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Early Kaskaskia Church Records

Section One: Early Mission Records

What is labeled and partitioned here as “Section One” consists of six pages written in Latin (recto and verso) on plain paper that is approximately 3/4 the size of the following sections. It is titled “Extracts of the Registers of the Baptisms at the Mission of the Illinois of the Immaculate Conception.” This section clearly represents a compendium of the remains of baptismal records made during the Mission period (as early as the mid-1690s), with a copyist assembling entries in a mostly chronological order into a new register. The entries include baptisms made by Jacques Gravier, Julien Bineteau, Pierre-Gabriel Marest, and Jean Mermet.


The pre-April 1703 baptisms in this section would have occurred at Peoria or River des Peres. While the priests relocated their mission to the Kaskaskia River (then known as the Michigamea River) in April of 1703, some of the post-1703 entries may possibly have been made by priests still visiting the Peoria. The new mission at Kaskaskia became a parish in June of 1719 (e.g. Palm 1931), when Section Two of the Mason compendium was first drafted. However, there is some chronological overlap between Section One and Section Two, probably reflecting the ongoing attempts of various priests to pull together and organize various loose records.

The document is clearly an assembly of the remains of baptismal records made during the Mission period and through circa 1719. Here, the register jumps to 1732, where records of four baptisms that occurred in the early 1730s were added in the same hand. Finally, a note on the last page dates to April 1757 and was written in a different hand. 


Registre de la Paroisse de la Conception de Notre Dame des Caskcaskias

Assembled by E.G. Mason (1879)

On File at the Diocese of Belleville Archives, Belleville, Illinois. 

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