25 June 2018

Family History Library in Salt Lake City: Why Go There?

The StLGS Annual Research Trip to Salt Lake City

Each year in the fall, StLGS sponsors a research trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. For one full week, you can enjoy non-stop, uninterrupted working time at this huge genealogy playground! The trip includes seven nights at the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel, right next door to the library and across the street from Temple Square. Shuttle service to and from the airport, a Sunday dinner, Monday evening meeting, and individual assistance all week long from two experienced leaders are also part of the package. A pre-trip meeting and an electronic mailing list insure that all your questions are answered and give participants a chance to get to know each other a bit before traveling.
If most of your genealogy research has been done online, perhaps you've never even heard of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Or maybe you have been to the FamilySearch.org website and wondered about what was on the site and where it all came from. What's the connection between the two and why go to Salt Lake City when it's supposedly all online anyway?

Here's some food for thought:

  •  First, less than ten percent of all available family history documents are online.
  • Copyright restrictions and state and local laws have and will continue to prevent "everything" from being offered online in the near future.
  • Some books and/or documents that were filmed in the past are available to peruse ONLY in the Family History Library because of agreements signed with the owners.

What's in the Library?

  • The Family History Library in Salt Lake City is the world's largest library devoted just to genealogy. It contains four floors of books, microfilm/fiche, maps, reference books, and computers from every state and most countries on the planet.
  • The Mormon church owns and runs the library, which is open to everyone and free of charge. They also own and run the FamilySearch website, which contains the library's catalog, a wonderful wiki with instructions on how to do research on various topics and in a wide variety of locations. Also on the site are tutorials, classes, workshops, and more, all free.
  • Within the library are copies of millions of original documents, either on microfilm/fiche or digitized. There are also thousands of books and maps covering both past and present.
  • An increasingly large computer network gives access to many subscription websites and many records that previously had been on CDs or DVDs.
  • Very fast, modern digitizing and printing machines are on each floor, allowing you to save files to your own media for free or to print them on paper for a nominal fee.

Interested in Going?

The StLGS 2018 trip begins on Sunday, 28 October and ends the following Sunday, 4 November. Pre-registration will be ending on 30 June, and you can save $100 and take part in all the pre-trip preparations if you register by that date. More information and a four-page registration flyer are on the StLGS website: https://stlgs.org/events/salt-lake-city-research-trip. If you have any questions, please send an email to slctrip@stlgs.org. We hope you will join us!

18 June 2018

Making Sense of DNA

(Our guest blogger, Fran Behrman, reminds us that we have a wonderful opportunity to learn from an expert at our Summer Speaker Series in July about the mysteries of DNA research.)

Father’s Day might have made us think about our paternal lines and how difficult it can sometimes be to know for sure that the man we have identified as a male ancestor really "planted the seed."

As I've worked on my own family's male (Y) DNA, I can tell you a couple of stories where DNA disproved male descent. I can also tell you it is a shock to receive such information! In fact, it presents a real dilemma. If you find such information, do you share with family members or do you not? I think we can all remember one or two shocks, positive or negative, we have found by doing genealogy.

We live in a time when science can indeed assist in our search for our heritage, and DNA can hopefully keep us on the correct path to our roots. My DNA results pretty much nailed my ethnic profile per the research that I have done, but there are still questions in my mind about the meaning of these results. For example, I am 26% western European, but my sister is 62%, my first cousin on my paternal line is 24%, and my first cousin on my maternal line is just 10%. Now what does that all mean? Shall I be doing an Irish jig, an English waltz, a Schuhplattler, or all of the above? Really, what do these results mean?

Well, StLGS will be assisting in furthering our knowledge of DNA on Saturday, 28 July 2018 at the Summer Speaker Series, Making Sense of DNA. Diahan Southard, well-known author, lecturer, and expert on deciphering DNA results, will present four lectures:
  1. "Let Your DNA Tell Your Story"
  2. "Five Tips to Make Sense of Your DNA"
  3. "Three Powerful Ways to Find Your Best Matches"
  4. "Connecting Your DNA Matches"
You can sign up for a day of learning on the StLGS website. Click here for more information and to register. Lunch is included with your registration, and directions to the Orlando Gardens location in Maryland Heights are on the website.

 It is my experience that every time I think I have as much information as I need to be successful at finding, discerning, and proving my lineage, I find that is not the case. There is always more, and, thank goodness, StLGS makes continuing education a priority.

So we shall rendezvous on the 28th of July to learn more about our DNA results and how to use them to further our research. Until then, hit the courthouses, libraries, cemeteries, and the Internet to keep digging into the past and the personal role your family has played!

See you in July,

11 June 2018

June Genealogy Events Around St. Louis

Too hot to be outside? Perfect weather for a class or two! Here are some possibilities for this month:
St. Louis Genealogical Society
  • Wednesday, 20 June: "Exploring German Records in the Ancestry Library Edition Database"
    • Presented by manager of the History & Genealogy Dept. at St. Louis County Library Headquarters, Scott Holl. 7:00 p.m., auditorium; free and open to all, no pre-registration required. More information at the StLGS website: click here.
  • Early registration for the annual research trip to Salt Lake City is ongoing throughout the month, ending on 30 June.
    • Enjoy a week of research at the world's largest genealogy library with experienced genealogists to guide you and help you get the most out of your trip. 
    • Stay next door to the library, explore the beautiful downtown area of Salt Lake City, and immerse yourself in four floors of genealogy records. More information on the StLGS website: click here.
    St. Louis County Library (SLCL)
    • Friday, 15 June: "English Church Records"
      • Presented by assistant manager of the History & Genealogy Dept. at St. Louis County Library Headquarters, Jake Eubanks, 10:00 a.m., Cliff Cave branch, free and open to all, no pre-registration required. More information on the SLCL website: click here.
    •  Monday, 18 June: "Finding Immigrant European Ancestors"
      • Presented by research librarian, Larry Franke, 2:00 p.m., Florissant Valley branch, free but pre-registration is required. Registration and a map on the SLCL website: click here.
      Missouri History Museum
      • Sunday, 17 June: "The Battle of Belleau Wood Commemoration"
        • Honor those who died in this historic battle during World War I and those who served during the war. Learn about the battle, see a Marine Corps color guard, and, while you are at the museum, see the exhibit, "World War I: Missouri and the Great War," which will close on July 8th. 
        • Free and open to all, no pre-registration required, 2:00 p.m., Lee Auditorium. More information on the museum's website: click here.
      •  Thursday, 21 June: "Sacagawea: Mother, Ambassador, Leader"
        • Presented by Dr. Rowena McClinton, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville
        • Explore the life of this remarkable young Shoshone woman, who accompanied Lewis and Clark on their expedition across the continent in search of the Pacific Ocean.
        • Free and open to all, no pre-registration required, 7:00 p.m., Lee Auditorium. More information on the museum's website: click here.
      Check out the websites of all three organizations for more possibilities!

      04 June 2018

      House Research and Orphanage History

      Got the June meeting on your calendar? The StLGS monthly meeting for June is this coming Saturday, the 9th, when experienced genealogist, LaDonna Garner, will present "Don't Forget Their House! Researching the Homes of our Ancestors." This meeting, originally scheduled for August but switched due to a conflict, will help you to determine how to go about pursuing the history of your ancestral homes. Often neglected in research, those houses are part of your family history and may help flesh out the stories of the people who lived in them.

      The monthly meeting is at St. Louis County Library Headquarters, 1640 South Lindbergh Boulevard, in the auditorium. The meeting is free and open to all; no pre-registration is necessary. Doors open at 9:30 a.m. and the meeting starts promptly at 10 a.m. See you there!

      (The meeting originally scheduled for June, "Non-Genealogical Websites for Genealogists," by Bob Goode, will now be the August meeting, on Saturday the 11th.)

       Questions about orphans and orphan care in St. Louis?

      Take a look at our newest publication, available for sale now in the StLGS store. You can find it at http://store.stlgs.org/researching-orphans-and-orphanage-care-in-st-louis

      For more on St. Louis orphanages, be sure you also check out the section on our website: https://stlgs.org/research-2/institutions/orphanages