24 June 2019

StLGS Celebrates Its Volunteers; Plus, Early Registration Expires Soon!

Without its many volunteers, St. Louis Genealogical Society would not be able to accomplish any of its goals. We are the largest local genealogical society in the United States and there is not a single paid staff member! Although "thank you" is heard all the time around our office, once a year the society says a special thank you to those who have given outstanding service during the previous year. Award winners must be members of the society, not a recipient in the last two years, and not currently on the board of directors. Usually the award winners are recognized at the annual Family History Conference, but we did not have one this year because of the NGS conference in May. Instead, StLGS volunteer coordinator, Marilyn Brennan, organized a thank you luncheon on Thursday, 20 June, at the StLGS office.

Those who regularly work at the office or at home on special projects were invited to a delicious lunch of salads, sandwiches, fruit, and cake. Afterwards, StLGS president, Kay Weber, honored the men and women chosen for this year's awards.
 This year's honorees were as follows:
  • Appreciation: Ray Barbeau, Steve Butler, Mary Cornell, Joe Gildehaus, Ann Hodges, Mark Madras, and Buddy Van Arsdale 
  • Achievement: Jean Marie Meyer, April Webb, Ken Webb
  • Special Achievement: Ted Steele
  • Special Awards: Bob Goode and Joyce Mercer
Ted Steele received the Special Achievement Award for the projects he has spearheaded to organize the society's archives and to sort out and update all the cemetery information on the StLGS website. Ted's efforts have led to dozens of web pages being corrected and modified, which will be uploaded to the site very soon.

Bob Goode and Joyce Mercer received their Special Awards for the time and effort each puts into their jobs at the office. Bob tirelessly works to keep the StLGS website running and current. He helps to maintain the office computer network and is a teacher and lecturer for the society. Joyce answers the phone, handles the front desk, helps with event registrations and sales, and generously shares her knowledge of rural cemeteries.

Congratulations to all our 2019 award winners! (For more photos, check out the StLGS Facebook group.)

Reminder: Just one week left to get the early registration discount rates for three major genealogy events! All prices go up on 1 July!
  1. Saturday, 13 July: Summer Speaker Series featuring Dr. John Colletta, including four lectures plus lunch. Registration booklet and more details on our website.
  2. Monday through Thursday, 15–18 July: Summer Writing Institute; four days of intensive workshops, including morning snacks and lunch each day. Learn more about the Institute and how to register on our website. If you register early for both of the above events, you save $15.
  3. Sunday through Sunday, 27 October–3 November: Salt Lake City Research Trip. Just a few rooms remain for our annual trip to the world's largest genealogy library. Save $100 and take part in all pre-trip preparations if you register by 30 June. More information and a four-page registration flyer are on the StLGS website.

17 June 2019

Safety First: Protect Yourself Online

Along with those dozens of annoying robocalls, it seems to be open season for online scamming. If you have good filters on your email, you may never see most of the deluge of emails that are meant to be stealing your money and/or your identity because they will be sent directly to your spam or junk mail folders. However, even with the best attempts at filtering, inevitably, some of those messages get through and you may be tempted to open an attachment, click on a link, or, worse still, actually send someone a gift card or credit card number.

This attempt to steal from you online is called phishing. Pronounced "fishing," it is meant for you to take the bait so a criminal can reel you in! Just in the past few weeks, your blogger has received an email from a known contact asking for a gift card for her nephew, two emails purportedly from Apple asking to click on a link to reenter account information, and masses of emails from "Google" saying files were corrupt, photos unavailable, and mail was going to be deleted, none of which was true.

How can you protect yourself, especially if you aren't really tech savvy?
  • First, be smart! Don't fall for emails asking for anything of value, even if you know the person asking. Call or text the person in question and verify whether he or she actually sent you the email before taking any action. 
  • Learn to look at who really sent an email before you respond to it. Most emails have a "Reply-To" line with the name of the sender. If you click on the sender's name, you will see the actual email address from which the note came. Many fake emails don't have the Reply-To visible, but there is still a way to see who sent the email. In the example to the right, clicking on the "Google Notify" line yielded the hidden address, which you can see is clearly NOT from Google.
  • Don't ever click on a link in a message that seems to be from a company but has grammatical or spelling mistakes. It is very rare that a message from a major company is sent out with those kinds of errors. If you aren't sure about something, go to the website yourself by typing in the address, or call the company.
  • Make sure your passwords are safe. Don't use simple words like "password" or "onetwothree." Your passwords should have combinations of letters, numbers, and symbols and be unique for each website. Plan on changing passwords if and when you think they might have been compromised.
  • Most important, be proactive. Stay alert and aware so you don't become a victim of scamming! You can also report phishing attempts to the company who supposedly sent them to you. Most have dedicated abuse email addresses to which you can forward suspicious emails. Don't, however, expect a response, as they seldom do answer, but that doesn't mean they aren't taking action.

10 June 2019

Early Registration Savings Extended for Genealogy Writing Events

It's not too late to kick-start your family history research and writing with two special events from StLGS, and now, early registration pricing has been extended through June 30th! Don't let time slip by—register today and get that little push you need to take your family research to the next step. Learn how to capture some of your interesting family stories and make them into an article, short story or book! First, join us on Saturday, 13 July 2019, for our 2019 Summer Speaker Series:

Your Family Stories: What DID They Say?

Featuring John Philip Colletta, Ph.D.

Nationally known writer, instructor, and lecturer, John Philip Colletta, Ph.D., comes to St. Louis as our featured guest at the beautiful new Maryland Heights Community Center, 2300 McKelvey Road, from 8:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. He will deliver lectures on:
  • Breaking through Brick Walls: Use Your HEAD!
  • Turning Biographical Facts into Real Life Events: How to Build Historical Context
  • Principles of Good Writing and Storytelling 
  • Writing a Narrative Family History: The Snares and Pitfalls
Your day includes all four lectures plus lunch. Registration booklet and more details on our website.

 2019 Summer Writing Institute

 Are You Ready to Write Your Family History?

The following week, we will host a four-day intensive workshop on writing. Meet with us Monday through Thursday, 15–18 July, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the StLGS office in Maplewood for lectures, hands-on practice, and plenty of good advice on best practices for writing short stories, articles, or your family history book. Local writers/editors Viki Fagyal, Bob Goode, Ilene Murray, and Jane Theissen will show you:
  • How to use timelines and historical context
  • How to create style sheets
  • How to use Microsoft Word to format your writing and include graphics
  • What you need to know about copyright
  • How to create the various parts of a book
In addition, Liz Kelley, publications manager at No Waste Publishing, will be on hand on Thursday to walk you through the steps to take to get your manuscript published.
The Summer Writing Institute includes morning snacks and lunch each day. All participants will receive a notebook and USB drive of handout material. You can learn more about the Institute and how to register on our website.

Save $15

Register for both events and save $15. Both the Speaker Series and Writing Workshop registration booklets include the reduced combination price and you can register online at our secure store.

Questions? Contact us at programs@stlgs.org or call us during office hours, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 9 a.m. until noon. We look forward to seeing you in July!

03 June 2019

June Genealogy Meetings and Events

Update to St. Louis County Historian Vacancy

Thanks to StLGS member, Carol Waggoner, for letting us know that she has communicated with St. Louis County Executive, Sam Page, who told her that "Tom Ott is now the acting county historian and he [Sam Page] emailed this morning that he intends to fill the position this summer." Great news for St. Louis County!

Upcoming StLGS Meeting

StLGS Monthly Meeting
Saturday, 8 June 2019
"Migration from the Eastern U.S. to Mid-America," by Carol Whitton, CG, St. Louis County Library Headquarters Auditorium, 10:00 a.m.; free, open to all, no pre-registration needed.
More information on the StLGS website.
Upcoming German Special Interest Group (SIG) Meeting
  Wednesday, 19 June 2019
"German Parish Records in Archion and Matricula," by Carol Whitton, CG; St. Louis County Library Headquarters Auditorium, 7:00 p.m. Free, open to all, no pre-registration needed.
 More information on the German SIG page on the StLGS website.

Other Upcoming Meetings/Events

Czech Genealogical Researchers Monthly Meeting
Saturday, 22 June 2019
"The Irish in Bohemia," by Mary Petersen, St. Louis County Library Headquarters East Room, 1:30 p.m.; free, open to all, no pre-registration needed.
More information on the group's website.

St. Louis County Library Classes
Saturday, 22 June 2019
"Digital Archiving Day at the Library" St. Louis County Library Headquarters, 2:00 p.m.; free, but pre-registration is needed and there are limited spaces.
More information on the library's website.

Thursday, 27 June 2019
"Who Were My Ancestors? Beginning Genealogical Research," St. Louis County Library Headquarters, 2:00 p.m.; free, but pre-registration is needed.
More information on the library's website.