German Special Interest Group
StLGS German Special Interest Group (G-SIG)
Recorded G-SIG webinars are further down this page.
The St. Louis Genealogical Society German Special Interest Group focuses on teaching family history research, providing genealogy classes, and research opportunities. We welcome those interested in researching their German-speaking ancestors from the Second German Empire or earlier German states, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Switzerland, and any other German-speaking enclave. We host four German genealogy meetings annually. These are supplemented by several German-specific classes yearly as part of St. Louis Genealogical Society’s ongoing education program.
StLGS and the G-SIG also periodically sponsor a nationally-recognized German genealogist as speaker at the society’s bi-annual Speaker Series event. Both G-SIG and StLGS provide suggestions to St. Louis County Library for expansion of their large German genealogy collection. G-SIG is instrumental in StLGS’s efforts to collect, preserve, and publish genealogical and historical records.
For details or information about the German SIG, contact Carol Whitton, G-SIG coordinator, at
International German Genealogical Partnership, IGGP
The German SIG of St. Louis Genealogical Society is a member of the International German Genealogical Partnership (IGGP). Partner societies in IGGP include more than 100 individual German Genealogy Societies in the U.S., Germany, and several other countries. For more information on this organization, German Genealogical activities, and bi-annual U.S. German Genealogy Conferences visit https://iggpartner.org/
German Research Websites
When you are ready to start researching your German ancestors, you will find many online resources. For an annotated list of some of the better websites, click here.
The Germans in St. Louis
German settlement in St. Louis began in the early 1800s and accelerated throughout the nineteenth century. For the past 150 years, Germans have played an enormous part in the history of St. Louis. For more information on their role in the St. Louis metropolitan area, click here.
German SIG Meetings for 2022
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, German SIG meetings for the first part of 2022 are scheduled to be held online until it is safe to resume meeting in person. Each virtual meeting will be recorded and will be available as a digital recording.
All German SIG meetings are free and open to the public; however it is necessary to register, if you want to join us. You do NOT need to register to view the digital recording that will be posted on this page. All meetings begin at 7:00 p.m. (Central)
Wednesday, 19 January 2022
“Using German Newspapers,” by Carol Whitton, CG
You can find German newspapers; they are more available than you think. And, you can break through the language barrier too. Besides obituaries, learn what genealogical information you may find in German newspapers.
All German Special Interest Group meetings are free and open to the public. However, you need a link and a passcode to join the meeting, so it is necessary to preregister.
To preregister for this meeting, click on the Registration Button below and follow the simple instructions that appear on your screen. Once you have filled in the registration form, an invitation with a link and a passcode to attend the meeting will be sent to the email you provided.
Wednesday, 16 March 2022
“Dodging Brick Walls,” by Ute Brandenburg
Most roadblocks we encounter are avoidable. Learn how to recognize and overcome the most common issues that can cause an impasse in German research.
Wednesday, 15 June 2022
“World War I on the Missouri Home Front: The German American Experience,” by Petra Dewitt, PhD
Dr. Dewitt will outline several organizations initiated during mobilization and explain their impact on the German American community. The war created anti-German sentiments in the U.S. resulting in harassment of some people of German heritage and the renaming of streets, but it did not end German culture in the state. Learn more about the relationship between individuals and local, state, and national institutions during the war.
Wednesday, 21 September 2022
“Researching St. Louis Germans in the Civil War,” by Robin McDonough
Many German immigrants who came to St. Louis were involved in the Civil War. Explore their history and contributions and learn how to research them.
Recorded SIG Meetings Available Online
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, German SIG meetings in 2021 were held online and some of them are still available as digital recordings.
Hofgeschichten, Häusergeschichten, and Bürgerbücher: Using Local History Sources in German Genealogical Research
Hofgeschichten (farm histories), Häusergeschichte (building histories), and Bürgerbücher (citizen registers) are local history publications that can provide important genealogical clues and insights into your ancestors’ lives. Discover each of these unique publications, how to use them and tips for finding them.
Featured Speaker: Scott Holl (Manager, History & Genealogy Dept., St. Louis County Library Headquarters)
The handout for this meeting is here.
The recorded webinar can be viewed here.
Password for the recording is L^95tHzr
German Genealogy: What Do You Need to Know?
The handout for this meeting is here.
Ultimately, we seek the German village of origin in U.S. records, but other questions about our immigrant families need answering first. The answers to those questions will lead us toward our goal. By reviewing the basics, learning about Germany and its resources, and finding our U.S. records, we may be successful.
Featured Speaker: Carol Whitton, CG
Last modified: 06-Nov-2021 11:18