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.