1 Reply Latest reply on Apr 2, 2020 11:05 AM by Thomas Richardson

    Seeking information about Polish Catholics in St. Louis


      I am researching the first Polish Catholics that settled in St. Louis, Missouri around 1870-1880.  I have spent many years researching this topic and have I all of the known published information.  However, I am looking for non-published information.  My ggg- grandfather Martin S. Lelly (Lelli/Lellie/Lilly) was one of the founding fathers of St. Stanislaus Parish Church in St. Louis as well as the original owners/editors of The Polish Publishing Co. in St. Louis and the Przewodnik Polski newspaper.  If anyone has any information around Polish Catholics in St. Louis, no matter how little information they have please let me know.  Thank you in advance.

        • Re: Seeking information about Polish Catholics in St. Louis
          Thomas Richardson Navigator

          Dear Ms. Lelly,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          After researching local institutions in the St. Louis area, there are a number of available resources that will be able to assist in your research of Polish Catholics and immigrants. The St. Louis County Library History and Genealogy Department retains finding aids and guides on St. Louis parish records which can be accessed here: Guide to St. Louis Catholic Archdiocesan Parish Records. You also may wish to contact the St. Louis Archdiocese Archives directly for records on current and defunct parishes in the St. Louis region by visiting their website: https://www.archstl.org/archdiocesan-archives.


          St. Louis also is home to the Central United States Jesuit Archives and Research Center that has custody of a variety of manuscripts on multiple Jesuit provinces reflecting their activities and historical records. The archives retain the Saint Stanislaus Collection consisting of records from the Saint Stanislaus Seminary that operated in Florissant, Missouri from 1823 to 1971. 


          Historical information about the Saint Stanislaus Kostka Church itself was located from the National Register of Historic Places and Missouri Department of Natural Resources. This includes a historical narrative of the Polish community in St. Louis, the establishment of the Stanislaus parish, and pictures of the basilica, all of which can be viewed here: St. Stanislaus Kostka Church NRHP Nomination Form. Many of the footnotes and the bibliography contained within may provide additional historical information.


          Additional information regarding the Polish community in St. Louis may be found through a handful of local resources and cultural organizations. The St. Louis Polonia is a cultural non-profit organization that works in sharing Polish heritage and acting as an educational resource for the Polish community. Their website, St. Louis Polonia, displays their works and contact information. St. Louis also hosts an Honorary Consulate of Poland that you may wish to contact for more information on the history of the St. Louis Polish community via their website as well Consulate General of the Republic of Poland.


          We hope this information is helpful. Best of luck with your research!

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