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Researching by Surname

Ancestral Gen-Sites

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       St. Clair County is the oldest county in the U.S. state of Illinois; its existence actually antedates the establishment of Illinois itself.  Its county seat is Belleville.

       St. Clair County was the first county established in what is today Illinois. In fact the county antedates Illinois' existence as a separate entity. It was established in 1790 by proclamation of Arthur St. Clair, first governor of the Northwest Territory, who named it after himself. In its original boundaries, St. Clair county covered a large area between the Mackinaw and Ohio Rivers. In 1801, Governor William Henry Harrison re-established St. Clair County as part of the Indiana Territory, extending its northern border to Lake Superior and the international border with Rupert's Land.

       In 1809, when the Illinois Territory was created, Territorial Secretary Nathaniel Pope, in his capacity as acting governor, issued a proclamation establishing St. Clair and Randolph County as the two original counties of Illinois.

       The following counties lie adjacent to St. Clair County, Illinois: Madison County (north); Clinton County (northeast); Washington County (east); Randolph County (south); Monroe County (southwest); St. Louis, Missouri (west); St. Louis County, Missouri (west)

Researching by surname

The following are names of persons, found within our databases as having been either born, married or died in this location. Names in dark red denote direct ancestral lines. To find out more about each surname listed click on the corresponding Link.

McVicker; Moreland; Pinnell; Scruggs and allied families  (MMPS)

Alexander;   Bennett;   Fincher;   Hart;   Lineberry;   McCann;   Moreland

Bozarth; Peiffer; Quigley; Rhubart and allied families (BPQR)

 

Dellinger; Knecht; Pfeffer; Silar and allied families  (DKPS)

Click on this link to find out more about each surname listed above as well as other surnames found within our three family databases.

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ancestral gen-sites

Family History Notes

Map of the County

Gen-Site Profiles

     Our ancestors first came to St. Clair County in 1833 when, our 4th great-grandfathers, George Moreland and John Bennett, and the families of their married children, removed west from McMinn County, Tennessee. This group included his son John Moreland, our 3rd great-grandfather, and his wife Sarah Bennett, a daughter of John Bennett.   It is believed that by 1835 they had settled near the town of Lebanon. 

     It seems that both Moreland and Bennett had plans to move further west into the newly created State of Missouri.  It is believed that their soon after arrival in St. Clair County John Bennett and his son-in-law John Moreland went on to Missouri to look for land and lost their lives in an encounter with Native-American possible the Cherokees in southern Missouri.  By 1838 George Moreland and his extended family had left St. Clair County and moved into Missouri.  

     It appears that for the most part the Bennett family, having lost their patriarch, and perhaps the zeal to move further west, had stayed in St. Clair County.  Our 4th great-grandmother Rosanna (Lineberry) Bennett, widow of the aforementioned John Bennett remained in the county.   Her son, (our 3rd great-granduncle) also continued to reside at the original 1835 homestead on land that was then wild and unimproved.  Although he experienced all the hardships and trials of pioneer life he developed a good farm from that raw tract of land on which he also operated a coal mine.   Jeremiah died at his farm in O'Fallon Township in 1893.

     In 1850 Rosanna Bennett was residing at Ridge Prairie.  Within her household was her sons John and William, grandson John Moreland (son of Sarah Bennett), daughter Eliza Bennett (wife of James S. Fincher), and her grandson James Fincher.   Rosanna lived the remainder of her life in St. Clair County until her death in 1857.  She is buried at the Shiloh Valley Cemetery.   It is most probable that even today descendants of John and Rosanna Bennett still live in that county.

The on the map designates the location of the seat of government for this county.

A shows the location of identified ancestral Gen-Site(s).

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Gen-site profiles

Belleville;   Bennett Homestead;   Lebanon; 

O’Fallon Township;   Ridge Prairie District;   Shiloh Valley Cemetery

Belleville

LOCATION:  Country: United States;  State: Illinois;  County: St. Clair;  Coordinates/Map:  38.521667, -89.995278

DESCRIPTION OF GEN-SITE: Belleville the county seat of St. Clair County, Illinois, United States, co-extensive with Belleville Township. The city of Belleville was named by George Blair in 1814. Blair donated an acre of his land for the Town Square and an additional 25 acres that adjoined the Square for the new County Seat, causing the county seat to be transferred from the village of Cahokia.  Belleville was incorporated as a village in 1819, and became a city in 1850.

 

Birds-Eye view of Belleville 1867

Click on photo for larger image

ANCESTORS ASSOCIATED WITH THIS GEN-SITE:  Records of ancestral Marriage, Birth, Death, Land, Probate and Court records of transactions within St Clair County are located in the Courthouse at 10 Public Square.

INTERNET WEB LINK(S):  City of Belleville;  The Belleville News Democrat Online;   Belleville Public Library;     

Bennett Homestead

LOCATION:  Country: United States;  State: Illinois;  County: St. Clair;   Coordinates/Map: N38.589478°  W89.841908°

DESCRIPTION OF GEN-SITE:  According to  the 1892 History of St. Clair County the John Bennett family came to the county in 1835 and settled near Lebanon, and that  Jeremiah Bennett, son of John Bennett, had resided upon this same property.  The plat map at the right shows the property owned by Jeremiah Bennett in 1874.  The homestead is located in O’Fallon Township a few miles west of Lebanon.

Click on photo for larger image

ANCESTORS ASSOCIATED WITH THIS GEN-SITE:    John and Rosanna Bennett; Jeremiah Bennett.

INTERNET WEB LINK(S):

Lebanon

LOCATION:  Country: United States;  State: Illinois;  County: St. Clair;   Coordinates/Map: 38.603333, -89.811389

DESCRIPTION OF GEN-SITE: Lebanon was formally established in 1814.  Like many other places in "Little Egypt" or Southern Illinois, Lebanon was named after the Middle Eastern country of the same name. Lebanon is home to McKendree University, the oldest college in Illinois.

Historic St. Louis Street

Click on photo for larger image

ANCESTORS ASSOCIATED WITH THIS GEN-SITE:  The town of Lebanon was well established by the time the Morelands and Bennetts arrived in St. Clair County. As such it was the social and economic center for that part of the county.   Located only two miles east of the Bennett homestead it is most likely that the family shopped here as well as attending church and social events.

INTERNET WEB LINK(S): Lebanon Illinois Directory Page;  City of Lebanon Illinois;

 Lebanon Chamber of Commerce;  Lebanon, Illinois - McKendree University

O’Fallon Township

LOCATION:  Country: United States;  State: Illinois;  County: St. Clair;   Coordinates/Map: N38.614543°  W89.878631°

DESCRIPTION OF GEN-SITE:   O’Fallon Township was established in 1883, when St. Clair County  created 22 townships to administer local government.  Up to this time the county was divided among some 14 districts.  During this time the western part of what became O’Fallon Township fell into the Ridge Prairie District and the eastern part was in the Lebanon District.  

 

O’Fallon Twp. Veteran’s Monument

Click on photo for larger image

ANCESTORS ASSOCIATED WITH THIS GEN-SITE:  The Bennett Homestead is located in the southeastern portion of O’Fallon Township.  Previous to 1883 it appears to have been in the Lebanon District.

INTERNET WEB LINK(S): O'Fallon, Illinois Township;   The City of O'Fallon, IL; 

O'Fallon Township High School;   O'Fallon Twp., St. Clair Co., IL (Detailed Profile)

Ridge Prairie District

LOCATION:  Country: United States;  State: Illinois;  County: St. Clair;   Coordinates/Map:

Ridge Prairie (Geographic Feature)  N38.585529°  W89.979114°;  Cross Roads (Populated Place) N38.592632°  W89.966309°

DESCRIPTION OF GEN-SITE:  Although it is not known when St. Clair County adopted the boundaries of its 14 districts, the map at the right shows the Ridge Prairie District as it appeared in 1875.  According to the USGS Geographical Names System, Ridge Prairie is the name of relatively level land area in the county west of the community of O’Fallon.  Also the USGS identifies a populated place in the Ridge Prairie area now know as Crossroads was also named Ridge Prairie.  Both locals and very close together, (see map coordinates above).  The area known as Ridge Prairie may also have been in the Bethel District of St. Clair County previous to 1850.

1875 Map of Ridge Prairie District

Click on photo for larger image

ANCESTORS ASSOCIATED WITH THIS GEN-SITE:  The separate households of Rosanna Bennett, (see Family History Notes above), and her son Jeremiah Bennett, are listed as households 5 and 6 in Ridge Prairie.  Although the 1875 map at the right does not include the location of the Bennett Homestead in Ridge Prairie the census designated area named as Ridge Prairie probably did an may have extended east to the Silver Creek, see sections 25 and 26 in the Lebanon District.  Subsequent census documents for Jeremiah Bennett do not use the Ridge Prairie census area designation, rather they use the Township Range designation of Township 2 North, Range 7 West.  

INTERNET WEB LINK(S):

Shiloh Valley Cemetery

LOCATION:  Country: United States;  State: Illinois;  County: St. Clair;   Coordinates/Map:  38.56000, -89.90080

DESCRIPTION OF GEN-SITE: Also known as Shiloh Cemetery it is located in the town of Shiloh on Church Street at South Main Street.  

Click on photo for larger image

ANCESTORS ASSOCIATED WITH THIS GEN-SITE:   Of primary interest is the grave of Rosanna Bennett, at plot 74, and her son Jeremiah Bennett.

INTERNET WEB LINK(S): Shiloh Valley Cemetery (Bennett Surname);  Shiloh Valley Cemetery (Find a Grave); 

LOCATION:  Country: United States;  State:;  County:;  Coordinates/Map:

DESCRIPTION OF GEN-SITE:

 

Click on photo for larger image

ANCESTORS ASSOCIATED WITH THIS GEN-SITE:  

INTERNET WEB LINK(S): 

populated places

Gazetteer of Places

 in This County

Changes of County Boundaries

Link to State-Wide Resources

Where in the World

are My Ancestors?

gazetteer

The list below will assist in your research regarding the matching of your ancestor’s birth, marriage, death dates and the place(s) within this locality at which these events may have occurred.

 

Profiles for  87 cities, towns and other populated places in St. Clair County, Illinois