Wednesday, October 12, 2016

St. Louis Co. Library Needs Our Help

Our friends in the History and Genealogy Department at St. Louis County Library Headquarters need the help of all genealogists, and not just those in St. Louis, to determine the future configuration of a rebuilt Headquarters building. In order to provide for adequate space for the H&G Dept., the library needs to understand how much we use the facility, how important it is to have enough space in which to work, how much nicer it would be to have open stack access to all the collections, etc. Got ideas about technology? Heating/cooling?  Allocation of space? This is the time to make yourself heard.

Please take the short survey at and include your comments so that H&G takes priority in plans for the new Headquarters building. And please do the survey within the next week, if possible; time is of the essence, as planning has already started.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Mo. State Archives Updates Search Capabilities for the Post-1910 Death Certificate Database

On 5 October 2016, the Missouri State Archives announced that they have a new, expanded search option for their 1910 through 1965 death certificate database. Now, for at least part of the database, you can search not only by the name of the deceased person but by the names of their parents and spouses as well. There is also a date range function available.

The Archives has started adding names of parents and spouses mentioned on death certificates with the present and is working backwards; at this time, 1965 back to 1961 is complete. They are currently indexing 1960 and will add that year as soon as it is finished. They plan to continue working back to 1910, so ultimately the entire database will be expanded.

You can see the new search engine and start using it for the expanded search at If you are interested in volunteering to move things along more quickly, you can volunteer to be an indexer at

Monday, October 3, 2016

StLGS Office Closures in October

The StLGS office will be closed on Saturday, 8 October and again on Saturday, 15 October so our volunteers can attend the monthly meeting on the 8th and the Fall Speaker Series on the 15th. We are sorry for any inconvenience.

For more information on these events, be sure to check the home page of our website Also, remember that early registration for the Speaker Series ends on the 8th. We hope to see you on both Saturdays.

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: