StLGS German Special Interest Group (G-SIG)

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

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.

2020 Schedule of the StLGS German-Special Interest Group


Upcoming Meetings

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, German SIG meetings this year are being held online. The next scheduled meeting is as follows:

Rescheduled as a webinar. Carol Whitton will email the G-SIG mailing list with specifics. If you are not on the SIG mailing list, please send an email to

Please Note: Although you can attend the meeting without any Zoom software, if you have already downloaded an older version, you may be prompted to upgrade. Be sure to do that before the meeting so you don’t lose time. It just takes a few minutes and will allow for access to this and future webinars without interruption.

The fall meeting will be held online.

Wednesday, 16 September 2020, 7:00 p.m. (Central)It’s All “Dutch” to Me: A Crash-Course in the Sounds of German

Because German is a highly phonetic language and did not have a regularized spelling system until the 1800s, learning its phonetics can help you navigate difficult documents and dialect issues. This workshop introduces the sounds of German and methodologies for improving genealogical document analysis.

Featured Speaker: J. D. Smith, PhD

Recorded SIG Meetings from 2020 Available Online

Everything You Know is Wrong!

Many of our brick walls are self-constructed. A case study using a St. Louis German family shows how erroneous assumptions often prevent the identification of ancestors and their towns of origin. Ignoring the assumptions and engaging in thorough research not only identified the ancestral home in Germany but also revealed the story of a chain migration of other family members.

Featured Speaker: Dan Lilienkamp

The handout for this online meeting can be downloaded here.

The recorded webinar can be viewed here. The password for this webinar is   6s=$182O

The recorded webinar will be available 90 days from 17 June 2020.

German Genealogy: What Do You Need to Know?

This was the first meeting of 2020, which was held virtually. If you missed it, the recorded webinar can be viewed here.

The handout for this online meeting can be downloaded 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: 16-Jul-2020 16:03