maeystown.

Mardy Eisloeffel grew up on a farm just outside Belleville and still lives in his great-grandfather's house. He taught English at Southwestern Illinois College for over 30 years and still tutors there part time. Mardy is a former editor of the SCCGS Newsletter and Quarterly, and is a past SCCGS president. He is interested in history and historical items, including old clocks and musical instruments, namely reed organs and accordions.

September 3, 2015Finding your ancestors at the Missouri History Museum Library and Research Center, by the always a popular presenter, Dennis Northcutt. What's new at this facility on Skinker that will help you fill in the everyday aspects of your ancestor's life?

Mr. Northcutt is a native St. Louisan and graduate of Washington University. On staff at the Missouri History Museum since 1989, he is an associate archivist at the Library and Research Center. He has compiled numerous guides to the museum's manuscript collections, including an inventory of the extensive Civil War holdings. He is the creator of the Missouri History Museum’s Genealogy and Local History Index, and frequently gives presentations and workshops on genealogy and house history research.

October 1, 2015Gloria Perry, Ph.D., returns, weaving historical research into The Story of the Three Marys.

This story of three generations of women from the same German immigrant family begins in 1859 at a rural log cabin near Redbud, Randolph County, Illinois, and continues in St. Louis, Missouri. This fascinating tale is told by Perry in period-dress as the great-grand-daughter of the second Mary.

Join our storyteller in reliving the sojourns of the women as they battle hardships in two states at a defining moment at the turn of the century. This tale has implications for the changing roles of women over 100 years. As you hear this tale, think of how you might also vividly retell your own family’s stories.

A retired Professor Emerita from Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville, Dr. Perry's second career is storyteller and genealogical hobbyist.


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

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Posted 1997. Latest revision 3 June 2015.