Joan Griffis/Illinois Ancestors: 16-year project covers St. Louis burials

Joan Griffis/Illinois Ancestors: 16-year project covers St. Louis burials

The St. Louis Genealogical Society has completed a 16-year project to transcribe an index for every burial in the city and county of St. Louis. Over 1.5 million burials in 444 cemeteries are included in the database.

At there is a list of these cemeteries along with location and denomination or type. However, access to the cemetery burial information is only available to members of the society.

The website provides a link to membership information; an individual membership costs $40 per year. The society also provides a lookup service for members as well as nonmembers, which is explained, along with a fee schedule, at

(Dick Eastman told of this cemetery project in his newsletter at

Trump's German roots

Later this month, Donald J. Trump will be sworn in as 45th president of the United States. A YouTube video has been created about Trump's roots in Kallstadt, Germany, the quaint town where his grandfather was born.

Frederick and his wife, Elizabeth, left in 1885 to settle in New York. There are no Trumps left in Kallstadt, although Trump no doubt has distant relatives there.

New N.J. adoption law

Beginning Jan. 1, 2017, the New Jersey Department of Health is allowing adult adoptees to have access to their birth records and medical history. Previously these records had been sealed.

Now about 300,000 adoptees' records have become unsealed. Birth parents who had placed children for adoption had until Dec. 31, 2016, to continue to remain anonymous by submitting the necessary paperwork as described at USA Today's article on this decision can be read at

The directions for applying for an uncertified copy of an adopted person's original birth record can be found at Additional information can be obtained by contacting the New Jersey Department of Health, Vital Statistics and Registry, P.O. Box 370, Trenton, NJ 08625-0379.

Genealogy videos

The website called YouTube has become the place to go for genealogy videos. A Google search results in a lengthy list, including one at

The National Genealogical Society, Ancestry, Pinterest, FamilySearch, PBS' "Genealogy Roadshow," Family Tree Magazine and Brigham Young University are just a few of the providers that offer advice via this medium. YouTube's list of 100 (and counting) popular genealogy videos can be accessed from

For example, anyone who was not able to attend RootsTech 2016 last year can watch videos of keynote speakers and attend the streamed classes from the RootsTech Video Archive at Genealogical research instructions have never been easier to obtain and enjoyed!

RootsTech 2017

It seems appropriate to mention this year's RootsTech event. Advertised as "the largest family history event in the world," RootsTech 2017 will be Feb. 6 to 11 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.

"Whether you're a budding family historian, an enthusiastic entrepreneur or a seasoned genealogist, you're sure to discover new, valuable information when you attend your choice of our 200+ breakout sessions," the RootsTech website says.

Visit for more information.

Join a genealogy society

A membership in a genealogical society benefits the member as well as the society. A list of Illinois genealogical societies along with contact information can be found at the Illinois State Genealogical Society's website at

Queries, genealogical questions from researchers and genealogical materials readers would like to share will be printed in this column free. Joan Griffis may be reached via email at or by sending a letter to Illinois Ancestors, c/o The News-Gazette, P.O. Box 677, Champaign, IL 61824-0677.

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