StLGS German Special Interest Group (G-SIG)

Information on this year’s meetings and recorded G-SIG webinars are further down this page.

Click here for the 2023 G-SIG meeting flyer.

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 often 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

Names of Our German SIG Immigrants

To further connections between German SIG participants and relatives in the U.S. and Germany, we have encouraged participants to submit information about their German-speaking immigrant ancestors. On the Immigrant List page, you may find arrival dates, residences, and locations in Europe. Check out the page for specific information. click here.

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.


Upcoming Meetings for 2023

German SIG meetings this year will all be hybrid. In-person meetings will be at the Oak Bend branch of St. Louis County Library, (842 S Holmes Ave., St. Louis, MO 63122), or you can attend remotely via Zoom.

Carol Whitton will email the G-SIG mailing list with specifics for each meeting. If you are not on the SIG mailing list, please send an email to

All German SIG meetings are free and open to the public; however it is necessary to register, if you want to join the Zoom webinar. You do NOT need to register for the in-person meeting or to view the digital recording that will be posted on this page. All meetings begin at 7:00 p.m. (Central)

Remaining Meetings for 2023


Wednesday, 21 June 2023

Who was John Gergen? Reconstructing the Life of a German-Hungarian Immigrant

John Gergen, a German born in Hungary, died in St. Louis in 1935, having  lived a working class life. Dr. Moore wrote a book on this boy after finding his schoolwork, and in detailing John’s life, he discovered a rich social history of the south St. Louis neighborhoods in which John lived.

Featured Speaker: Benjamin Moore, PhD, professor emeritus, Fontbonne University


Wednesday, 20 September 2023

Searching for Your Elusive Prussian Ancestors: A Case Study

Prussia once controlled parts of what are now modern Germany and Poland. Gain a better understanding of historical Prussia in the pursuit of records with numerous examples and resources.

Featured Speaker: Stephen Wendt, instructor and writer


Recorded SIG Meetings Available Online

Using Ortssippenbücher to Research Your German Ancestors

The recording of the meeting can be viewed here.

The password is    7=abh7d=

The handout for this meeting is here.

Ortssippenbücher contain genealogical information about families in a specific town, village, or parish. Information can cover many generations of a family back to the beginning of religious records. Discover how to access and use these books for your German research.

Featured Speaker: Robin McDonough, research librarian, St. Louis County Library


Maps Answer German Research Questions

This was the first meeting of 2023. If you missed it, the recorded webinar can be viewed here.

The password is  &G3L4ti.

The handout for this meeting is here.

Maps describe land ownership but also help answer common research questions. Learn how to use maps to find such details as where an ancestor’s church was located or to determine whether U.S. friends and neighbors might have been acquainted in the old country.

Featured Speaker: Carol Whitton,CG



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 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: 17-Mar-2023 10:13