31 December 2018

Happy New Year!

(Thanks to former StLGS president, Fran Behrman, for contributing to this week's blog.)

Welcome to StlGS. How can it be that another year has passed? Time really does fly when there is so much to do and discoveries to make. I hope that 2018 was a successful year for each of you as genealogists. Looking back, what was your major breakthrough? Are you starting to write the story of your family's history? How about contributing a biography or two to the society's St. Louis City/County Biographies Project? Always more to do and accomplish.

We have some upcoming programs and events to assist you in 2019 that we hope will give you more insight, beginning in January with our popular Ask Louie panel discussion. Here's an opportunity to ask a question or two and get the expertise of StLGS volunteers in helping with answers.

In February, StLGS past-president, Ted Steele, is spotlighted at our monthly meeting and will be talking about “Putting Meat on the Bones.” Ted has authored numerous family histories and the depth that he brings to each subject is informative and thorough. Putting meat, so to speak, behind the story of a person brings life and interest. So be there!

Our programs director has done her work in scheduling and the technology team has been busy updating the website with all the flyers and information you need to begin planning for next year's genealogy meetings.

To obtain flyers and updated information on the monthly meetings, special events, and Special Interest Group (SIG) meetings for 2019, here are some links to the society's website:

Click here to go to the Calendar of Events page.

Click here for the German SIG meetings for 2019.

Click here for the Irish SIG meetings for 2019.

Click here for the Jewish SIG meetings for 2019.

You know we have doing this for fifty-plus years, and it is always amazing that there is something new to learn and apply to our research. We hope you will plan ahead and attend all our upcoming events.

May your year ahead be filled with great discovery. And let us take a cup of kindness for Auld Lang Syne.


Classes for winter/spring are in the planning stage and will be ready to go online shortly after the new year. We'll have more on them and other January/early February meetings next week.


From all of us at StLGS, a very Healthy and Happy New Year!



Visit our website: www.stlgs.org

27 December 2018

Irish Seminar and Happy Holidays!

Irish Seminar

NGS Annual Conference Pre-Conference Event

Tuesday, 7 May 2019
Begins at 8:15 a.m.; five lectures and lunch
Fee ($110) and pre-registration required

As part of the annual National Genealogical Society Conference to be held in St. Charles, Missouri, St. Louis Genealogical Society, the local host, is happy to announce this exciting all-day event for those doing Irish research. This unique seminar brings five specialists in Irish research to St. Louis for a variety of classes, a special syllabus, and a chance to network throughout the day.

Lectures include:
  • "What is an Irish Surname," by John Grenham (One of the foremost experts in Irish research, Mr. Grenham is an author and internationally-known lecturer. He is a fellow of the Irish Genealogical Research Society and the Genealogical Society of Ireland.)
  • "Irish Reverse Genealogy," by John Grenham
  • "Introduction to Irish Law Libraries and their Records," by David E. Rencher (Mr. Rencher is currently the director of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and the chief genealogical officer of FamilySearch. He is past-president of the Federation of Genealogical Societies and a specialist in Irish research. He is both a certified and an accredited genealogist, a fellow of the Irish Genealogical Research Society and the Utah Genealogical Association.)
  • "Irish Immigration to the Port of New Orleans: Old Irish, New Irish, and Those Who Travelled to the Interior," by Beth Stahr (Ms. Stahr has a Master's in Library Science and is a certified genealogist. She is a librarian, an instructor and a nationally-known lecturer.)
  • "Irish Records of Anglo Irish," by John Grenham

In addition:
  • Yes, you can register for this intensive day of learning without attending the conference.
  • You should plan to arrive at the location no later than 8:00 a.m. to check in and get seated.
  • There is free parking at the St. Charles Convention Center, just blocks from Interstate 70 and minutes from the St. Louis airport. Click here for a Google map showing the exact location.
Ready to register or to learn more? Click here to go to the NGS pre-conference page.

From all of us at St. Louis Genealogical Society to all our members and friends, we hope you are having the most joyful of holidays, surrounded by family and friends, warmth and peace. Because of your blogger's holiday schedule, we wish you a belated but sincere Happy Chanukah and Merry Christmas!


Visit our website: www.stlgs.org

17 December 2018

African American Seminar in May and More News

African American Seminar

NGS Annual Conference Pre-Conference Event

Tuesday, 7 May 2019
Begins at 8:15 a.m.; five lectures and lunch
Fee ($110) and pre-registration required

As part of the annual National Genealogical Society Conference to be held in St. Charles, Missouri, St. Louis Genealogical Society, the local host, is happy to announce this exciting all-day event for those doing African American research. This unique seminar brings five specialists in African American research to St. Louis for a variety of classes, a special syllabus, and a chance to network throughout the day.

Lectures include:
  • "Cluster Research: Finding Your Lost Ancestors" by Deborah A. Abbott, Ph.D. (Dr. Abbott is an instructor in several national genealogy programs, a trustee for the Ohio Genealogical Society, a board member of the Federation of Genealogy Societies, and a specialist in manuscript collections and methodology.)
  • "Researching African American Ancestors in Federal Records," by LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, J.D.) Dr. Garrett-Nelson, who holds both a Master's and Doctorate in law, is a trustee of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, a lecturer and author, especially about African Americans in the South.)
  • "African American Magazines, Serials, and Other Publications," by Timothy N. Pinnick (Mr. Pinnick is an author, lecturer, and an associate instructor in the Researching African American Ancestors course at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research, University of Georgia.)
  • "Separate but Unequal: Slave Laws and their Records," by Judy G. Russell, J.D. (Dr. Russell has both a degree in law and certification as a professional genealogist and lecturer; she specializes in guiding researchers through "the murky territory where law, history, and genealogy come together," and writes a blog called The Legal Genealogist.
  • "Slave Narratives," by Ari Wilkins (Ms. Wilkins works at the Dallas Public Library and specializes in African American research.)
In addition:
  • Yes, you can register for this intensive day of learning without attending the conference.
  • You should plan to arrive at the location no later than 8:00 a.m. to check in and get seated.
  • There is free parking at the St. Charles Convention Center, just blocks from Interstate 70 and minutes from the St. Louis airport. Click here for a Google map showing the exact location.
Ready to register or to learn more? Click here to go to the NGS pre-conference page.

Thank you!

To all who responded to our request for donations, thank you so much! We are so appreciative of your support and your willingness to be part of the success of StLGS. If you haven't yet had a chance to send in your donation, please do so. Every dollar you donate goes directly to providing you with classes, programs, and special events; adding databases and continuously updating the website, and ensuring valuable records are digitized, indexed, and shared with genealogists. If you would like to make a donation using our online store, click here.

Please Note: We are dropping our post office box.

We know that many of our members like to keep old booklets and envelopes and reuse them. We are heartily in favor of recycling; however, we are closing our post office box in Maplewood as of the first of the new year, so anything you have with that address will no longer reach us.

Our correct mailing address is #4 Sunnen Court, Suite 140, St. Louis, MO 63143.

In Memoriam: Mildred Sharp

We recently learned that our society's oldest member, Mildred Sharp, passed away in late November at the age of 108! Mrs. Sharp, who lived in Kirkwood, was born in Brooklyn, New York, to German immigrants. She grew up in New York and New Jersey, coming to St. Louis in the 1930s when she married. She was a teacher in the Kirkwood and Rockwood School Districts. After her husband
retired, they traveled extensively, and after his death, she was active in a number of crafts and church organizations. She was a member of the German Club of St. Louis and remained a member of StLGS for many years. When she called into the society at age 104 to say she couldn't remember when her dues were due, we gave her a life membership, which, we are happy to report, she was able to use for her remaining years. We extend our condolences to her son John and his wife, her daughters-in-law, and her grand and great-grandchildren. (Photo of Mildred Sharp and information about her from Bopp Chapel, www.boppchapel.com, and used with permission.)


Visit our website: www.stlgs.org

10 December 2018

2018 Holiday Gift Ideas for Your Favorite Genealogist

It's a bit late for Chanukah this year, so we apologize to those of you who needed gifts a bit early, but for those of you looking for some ideas on how to make your favorite family historians happy for the holidays, we offer the following suggestions (in no particular order) . . .
Technology-related Gifts
  1. Flash/thumb drives for using in libraries and sharing or moving files
  2. A portable external hard drive for extra storage or backing up files
  3. A subscription to an online/cloud backup plan such as Backblaze or Carbonite
  4. Extra supplies for digital equipment: memory cards, batteries, portable mini-tripods
  5. A subscription to Ancestry, FindMyPast, Newspapers.com or any similar service
  6. A DNA testing kit (Choose one of the major companies: FamilyTree DNA, Ancestry, or 23andMe. Select the one that has the most people in its database that are similar to your recipient. The more people with the same background in the database, the more accurate the results.)
  7. A genealogy software program or an upgrade to an existing program
  8. Gift cards to the Apple App Store or Google Play Store or to the appropriate store for their particular smart phone or tablet so they can buy additional apps
  9. Gift certificates to local community colleges or adult education sponsors for classes and practice in using technology
Not Technological
  1. Archival quality photo storage boxes or photo albums
  2. Acid-free photo mounting supplies and/or photo marking pens
  3. Acid free, archival quality sheet protectors and/or paper
  4. Good quality three or four-inch D-ring binders for storing copies of sheets and documents
  5. Gift certificates to St. Louis Genealogical Society (or other local historical/genealogical societies) for membership, publications, and/or special events

Almost all genealogists are book lovers and you can't go wrong with adding to their collections. Try some of these . . .
  1. Any of the QuickSheets by noted genealogist Elizabeth Shown Mills (or, better yet, her excellent book on source citations, Evidence Explained)
  2. The series of Genealogy at a Glance laminated booklets available in a variety of ethnicities: German, Irish, French, etc.
  3. Books on states of interest; for instance, any of the NGS Genealogy in the States series
  4. Books that are specific to areas of interest: neighborhoods, religions, occupations, or any other unique aspect of their family history
Remember, as a StLGS member, you are entitled to a discount on many of the products in our online store. Be sure to log in as a member to get your discount code before you shop. Click here to go to the StLGS online store. Or come by the office and see what we have available in our lobby sales area. We also have gift certificates available for any amount you choose. Have fun doing your holiday shopping or just treating yourself to a gift.

Visit our website: www.stlgs.org

03 December 2018

NGS Conference Registration Begins Thurs., 6 December 2018

Your "Journey of Discovery" in May 2019 will officially begin on Thursday, 6 December 2018 when conference registration opens at 10 a.m. Eastern time.

Although the National Genealogical Society (NGS) originally announced 1 December as the opening date for registration, it was necessary to postpone that date due to the launching of the NGS's new website.

According to an NGS press release, the decision was made so they could "provide full staff and technology support on Opening Day. This is the first conference registration event on our new website, and we want the registration process to go smoothly. We ask for your patience and understanding as we do further testing."

Now that you have additional time before you can sign up, what can you do to get ready?
  • If you are an NGS member visiting the new website for the first time, be sure to use these extra days to reset your password, log in, and become familiar with the redesigned layout. You can use your previous password as long as you follow the easy steps to reset it (or you can create a new one).
  • If you are not a member of NGS, check out the benefits of membership on the website and follow the directions to create a guest profile prior to registration day. That will speed up the process for you when you are ready to sign up.
  • Have you got your registration booklet? The extra days now give you time to plan out your conference week and decide which extra seminars, workshops, luncheons, dinners, and other special events you'd like to attend.
  • Still haven't downloaded your registration booklet? You can access the booklet from NGS by clicking here. Or, you can access the NGS website from the StLGS website by clicking here.
National conference seminars, workshops, luncheons, and other special events typically sell out quickly, so having a few more days to decide how to make the most of your conference experience can be very beneficial. Have fun planning!

Visit our website: www.stlgs.org

26 November 2018

Giving Back to StLGS: We Need You!

Within the next few days, all St. Louis Genealogical Society members will receive a letter from our president, Kay Weber, a flyer announcing all meetings and special events for 2019, and, most importantly, a donation envelope. We know that most of our members are thinking about the holiday season that has officially begun, and we hope you will find some space in your end-of-year planning to support StLGS.

Unlike larger non-profits, StLGS is funded completely by donations, dues, and sales. We have no grants or benefactors. Our ability to do all of the things we do is only possible because of your donations. Every dollar that comes into our office goes towards fulfilling our mission: "promoting family history research by providing educational and research opportunities, offering community services, and collecting, preserving, and publishing genealogical and historical records."

Our all-volunteer staff (that's right; there are no paid employees at our office) continues to work tirelessly at scanning, indexing, and proofreading a wide assortment of original records. The programs and events for the coming year are planned by volunteers who must coordinate with individuals and other organizations to put an entire year's schedule together well in advance. Our publications and technology teams spend endless hours moving data to the website, creating web pages, flyers, our Quarterly journal, and other electronic and print material. Other volunteers are always on call to assist researchers, answer questions, and greet visitors. We continue to offer members free classes during spring and fall. And, of course, in 2019, dozens of volunteers will be working behind the scenes with the National Genealogical Society staff to ensure that the annual conference in May is a success.

How Can You Help?

Any amount you can send will be much appreciated, and we hope you will use the envelope you receive to return a check or credit card donation. Your gift to StLGS is tax deductible to the extent allowed by current law.

Matching Donations and Amazon Smile

Because StLGS is a not-for-profit 501(C)(3) organization, we qualify for matching donation funds from companies that offer them. In the past, we have received matching funds from AT&T, MasterCard, and Boeing. Does your employer support matching donations? If so, please think of earmarking your donation to StLGS that way.

For the past four years, we have also been a member of the smile.amazon.com donation program. If you are planning to shop online this holiday season, please log on to https://smile.amazon.com and choose St. Louis Genealogical Society as the recipient of your donation. It costs you nothing, but Amazon will donate a portion of your purchase to the society.

Both of these programs are open to all. If you have friends or relatives who would like to join you in supporting the society, please encourage them to do so.

From the bottom of our hearts . . .

Visit our website www.stlgs.org.

19 November 2018

Genealogical Musing with Fran

 (Former StLGS president, Fran Behrman, shares some Thanksgiving thoughts with us this week. From all of us at StLGS, a very happy Thanksgiving to all our readers and their families.)

Hello, genealogists, and Happy Thanksgiving to all. I hope this day brings back fun memories. This was always one of my favorite festive occasions. The anticipation was not about what present or thing that I would get but just seeing relatives and sharing good times and feasting on my grandmother’s culinary genius and talents. There was always too much to feast on but nothing ever went to waste. I remember well the year that my grandmother raised a turkey which we helped to feed and adopted as a pet in the backyard (not a farmyard, just a city yard with a white picket fence). All great fun until Thanksgiving, when said Tom Turkey was the main course! We all cried while Grandpa carved and that was the last time Grandma raised any animal for the supper table––except for the pig, and that is another story in itself!

My husband and I hosted Thanksgiving for the family every year and my mother gave us a pair of ceramic turkey candleholders our first year, which were always the table centerpiece. Today they take their place on the mantle and what wonderful memories they provoke. The tradition of the family gathering has been passed on to another generation and new memories are made.

Another thing I enjoyed about family gatherings were the stories of growing up that were shared each year. We never tired of hearing these stories and I wish I had written them down. Now there is no one left of that generation and many of the stories are lost.

I grew up believing my paternal grandmother was of German ancestry. Now I don’t remember any conversation that we had on the subject but it was just out there. By doing genealogy, we have traced and proven that the line is not German but Dutch! What a surprise and having never been to the Netherlands I look forward to visiting and learning more. One of the bonuses of this “pastime” is having the “legitimate” reason to travel and widen our knowledge of the history of this world we live in.

There are so many reasons to be thankful as we experience the journey on which our life leads us but one thing I am most thankful for are the people I have met and the places I have traveled to in pursuit of the family’s history. It goes without saying that the men and women who volunteer at StLGS hold a special place in my heart. So as the family gathers again around the table for Thanksgiving, we will share with the youngsters some of the stories of the family, the immigrants, the settlers, the adventurers––stories that tell the history of city, state, county, and country.

I remember a song we sang in school with these words, “No man is an island. No man stands alone. Each man’s joy is joy to me. Each man’s grief is my own. . . .*” Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on the family and their contribution to humanity. Our ancestors came here for many reasons and tried to make this country into a place where they might find peace, freedom, and harmony. As genealogists, we discover the name, the event, the date, and location but what about the WHY? Yes, the WHY! I’ll leave that for another day, as it can be a poser. Again, have a memorable Thanksgiving Day.

*"No Man is an Island" was written by Peter Schickele, lyrics by Joan Baez, © Universal Music Publishing Group, 1968.

Visit our website: www.stlgs.org

12 November 2018

Countdown to NGS 2019 in St. Charles, Missouri

By now, you undoubtedly know that St. Louis Genealogical Society will be the local host, once again, for the National Genealogical Society's annual conference in St. Charles, Missouri. Your "Journey of Discovery" will begin on Tuesday, 7 May 2019, with several pre-conference special events, and continue through Saturday, 11 May, when the conference concludes.

The program for this conference has something for every genealogist, from day-long seminars on African American and Irish research to an abundance of lectures on DNA. Well-known national and international speakers will be joined by many familiar Midwestern lecturers presenting topics for all interest and ability levels. You will find it hard to choose among the incredible variety waiting for you!

Want to know about passenger arrival records? Deciphering German death notices in newspapers? Irish Atlantic migration? Reading maps? Working with online family trees? All covered. Interested in a particular state? Ohio? Kentucky? Pennsylvania? Tennessee? Iowa? Those and more!

The conference center in St. Charles is conveniently located minutes south of Interstate 70 and there is abundant free parking. Conference hotels, for those who need them, are already accepting bookings and some are sold out, so if you know you need accommodation, this is the time to book your hotel. Free shuttles will run from all the conference hotels to the convention center.

Ready to be part of this exciting event? The conference registration booklet, available as a PDF, will make its debut on the NGS website on Thursday, 15 November. You can access the booklet from NGS by clicking here anytime after Thursday. Or, you can access the NGS website from the StLGS website by clicking here.

Registration for the conference will open on 1 December 2018. By then, you will have had lots of time to decide which of the wonderful week's events you want to attend. Get ready to have a fabulous experience at this exciting national conference.

Visit our website: www.stlgs.org

05 November 2018

Missouri 2021 Endorses StLGS Biographies Project

(Thanks to StLGS Quarterly co-editor, Jane Theissen, for writing this week's blog post.)

In 2021, Missouri will celebrate the 200th anniversary of its statehood and commemoration plans are underway. The Missouri State Historical Society is coordinating the celebration under the title “Missouri 2021” to include projects, events, and programs across the state of Missouri.

We are pleased to announce that Missouri 2021 has endorsed St. Louis Genealogical Society’s (StLGS) St. Louis City/County Biographies project as part of its bicentennial celebration. To date, more than one hundred and twenty-five biographies of St. Louisans have already been submitted to our project and the list continues to grow.

Please join us in commemorating Missouri’s statehood and honoring the men and women who played a part in its history. Biographies (500 words or less) are welcome from StLGS members and non-members alike and will be posted on the StLGS website. To view the biographies or for more information on how to submit your St. Louis ancestor’s biography, click here to go to the St. Louis City/County Biographies page on the St. Louis Genealogical Society website.

You can find more about Missouri 2021 here.

Missouri 2021 is an initiative of The State Historical Society of Missouri and its Center for Missouri Studies.

Visit our website at www.stlgs.org.

29 October 2018

Voter Registration Records Could Help Your Research

Voter Registration Records

Dennis Northcott, associate archivist at the Missouri History Museum's Library and Research Center (MHMLRC), gave a presentation at our last monthly meeting that served as a great reminder of how helpful certain underused records can be. One of the sources that Dennis mentioned was voter registration records. Keep in mind that many of these records no longer exist, and the earliest are limited to white males of voting age. After 1870, blacks could vote; after 1920, women could vote. All voters had to be U.S. citizens. Between 1907 and 1922, women derived their citizenship from their husbands. They had to be married to naturalized or native citizens to be eligible to vote.

Residents of St. Louis City and County were required to register to vote in each presidential election. For St. Louis City, what survives are registers and index cards on microfilm in the History & Genealogy Department at St. Louis County Library Headquarters. However, the county records have not fared so well. An employee rescued the original books from St. Louis County before they were destroyed and donated them to the Missouri History Museum Library and Research Center. Their collection of hundreds of books begins with January 1924 and goes until 1936.

The 1924 Voter Registration is of special interest because women were, by this time, registering to vote in greater numbers, as a result of the Nineteenth Amendment having passed in 1920. Often women are under-represented in public records, but these books now become a wonderful resource for finding them.

According to the MHMLRC staff, “Entries in these books usually contain a name; address; state or country of birth; race; term of residence in the precinct, county, and state; age; and signature. Some entries also include the name of the court where the individual was naturalized and the date of naturalization.” In addition, there are notes/comments that can yield additional valuable information such as a move or a death.

To find a St. Louis County resident, you first need to have a street address, which you may be able to locate in a census or city directory. Once you have that, you can go to the MHMLRC to use the books or you can contact the library’s staff, who can help you with a look up. Send an email to dpn@mohistory.org. Remember, this collection does NOT include St. Louis City.

The StLGS website has an article on these records at http://stlgs.org/research-2/government/voter-registration.

Not all cities or states have kept voting records. The example above is from Chicago, 1890. 

If your ancestors were not in St. Louis, here are some resources that might help you on Ancestry.com. Also check your particular city or state to see what may be available for areas of interest.
  • Alabama Voter Registrations, 1867
  • Arizona Voter Registrations, 1866–1955
  • California Voter Registrations, 1866–1898, 1900–1968
  • Chicago Voter Registrations, 1888, 1890, 1892
  • Kansas Voter Registration Lists, 1854–56
  • Leavenworth, Kansas Voter Registration, 1859
  • Missouri, Jackson County, Voter Registration Records, 1928–1956
  • New York City Voter List, 1924
  • Savannah, Georgia Voter Records, 1856–1896, 1901–1917
  • Texas Voter Registration Lists, 1867–1869
In addition, there are lists from New Zealand, Ontario (Canada), the U.K., and Russia for limited years.

Visit our website at www.stlgs.org.

22 October 2018

Genealogical Musing with Fran

 (Thanks to former StLGS president, Fran Behrman, for being our guest writer this week.)

Hello, and welcome to the StLGS blog. If this is your first time to visit us, then welcome, and we  hope you will become a regular visitor and tell other genealogists about us. For our regulars, welcome back and thank you for your continued support.

The Fall Speaker Series, Google Strategies for Genealogy, on Saturday, 20 October, was outstanding! I remember back about ten years ago that we had a program on using Google and I went, and it blew my mind away with what I didn’t know about “Googling.” Yes, it is both a noun and a verb. But isn’t that the way it has been with technology? We are always catching up. Some who know me well will say that I was left behind and will never catch up. Probably so, as I still am in love with my vinyl records and turntable, index cards and card file cabinet, pencils and paper. But that being said, I am an avid Google user. So often I have said “Just Google it!” It is my first and true go-to website, which is exactly what our featured speaker, Lisa Louise Cooke, emphasized.

Don’t know about you but I can remember life without the internet. It seems impossible to think that there was a time that this resource didn’t exist with its instant information and communication. What will be the next new way to get and give information? There was no telephone, television, internet, or any of the mass communications of today when I was born. Our first television was as large as a side-by-side refrigerator. The telephone––you had to ask the telephone operator to connect you and the line was shared by many. Wow! Now I can sit down and type this message and just forward it to you through this magic media. What is next? Are flying automobiles coming?

[Editor's Note: Yes, flying automobiles are coming! Here is just one example of what might be in our future, the Terrafugia Flying Car, introduced in 2012 at a New York auto show. "This flying car is said to be capable of getting 35 mpg when on the road and up to 400 to 450 miles when in the air. The Terrafugia seats two people and also comes with four wheels, two wings, air bags, and a parachute, if you purchase one, but they are not cheap as they have been priced at $279,000." Photo and quote via Wikipedia Commons. Photo by LotPro Cars, The Terrafugia Flying Car@the 2012 New York International Auto Show, Uploaded by Mark Warren, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19065243]

Keeping up is so very hard to do and that is why StLGS hosts programs such as Google Strategies for Genealogy.

Don’t you love the searching! The hunt! The new discoveries! Where else does the Sherlock Holmes or Agatha Christie in us get to come out and play? Wouldn’t life be just ordinary without our genealogical pursuits?

I want to close with a short story. My grandparents both came from small towns in southern Missouri to start life anew in the town where I grew up. He was alone, a bachelor with one eye and a pocket full of money. (I don’t know where the money came from but have papers to prove it existed and when asked how he lost his eye, he would just smile.) She was a widow with four boys under the age of ten years, and she came with her two sisters and their husbands. There were jobs and a new community. These two people with different backgrounds found each other, married, and made their house a true home where I was privileged to spend many an hour learning from both of them. Oh, the memories of the wonderful times we all shared. It was when my daughter had to do a family tree project for school that I realized how little I knew about the lineage of my grandparents. And so it began! You would think after all these years I would be finished, but really, is anyone ever finished with genealogical pursuits?

I do hope that you too are having fun and making new discoveries, and if you need help, don’t hesitate to reach out to StLGS. Happy hunting!

Visit our website at www.stlgs.org.

15 October 2018

Genealogy News Near and Far

Long-Lost Census Records Discovered from Perry County, Missouri

For decades, people in Perry County, Missouri, knew there was a gap in the 1880 census in Enumeration District 99, Union Township. The problem was that no one knew where the pages had gone; they were just missing. Recently, however, the pages have turned up in a most unexpected location.

According to the Missouri State Archives, in 2015, the state began to work with the Missouri Historical Society "to digitize and make publicly accessible all Missouri's non-population schedules. Through this project, Archives staff identified the population schedule pages mixed in with those from the state's 1880 agricultural schedule."

For those of you unfamiliar with non-population census schedules, throughout much of the history of the census there have been separate counts of mortality, agriculture, manufacturing, and other important topics that reveal many details about our ancestors not found on the general population pages. However, not all of these censuses were indexed and made accessible until recently. It appears that the Perry County pages were misfiled by U.S. Census Bureau officials before the pages were bound and stored, which explains why no one knew where they were.

To learn more about Missouri's special censuses and/or to view the missing Perry County pages,
click here to go to the page on federal census records on the Missouri Secretary of State's website.

Some Talks of Interest in October

St. Louis Community College Continuing Education presents: "Missouri's Statehood and Its First State Capital" by Dorris Keeven-Franke
Missouri History Museum, Forest Park, lower level
Tuesday, 23 October at 10:30 a.m.
Free, but registration required via the Community College; call 314-984-7777

The St. Clair Genealogical Society presents: "Cemetery Myths and Symbolism" by Teri Bromley
Belleville Public Library (121 E. Washington Street), Belleville, Illinois
Wednesday, 24 October at 6 p.m.
Free, no pre-registration required

12 October 2018

StLGS Special News

 Fall Speaker Series

The Fall Speaker Series, Google Strategies for Genealogy, scheduled for Saturday, 20 October, has now sold out. Online registration is no longer available and no walk-ins will be accepted. We are excited that this event has proven to be so popular but sorry not to be able to accommodate late registrations. Looking forward to seeing many of you there, and, for those who can't make it, we have many more special events and programs scheduled for next year. Stay tuned!

StLGS Voting

Ballots for this year's StLGS election were mailed electronically last week to members who receive the Quarterly journal through email and via postal mail to those who don't. For some reason, however, some people, especially those who use AT&T and its subsidiaries for their email, did not receive their instructions for voting. We think the problem is that the letters, sent from our MailChimp provider, were misidentified as spam and never delivered after we sent them out.

If you did not receive a ballot and/or have not yet voted, we hope you will do so. Even though the election is uncontested, your vote shows your support for our candidates. You can cast your vote easily by clicking here.

You will need your member number for the ballot. You can find your number at the top of the mailing label of your Quarterly, on your membership card, or at the top of the MailChimp letter you received announcing the summer Quarterly. If you no longer have that email, the fall Quarterly will be emailed this week, so you can wait a few days and get your member number when your new MailChimp letter arrives.

Voting closes on Thursday, 1 November, so please cast your votes by then.

08 October 2018

Google Strategies for Genealogy: How Many Do You Know?

Do you use Google for your Internet searches? Is that all you use it for? Did you know that behind that mild-mannered façade, Google is a powerhouse?

Do you know what to do:
•    At history.google.com to help with your genealogy searches?
•    To improve your results for your genealogical questions?
•    To set Google Alerts?

Do you know:
•    What symbols or functions to use to improve your searches?
•    How to go straight to free fully digitized books?
•    How to get foreign language books and the best way to translate them?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, then we hope you will be with us in two weeks as we host Google expert, Lisa Louise Cooke, for our annual Fall Speaker Series. Lisa says, “I like to think of Google as the Uber of web content," and with Lisa's help, you can:
•    Learn to create a free map collection in Google Earth and customize your genealogy research.
•    Learn to use layers on your maps.
•    Explore the 3D Viewer and display historic map overlays.
•    Save Places, and much, much more!

Not yet registered?

StLGS Fall Speaker Series
: Saturday, 20 October 2018

"Google Strategies for Genealogy" by Lisa Louise Cooke

Orlando Gardens, 8:30 a.m.
Four lectures ("Google Search Strategies for Common Surnames," "Create a Free Google Map Collection for Your Research," "Google Books: The Tool You Should Use Everyday," and "Reconstruct Your Ancestors' World with Google") plus lunch; pre-registration encouraged to insure choice of lunch. Pre-registration savings extended until Sunday, 14 October. Save $10 by registering early.
Click here for more information, directions to the venue, and/or to register.

Visit our website at www.stlgs.org.

02 October 2018

October StLGS Events

October is a busy month for your society! We are looking forward to seeing you at one or more of these exciting events:

StLGS Fall Speaker Series: Saturday, 20 October 2018
"Google Strategies for Genealogy," by Lisa Louise Cooke; Orlando Gardens, 8:30 a.m.
Four lectures ("Google Search Strategies for Common Surnames," "Create a Free Google Map Collection for Your Research," "Google Books: The Tool You Should Use Everyday," and "Reconstruct Your Ancestors' World with Google") plus lunch; pre-registration encouraged to insure choice of lunch. 
Click here for more information, directions to the venue, and/or to register.

StLGS Monthly Meeting: Saturday, 13 September 2018
"Missouri History Museum Library and Research Center," by Dennis Northcott, associate archivist; St. Louis County Library Headquarters Auditorium, 10:00 a.m.; free, open to all, no
pre-registration needed.
Click here for more information.

Irish Special Interest Group Meeting: Tuesday, 23 October 2018
"Griffith's Valuation," by Mike Bridwell, librarian; St. Louis County Library Headquarters Auditorium, 7:00 p.m.; free, open to all, no pre-registration needed.
Click here for more information.
StLGS Class: Saturday, 6 October 2018
"Using Reunion 12 (for the Mac)," by Bob Goode; StLGS Office, 1:00 p.m. Free to StLGS members; fee for non-members; pre-registration required at 314-647-8547.

StLGS Class: Sunday, 21 October
"Beginning German Research," by Carol Whitton, CG; StLGS Office, 1:00 p.m. Free to StLGS members; fee for non-members; pre-registration required at 314-647-8547.

24 September 2018

Vide Poche

(Thanks to StLGS treasurer, Viki Fagyal, for this week's blog post. Do you have an interesting story to share about early St. Louis history? If so, please share!)

Clement DeLore de Treget founded the village of Carondelet in 1767 on a trip upriver from Sainte Genevieve. Other French settlers from Cahokia and Kaskaskia joined DeLore to form the village. At first called DeLore's Village, it underwent several name changes such as Louisburg, Prairie a Catalan, and finally, in 1794, Carondelet in honor of Baron François Louis Hector de Carondelet, the Spanish governor of Louisiana.1 St. Louis City dwellers affectionately referred to the village as "Vide Poche," meaning "empty pockets," a reference to either the financial status of the inhabitants or to that of visitors departing after gambling losses in Carondelet gaming houses.2 “Carondelet retorted by calling St. Louis “Pain Court” (short [on] bread), for which they found justification in the fact that most of the French settlers in St. Louis were traders and trappers, who did not produce a sufficient quantity of grain to supply the local demand, a frequent scarcity of bread being the consequence.”3 The City of Carondelet was incorporated by act of the state legislature on 1 March 1851.4 Carondelet was annexed to St. Louis City by act of the legislature in April 1870.5

If you aren’t sure your family lived inside the boundaries of Carondelet, the St. Louis City government website defines Carondelet's general boundaries “as Walsh St. on the North, southward to Virginia Ave. eastward to Eichelberger St., southward to the Mississippi River on the East, westward to E. Nagel Ave., southward to S. Broadway, westward to E. Robert Ave., on the South, northward to Virginia Ave. westward to Robert Ave. southward to Alabama Ave. westward to River City Blvd. to Interstate Highway 55 (I-55) northward to S Grand Ave. eastward to Loughborough Ave. northward to Interstate Highway 55 (I-55) westward to Holly Hills Blvd. northward to S. Grand Blvd on the West to Walsh St.”6 Carondelet originally included all the land included in Jefferson Barracks.

Carondelet maintains an active historical society and reference library and welcomes visitors with an interest in the area. To learn more about the Carondelet Historical Society, click here.


1. Norbury L. Wayman, “History of St. Louis Neighborhoods: Carondelet,” StLouis-MOGov (https://www.stlouis-mo.gov/archive/neighborhood-histories-norbury-wayman/carondelet/text6.htm : accessed 10 July 2016), para. 2.
2. Wayman, “History of St. Louis Neighborhoods: Carondelet,” para. 4.
3. William Hyde and Howard L. Conard, Editors, Encyclopedia of the History of St. Louis, A Compendium of History and Biography for Ready Reference, Vol. III, St. Louis: The Southern History Company, 1899, p. 1689.
4. Missouri General Assembly, Laws of the State of Missouri, Passed at the Session of the Sixteenth General Assembly, Begun and Held at the City of Jefferson, on Monday, the Thirtieth Day of December A.D. 1850, (Jefferson City, Missouri : James Lusk, Public Printer, 1851), pg. 139, “An Act to incorporate the City of Carondelet;” digital images, Google Books : accessed 10 July 2016).
5. Wayman, “History of St. Louis Neighborhoods: Carondelet,” para. 14.
6.“Carondelet Neighborhood Map,” City of St. Louis, Neighborhood and Ward Maps, StLouis-MOGov, (https://www.stlouis-mo.gov/neighborhoods/profile.cfm?neighborhood=carondelet : accessed 10 July 2016.)

17 September 2018

Local Genealogy News

Our friends at the St. Clair County [Illinois] Genealogical Society have given their website a sleek makeover. If you had pages bookmarked on the old site, you might want to visit the new site and re-bookmark those pages, as the old links may not work. In addition, you may need to opt in again for electronic messages from the society and to receive notices for their publications. The SCCGS has also been adding indexes and records to their site, so if you have ancestors from that part of Illinois, be sure to check them out. The website address is https://stclair-ilgs.org/.

Many St. Louisans are eagerly awaiting the reopening of the Soldiers Memorial Military Museum, scheduled for Saturday, 3 November. In early August, the first artifact was installed in the refurbished main gallery, the bell from the deck of the USS St. Louis, a light cruiser that protected ships transporting American soldiers to Europe during World War I. Since then, crews have been painting, cleaning, and gathering up items to move into place to get ready for the grand reopening.

Exhibits will feature many items that reflect the lives of St. Louis soldiers throughout history. The museum is keeping up with the public via Facebook and Twitter. You can see lots more of the progress on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SoldiersStLouis/. For those of you on Twitter, you can find the museum at https://twitter.com/SoldiersStLouis or search for them with the handle of @SoldiersStLouis.

Interested in St. Louis orphanages? Head over to the Cliff Cave Branch of the St. Louis County Library on Friday, 21 September at 10 a.m. to hear Viki Fagyal, StLGS treasurer and author of Researching Orphans and Orphanage Care in St. Louis, discuss "St. Louis Orphanages." The talk is free and open to all. No pre-registration required. You can purchase a copy of Viki's book at our online store. Click here to go to the page, but don't forget to get your member code for your discount, if you are an StLGS member.

And, finally, mark your calendar for Saturday, 29 September, and plan to visit St. Louis County Library Headquarters, where our friends in the History and Genealogy Department will be celebrating their Twentieth Anniversary!

The day begins in the auditorium, where the staff will be on hand for refreshments and a meet and greet at 10 a.m. A short program will be followed by tours of the department. Seven classes are scheduled for the afternoon. The classes are free, but they do require registration. Click here and scroll down the page that opens to see the offerings.

10 September 2018

Fall 2018 Speaker Series: Google Strategies for Genealogy

 Searching with Google is something most genealogists do all the time. It is, after all, probably the most powerful search engine on the Internet. However, making that search engine work efficiently for you is not always easy. In addition, there are other websites run by Google that you may be less familiar with but which could help you enormously in your research.

Think you'd like to know more?
We've got a real treat for you coming in October at the StLGS Fall Speaker Series!

On Saturday, 20 October 2018, come hear nationally-known expert, Lisa Louise Cooke, speak on

Google Strategies for Genealogy 

An all-day seminar featuring four talks and lunch. Lisa's lectures will be:
  • Google Search Strategies for Common Surnames
  • Create a Free Google Map Collection for Your Research
  • Google Books: The Tool You Should Use Everyday
  • Reconstruct Your Ancestors' World with Google
Once again, the Speaker Series will take place at Orlando Gardens in Maryland Heights. A boxed lunch with sandwich or salad and coffee/tea is included in your registration fee.

Pre-registration for the Speaker Series is highly suggested so you can be sure of a seat and your choice of lunch. You can find out much more about the workshop, get a registration booklet and directions to the venue, and/or register online by clicking here.

03 September 2018

September Events and In Memoriam: Barbara McLean

Happy Labor Day! Hope you are having a good holiday weekend. While you are enjoying this day off, why not grab your calendar and make plans for some of these upcoming September StLGS genealogy events:
StLGS Monthly Meeting: Saturday, 8 September 2018
"Cities of the Dead for the Living: The Rural Cemetery Movement," by Jeff Smith; St. Louis County Library Headquarters Auditorium, 10:00 a.m.; free, open to all, no pre-registration.
Click here for more information.

German Special Interest Group Meeting: Wednesday, 19 September 2018
"Finding Clues and Information for your Ancestors in Unusual Places," by Carolyn Schaeffer; St. Louis County Library Headquarters Auditorium, 7:00 p.m.; free, open to all, no pre-registration.
Click here for more information.
StLGS Class: Sunday, 9 September 2018
"PERSI: The Periodical Source Index," by Carol Whitton; StLGS Office, 1:00 p.m. Free to StLGS members; fee for non-members; pre-registration required at 314-647-8547.

StLGS Class: Saturday, 15 September and Saturday, 22 September
"Foundations of Genealogy, Parts I and II," by Ilene Murray; StLGS Office, 1:00 p.m. Free to StLGS members; fee for non-members; pre-registration required at 314-647-8547.
StLGS Class: Saturday, 29 September 2018
"Beginning Irish Research," by Carol Hemmersmeier and Kay Weber; StLGS Office, 1:00 p.m. Free to StLGS members; fee for non-members; pre-registration required at 314-647-8547. 
Click here for more information on all our fall classes.

In Memoriam: Barbara McLean

With great sadness, we share with you the news that Barbara McLean, a former StLGS officer and board member has passed away. Barb died on 8 August 2018. She served as society treasurer from 1998 to 2001. In 2002, she was the recipient of the annual Achievement award, and for several years afterwards, she served the society in the office research room, where she assisted in cataloguing materials and helping visitors.

Barb was a thoughtful, compassionate woman who always had a big smile for everyone. She loved genealogy and traveling and her family. Married to husband Jack for sixty-four years, when she retired from the society office, she devoted herself to his well being and spending more time with her family. She had two adult children and two granddaughters, whose achievements she excitedly shared with her friends. All of us who knew Barb already miss her sparkle. We send our deepest sympathy to her family: son Tim and daughter-in-law Yoshika, daughter Linda, her grandchildren, and her sister, Naomi.

26 August 2018

Gleanings from Some Interesting Websites

First, this week, a clarification, as we didn't mean to be misleading in the last blog. It is only the hotel registration that is currently open for the 2019 National Genealogical Society conference in St. Charles, Missouri. If you are thinking about attending from out of town, we urge you to book your room as soon as possible. Two of the conference hotels are already sold out! Please check the new conference page on our website https://stlgs.org/2019-ngs-conference-journey-of-discovery for a link to the NGS site for more information and/or to register.

Now, we want to highlight a few interesting tidbits we've come across online.
  • Do you have Michigan ancestors? The State Archives of Michigan and the Michigan Historical Center are working with seventy of the eighty-three Michigan county courts and FamilySearch to index and place online an index to naturalizations from 1812 to 1985. In fact, they already have quite a bit available online at their site, Seeking Michigan. Click here to learn more about the project and then explore the entire website to see what is happening with Michigan records.
  • Looking for some help with early counties? How about an interactive map of the changing county boundaries throughout the country over time? Thank the Newberry Library in Chicago for this wonderful gift! The Atlas of Historical County Boundaries may grab hours of your time, since it includes all the territories and states over centuries. Click here to access it and then have fun!
  • Are you a fan of Google Books? Are you occasionally stymied over the fact that there is no easily discoverable set of tools for narrowing your searches? Many thanks to genealogist Judy Russell for sharing this tip. To find the advanced search options on Google Books, look at the top right of the screen and find the "Tools" button. When you click on it, you will get more search options, which may make your searching a lot easier. See below:
Notice the whole new line of search options. Now, you can click on each of those tiny down arrows and explore the options under all of the four topics.

20 August 2018

Genealogical Musing with Fran

 (Thanks to former StLGS president, Fran Behrman, for being our guest writer this week.)

Hello from St. Louis. So glad that you have entered the “blogosphere” with us. This is the place to get all the news from StLGS. Obviously you know how to get here, but when you talk with others, please mention us and how to reach us. I just met someone the other day who had no idea about our blog and I was glad to share what it is all about with them. In the earlier years of StLGS we sent a newsletter  every month to our members alerting them to society happenings and events, but this blog as well as our Facebook and Twitter accounts and, of course, our website www.stlgs.org have become the way we communicate today. So we are glad you are here and hope you will spread the word.

The DNA seminar that we sponsored at the end of July was a sellout, and we thank everyone who came to learn how to interpret information from their DNA test results. Our speaker, Diahan Southard, was outstanding!

At the end of the day it seems that all roads, including using DNA, lead back to good old-fashioned genealogy research. Yes, you have to do your own research to see who on those online trees connects to your family in exactly which way.

Well, I say, YEAH! Nothing is better than a new research adventure. Yes, an adventure! Where else can you spend time traveling, researching, exploring, and meeting wonderful people all in the name of research?

I recently had the opportunity to go back to the roots of my paternal line in this country, New York City. If I ever win the mega, mega lottery (never play so I don’t know how it will happen) then I will buy a place in New York City. I have been there many times and it never disappoints. Records and history show my ancestors arrived in New Amsterdam/New York as early as 1653 and were notorious in a number of ways that makes it somewhat easy to find articles and papers about them. Remember when we go hunting for our ancestors,we never know what we will find.  It is always exciting to walk on the same ground as our ancestors and seek out their stories. We are all descendants of emigrants and I wonder if I would have been brave enough to leave my homeland and start all over in a foreign country. Don’t know. What about you?

What is your favorite family story? So many! Each ancestor does have a story and all are worth finding and chronicling.

We are gearing up for hosting the 2019 National Genealogical Society Conference. Hotel registration is now open for those of you who will be traveling here from out of town. Please check the new conference page on our website https://stlgs.org/2019-ngs-conference-journey-of-discovery for a link to the NGS site for more information. I hope that all of you will have the opportunity to attend this exciting event, spending time meeting, sharing, and generally relishing the opportunity to mingle with others who share our passion for genealogy.

Glad you are staying in touch with us and as always, happy hunting!

13 August 2018

Legacy of the Civil War

As we've done our genealogy, we often find soldiers in the family. Perhaps you had Civil War soldiers and have thought about how difficult it must have been for them, particularly those families who found themselves on opposite sides during the long years of conflict.

Did you know that the Civil War . . .
  1.  Set the stage for the organization of modern hospitals?
  2. Led to improved use of anesthesia and safer surgical techniques?
  3. Saw the first organized ambulance and nurses' corps, eventually becoming the foundation of the American Red Cross?
  4. Led to the foundation of more than seventy National Park Service Civil War sites?
  5. Was the beginning of mass production of canned food?
  6. Encouraged the development of left and right shoes, each shaped differently?
  7. Was the first "modern war" using repeating rifles, machine guns, submarines, hot-air balloons, soldier's ID tags, land mines, and ironclad ships?
  8. Led to the system we now have in place of national cemeteries for veterans, homes for veterans (becoming the Veterans Administration), and pensions for widows and orphans?
  9. Encouraged the use of national paper currency and was the impetus for our federal income tax?
  10. Left us with slang we still use today, for example, carpetbaggers, deadlines, horse sense, and greenback.
These are just a few of the lasting effects of the Civil War. Curious to know more? There are many websites where you can learn about the war's impact on our ancestors' lives and how we still are influenced by that war today. Here are a few you might like to look at:

"The Civil War: Facts, Events, and Information about the American Civil War: 1861–1865" http://www.historynet.com/civil-war

"How the Civil War Changed Your Life"

"The Civilian Experience in the Civil War"

09 August 2018

Correction on class schedule

We have an error in our prior post about the StLGS classes. The Citations class is August 18 at 1:00 p.m. and the PERSI class is September 9 at 1:00 p.m.  Both classes are at our office. For more information go to https://stlgs.org/education/classes.

08 August 2018

Some August Programs of Interest

The "Citations" class and "PERSI" class have been updated with the correct dates.
StLGS Monthly Meeting: "Non-Genealogical Websites for Genealogists" by Bob Goode
Saturday, 11 August, 10 a.m., auditorium, St. Louis County Library Headquarters
Open to all, free, no pre-registration required

StLGS Members Only Special Event:"Ask a Genealogist Day" 
Tuesday, 14 August, time by appointment,  StLGS office (4 Sunnen Drive, Suite 140, Maplewood)
Pre-registration required. For more information, click here.

Next StLGS Classes: "Citations: A Hands-on Experience" by Viki Fagyal
Saturday, 18 August, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., (4 Sunnen Drive, Suite 140, Maplewood)
Free to StLGS members, $30 to non-members. Pre-registration required; call 314-647-8547

"PERSI: The Periodical Source Index" by Carol Whitton
Sunday, 9 September, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., StLGS office (4 Sunnen Drive, Suite 140, Maplewood)
Free to StLGS members, $30 to non-members. Pre-registration required; call 314-647-8547

  St. Louis County Library Classes: "Finding Ancestors in U.S. Census Records" by Larry Franke
Monday, 13 August, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Florissant Valley Branch, 195 New Florissant Rd.
Free and open to all but pre-registration is required. Click here.

"History's Attic: Walking in St. Louis in 1875," presented by Missouri History Museum staff
Thursday, 16 August, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Cliff Cave Branch, 5430 Telegraph Road
Free and open to all but pre-registration is required. Click here.