Sunday, February 26, 2017

Trivia Night is Friday, 3 March 2017

Are you ready for an evening of fun and games? Have you signed up for the StLGS annual Trivia Night? It's coming up this Friday, 3 March, at the Richmond Heights Community Center, 8001 Dale Avenue, just one block southeast of Hanley Road and Highway 64/40. Doors will open at 6:30 and Trivia Night begins at 7:15. That should give everyone time to arrive after rush hour traffic has made its way home.

As in previous years, thanks to the hard work of the Trivia Night committee, there are fabulous  
baskets of goodies for a silent auction that will begin as soon as doors open. Bring your checkbook and/or your credit card so you can bid on a wide array of wonderful donated items sure to entice you.

You can register a group of eight or just come by yourself and we'll find you a new group of friends to join for the evening. Soft drinks and some snacks are on the house, and you are welcome to bring any other goodies you like: more snacks, dinner, adult beverages, dessert, whatever. (The community center does not allow glass containers in the building so if you bring anything in glass, please plan to take it home with you, full or empty. Thanks!)

Trivia Night is our biggest fundraising event of the year and we rely on your support to make it successful. You can register online at We look forward to seeing you Friday night.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Genealogical Musing with Fran

(This is our second post from past StLGS president, Fran Behrman, who will continue as a guest blogger. Be sure to read her first post from 25 January, and follow her ongoing genealogy journey as she shares more with us on a regular basis.)

“Meet Me in St. Louis” always provokes images of the 1904 World’s Fair, streetcars, and the wonder of an era more than a century ago. What were your ancestors doing in St. Louis at that time? The Behrman family arrived in the late 1800s and settled on Park Avenue. The elders were entrepreneurs and lived the life that this country had promised. As we are all here because our ancestors decided to relocate to this land of “milk and honey,” we relish the quest for more information about these daring men and women who only wanted the opportunity to live free, raise their families in peace, and prosper.

St. Louis has always been a city of neighborhoods, and when we locate where our ancestors lived, it aids us in our search. The Hill, Grand-Oak Hill, Hyde Park, Near South Side, Central West End, DeBaliviere Place, Soulard, and Carondelet are just a few of the St. Louis neighborhoods we’ve come to know. Our ancestors were drawn to areas with those of ethnic origins akin to theirs. Nothing much has changed over the years as we continue to welcome immigrants to this great land of freedom and opportunity for all. Just as our beautiful Statue of Liberty denotes, “Give me Your Tired, Your Poor . . .”

My husband, third generation German, adored his father and went to work with him each day in his store, which was in the Near South Side neighborhood. We have in our home one of the ladders that was used in the store. The stories that were passed on to the children and grandchildren about that time often brought not only smiles but tears. Riding on the back of the milk wagon was a favorite.

We have always felt fortunate to have lived in a time of families settling and staying in a neighborhood. What are your early memories? Do you know the details of the entire family unit? Extended family information can add valuable facts to the make-up of a family heritage.

This thing we do, genealogy, continues to fascinate and puzzle as we move forward. Never a dull moment for sure!

Please enjoy the hunt and let us hear from you.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

An Opportunity to Learn About a Preventorium in St. Louis

During the 1920s, tuberculosis ran amok among all classes of people. Communities made efforts to improve sanitation and to treat adults but not much was done about children. In 1926, the St. Louis Jewish community began a summer camp for at-risk children. Called Camp Fee Fee, it was a preventorium, meant to get kids out into the fresh air and teach them about how to stay healthy so they would not become victims of this potentially fatal disease.

Diane Everman, archivist for the St. Louis Jewish Community Archives, will present a lecture on this fascinating topic on 21 February 2017 at 7:00 p.m. at the Jewish Federation, 12 Millstone Campus Dr., St. Louis, MO 63146.

The lecture is free but pre-registration is required. Call 314-442-3720 or send an email to Cyndee Levy A dessert reception will follow the lecture.

Learn more at

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Genealogical Musing with Fran

(Past StLGS president, Fran Behrman, so enjoyed writing her monthly column that we asked her to continue as a guest blogger. A natural storyteller, Fran has graciously agreed, and we know her many fans will be delighted to follow the ongoing saga of her research. Enjoy!)

We have all been there when we find something new but are not sure how it relates to our ancestor. We know it would be good to just bounce our thoughts off someone who could help to think it through face-to-face. Well, that was the simple thought, the seed, the need for Dorothy, and she decided to act! 
Dorothy contacted NGS for a list of members in St. Louis. She wrote letters to local institutions and placed ads in the local newspapers letting all know of an intended meeting on 6 October 1966. Now I would like to tell you that hundreds showed up, but that is not the case. There were thirteen, including Dorothy, but you do not always need large numbers to succeed. Enthusiasm and spirit count for much more in this situation. Dorothy and her merry band clicked, and as the saying goes, the rest is history!  The St. Louis Genealogical Society (StLGS) was established.

StLGS is fortunate that in its fifty-year history, volunteers have come forward to do the work that today supports members in all fifty states and six foreign countries. From that original thirteen have come thousands through the years to learn and share in this company of like minds. The mission of StLGS for fifty years has been to collect, preserve, and publish genealogical and historical records and provide educational and research opportunities Quite a lot to think about, right? 

I remember my first class when I was awakened to the wonder of what was possible and how to go about achieving success. I have had the good fortune to meet so many knowledgeable genealogists during the years, but I have never met one who thought they were finished learning. This is a challenging area of research and the information we gather requires discernment. What is that line from The Music Man? “You gotta know the territory.”

Our research will expose us to not only the history of our ancestors but the history of the world they created. How very exciting it is to make these discoveries! I hope that you are having as much fun with this wonderful exploration as I am, and I encourage you to take advantage of the local and national societies that exist to aid you in your success.

Good hunting, 
Fran Behrman

Thursday, January 12, 2017

January General Meeting Cancelled

If you have been following the weather maps today, you can see that a very large, powerful ice storm seems to be heading straight for the St. Louis metropolitan area. With that in mind, we have cancelled the January meeting scheduled for Saturday, 14 January, at 10 a.m. at St. Louis County Library Headquarters. We hope everyone will stay home and be safe if the weather becomes treacherous. See you in February!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

2017 StLGS Trivia Night Date

Although most of our members receive their News 'n Notes electronically, a few hundred still get a printed edition. If you are one of those people, your newsletters were mailed before we discovered a problem with our scheduled Trivia Night. The Richmond Heights Community Center had a computer outage and lost our reservation. By the time we found out, they had moved another group into the date we had selected, so, we have changed the date for this year's event.

The 2017 StLGS annual Trivia Night is now Friday, 3 March, at the Richmond Heights Community Center, 8001 Dale Avenue, Richmond Heights, Missouri. To better allow people to clear rush hour traffic on a Friday night, we are opening the doors at 6:30 and will start the games at 7:15 p.m.

If you have one of the original Trivia Night flyers, please note the date change! Registration is now open and we hope you will be able to attend. More information, registration, and the flyer are on our website

ALSO . . . Mother Nature is having a rough winter, and the weather forecast for this weekend is looking a bit dicey. Therefore, before you venture out to our monthly meeting on Saturday, 14 January, please be sure you check our website, or our Facebook page, our Twitter account, or the St. Louis County Library website. Please note: if the library is closed, our meeting is, of course, cancelled, and they may also announce the library closing on local TV stations.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

StLGS Cemetery Project Completed!

(The following article, acknowledging the completion of the society's cemetery project, was written by Ted Steele, one of many St. Louis Genealogical Society volunteers who worked on our cemetery project over the years.)

Throughout the nineteenth century, thousands of families came to (or passed through) St. Louis, Missouri, on their way west. Some families stayed and some were in the city for only a brief time. In either case, many of those families had one or more of their members who died and were buried there. Since 2000, the St. Louis Genealogical Society (StLGS) has had a project to transcribe and index every burial in every cemetery in St. Louis city and county. Thus began a society effort that involved StLGS volunteers photocopying cemetery records or walking cemeteries to record whatever information could be gleaned from tombstones. This project identified 444 open or historical cemeteries in St. Louis city and county. Once the data was captured, StLGS volunteers created an every-name index to each cemetery.

It wasn’t always easy. By and large, cemeteries are private businesses, so access to their records or obtaining access to walk the grounds required permission from each cemetery owner. While many owners were happy to provide this access, others required considerable encouragement to do so. A few were adamant against allowing any access to their records—or their property. One by one, however, determined society volunteers worked with these recalcitrant owners, convincing them that creating these copies and indexes would provide both off-site backup for their businesses and alphabetical indexes to their interments that would prove to be helpful to them. One by one, they agreed.

In November 2016, StLGS volunteers completed their work on the last of these cemeteries, Oak Grove, in Normandy, St. Louis County. That effort, then, culminated the society’s project to record and index all of St. Louis’s cemeteries. During the past sixteen years, StLGS volunteers have captured and indexed more than 1.5 million interments. Those indexes are now available to society members on the society’s website at

StLGS is now working to do the same with all St. Louis area congregations. Although this work has only recently begun, StLGS already has thousands of baptism, marriage, and burial every-name indexes for selected congregations available to society members on its website at