Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Genealogical Musing with Fran


We who live and breathe St. Louis baseball are in the midst of another wonderful time of watching or just listening to the play by play. There have many a champion player born in St. Louis and not all played for the Cardinals. One, St. Louisan Yogi Berra, has been quoted many times and as I was rereading his book, I Really Didn’t Say Everything I Said, I was amused at a few of the quotes that “synced” with genealogy research. Quote #1: “You’ve got to be careful if you don’t know where you’re going ‘cause you might not get there!” Just think about it! I am smiling as to how many times I have not known where I was going on a family line only to be pleasantly surprised––or not. Each and every name has a possible surprise behind it, and as we dig deeper and deeper we get to the essence of the person. We might find out that a relative was not law abiding, or not sane, or a wanderer. Or on the flip side, perhaps he was a steady provider for his family, a community supporter, and/or a solid moral person.
A second quote: “ We’re lost, but we’re making good time!” is one where you have to pause and then smile and then think about all those waste-of-time, hasty false starts. Think about those long paths that you go down only to find they lead to the wrong place or nowhere at all. All that energy that could have been saved if, at the very beginning, we would have gone step by step to prove the connection.
Quote #3 “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” Oh, yeah, here we are with two people in the same place at the same time with the same name! Which road to follow and research first? Which one will take us to the right destination?
And the fourth and last quote, “Slump? I ain’t in no slump––I just ain’t hitting.” Well, we have all been in a slump and and not hitting but there is always another turn at bat as long as we stay in the game! I, like you, I hope, am staying in the game! The game of genealogy that is.
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My latest interest has been finding out more about the history of StLGS as many questions pop up about how this organization has continued to grow and prosper with “only” a volunteer staff. The mission has always been the same, to “promote family history research by providing educational and research opportunities, offering community services, and collecting, preserving, and publishing genealogical and historical records.” From the very first meeting, there was a togetherness to the group, which stemmed from the common subject of St. Louis genealogy.

Here at StLGS we work as a team to achieve our goals. Volunteers, all of whom are home run hitters, know that it takes a full team effort to continue to keep up the quality of the work to the standards set fifty years ago by the founders of StLGS. If you don’t know us, then I hope you will go to www.stlgs.org and investigate our past and our present projects and events and join our team.
 
Our 46th annual Family History Conference, which featured Cyndi Ingle, Jan Alpert, and Bruce Buzbee, was quite the success. We want to thank our special sponsors: the History and Genealogy Department at St. Louis County Library, the Genealogy Department at St. Louis Public Library, the Missouri History Museum, NoWaste Publishing, Travel Leaders and Nancy Mettes, Vagabond Information Services and Peggy Thomson Greenwood, Salt Lake Plaza Hotel, Ancestry.com, Carol Whitton, cg, Findmypast, Fold3 and Newspapers.com.

Also our exhibitors: Acclaim Press, Jefferson County Genealogy Society, Once Upon A Trip Travel, Perry County Historical Society, Voices of the Past, Sons of the American Revolution, Missouri State Archives, St. Louis County Library, and Missouri History Museum.
 
We have two events coming up in July, the first of which, The Missouri Research Institute, 17–20 July will be held at our office at  #4 Sunnen Drive, St. Louis, MO 63143. The second is the Summer Speaker Series, “Mining Online German Research,” featuring James M. Beidler, on Saturday, 22 July. This will be an all-day in-depth learning opportunity for those researching their German ancestors. As the events are back to back we are offering a package deal for those who want to attend both. The Institute is limited to thirty attendees but the Speaker Series is open to many more. Remember that as a member you are entitled to a discount on the cost of attending most StLGS programs.
          There are so many perks to being a volunteer and a member of StLGS but for most of us it is the people we meet and the service to StLGS that keeps a smile in our hearts and a spring in our steps. I encourage you to come and join this “merry band” of searchers and seekers.

Thank you to all who continue to support us and volunteer for us. We look forward to seeing all of you at our upcoming events or when you visit our office.

Happy hunting and, as Yogi Berra said, “Ninety percent of the game is half mental.” Think about it!
Fran Behrman

Monday, May 1, 2017

Genealogy News

We have several interesting items to share with you!

First, an announcement from Scott Holl, manager of the History and Genealogy Department at St. Louis County Library Headquarters. Those of you with interest in the historic St. Louis Post-Dispatch will be delighted to learn that the online database offered by St. Louis County Library to its patrons will now extend to 1968. Previously the database stopped at 1922. Actual digital images of the newspaper, beginning with 1874, are available with your St. Louis County library card at https://www.slcl.org/content/historical-st-louis-post-dispatch-proquest/.
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We also want to make you aware of a free week-long conference focused on Western European research. Held from the 15th through the 19th of May and sponsored by FamilySearch, the focus of the conference will be on Germany, France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Belgium. If you live in or near Salt Lake City, you can attend in person. An additional 500 people can register for the online version, a series of webinars. The entire week's schedule as well as links to registration are at the FamilySearch wiki at https://familysearch.org/wiki/en/Western_European_Family_History_Conference/.
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Finally, check out the updates to our Orphanages page on the StLGS website! Viki Fagyal, author of the ongoing orphanage articles that have been appearing in our StLGS Quarterly, has created a wonderful bibliography, timeline, and census charts that should be of great help to everyone looking for more information on ancestors who spent time in a St. Louis orphanage. Find all these new pages as links in the right-hand column called "More Orphanage Information" at http://stlgs.org/research-2/institutions/orphanages/.


Have you missed any of our blog posts? All previous blog posts are archived online. You can always read them by going to stlgs.blogspot.com/.