20 May 2019

The War of 1812 in Missouri AND Fan Charts: New Products for Sale!

StLGS volunteers have been very busy this spring getting more new products ready for family history researchers. We now have two new books about the War of 1812 in Missouri and the formation of the Missouri Rangers.

The War of 1812 in Missouri, Volumes One and Two

Based on the work of noted genealogist, Robert Parkin, and edited by Ann Fleming, Ruth Ann Hager, and Ilene Murray, these volumes are rich with the history of the pioneers and Native Americans who were in the Mississippi and Missouri River Valleys during the early nineteenth century. The editors have added maps, glossaries, bibliographies, and indexes filling both books with valuable information for researchers of the time period.

Book One, called Tales of the Red Head, Black Hawk, and Missouri Rangers centers on the life and times of William Clark, Black Hawk, and the intrepid men and families who settled the frontier.

Book Two, called Profiles of Missouri Rangers, contains genealogical and biographical information on many of the people mentioned in the first volume. At the end of this volume is a section with rarely-seen early maps of the state and individual counties along the rivers.

If you had ancestors in the territory that became the state of Missouri, you will want to have these books in your library. You can buy them singly or in a set at the StLGS store. Much more information about the contents of the books is on our website. You can click on the button on the StLGS home page or go directly to the books' page. (Members: Remember to log in first to get your coupon code for the store.) Questions about the books? Send an email to publications@stlgs.org.

Fan Charts

The society is now offering family tree fan charts in two sizes: seven and nine generations. Both come in full-color, and the nine-generation chart also comes in black and white. You can get your chart with or without names and dates. They are printed in our office and can be ordered in person or via email. The charts are based on GEDCOM files, which must be submitted with your order.

Complete instructions for ordering a fan chart are on the StLGS website. You can download a booklet that contains an order form and explains how to create your GEDCOM on the Fan Charts page.

Questions about fan charts should be sent to fanchart@stlgs.org.

13 May 2019

Highlights of the NGS Conference

Thanks to all who helped to make this a wonderful conference week! What an exciting, albeit exhausting time it was for everyone who attended the National Genealogical Society's (NGS) 2019 Family History Conference in St. Charles! However, it would not have been a successful conference without the help of the experienced NGS staff and the more than one hundred StLGS volunteers who worked behind the scenes to keep things moving smoothly.

As the local host society, the week began for about seventy St. Louis Genealogical Society volunteers on Monday, 6 May with preliminary instructions, a tour around the St. Charles Convention Center, and then two hours of assembly line bag filling. Each of the 2,000+ conference bags needed to have copies of several bookmarks, flyers, booklets, and a conference program inserted. Then the bags needed to be boxed and toted to the registration area. By 1 p.m., all was ready for the following day, when pre-conference events began.

Tuesday was busy with Librarians' Day, African American and Irish workshops, and three different all-day trips. Registration opened for those already on site and continued all day and into the early evening. Volunteers were on hand to help participants download and understand how to use the conference app and to set up the society's sales area in the Exhibit Hall. The Society Showcase, featuring sixteen local genealogy and history groups, took place during the afternoon.

From Wednesday until Saturday, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. (and later for those attending special events), days were filled with lectures, meals, shopping in the Exhibit Hall, meeting new friends, and re-acquainting with old ones. In spite of the cool, rainy weather that dominated the end of the week, people enjoyed the food trucks that arrived each day and the chance to ride the free shuttles into the city of St. Charles to take in the shops and restaurants on Main Street.
(Thanks to Marsha Clark and Laura Mackinson for the photos.)

Special Awards for our Volunteers

St. Louis Genealogical Society was acknowledged by NGS at the Opening Session on Wednesday with an Award of Honor "in recognition of the society's dedication and sustained service in support of the 2019 NGS conference." StLGS committee chairs received Certificates of Appreciation at that time as well. Those honorees were local host co-chairs, Viki Fagyal and Kay Weber; Exhibit Hall co-chairs, Bob Cejka and Bob Goode; hospitality co-chairs Karen Goode and Rich Stanton; local publicity chair, Ann Hodges; registration co-chairs Diane Broniec and Barbara Larson; social media chair, Laura Mackinson; and volunteer chair, Marilyn Brennan.

The chair of the entire conference was long-time StLGS volunteer and former president, Ann Carter Fleming, CG, CGL, FNGS, who, very deservedly, received a special award at the NGS banquet on Friday evening. Ann, who has chaired more than six conferences for NGS and numerous events for StLGS, is the 2019 recipient of the Shirley Langdon Wilcox Award for Exemplary Volunteerism, which "recognizes a volunteer whose generosity of spirit and time has greatly benefited the National Genealogical Society and the genealogical community in general over a period of years."

Congratulations and many thanks from all of us to our award winners for their dedication and hard work!

06 May 2019

May Genealogy Meetings and Special Events

Upcoming Special Event

National Genealogical Society (NGS) 2019 Family History Conference
Wednesday–Saturday, 8–11 May 2019
Journey of Discovery

St. Louis Genealogical Society volunteers have spent the past two years preparing to be the local hosts at the National Genealogical Society's 2019 Family History Conference and now the event is just days away! Volunteers will be at the St. Charles Convention Center on Monday morning, 6 May 2019, to be sure that all registrants have a goodie bag filled with information, and on Tuesday, 7 May, the pre-conference activities begin. The registration area opens at noon. Volunteers will be on hand to lead those who are interested on tours of the facility and help anyone who needs assistance with the conference app.

Also in the afternoon is the Society Showcase, from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. on the upper level of the Convention Center. Meet representatives from fifteen Missouri and Illinois genealogical and historical societies and learn more about how they might help you with your research.

The conference officially begins bright and early on Wednesday morning, 8 May, and we can't wait to meet and greet our friends, make new ones, and welcome everyone with our famous St. Louis hospitality. Be sure you stop by to say hello at the StLGS booth, 101, in the Exhibit Hall!

Upcoming StLGS Meeting

StLGS Monthly Meeting: No meeting in May; next 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 Jewish Special Interest Group (SIG) Meeting
  Wednesday, 29 May 2019
"Treasures Found in Legal Documents," by Mike Everman, archivist; St. Louis County Library Headquarters Auditorium, 7:00 p.m. Free, open to all, no pre-registration needed.
 More information on the Jewish SIG page on the StLGS website.

Upcoming Classes

Missouri History Museum: Wednesday, 15 May 2019
"Civil War Notables at Bellefontaine Cemetery," by Dan Fuller. Hear about those from both sides of the war who are buried at Bellefontaine Cemetery. Lee Auditorium, St. Louis History Museum in Forest Park, 10:30 a.m. Free but pre-registration required through St. Louis Community College at 314-984-7777.

Dan Fuller will also present this lecture at the St. Louis Public Library, 1301 Olive Street, on Wednesday, 29 May 2019 at 7:00 p.m. in the Training Room on the second floor. Free and open to the public; no registration required. More information on the library's website.

Missouri History Museum: Thursday, 16 May 2019
"Sage Chapel Cemetery," by Dorris Keeven-Franke. Learn about the history and the people buried in a small African American cemetery in O'Fallon, Missouri. Lee Auditorium, St. Louis History Museum in Forest Park, 10:30 a.m. Free but pre-registration required  through St. Louis Community College at 314-984-7777.

  More information on these events and more on the Missouri History Museum website.

Visit our website: www.stlgs.org

29 April 2019

So Many Things to Remember!

This week's blog is a reminder of three special genealogy events you don't want to miss. With so much going on this busy springtime, it's easy to let things slide. Pre-registration (save money!) is open now—but only for a limited time—for the following:

2019 Summer Speaker Series: Your Family Stories: What DID They Say?

Featuring John Philip Colletta, Ph.D.

Saturday, 13 July 2019
Maryland Heights Community Center
 2300 McKelvey Road
8:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.

  • 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?

Monday through Thursday, 15–18 July 2019
StLGS Office
 4 Sunnen Drive, Suite 140, Maplewood, Missouri
9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. each day
  • Lectures
  • Hands-on practice
  • Advice on best practices for writing short stories, articles, and/or your family history book. 

Featuring local writers/editors Viki Fagyal, Bob Goode, Ilene Murray, and Jane Theissen, and Liz Kelley, publications manager at No Waste Publishing.
Includes morning snacks and lunch each day. All participants will also 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 by registering for both the Speaker Series and the Writing Institute together. Both registration booklets have the combination price and you can register online at our secure store.

2019 Salt Lake City Research Trip

Sunday, 27 October–Sunday, 3 November

  • Seven nights at the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel
  • Shuttle service to and from the airport
  • Sunday dinner
  • Monday evening meeting
  • Individual assistance all week from two experienced leaders
  • Pre-trip meeting
  • Electronic mailing list for out-of-town participants 
Pre-registration ends 30 June. You save $100 and can take part in all pre-trip preparations if you register by that date. More information and a four-page registration flyer are on the StLGS website.

22 April 2019

Newly Revised Genealogy Publications Now Available

One of the most important goals of St. Louis Genealogical Society is to educate people about genealogy. To that end, we teach classes, hold monthly meetings, and host special genealogy events throughout the year. We also publish our Quarterly journal, some CDs, and a series of booklets and monographs. As we prepare for the upcoming National Genealogical Society's annual conference in May, we have been revising some of our publications and they are now available on our website and in our store.

Are you an StLGS member? One of your benefits of membership is free PDFs of monographs written on a variety of topics. Recently revised editions of three of our most popular monographs are just a click away. "Understanding GEDCOM and Posting Family History" answers many questions about what GEDCOM files are, why they are important to your genealogy research, and how to create them. "Genetic Genealogy and DNA Testing" is meant for those just starting out and explains some of the basics of DNA.

At the April StLGS meeting, many people were extremely interested in archivist Diane Everman's excellent suggestions on how to preserve paper documents and photos. If you are looking for more help on that topic, try "How to Protect Valuable Family Treasures: Papers, Books, and Photographs" for pages of solid advice on keeping your precious items safe.

To download your free PDF, log into the StLGS website with your member number and your password. Then, on the home page, click in the gold button that says "Member Benefits." Scroll down to the "Monographs for Members" link and check out the selection.

Not a member? You can still purchase paper copies of most of the monographs in our store, and, of course, we will have them with us at our booth at the NGS conference in a few weeks.

Monographs in the Store

  • 1940 Census and Its People: $5.00
  • The Diary of Theodore Proske from Silesia to St. Louis: $5.00
  • How to Protect Valuable Family Treasures: Papers, Books, and Photographs: $4.00
  • Understanding GEDCOM: $4.00
  • Genetic Genealogy and DNA Testing: $4.00

15 April 2019

Missouri Soldiers Database: 1812 through WWI

Did you know that the Missouri State Archives has a massive database on their website holding information on Missouri soldiers who fought from the nineteenth into the beginning of the twentieth century? Called The Soldiers Database: War of 1812–World War I, it contains information, according to the website, on more than 576,000 Missourians "who served in the military from territorial times through World War I. . . . The records primarily consist of individual service cards, but the extensive collection also includes muster rolls, special orders, reports, and more."

The service cards were originally created "to collect historical and statistical information about the men and women who served in the military." The information on them was abstracted from original records and maintained by the Missouri Adjutant General's office until they were transferred to the Missouri State Archives. The original cards contain a wide variety of information, including description of wounds, dates of enlistment, service, and discharge, and, of course, personal data.

The Soldiers Database includes entries for twelve wars and military engagements, from the well-known, such as the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Spanish-American War, and World War I, to the "battles that were peculiarly Missourian, including the Heatherly War of 1836, the Mormon War of 1838, and the Iowa (Honey) War of 1839. The bulk of the service cards, more than 380,000 of them, record the fractured history of Missouri during the bloodiest of all American wars—the Civil War." There are descriptions of all the wars on the site.

The database can be searched by soldier's name or unit. Digital images of original service records are linked for many of the soldiers; however, not all.

Begin your search by placing either a surname or last name, first name into the search box. You will get a list from which to choose that gives you names, wars, and some description. Next, click on a person of interest and you will get a screen like the one below. If there is a button at the bottom next to "Image" so you can view the record, click on the button. A PDF will download to your computer. In this case, notice the interesting information on the soldier's Civil War record on the white card below.


Ready to search? Here is the URL:

08 April 2019

Honor Your Ancestors: First Families of St. Louis

Have you heard of the St. Louis Genealogical Society's First Families program? Most genealogists are familiar with lineage organizations such as the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and the Mayflower Society, but what if your ancestors arrived in America after the Revolutionary War? What if your people were among the hardy pioneers that migrated west during the days of the Louisiana Purchase or the War of 1812? What if they came to St. Louis during the Irish potato famine, the European wars of the mid-nineteenth century, or the American Civil War? How do we honor those brave and daring settlers to our region?

The First Families program of the St. Louis Genealogical Society offers you the opportunity to identify, recognize, and archive the lineage of your early St. Louis ancestors. If you descend from one of these families, the First Families program is a way to preserve and honor your family's longevity and the intrepid spirit of those who explored and settled this vibrant city.

The First Families program is open to members of the St. Louis Genealogical Society whose ancestors arrived in St. Louis between these dates:
  • Founding Families, between 1765 to 1804
  • Pioneer Families, between 1805 to 1821
  • Immigrant Families, between 1822 and 1865
To qualify for the First Families program, you need to provide appropriate documentation that proves your family's descent from a founding, pioneer, or immigrant ancestor.

Ready to find out more? Information about the program (including a PDF of the informational booklet), the documentation required, and a step-by-step guide through the application process is
on the StLGS website.

Questions? Send a note to firstfamilies@stlgs.org or call the StLGS office at 314-647-8547 during our regular business hours (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, 9 a.m. until noon, Central Time) and ask for Diane.

(Thanks to Diane Broniec and Viki Fagyal for their help in writing today's blog.)