Friday, September 16, 2016

Early Registration Deadline Extended for October Speaker Series

The kids and grandkids are back to school and cooler weather is on the way. Time to think about genealogy again after vacations, gardens, and other distractions have filled our long summer days. StLGS has just the perfect way to spend a Saturday in October––our annual Fall Speaker Series!

Following Your Ancestors Through Time
Saturday, 15 October 2016
Orlando Gardens, 2050 Dorsett Road, Maryland Heights, MO
Registration 8:30 a.m.

Featuring Ann Fleming, CG, CGL, FNGS
Ilene Murray
Carol Whitton, CG
Four talks plus lunch included!
  • Discovering New Research Clues
  • Leaving Home and Becoming an American
  • Migrating from the Eastern U.S. to the Midwest
  • Death Records: What Do They Reveal?
 Save some money! The early registration deadline has been extended to Saturday, 8 October!

You can register online at or mail the form that came with your August News 'n Notes.

Please note: Orlando Gardens does not permit any outside food or beverages. 
Coffee and water will be available throughout the day.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

September President's Column in its Entirety

 As we promised in the issue of News 'n Notes that went out this morning, here is the entire "President's Column." To those of you who aren't StLGS members, a reminder that the electronic edition of each month's newsletter is always just a click away. Just use the News 'n Notes button on the home page of our website to access it.

“One day you turn around and it’s summer. Next day you turn around and it’s fall. And the springs and the winters of a lifetime, whatever happened to them all?” (lyrics by Sammy Cahn, recorded by Frank Sinatra) Well, yes, here we are in the fall and where is this year of 2016 going? Are we preserving the memories of our lifetime? I think as genealogists that is exactly what we are doing.
I always think of September as the transitional month––getting back to the routine of settling in for the shorter days, the anticipation of the leaves turning, and the changing of greens to yellows, oranges, and browns.
So much about September can also be related to our memories of returning to school. I remember well setting off for my first day of school proud of my brand new box of crayons and my freshly sharpened #2 yellow pencil and lined tablet. Well, times they are not only “a changing” but have changed. The tools of the trade today are laptops. Where my pencil had an eraser, my computer has a delete button! But we change with the times and keep moving forward. I am sure like me you are reminded that staying busy and taking on new challenges keeps us in the game, our minds active, the aging process slowed. Well, we who are doing genealogy are very much keeping our minds active.
Our group of researchers who are going to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City this fall has had their pre-departure group meeting and should be, as I write this, in the throes of preparation. Getting prepared to go on a research trip, whether it be a day or a week, is essential. You have to know what you are looking for and where you will find it. It is wonderful to be able to sit at home and just log on to the Family Search website and search their catalog.
Researching is what we love about genealogy, but I have always loved puzzles. My grandmother loved doing jigsaw puzzles, and during the winter, there would always be a puzzle on the dining room table where you could sit and work while listening to the radio. Yes, remember radio?
My recent endeavors have taken me to researching South Carolina. Now as you have probably discovered in your own research, when you get back to the early 1800s and before, finding actual records gets to be an even greater challenge. No census before 1790, but thank goodness for land records, tax records, and court records.
When at the St. Louis County Library History and Genealogy Dept. the other day, I found a marvelous book with a detailed map inside where I was able to pinpoint the exact location of the earliest land record for my ancestor. It turned out that even though it was a South Carolina record, the land was actually in what was then North Carolina. This discovery has thrown a new light on this research.
Maps are wonderful in so many ways and another essential resource for genealogists. There is a very useful book, Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses, 1790–1920, by Thorndale and Dollarhide, that if you haven’t used, you might want to refer to when researching county and state boundaries. (Coincidentally, this book, which until recently was out of print, is now available at the StLGS store in case you might like to buy a copy for yourself.)
The society has come into possession of an 1873 Atlas of the United States that is so extremely detailed and full of valuable information. A professional photographer has scanned it for us and we hope to get the images up on our website for you, our members, in the near future as another research tool for your benefit.
I hope that you are being successful in your pursuits. When I get to a place in my research where I just seem to be bogged down and I am not getting anyplace, I lay that particular line aside for a bit and pick up another to work on. As there is never going to be an actual “finish,” I find it a better method for me.
            No matter whether you are working alone or with a partner or a group, the experience of solving the puzzle and the satisfaction of success are the tangible rewards but there are to me so many other rewards that seem to come with this hobby. One of the best rewards for me is the people whom I meet and the experiences and stories that are shared. We often think of genealogy as a quiet, studious endeavor but to me it is wrought with serendipitous moments that can be shared and enjoyed with others.
      Please know that we are here not only to assist but we want to hear your stories of discovery. 
      Happy hunting,
      Fran Behrman, StLGS president

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