Germans in St. Louis

Oldenburgische Gesellschaft für Familienkunde e.V.


St. Louis is called the “Gateway to the West” and is home to two big rivers, breweries, baseball fans and lots of Germans!

In the early 1800s, German immigration began as a trickle into Missouri and the St. Louis area and then, like the mighty  Mississippi, there was a flood of German immigrants into the area.

In 1833 there were eighteen German families in St. Louis, by the 1880’s one St. Louisan in four claimed some ethnicity; Germans accounted for slightly more than half. They established their own neighborhoods, churches, schools and businesses.  They were industrious, steady and shaped the culture of St. Louis and the surrounding area.

GiSTL members are descendants of these German immigrants from Westphalia, Baden, Hessen, Bavaria and other areas of Germany.  Our goal is to learn more about our ancestors’ life both here in Missouri and Illinois and their life in Germany.  What were their motives to leave their homeland and how did they end up in the middle of this new country?   With lively discussions, sharing of information, lectures and field trips we hope to learn more and leave a written legacy of these courageous immigrants, lest we forget who came before.

Contact Information:

    Mailing Address: 

    2111 Martina Drive Washington, MO 63090

    Contact language:  English


    Heritage Genealogical Society


    The GERMANS IN ST. LOUIS RESEARCH GROUP has evolved from a long line of organized genealogical research activity in the St. Louis area.  German immigration to America started in earnest in the early 1830s and continued through the 1860s and 1880s.  A very large portion of the American population can trace their ancestry back to Germany.  St. Louis, Missouri is of part of the large triangle of German immigrants that includes Milwaukee and Cincinnati.

    Among the many of the group’s interests is the study of our German culture at the time of immigration and before, what led them to immigrate, what the immigration was like, and locating the hometowns of the German immigrants.  This also includes additional research that includes church and civil records in Germany.

    German research may include research of neighboring countries such as France, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Switzerland, and others because borders were shifting over time.  Germany itself did not become a unified country until 1871.

    Our goal is to advance our knowledge of all aspects of our German ancestors’ life and culture


    $10.00 per year per person, $15.00 for family.

    Membership Benefits

    • Access to experienced Germanic Researchers & translators
    • Access to Members Only section on our website.
      1. Monthly meeting notes with detailed instructions on websites we talked about.
      2. Instructional videos on how to use some German databases, websites
      3. Recorded videos from some of our meetings and remote webinars with speakers.
      4. Member Surname Database
      5. Members-only Section​
    • Monthly meetings featuring speakers and/or hands on research help.
    • Day trips to German heritage sites throughout Missouri and the Midwest
    • Quarterly One on One Research Help with Remote help from a German researcher
    Research (or Focus) Areas:  Worldwide.
    Research Services:  We are willing to help researchers from Germany who have immigrants who came to St. Louis or Missouri for free.
    Library (or other resources):  No.
    Store/Publications:  We are in the process of publishing a book on “Our German Immigrant Ancestors” – stories of member’s German ancestors who came to St. Louis and Missouri.