French SIG History
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The French Special Interest Group began in 2005, holding its first meeting on 25 September of that year. Since St. Louis was founded by the French, Larry Franke, St. Louis County Library Reference Librarian in Special Collections, approached Society president, Ted Steele, about forming a French Special Interest Group (F-SIG). Many people of French descent in the St. Louis area are from various parts of the French-speaking world, so the group was expanded to include anyone who had ancestors from France, Belgium (the French part), Luxembourg, Switzerland (the French part), Monaco, French Canada (Quebec, Acadia), French North America (Louisiana), the Illinois Country, etc.

Larry Franke spoke at the first meeting on how to use and find ancestors in the forty-seven volume Répertoire des actes de baptême, mariage, sépulture et des recensements du Québec ancien [The Repertory of the Acts of Baptism, Marriage, Burial, and Census Records of Old Quebec].

Other meeting topics have included researching in France and Alsace and Lorraine; "The French in Early St. Louis" by Dr. Fred A Hodes, author of Beyond the Frontier: A History of St. Louis to 1821; “French Women in an American Republic” by Dr. Bonnie Stepenoff, author and professor of history at Southeast Missouri State University; the Old Mines Area Historical Society and Native-American baptisms in the St. Louis Cathedral records by Sharon Person, professor of English at St. Louis Community College-Forest Park.

The French Special Interest Group has approximately eighty members.

For more information or to ask questions, please contact French SIG leader, Larry Franke at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


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