15 July 2019

Classes for Experienced Researchers

Are you interested in an in-depth genealogy learning experience? Ready to improve your genealogical skills and knowledge? One of the exciting things about doing genealogy research is the opportunity to keep learning. Starting with local classes, workshops, and seminars, we get the chance to become more knowledgeable about basic techniques and skills. And once we feel comfortable, it's time to branch out to conferences and institutes.

Two major upcoming events, now open for registration, can help you do just that.

Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) Annual Conference

Washington, D.C., 21–24 August 2019
This annual conference features four full days of lectures, a large exhibit hall of vendors, a society showcase, and a chance to visit the National Archives, Library of Congress, the DAR Library, and other attractions in the nation's capital. Lectures are offered on a wide variety of topics and skill levels. You can view the program, register for the conference, and/or register for a local hotel at the conference website.



Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy

Salt Lake City, Utah: 12–17 January 2020
Celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary, this venerable institution, sponsored by the Utah Genealogy Association, always sells out quickly. Meant for researchers who relish the chance to spend a week immersed in genealogy instruction by the country's top instructors, the institute is a way to learn from national experts in the "capital of genealogy."

This year's classes are as follows:
  • Corpus Juris: Advanced Legal Concepts for Genealogy, Judy Russell, CG, CGL
  • Advanced Research Tools: Land Records, Richard Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA, and Pamela Sayre, CG, FUGA
  • Guide to Treasures Found in Federal Records, Michael Strauss, AG
  • Virginia from the Colonial Period to the Civil War, Barbara Vines Little, CG, FVGS, FNFS, FUGA
  • Chinese Genealogy Research, Kelly Summers, AG
  • Applying Standards to Appraise Genealogical Work, Jeanne Bloom, CG
  • Meeting Standards: Using DNA Evidence, Karen Stanbary, CG
  • Technical Writing for Genealogists, Melissa Johnson, CG
  • Advanced Genealogical Methods, Paul Graham, AG, CG, CGL
  • Immigrants to the New World, Colonial to 1900, Dr. John Colletta, FUGA
  • Early U.S. Church Records, Rev. Dr. David McDonald, CG
  • Maryland: Researching in the Old Line State, Debra Hoffman
  • Advanced Hispanic Research, George Ryskamp, AG, FUGA, and Debbie Gurtler, AG
  • Researching Like a Professional, Michael Hait, CG, CGL
  • Introduction to Genetic Genealogy, Paul Woodbury
  • Guided Research and Consultation, Craig Scott, CG, FUGA
The following week features an Academy for Professionals, from 20–24 January, with seven classes offered to those who are working for clients.

Registration for all the classes opened on Saturday, 13 July. If you are interested, you will want to read more about the classes, instructors, and schedule on the SLIG website. Register quickly, however, as there are already wait lists for some of the classes!

Postnomials: Those initials after the instructors' names indicate their various certifications.
  • AG—Accredited Genealogist, received from the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen)
  • CG—Certified Genealogist, received through the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG)
  • CGL—Certified Genealogical Lecturer, received through the BCG
  • FNGS—Fellow of the National Genealogical Society
  • FVGS—Fellow of the Virginia Genealogical Society
  • FUGA—Fellow of the Utah Genealogical Society
 
Finally, if you'd rather stay close to home, check your local society or library for classes. And if home is St. Louis, remember that registration for StLGS summer/fall classes is also now open!





08 July 2019

John Philip Colletta Headlines "Your Family Stories: What DID They Say?"

(Thanks to Laura Mackinson, StLGS Quarterly co-editor and chair of the Social Media Committee, for being our guest writer this week.)

St. Louis Genealogical Society (StLGS) is honored to host John Philip Colletta, Ph.D., for the 2019 Summer Speaker Series. A Washington, D.C.-based genealogist, Colletta lectures nationally and is on the faculty of both the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) at Athens, Georgia, and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG). He has authored two manuals, many genealogy articles, and a "murder-mystery-family-history" book, titled Only a Few Bones: A True Account of the Rolling Fork Tragedy and its Aftermath, about his great-great-grandfather. It is his ability to turn family history into focused written narrative that he will emphasize during his series of lectures for StLGS.

"Your Family Stories: What DID They Say?" is the theme for this exciting day-long event. Colletta says, "Detective work is challenging and fun. But creating a family tree is only half the goal. The other half is learning about your ancestors as men and women with personalities, character traits, motives and aspirations, joys and disappointments, just like you." His point gets to the heart of writing your family's story: seeing your ancestors in sharp focus and committing their true stories to paper. His four lectures will be:
  • Breaking through Brick Walls: Use Your HEAD!—Pick up guidelines and methodology for overcoming research obstacles.
  • Turning Biographical Facts into Real Life Events: How to Build Historical Context—Depict your ancestors as distinct individuals in and of their time period.
  • Principles of Good Writing and Storytelling—Learn to craft an engaging true story.
  • Writing a Narrative Family History: The Snares and Pitfalls—Avoid hazards that can cloud your narrative.
The Summer Speaker Series will be held Saturday, 13 July, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Maryland Heights Community Center, 2300 McKelvey Road, Maryland Heights, Missouri 63043.. Registration booklet and more details on our website.
 
Want more? Attend the Writing Institute the following week! Details here.

01 July 2019

Fall Classes Announced; July Genealogy Meetings and Events

Fall Classes Now Open for Registration

Check out the StLGS website for the complete list of fall classes that begin in August and run through October. Once again, StLGS offers a two-part class called "Foundations of Genealogy" for those just beginning or needing some refresher hints. Are you interested in learning how to use the FamilySearch website, or are you going on our Salt Lake City Research trip? We have a class that will give you great information on the catalog, wiki, and other parts of the site, and can help you prepare for the trip. Classes on German and Irish research, using technology in your research, and the Legacy FamilyTree PC software are also available. For a complete schedule and/or to download a PDF, go to the StLGS website. (Sorry, but there is no online registration for classes. Please either mail in the registration form or call the office.)

Upcoming StLGS Meeting

 No meeting in July. We look forward to seeing you at our special events:
Summer Speaker Series and/or the Writing Institute
You can still register for both by clicking the buttons on the StLGS website's home page.

There are also just a few rooms left for the annual Salt Lake City Research Trip.
More information and online registration on the StLGS website.

August StLGS Monthly Meeting
Saturday, 10 August 2019
"Finding the Civilian Conservation Corps," by Nancy Schuster, St. Louis County Library Headquarters Auditorium, 10:00 a.m.; free, open to all, no pre-registration needed.
    
Upcoming Irish Special Interest Group (SIG) Meeting
  Tuesday, 23 July 2019
"Using Social Media for Irish Research," by Laura Mackinson and Ilene Murray; St. Louis County Library Headquarters Auditorium, 7:00 p.m. Free, open to all, no pre-registration needed.
 More information on the Irish SIG page on the StLGS website.

Other Upcoming Meetings/Events

Czech Genealogical Researchers Monthly Meeting
Saturday, 20 July 2019
"Escape to Freedom," by Mary Ann Sulz, St. Louis County Library Headquarters East Room, 2:30 p.m.; free, open to all, no pre-registration needed.
More information on the group's website.

St. Louis County Library Classes
Tuesday, 16 July; 2:00 p.m., Daniel Boone Branch
Wednesday, 17 July; 6:30 p.m.; Cliff Cave Branch
Thursday 25 July 2019; 2:00 p.m.; Headquarters
"Finding Ancestors in U.S. Census Records," class given in three locations; free, but pre-registration is needed and there are limited spaces.
Information/registration for the 16 July class; information/registration for the 17 July class; and information/registration on the 25 July class on the library's website.

Tuesday, 23 July 2019; 10:00 a.m.; Weber Road Branch
Monday, 29 July; 2:00 p.m.; Headquarters
"Finding Immigrant European Ancestors," class given in two locations; free, but pre-registration is needed and there are limited spaces.
Information/registration for the 23 July class and
Information/registration for the 29 July class on the library's website.

Sappington-Concord Historical Society Monthly Meeting
Thursday, 18 July 2019
"A 150-year Journey Toward Hope: St. Louis State Hospital," by Amanda Hunyar, Friendship Village South, 12503 Village Circle Drive, Sunset Hills, 2:30 p.m.; free, open to all, no pre-registration needed.
More information on the group's website.


24 June 2019

StLGS Celebrates Its Volunteers; Plus, Early Registration Expires Soon!

Without its many volunteers, St. Louis Genealogical Society would not be able to accomplish any of its goals. We are the largest local genealogical society in the United States and there is not a single paid staff member! Although "thank you" is heard all the time around our office, once a year the society says a special thank you to those who have given outstanding service during the previous year. Award winners must be members of the society, not a recipient in the last two years, and not currently on the board of directors. Usually the award winners are recognized at the annual Family History Conference, but we did not have one this year because of the NGS conference in May. Instead, StLGS volunteer coordinator, Marilyn Brennan, organized a thank you luncheon on Thursday, 20 June, at the StLGS office.

Those who regularly work at the office or at home on special projects were invited to a delicious lunch of salads, sandwiches, fruit, and cake. Afterwards, StLGS president, Kay Weber, honored the men and women chosen for this year's awards.
 This year's honorees were as follows:
  • Appreciation: Ray Barbeau, Steve Butler, Mary Cornell, Joe Gildehaus, Ann Hodges, Mark Madras, and Buddy Van Arsdale 
  • Achievement: Jean Marie Meyer, April Webb, Ken Webb
  • Special Achievement: Ted Steele
  • Special Awards: Bob Goode and Joyce Mercer
Ted Steele received the Special Achievement Award for the projects he has spearheaded to organize the society's archives and to sort out and update all the cemetery information on the StLGS website. Ted's efforts have led to dozens of web pages being corrected and modified, which will be uploaded to the site very soon.

Bob Goode and Joyce Mercer received their Special Awards for the time and effort each puts into their jobs at the office. Bob tirelessly works to keep the StLGS website running and current. He helps to maintain the office computer network and is a teacher and lecturer for the society. Joyce answers the phone, handles the front desk, helps with event registrations and sales, and generously shares her knowledge of rural cemeteries.

Congratulations to all our 2019 award winners! (For more photos, check out the StLGS Facebook group.)
🔆

Reminder: Just one week left to get the early registration discount rates for three major genealogy events! All prices go up on 1 July!
  1. Saturday, 13 July: Summer Speaker Series featuring Dr. John Colletta, including four lectures plus lunch. Registration booklet and more details on our website.
  2. Monday through Thursday, 15–18 July: Summer Writing Institute; four days of intensive workshops, including morning snacks and lunch each day. Learn more about the Institute and how to register on our website. If you register early for both of the above events, you save $15.
  3. Sunday through Sunday, 27 October–3 November: Salt Lake City Research Trip. Just a few rooms remain for our annual trip to the world's largest genealogy library. Save $100 and take part in all pre-trip preparations if you register by 30 June. More information and a four-page registration flyer are on the StLGS website.

17 June 2019

Safety First: Protect Yourself Online

Along with those dozens of annoying robocalls, it seems to be open season for online scamming. If you have good filters on your email, you may never see most of the deluge of emails that are meant to be stealing your money and/or your identity because they will be sent directly to your spam or junk mail folders. However, even with the best attempts at filtering, inevitably, some of those messages get through and you may be tempted to open an attachment, click on a link, or, worse still, actually send someone a gift card or credit card number.

This attempt to steal from you online is called phishing. Pronounced "fishing," it is meant for you to take the bait so a criminal can reel you in! Just in the past few weeks, your blogger has received an email from a known contact asking for a gift card for her nephew, two emails purportedly from Apple asking to click on a link to reenter account information, and masses of emails from "Google" saying files were corrupt, photos unavailable, and mail was going to be deleted, none of which was true.

How can you protect yourself, especially if you aren't really tech savvy?
  • First, be smart! Don't fall for emails asking for anything of value, even if you know the person asking. Call or text the person in question and verify whether he or she actually sent you the email before taking any action. 
  • Learn to look at who really sent an email before you respond to it. Most emails have a "Reply-To" line with the name of the sender. If you click on the sender's name, you will see the actual email address from which the note came. Many fake emails don't have the Reply-To visible, but there is still a way to see who sent the email. In the example to the right, clicking on the "Google Notify" line yielded the hidden address, which you can see is clearly NOT from Google.
  • Don't ever click on a link in a message that seems to be from a company but has grammatical or spelling mistakes. It is very rare that a message from a major company is sent out with those kinds of errors. If you aren't sure about something, go to the website yourself by typing in the address, or call the company.
  • Make sure your passwords are safe. Don't use simple words like "password" or "onetwothree." Your passwords should have combinations of letters, numbers, and symbols and be unique for each website. Plan on changing passwords if and when you think they might have been compromised.
  • Most important, be proactive. Stay alert and aware so you don't become a victim of scamming! You can also report phishing attempts to the company who supposedly sent them to you. Most have dedicated abuse email addresses to which you can forward suspicious emails. Don't, however, expect a response, as they seldom do answer, but that doesn't mean they aren't taking action.

10 June 2019

Early Registration Savings Extended for Genealogy Writing Events

It's not too late to kick-start your family history research and writing with two special events from StLGS, and now, early registration pricing has been extended through June 30th! Don't let time slip by—register today and get that little push you need to take your family research to the next step. Learn how to capture some of your interesting family stories and make them into an article, short story or book! First, join us on Saturday, 13 July 2019, for our 2019 Summer Speaker Series:

Your Family Stories: What DID They Say?

Featuring John Philip Colletta, Ph.D.


Nationally known writer, instructor, and lecturer, John Philip Colletta, Ph.D., comes to St. Louis as our featured guest at the beautiful new Maryland Heights Community Center, 2300 McKelvey Road, from 8:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. He will deliver lectures on:
  • Breaking through Brick Walls: Use Your HEAD!
  • Turning Biographical Facts into Real Life Events: How to Build Historical Context
  • Principles of Good Writing and Storytelling 
  • Writing a Narrative Family History: The Snares and Pitfalls
Your day includes all four lectures plus lunch. Registration booklet and more details on our website.

 2019 Summer Writing Institute

 Are You Ready to Write Your Family History?

The following week, we will host a four-day intensive workshop on writing. Meet with us Monday through Thursday, 15–18 July, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the StLGS office in Maplewood for lectures, hands-on practice, and plenty of good advice on best practices for writing short stories, articles, or your family history book. Local writers/editors Viki Fagyal, Bob Goode, Ilene Murray, and Jane Theissen will show you:
  • How to use timelines and historical context
  • How to create style sheets
  • How to use Microsoft Word to format your writing and include graphics
  • What you need to know about copyright
  • How to create the various parts of a book
In addition, Liz Kelley, publications manager at No Waste Publishing, will be on hand on Thursday to walk you through the steps to take to get your manuscript published.
 
The Summer Writing Institute includes morning snacks and lunch each day. All participants will receive a notebook and USB drive of handout material. You can learn more about the Institute and how to register on our website.

Save $15

Register for both events and save $15. Both the Speaker Series and Writing Workshop registration booklets include the reduced combination price and you can register online at our secure store.

Questions? Contact us at programs@stlgs.org or call us during office hours, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 9 a.m. until noon. We look forward to seeing you in July!

03 June 2019

June Genealogy Meetings and Events

Update to St. Louis County Historian Vacancy

Thanks to StLGS member, Carol Waggoner, for letting us know that she has communicated with St. Louis County Executive, Sam Page, who told her that "Tom Ott is now the acting county historian and he [Sam Page] emailed this morning that he intends to fill the position this summer." Great news for St. Louis County!

Upcoming StLGS Meeting

StLGS Monthly Meeting
Saturday, 8 June 2019
"Migration from the Eastern U.S. to Mid-America," by Carol Whitton, CG, St. Louis County Library Headquarters Auditorium, 10:00 a.m.; free, open to all, no pre-registration needed.
More information on the StLGS website.
    
Upcoming German Special Interest Group (SIG) Meeting
  Wednesday, 19 June 2019
"German Parish Records in Archion and Matricula," by Carol Whitton, CG; St. Louis County Library Headquarters Auditorium, 7:00 p.m. Free, open to all, no pre-registration needed.
 More information on the German SIG page on the StLGS website.

Other Upcoming Meetings/Events

Czech Genealogical Researchers Monthly Meeting
Saturday, 22 June 2019
"The Irish in Bohemia," by Mary Petersen, St. Louis County Library Headquarters East Room, 1:30 p.m.; free, open to all, no pre-registration needed.
More information on the group's website.

St. Louis County Library Classes
Saturday, 22 June 2019
"Digital Archiving Day at the Library" St. Louis County Library Headquarters, 2:00 p.m.; free, but pre-registration is needed and there are limited spaces.
More information on the library's website.

Thursday, 27 June 2019
"Who Were My Ancestors? Beginning Genealogical Research," St. Louis County Library Headquarters, 2:00 p.m.; free, but pre-registration is needed.
More information on the library's website.