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:

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Genealogy in St. Louis: StLGS and SLCL Featured on Living St. Louis

On Monday, 11 January, the St. Louis Genealogical Society and the History and Genealogy Dept. of St. Louis County Library were featured on Living St. Louis, a local program on PBS, hosted by Ruth Ezell. Ms. Ezell's ten-minute segment focused on treasures one can find in church records and included interviews with StLGS Projects Director, Carol Whitton, and Scott Holl, manager of the H&G department at County Library Headquarters.

Carol described the process by which congregation records are being scanned and indexed at the StLGS office, and many of the office volunteers involved in the project were filmed at work. Scott was interviewed at the library. He showed an example of an Ortssippinbuch, a book written in German describing the genealogies of people living in particular communities, usually based on parish records. In addition, an introductory story line showed some Czech family letters from World War II serving as a way for two men to learn more about their families.

If you missed the show on Monday night or if you saw it and want to watch it again, you can find it online at And if it inspires you to help, we can always use more volunteers to work on the congregations project! You can scan, index, or proofread and many things can be done from home. Contact our volunteer coordinator at to find out how you can help.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Some January 2016 News

Happy New Year! Now that the holidays are behind us, it's time to think genealogy again, and what better way to begin the year than with an StLGS monthly meeting? Please join us on Saturday, 9 January at 10:00 a.m. at the St. Louis County Library Headquarters auditorium to hear Information Systems Director Bob Goode explain "How to Use Evernote for Genealogical Research." Evernote is a popular cross-platform application that helps users organize and collect a wide variety of notes. You can use it on any computer, laptop, tablet, and/or smart phone. Bob will explain how this powerful piece of software can help you with your genealogy.

Due to the holiday and some computer issues at the StLGS office, the January issue of News 'n Notes will be a bit delayed; however, members should be receiving it next week. The complete 2016 calendar, meetings and events flier, winter/spring classes, and a Trivia Night registration booklet will be inside. Meanwhile, you can find all those items already online on our website. Just go to and click on the appropriate button or scroll down the page to find the calendar.

Did you catch the first program in the PBS series Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr.? The new season began last night, 5 January, and it was a truly fascinating glimpse into the ancestry of three disparate people who surprisingly had a strong connection to each other. Actor Ty Burrell, artist Kara Walker, and political organizer Donna Brazile share a tie to slavery and those sort-of-almost-but-not-quite accurate family stories that most of us have. If you missed it, it's well worth watching, and you can do so online at You may want to hurry, though; the video will only remain on the site until the 4th of February.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Surviving the Loss of Family Tree Maker

This week announced that in January 2017 they would drop support of their popular genealogy software package, Family Tree Maker. The reaction in the genealogical community has been overwhelmingly negative but if Ancestry does indeed follow through with their intentions, there are many alternatives for those of you using their software. First of all, don't panic! You have more than a year to move your files and to work out glitches, if any occur.

The office volunteers at StLGS have long recommended either RootsMagic or Legacy Family Tree for PC users and Reunion for Mac users. All three programs are solid, well supported, and flexible. You can do everything you did in FTM and lots more, including extremely valuable source citations, charts, media attachments, etc. We have sample copies of both PC programs at the office for those who want to see before making a decision and we have volunteers in-house who can help you with all three packages. We often have classes in using software too; the winter class schedule will come out in January and we already have two classes planned for March on using RootsMagic. In addition, instructor, Ted Steele, is working on a new monograph on using RootsMagic, which will be available soon.

Those of you who have very old versions of FTM (or other aging software) would do well to upgrade during the next few months, as it is always dangerous to keep valuable files in outdated versions of programs.

Meanwhile, for those of you who have begun to ask, you transfer your files via GEDCOM. If you are a member of StLGS, you can download a free monograph (PDF) on GEDCOMs, written by Ted Steele, in the Member Benefits section of our website. (Or go directly to The monograph is also for sale in our store in print form. Just search for "GEDCOM."

We will be providing more ways to help you during the next few months. Watch for announcements and know that there are lots of StLGS volunteers who are available to help you through this transition.