Saturday, July 30, 2016

StLGS to the Rescue!

This story appeared in the July issue of the society's newsletter, News 'n Notes. We received a request to re-publish it in our blog so it would be available to a wider audience, and the author, Karen Goode, granted her permission to do so. Here is the article in its entirety.

The St. Louis Genealogical Society recently had the pleasure of helping Branko Stivic locate his ancestors in the St. Louis area and in Chicago. It was a rewarding experience for us and for Branko, who was fulfilling a request from his mother, Barbara Stivic née Blumenschein, to find out what happened to her sister, Marika. What we found was thrilling for his mother and for Branko.
            Spurred by his mother’s request, Branko emailed the St. Louis Genealogical Society from Croatia at the end of March of this year. He said he worked as a park ranger in the Park Maksimir in Zagreb, the capital city of Croatia. He was going to attend the 8th International Ranger Federation World Ranger Congress in Colorado, in May, and was planning to come to St. Louis the first week of June for a couple of days. Branko requested our help in finding information about the Blumenschein family that were at one time in St. Louis.
            He told us that his mother’s grandfather Karlo Blumenschein met and married his wife Barbara (Hummel) in St. Louis. They had eight children, including a daughter named Marika, who was born here. Karlo’s brother, Peter, had a shoe repair store at 4383 Natural Bridge Avenue in St. Louis. Karlo and his wife Barbara returned to Croatia, where they are buried. Marika Blumenschein came back to the U.S. and married a man named Glazer. Then the family lost track of her.
            A team of volunteers at StLGS began to assist Branko even before he arrived at our office. Using online sources first, Viki Fagyal found a death certificate, passenger manifest, censuses, and street directories for Peter within a few hours. Viki also found notices of Karlo and Barbara’s marriage and Peter’s death in newspapers.
            When Branko arrived at the office, we printed out several documents for him and then Ed Dolata, Kathy Franke, and I took him to the Missouri History Museum Library and Research Center. Ed had contacted Molly Kodner, an archivist there, who assisted us with finding maps to show where Peter Blumenschein had his shoe repair shop on Natural Bridge. We also found information in the street directories for both Peter and Karl Blumenschein.
            The next day, Bob Goode and I took Branko to the History and Genealogy Department at St. Louis County Library Headquarters, where we found the marriage certificate for his great-grandparents, Karl Blumenschein and Barbara Hummel. We then visited the Croatian Catholic Church in Soulard and toured some of the streets that we had identified in the street directories.
            After Branko went back to Croatia, out of curiosity about his family history, I found the immigration record for Marika Blumenschein, who came back to America in 1928. She listed her uncle, Peter Blumenschein, as her destination. I also found census records for her and her husband, who were living in Chicago in 1940.
            On a whim, I decided to check out the public family trees posted on, and this is where I found Judith Blochowitz, the daughter of Frank, the oldest son of Peter and Marika/Maria/Mary Glazer. I contacted Judith, and now she and Branko are communicating, sending family pictures to each other, and eager to learn about their family in America and in Croatia. Judith was very excited to hear of her Croatian family. She had recently completed a DNA study on Ancestry hoping to find her Croatian ancestors!
Karen Goode

Branko speaks and writes some English, which made helping him a bit easier. Although we are not in the habit of doing genealogy for our members, we do pitch in when visitors arrive from Europe and are not familiar with our records and repositories. Branko was delighted with the success he had and it was wonderful to meet him and to reunite him with his American relatives.


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Updated News About the StLGS Speaker Series, 23 July 2016

The response to our Summer Speaker Series has been overwhelming, leading us to move the all-day workshop in July from our office to a new location to accommodate the increased number of participants.

If you tried to register and saw the "Sorry, we are full" sign, we apologize, but it took a bit of time to get the venue changed. We are now delighted to announce that we will hold the Summer Speaker Series at Orlando Gardens in Maryland Heights and we welcome all of you to register!

StLGS Summer Speaker Series
Saturday, 23 July 2016
Orlando Gardens, 2050 Dorsett Road, Maryland Heights, MO 63043

Details and more information on our website:

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

StLGS Summer Schedule

Hope everyone is enjoying the lovely spring weather in St. Louis! We want to take this opportunity to remind you to about some upcoming StLGS events.

Our June monthly meeting is this Saturday, June 11th. Please join us in the auditorium at the St. Louis County Library (SLCL) Headquarters to hear Carol Hemmersmeier talk about "Sifting for Pay Dirt: Finding and Recycling Golden Nuggets in our Own Backyards."
     Carol will share some techniques for finding overlooked information in all those stacks of material you already have collected. Remember, our meetings start promptly at 10 a.m. and they are free and open to everyone.

Also coming up this month on Wednesday, 22 June, at the SLCL Headquarters, in the auditorium, is our German Special Interest Group (SIG) meeting. Carol Whitton, German SIG leader, will present a talk on "Exhausting U.S. Records to Find Your German." The meeting starts promptly at 7:00 p.m. and is free and open to all.

And in July . . .

Our July monthly meeting is on the 9th of the month at SLCL Headquarters and will feature Dorris Keeven-Franke talking about "Missouri's German Heritage."

Have you registered yet for the Summer Speaker Series? You won't want to miss Beth Stahr, a librarian and educator from Louisiana, who will be joining us at our office in Maplewood for an all-day conference (including lunch) on Saturday, the 23rd. "I Know They Came Here! Why Can't I Find Them?" will focus on finding immigrant ancestors, and the day's talks will concentrate on censuses, passenger lists from New Orleans, German migration up the Mississippi River, and analyzing data. This promises to be an outstanding event, and we hope to see you there! Save a bit of money by taking advantage of early registration, but remember, that discount ends on 9 July!

For those of you with Irish connections, the Irish SIG will meet on Tuesday, 26 July at SLCL Headquarters in the auditorium at 7:00 p.m. Patricia Walls Stamm will be the guest speaker and will talk about "Mining All of the Resources from"

More information about all of our meetings and special events is always on our website. Go to and use the buttons on our home page and the calendar at the bottom of that page for the most up to date information.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Announcing Two New Classes at the StLGS Office

 Beginning RootsMagic

Because the first class was so popular, Ted Steele has agreed to repeat his Beginning RootsMagic class! If you couldn't make his previous class or were on the waiting list, here is your second chance:
Saturday, 23 April
1 p.m. until 3 p.m.
StLGS office (4 Sunnen Drive, Suite 140, Maplewood, MO)

The class is free to all StLGS members; non-members pay $30. 

Interested? Call the office at 314-647-8547 on Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday between 9 and noon to sign up. Pre-registration is required for StLGS classes.

 Finding Your German Ancestors

This class was recently added to our spring schedule. German SIG leader, Carol Whitton, CG, will cover this important topic for SIG participants and anyone else who is interested.
Saturday, 21 May
1 p.m. until 3 p.m.
StLGS office (4 Sunnen Drive, Suite 140, Maplewood, MO)

The class is free to all StLGS members; non-members pay $30. 

Interested? Call the office at 314-647-8547 on Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday between 9 and noon to sign up. Pre-registration is required for StLGS classes.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Local Authors Will Appear at the StLGS 2016 FHC

Are you registered for the annual Family History Conference on Saturday, 2 April, at the Maryland Heights Community Centre? In addition to a full day of workshops and exhibit spaces that will be overflowing, this year we will have four local authors in the lobby from noon until 2 p.m. selling and autographing their books.

Do you have German ancestors who came to Missouri? Stop by to purchase Followers of Duden by Steve Claggett.

NiNi Harris, well-known St. Louis historian, will have her newest book, Downtown St. Louis, as well as other titles.

Ross Malone documents the history of Missouri in his books including, The Book of Real Missouri Records: Show Me the First, Last, Smallest, Fastest, Strangest, Weirdest and Funniest.

Carol Ferring Shepley will be signing her latest book, St. Louis, An Illustrated Timeline, but also take a look at Movers and Shakers and Scalawags and Suffragettes: Tales from Bellefontaine Cemetery.

Remember that early registration for the FHC ends on Saturday, 19 March. Of course, you can still register after that date, but you'll save some money by signing up early. Register online at our website

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Hope to See You at Trivia Night, Saturday, 5 March 2016

Our annual Trivia Night fundraiser is coming in just one week and we are bursting with excitement at the wonderful silent auction items and fabulous fun-filled games and rounds of questions we have for you this year. Our committee members are busy making beautiful baskets chock full of donated goodies. The questions are done and the answers double-checked. The beverages and snacks have been purchased, so they are ready to go, and all the volunteers are in place for helping out both before, during, and after the event. Now, the only thing missing is all of you! Our registration has been very good, but there are still tables and individual seats available. Don't be shy! You can come by yourself or with a friend or two, and we'll find places for you. Just be sure to let us know you are coming.

Here is just one of the silent auction baskets we know you will enjoy. The basket is called "Cardinal Legends," and it's got jerseys, bobbleheads, a ball signed by Bruce Sutter, and some awesome tickets for this year's games. Other baskets have food, wine, gift certificates, bird houses, and all kinds of other enticing items.

And this just in . . . we have a week's stay at the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel in Salt Lake City, good until the end of September 2016. If you have been looking for the perfect genealogy vacation spot, here's your chance to be right next door to the Family History Library; this item alone is worth more than $700!

Online registration is open on our website. Just click here to go to the StLGS home page and then tap the Trivia Night button. Or you can call into the office and someone will take your registration over the phone. Looking forward to seeing you at the Richmond Heights Community Center on Dale Avenue on Saturday, 5 March. The doors open at 6:15 p.m. and the fun starts at 7. See you there!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

More News on Family Tree Maker announced in December that it would no longer support updates to Family Tree Maker, a genealogy software program it had promoted for many years. That left many people confused as to what to do next and trying to decide how to migrate family trees from one place to another.

A major announcement from Ancestry's management yesterday (2 February 2016) reveals that they have been working behind the scenes to help FTM users and now have two solutions that will please many. Here is the press release from Kendall Hulet, Ancestry's senior vice president of product management.

Since our Family Tree Maker announcement last December, we have continued to actively explore ways to develop and support Family Tree Maker and ensure you have choices to preserve your work in ways that matter to you. Today, I am pleased to announce two options for desktop software that will work with Ancestry.

Software MacKiev
Software MacKiev, with whom we have a long-standing relationship, is acquiring the Family Tree Maker software line as publisher for both Mac and Windows versions. Software MacKiev has been the developer of Family Tree Maker for Mac for more than six years and is thrilled at the opportunity to publish future versions of Family Tree Maker for Mac and Windows.

This new agreement means you will receive software updates and new versions from Software MacKiev, and have the ability to purchase new versions of Family Tree Maker from Software MacKiev as they are released.  You will have continued access to Ancestry Hints, Ancestry searches, and be able to save your tree on Ancestry with Family Tree Maker moving forward.

We have made an agreement with RootsMagic, a leading genealogy desktop software program publisher, to connect Ancestry with the RootsMagic software by the end of 2016. With this new relationship, RootsMagic can serve as your desktop family tree software, while having access to Ancestry hints, Ancestry searches, and the ability to save your tree on Ancestry.

We have heard your concerns and are working to provide the solutions you requested. These new agreements will make it possible to preserve your work on Ancestry and Family Tree Maker and enable future features and benefits to help you discover your family history. Be assured that Ancestry, in cooperation with Software MacKiev and RootsMagic, will continue to support you as you discover your family history.
We ask for your patience as we work diligently through all the details to make these solutions available. Be sure to check back on our blog as we share more information about Family Tree Maker in the next few months.

For more information on Software MacKiev and RootsMagic, click below: