24 September 2014

Genealogy TV

Tuesday night, 23 September 2014, KETC, Channel 9, began airing the new season of Dr. Henry Louis Gates's fascinating series, Finding Your Roots. The episode featured actress Gloria Reuben, actor Courtney Vance, and author Stephen King, and Dr. Gates was able to reveal information to all of them about their origins. Of particular note was Gloria Reuben, whose Jamaican slave ancestry was traceable directly to Africa, something rarely accomplished in African-American genealogical searches.

If you missed this first episode, you can still watch it online. Go to http://www.pbs.org/wnet/finding-your-roots/ to watch the show in its entirety.


The new season of Who Do You Think You Are has been playing out on TLC, a cable channel. In the past, their website has offered the series for free, but this year, they seem mostly to have short clips. However, the full episodes have been uploaded to YouTube, where they can be enjoyed by all. If you have not been able to watch on your television, you can still find the series on your computer. Go to http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=who+do+you+think+you+are+season+5 to find all of this season's shows. You can also find the British and Australian versions of the show, so you can indulge your curiosity about such international stars as J. K. Rowling and Jeremy Irons.

19 September 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 genealogy@slcl.org, or see the library's website at www.slcl.org.

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.