Wednesday, May 07, 2008


First published in

Dear Dave Lossos,

I have "thanked my lucky stars" many times that I have access to the Catholic Church records at the St. Louis County Headquarters on Lindbergh.

I wanted to share an experience I had a few years ago in the hopes that it might
help someone else searching for an orphan.

I was researching an orphan girl raised at St. Ann's Asylum and St. Mary's Orphanage in the 1912-1926 time frame. I made three appointments with Catholic Children's Service before I was seen. I was told the records were destroyed in the 1970's. I was given copies of "non identifying information" that we already knew. Very disappointing and the cost was $40.00. I did come prepared with the orphan's marriage and death certificate.

After many false starts, I decided to take a look at the LDS Library catalog. Imagine my surprise to find that there were four microfilms of records of babies, children, and mothers from Catholic orphanages in St. Louis. I rented them and found my orphan's admittance into St. Ann's as a three year old and her transfer to St. Mary's Orphanage after reaching the age of six. Eventually I was able to find her birth family in far eastern Illinois.

I was so elated to find those records that I copied almost 800 pages, alphabetized them, and have used them to help others find their orphan records. With the MO State Archives online, I have been able to link death certificates to children and mothers. Connecting 28 orphans with families has made the work very satisfying.

I am very grateful to LDS for making it possible for me to do these searches by microfilming these Archdiocesan records.

Kathy Wieland of

Be sure to visit the "Genealogy in St. Louis" website at


Anonymous said...

Wow! After years of being told "there are no records for St. Anne's" I've discovered the ole adage "never give up" applies here! I am off to see if my grandmother who the family insists was given to St. Anne's between 1898-1902 was ever there. Thanks for the lead. D.B. Gray

Loren Rohan said...

My dad went to st Ann. Around same time as your family member. Years ago I was told records where destroyed as well. I would love to find our missing link. "Never give up" I will not and am hoping your info can help me move forward. Can visit any library?

A good man is President said...

Possibly you know what happened to. Richard, Bill, Clay and Colleen schoenberger? They were abandoned there in approx. 1951. Contact me at.