Category Archives: Dorris Keeven-Franke

Seasons Greetings

Wishing you a wonderful holiday season, a very Merry Christmas and a healthy, and Happy New Year!



German Genealogy Course offered

This intense 15 hour evening course, which is 2.5 hours for each of  6 evenings, is offered by the City of St. Charles Adult & Career Education Department, in St. Charles, Missouri, beginning on Monday, April 13th at 6pm in the Hardin Middle School (1950 Elm Street, 63301). A most comprehensive course designed for those wanting to understand, find,  follow and make connections to their ancestors from Germany.

The class begins with a special evening with the instructor in the Missouri History Museum on Tuesday, April 14th and a tour of the

Utopia - Revisiting a German State in America
Utopia – Revisiting a German State in America

exhibit Utopia – Revisiting a German State in America. Instructor Dorris Keeven-Franke has an extensive background as a professional Genealogist, consultant, and education. The classes will cover:

  • Starting with what you know. Before you can do German
    He married and tried to build a life after University
    He married and tried to build a life after University

    genealogical research you have to understand the basic precepts of genealogy. Class participants will examine what they have compiled, its accuracy, and what is necessary to cross the pond. A review of German emigration over the past 3 centuries, ports of entry and historical events will be also be covered. Migration patterns will be covered.

  • Clues to your past. Each participant will learn all the ways to obtain information on their emigrants place of origin. Class will imagecover the history of both Germany and the United States and how it has affected the emigration/immigration rise and falls over the past 3 centuries. Historical facts about your ancestor’s life will be helpful.
  • German Emigration Applications and American Naturalization laws. Over the centuries, the laws affecting both of these have changed. Historical events such as emigration books and wars have also had a role. If your ancestor emigrated in the 18th century he will have left for a different reason than one in the 20th century.
  • Ships, Ship lists and stowaways. Laws and regulations on both sides of the pond played a role in emigration practices. imageThere are several sources for such lists, and one needs to know what is available both in print and on the web. Also a look at what may have prevented an emigrant from ever being found on those lists.
  • Records, records, where are the records? We will examine what kinds of records still exist in Germany. Both Church and Civil Records will be covered. Obtaining professional genealogical help in Germany from researchers and archivists, how to locate and pay for those services. Old handwriting and translation services will also be covered. Family Stammbuchs/Family histories that already cover your past generations.
  • Success! By putting it all together participants will learn where their family came from in Germany and if there are further sources of information available. Planning a family heritage tour to Germany will be covered, whether doing it on your own or using one of the many professional services available today. Finding your family in Germany brings rich rewards to several generations. Brainstorming sessions will wrap up the class sessions.

Classes are limited so register today!  Discounts may apply!

To register call (636) 443-4043 or email at

Who is the Traveling Summer Republic?

The Traveling Summer Republic, is a transatlantic collection of artists, scholars, historians, writers, film makers and creative people. Utopia generates a meeting of the minds with these travelers. After eight years they are bringing together their work and findings to create a world of discovery for people of all ages through video installations, texts, archives, footage, and photographs. Here is an invitation to journey – through both German and American States at their turning points – of revolution and upheaval; along private, social, and philosophical adventures, through their motives, and the highs and lows of a bold vision. It is a journey through both the past and present Utopia.

Five-hundred people left their homeland together, in order to live together in their Utopia. They came from all over Germany, all led by one ideal. The Giessen Emigration Society crossed the Atlantic Ocean in 1834 to create a model Democratic German State in the USA – that later became a State of Germans in Missouri.

The exhibition UTOPIA studies their myriad of stories through art and action. Political and social dimensions are explored and provide inspiration for everyone today. The exhibition moves as the  Utopians once did, from Giessen and Bremen in Germany to America and St. Louis, Missouri – and from there onwards. Whoever checks “in” may join as well – in thoughts, by train, truck or ship.

Join us!  Follow us here as we begin our latest journey.