“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.