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.