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Welcome to the History & Genealogy Virtual Classroom

View recordings of classes taught live by the History & Genealogy staff. The videos below can also be viewed on the on the St. Louis County Library YouTube channel. Handouts for the classes can be downloaded as PDFs.

View and register for upcoming live classes.


101 | Who Were My Ancestors? Beginning Genealogical Research

If you have little or no research experience, this is the class for you. Learn about the genealogical research process and the many resources available in History & Genealogy at St. Louis County Library. Download the class handout as a PDF.


102 | Library Skills for Genealogical Research

Libraries offer essential tools for researching your ancestry. Learn how to search online library catalogs, obtain materials from distant libraries, locate periodical articles, and use the library’s in-house guides. Download the class handout as a PDF.


103 | Finding Ancestors in U.S. Census Records

Census records are a basic and essential source for genealogical research in the U.S. Learn how to search census records effectively using Ancestry Library Edition and other electronic databases. Download the class handout as a PDF.

 


202 | Exploring the Ancestry Library Edition Database

The Ancestry Library Edition Database is a powerful tool for genealogical research. Find out how to take advantage of Ancestry’s capabilities in your research.


204 | FamilySearch Basics

FamilySearch.org is a free website offering access to millions of records for genealogical research. This class will provide an overview of the kinds of records available and how to find them. Download the class handout as a PDF.


205 | Getting More out of FamilySearch

Basic search techniques will miss most records in FamilySearch. Learn to navigate un-indexed image collections, search the FamilySearch catalog effectively, and use advanced search features to tap into hard-to-find records. Download the class handout as a PDF.


302 | Discovering Ancestral Military Veterans

Explore strategies for military research in the Fold3 and Ancestry Library Edition databases, as well as in print and internet sources. Download the class handout as a PDF.


308 | Researching 20th Century Military Veterans

Learn about records related to 20th-century military service and tips for locating information. The Instructor will give an overview of print and digital sources and provide information about obtaining records from the National Archives. Download the class handout as a PDF.

A-01 | Tracing Your African American Ancestors: Getting Started in Genealogical Research

Do you want to research your African American family but don’t know where to start? This class will teach you the basics of genealogical research including resources available in History & Genealogy at St. Louis County Library. Download the class handout as a PDF.
 


A-02 | Tracing Your African American Ancestors: Digging Deeper

Learn about additional sources and techniques to deepen your research and overcome roadblocks. This course will use specific examples of records available and show you how to use them. Download the class handout as a PDF.


A-03 | Tracing Your African American Ancestors: Advanced Techniques

The usual techniques can often lead to roadblocks in African American research. The instructor will use case studies to demonstrate how researchers can fill gaps in missing information. Prerequisite: “Tracing Your African American Ancestors: Digging Deeper” or comparable research experience. Download the class handout as a PDF.


P-01 | Digital Archiving and Preservation Basics

Learn how to care for and protect digital files and photos. Library staff will share information about saving and preserving your digital memories. Download the class handout as a PDF.


P-03 | Interviewing Family Members: Oral History Basics

Discover helpful resources for recording family stories, practice your interviewing skills, and learn about new digital tools for creating and preserving your family’s oral history. Download the class handout as a PDF.


G-01 | Jumping the Pond: Discovering You German Ancestral Village

Finding your ancestor's place of origin is essential to research progress. Learn about sources and get tips for discovering this sometimes-elusive information. Download the class handout as a PDF.


G-07 | Using German Newspapers When You Don’t Know Much German

German-language newspapers are a valuable source of obituaries and other genealogical Information, and you do not have to be an expert in the German language. This presentation will offer tips for locating and deciphering obituaries in German newspapers. Download the class handout as a PDF. The class was presented in cooperation with the Tri-State Genealogical Society, Evansville, Indiana.


G-08 | Using Ortssippenbücher to Research Your German Ancestors 

Ortssippenbücher contain genealogical information about families within a specific town, village, or parish. Information can cover many generations of a family going back to the beginning of written records. Discover the areas of Germany where these books are available and learn how to use this resource yourself through a case study. Download the class handout as a PDF. This was presented in partnership with the Tri-State Genealogical Society, Evansville, Indiana.


E-01 Finding Immigrant European Ancestors

Discover print and online resources for researching immigrant ancestors. This class will include an overview of information available on Ancestry Library Edition and other electronic databases. Download the class handout as a PDF.


S-01 | Discover History & Genealogy at St. Louis County Library

With research materials covering the St. Louis metropolitan area, Missouri, migration trails into Missouri, and European homelands, the History & Genealogy Department's vast resources provide a wealth of possibilities for discovering your family's history and that of your local community. The library is home to the St. Louis Genealogical Society and National Genealogical Society collections. Download the class handout as a PDF.


S-02 | When is a Lutheran not a Lutheran?
A Brief History of the Evangelical Synod of North America

The Evangelical Synod of North America, a German-speaking predecessor of the United Church of Christ, had congregations in most 19th-century German immigrant communities. Although it was Lutheran in character, it was not a Lutheran denomination. This lecture will review the denomination’s history and character and offer tips for finding records of congregations. Download the presentation handout as a PDF. The class was presented in cooperation with the Tri-State Genealogical Society, Evansville, Indiana.


V-03 | Finding Your Ancestors in the Draper Manuscript Collection

The Draper Manuscript Collection is a unique source for researching eighteenth and nineteenth-century Appalachian and Ohio Valley ancestors. Learn about guides, finding aids, indexes, transcriptions, and resources to help you research in the collection. Explore case studies of increasing complexity and discuss possible research strategies. Download the presentation handout as a PDF. The class was presented in cooperation with the Tri-State Genealogical Society, Evansville, Indiana.


V-05 | The Google Earth of the Last Century: Fire Insurance Maps

Curious about what your ancestor’s living or work situation might have been like? Fire insurance maps offer a glimpse of the urban built environment in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Case studies will show how to use them to solve different research problems. Download the presentation handout as a PDF.


V-06 | Before 1850: Early American Research

The 1850 US Federal Census was the first census to document everyone living within a household. Learn techniques for resolving who your ancestors were before the 1850 census. Download the presentation handout as a PDF.