Author Archives: St Clair Teacher

Legal Terminology

Legal terminology is made a bit more understandable when the time period in which it was used is consulted. Does the term infant mean a very young child as thought of today, or a person under the age of twenty-one? What does the term Esquire mean, and is that title carried for the time in office or throughout life?

Find the American and European legal dictionaries needed at DigitalGeorgetown (

Another resource for bygone era non-legal words are Paul Drake’s books, What Did They Mean By That? A Dictionary of Historical and Genealogical Terms Old and New (Westminster, Md.: Heritage Books, 2000), and its sequel.

Taken from the article, No Longer “All Greek to Me”: Dealing with Legal Lingo in Probate Records, by Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL, NGS Magazine, Volume 48 Number 2 (April-June 2022), 29-32.

Quarterly Volume 47 Number 1 (2024) Table of Contents

Access this issue and others at this link, or from the Member site Home page.

President’s Message
Letter from the Editor
The Sanford Family and Sacred Heart Church
Membership Report
Digitization of the East St. Louis Journal
1835 School Land Sale Petition Near O’Fallon (T2N R7W)
School Director Elections – Transcription
R.M.C. Green and the Family Business
Marriage Index 1952 (Bride Surnames A-Harris, A.)
A New Church for East St. Louis – Transcription [German Evangelical Emanuel, 1890]
Philip and Julia Fouke Divorce 1830
City Court – Transcription  [East St. Louis, 1890]
Meet Our Ancestors: Oster and Baltz
The St. Clair County Teachers’ Association – Transcription [1889]
SCCGS 2023 Income/Expense Summary
SCCGS 2024 Budget
Chancery Case Files Index 1870–1920, part nine

The Society’s Public Website – Are You Finding All You Can?

First presented in 2022. Statistics for the SCCGS website show very limited searches are performed by visitors. SCCGS’s public website has grown to 495 pages and documents since 1999. A little time and a few tricks may help you find that elusive ancestor.

About the presenter: Diane Walsh, SCCGS webmaster since 1999, is the Parliamentarian and past President of the Society. She is the author of two books on her ancestors and St. Clair County Research and Resources: A Genealogist’s Guide 

Navigating SCCGS Public Website (PDF) copyright

Using  Ortssippenbücher to Research Your German Ancestors

An outline of this presentation (August 2023) may be requested by email:

Ortssippenbücher (“OSB”) or familienbüch contain genealogical information about families in a Ortssipenbüch or Familienbuch specific town, village, or parish. Examples and access to use these books created for Germany, Alsace and Lorraine in France, and former German-speaking areas in eastern Europe.

A list of 2000+ “OSB” by village, or by country, state, and district is available at, then scroll down the left margin for Ortssippenbücher.  (may be a temporary link).

Presenter was Robin McDonough, a 2023 staff member in the St. Louis County Library’s History & Genealogy Department.

St. Clair County and the National Register of Historic Places

The National Register of Historic Places ( is the official list of the Nation’s historic places worthy of preservation. Registration documents are online for twenty-seven (27) St. Clair County, Illinois, sites to date (30 Jan 2024). Photographs and drawings ordinarily accompany each nomination form. One such example:

Downtown East St. Louis Historic District

NPS Form 10-900 received August 2014)
United States Department of the Interior
National Park Service
0MB No. 1024-0018
National Register of Historic Places Registration_ Form

Summary (from Section 7 page 4 of the submitted Registration Form)
The Downtown East St. Louis Historic District is located near the Mississippi River in East St.
Louis (St. Clair), Illinois. The District encompasses two city blocks along Collinsville Avenue,
one and a half blocks along Missouri Ave, and the south side of one block along St. Louis
Avenue. There are 44 sites in the district, 35 of which have buildings on them. Of the buildings,
25 are contributing resources and 10 are non-contributing. All of the buildings except the
Catholic Community House are commercial buildings, with the majority being one-part or two-part commercial blocks. Two of the contributing buildings are individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places: The Spivey Building (NR 01/17/2002) and the Majestic Theatre (NR
05/09/1985). The buildings in the District embody traits of the Late 19th and 20th Century
American Movements, Classical Revival, Renaissance Revival, Craftsman and Modern
Movement styles.

Photographs or Post Cards follow the Index shown here from “Sections 9-end page 52”Post card of Missouri Avenue, East St. Louis, looking west toward the intersection at Collinsville Avenue. Courtesy of the Theising Files, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, as used in the National Register of Historic Places nomination of Downtown East St. Louis, page 55,
1. Postcard photograph of Collinsville Avenue looking north from Broadway before
construction of the Cahokia Building.
2. Postcard photograph of the Cahokia Building before its addition.
3. Postcard view of Missouri Avenue looking west toward the intersection at Collinsville
4. Postcard photograph of the Murphy Building.
5. Postcard view looking south down Collinsville Avenue from St. Louis Avenue, likely
around 1915.
6. Rendering of the National Catholic Community House. Source: East St. Louis Journal,
7. Union Trust Company advertisement from 1927.
8. The First National Bank Building (originally Cahokia Building) after expansion on 1927.
The S.S. Kresge Company Building can be seen at right.
9. Postcard view looking east down Missouri Avenue showing the First National bank
Building, Union Trust Company Bank Building, Grossman Building and Spivey Building.
10. The Spivey Building upon completion in 1929.
11. State Savings and Loan Association Building upon completion.
12. The Seidel’s Apparel Company Building as it appeared in 2005.

Try-It Illinois 2017

Free in October and November 2017 only, Try-It! Illinois, sponsored by the Illinois Secretary of State’s office is available to Illinois residents.

Trial databases include Digital Sanborn Maps (ProQuest), Fold3 (library edition), historical newspaper collections, MyHeritage (library edition) ProQuest Obituaries, and more!

Click  or type this address into your browser and then click the Request area shown to get your log-in information. 

Note: The Illinois Library asks that you not post the Try-It! Illinois login and password on the Internet, on Web sites or in publicly archived e-newsletters.