Friday, September 19, 2014

St. Louis County Library Obtains Rare Swiss Genealogy Records

The following is a news release from St. Louis County Library . . .

St. Louis County Library is excited to announce the recent acquisition of church and other records from Canton Bern, Switzerland. The German and French records, on 847 rolls of high-quality microfilm, feature birth, marriage, and death information from the 16th to 19th centuries. The microfilm can be viewed in the History and Genealogy Department at the St. Louis County Library Headquarters located at 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd.

The original records, held by the State Archives of Bern, offer information difficult to obtain in the U.S. Researchers are free to view the records and print copies as needed. The History and Genealogy department also offers a knowledgeable staff that can assist researchers in using the microfilm set. Microfilm rolls and their contents are listed in the St. Louis County Library catalog. A finding aid to the collection is available in the History and Genealogy Department.

Purchase of the microfilm set was made possible with funds from the William C. E. and Bessie K. Becker Collection, established in 2014. Mr. Becker, a civil engineer, is remembered for designing the Jewel Box in Forest Park. The couple's surviving children and grandchildren made the donation specifically to enhance the library's genealogical holdings. The Swiss microfilms join other Becker Collection sources for researching German and Irish ancestry.

For more information, contact the St. Louis County Library History and Genealogy Department at 314-994-3300, ext. 2070, by email at, or see the library's website at

StLGS German Special Interest Group Announces 2015 Schedule

The St. Louis Genealogical Society's German Special Interest Group, with Carol Whitton, CG, as its new coordinator, has an exciting schedule planned for next year. All meetings will be held at St. Louis County Library Headquarters, in the auditorium, from 7 p.m. until 8:45. Doors open at 6:45 p.m.

Grab that new 2015 calendar and mark the following dates for G-SIG meetings, as you won't want to miss any of them.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015: "What's New in the German Collection at St. Louis County Library?" featuring Scott Holl, manager of the History and Genealogy Department

Wednesday, 18 March 2015: "European Migration Patterns" featuring Ilene Murray, StLGS publications director

Wednesday, 17 June 2015: Open House at the StLGS Office; visit the office and get help with your roadblocks and translations.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015: "Get Organized: Find Your Missing Germans," featuring Carol Whitton, StLGS research projects director and G-SIG coordinator

More information on these programs will be posted on the StLGS website and on the G-SIG flyer now available at the office and at monthly meetings.

Monday, July 21, 2014

"Who Do You Think You Are?" with a Missouri Connection Debuts Wednesday

In the last issue of News 'n Notes, we mentioned that the new season of Who Do You Think You Are? starts on Wednesday, 23 July on TLC. What we did not know at the time is this season debut also features the Missouri State Archives and actress Cynthia Nixon's connection to Missouri.

In a press release last week, the Archives shared, "The Friends of the Missouri State Archives are excited to announce the Archives’ involvement in the season premiere of TLC’s Who Do You Think You Are? The episode features Cynthia Nixon, best known for her role as Miranda Hobbes in Sex in the City, as she 'meets an ancestor forced to use the most extreme measures to stay alive.' Archives staff helped gather historic records and provided a venue for the episode’s filming."

You can watch this hour-long look into Ms. Nixon's ancestry on TLC, Wednesday, 23 July, from 8 to 9 p.m. Or check out for online viewing.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

StLGS July Office Closures

Just a brief note to let you know that the StLGS office will be closed for several dates in July.

Saturday, 5 July for the July 4th holiday weekend


Tuesday and Thursday, 15 and 17 July, for the St. Louis Research Institute

Saturday, 26 July for the Summer Speaker Series

Although the Research Institute is full, there is still time to register for the Speaker Series. We hope you can join us to hear German genealogy expert, Roger Minert, for a full-day workshop and lunch. As always, there is more information and you can register on our website

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Coming Up in June

You are invited to the grand opening of an exhibit called "Catholic St. Louis 250"!

Help the St. Louis Archdiocese Office of Archives and Records to celebrate the 250th birthday of St. Louis and the 800th birthday of St. Louis IX, King of France and the city's namesake. Come explore the rich history of the Archdiocese of St. Louis from the early French settlers to the present. Refreshments will be served.
Thursday, 19 June, from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m.
Rosati Museum, first floor of the Cardinal Rigali Center
20 Archbishop May Drive, Shrewsbury, MO 63119

If you can't make it to the opening, the museum will be open to visitors 
on Wednesday afternoons, from noon until 4 p.m

Caught in the Draft: Conscription Records of World War I
Saturday, 21 June, 10:30 a.m. until noon
St. Louis Public Library, 1301 Olive St., Training Room, 2nd floor

Join reference librarian, Tom Pearson, for this free class covering books, manuscripts, microfilm, and Internet sources for information on draft laws and records from World War I. To register, contact Tom at

Friday, May 23, 2014

Introduction to Czech (Bohemian) Genealogical Research

For those of you with Czech (Bohemian) ancestors, here is a chance to learn more about this interesting avenue of research. You are invited to a free two-hour workshop, sponsored by the Czech School Board, on Tuesday, 3 June 2014 from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m.

The presentation will include the following topics:
  1.  Family and Home Sources
  2. The Czech Immigrant Split in America (Czech Catholic Church and Czech Freethinker Movement)
  3. Czech Language
  4. Czech Surnames
  5. Czech Language Publications (including how to find your ancestors when you don't read the language)
The workshop will take place at the American-Czech Educational Center, 4690 Lansdowne Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63116. For questions, contact Marcella at

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Valhalla Cemetery Plans Remembrance Ceremony for Forgotten Veterans

On Saturday, 24 May, at 10:00 a.m., Valhalla Cemetery will transfer the remains of twenty-two
veterans who had died, been cremated, and then abandoned at the cemetery since 1924. These previously unclaimed ashes will be taken to Jefferson Barracks where they will finally be put to rest with long overdue full military honors. Everyone is invited to take part in this moving ceremony.

The South County U.S. Marine Corps League Color Guard/Rifle Team, the Boeing Concert Band and the Boeing Balladeers, and Don Gerspach, the Missouri Coordinator of the Missing in America Project, will be featured in the ceremony.

The cemetery is located at 7500 St. Charles Rock Road in St. Louis. Please bring a lawn chair for your comfort. For more information, call 314-863-3011.