Discover your family's story.

Enter a grandparent's name to get started.

Start Now

The Didier Family of Prairie du Rocher Illinois

Our country, which has been called the melting-pot of nations, has received citizens from every quarter of the known world. All races and peoples have sent their representatives to swell the numbers of our population. And of all these nations none has done more for America than France. Who can ever forget that it was the courageous Frenchmen who first penetrated the wilds of the new world, and, not content with a mere sailing along the coast, ascended its rivers and explored the interior of an unknown and dreaded wilderness? They settled vast areas such as the Mississippi Valley, which was for centuries a New France. Nor could the subsequent waves of emigration from the eastern states entirely obliterate this French civilization, which survives to this day in many names and customs found throughout the Middle West. Mr. Paulin Didier was one of those Frenchman who came to Illinois during the last century. He was born in France on December 26, 1845, and emigrated with his parents in 1847. The family settled in Cahokia, then a thriving city. With the decline of importance of Cahokia, the elder Didier left that place in 1854 and secured a farm in the vicinity of Prairie du Rocher, Illinois. Here they remained, and here the parents died in 1888. The son, who had lived with his parents all this time, now came into possession of the farm, which consisted of 85 acres. Under his care the soil yielded plentifully, and as a result his prosperity increased, until he became known as one of the most successful farmers of the district. He died a...

Illinois, Diocese of Belleville, Catholic Parish Records, 1695-1956

A help guide for accessing the images of parish registers recording the events of baptism, first communion, confirmation (to 1907), marriage (to 1930) or death (to 1956) in the Diocese of Belleville (Illinois), Roman Catholic Church. The index to some volumes may reference pages within a given volume beyond current publication dates. As such, these images are not currently available. In addition to traditional parish registers, this collection includes a small number of census, church history, family and financial records. To assist the researcher I have broken down the available registers by county and name of parish, including the years covered by those parish records.

Early Exploration and Native Americans

De Soto and his band gave to the Choctaws at Moma Binah and the Chickasaws at Chikasahha their first lesson in the white man’s modus operandi to civilize and Christianize North American Indians; so has the same lesson been continued to be given to that unfortunate people by his white successors from that day to this, all over this continent, but which to them, was as the tones of an alarm-bell at midnight. And one hundred and twenty-three years have passed since our forefathers declared all men of every nationality to be free and equal on the soil of the North American continent then under their jurisdiction, except the Africans whom they held in slavery, and the Native Americans against whom they decreed absolute extermination because they could not also enslave them; to prove which, they at once began to hold out flattering-inducements to the so-called oppressed people of all climes under the sun, to come to free America and assist them to oppress and kill off the Native Americans and in partnership take their lands and country, as this was more in accordance with their lust of wealth and speedy self-aggrandizement than the imagined slow process of educating, civilizing and Christianizing them, a work too con descending, too humiliating; and to demonstrate that it has been a grand and glorious success, we now point with vaunting pride and haughty satisfaction to our broad and far extended landed possessions as indisputable evidence of our just claims to the resolution passed by our pilgrim ancestors, “We are the children of the Lord”; and to the little remnant of hapless, helpless and...

Escape From The Robber Band

Monday, Nov. 8, 1819.–The disappointment experienced from the unmanly conduct of Dr. Hill had a happy effect on our little company. It bound us more firmly and nearer together, and, I may add with truth, almost fitted us for the field of battle. The hour of 9 o’clock had now arrived, the night uncommonly dark and cloudy. On our going into the house one of the strangers went into the yard and gave the Indian warwhoop three times very loud. About 10 o’clock they took their six rifles, went into the yard with a candle and shot them off one by one, snuffing the candle at forty yards every shot. They then loaded afresh, primed and picked their flints. A large horn was then taken from the loft and blown distinctly three times very loud. All those signals (which we had been told of) brought no more of the company. They then dispatched two of their own party, who were gone until 12 o’clock. They stated to their comrades “they could not be had.” It may be readily imagined, after what we had overhead, seeing such preparations and observing many of their private signals, being warned of our danger previous to stopping at the house, together with the recent and cruel murders which had been committed, in a strange country, where every man made and executed his own law to suit himself–I say it cannot be a matter of wonder that our situation began to put on a character of the most unpleasant kind. However, we were well armed, having pistols, dirks, knives and a gun, and were determined,...

Cahokia Tribe

Cahokia Indians. A tribe of the Illinois confederacy, usually noted as associated with the kindred Tamaroa. Like all the confederate Illinois tribes they were of roving habit until they and the Tamaroa were gathered into a mission settlement about the year 1698 by the Jesuit Pinet. This mission, first known as Tamaroa, but later as Cahokia, was about the site of the present Cahokia, Illinois, on the east bank of the Mississippi, nearly opposite the present St Louis. In 1721 it was the second town among the Illinois in importance. On the withdrawal of the Jesuits the tribe declined rapidly, chiefly from the demoralizing influence of the neighboring French garrison, and was nearly extinct by 1800. With the other remnant tribes of the confederacy they removed, about 1820, to the west, where the name was kept up until very recently, but the whole body is now officially consolidated under the name...

Pin It on Pinterest