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 1800's 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.