German SIG

German Interest Group

German Flag

German Flag

The group meets on the first Monday of each month at 7:00 p.m. in the IGS library.

628 E Grand Ave
Des Moines IA 50309-1924

Offers the opportunity to share knowledge of German research. You will find experienced researchers, translators and travelers with extensive personal knowledge of the various regions in Germany.

For more information on the German Interest Group, contact Diane Green at


Programs 2019

December 2

Annual Holiday Party and potluck:

Time:  5:30 pm – social hour; 6:30 pm – potluck and entertainment

Where:   IGS’s west wing


Programs 2020

January 6  

Topic:  Open Library Work Night (note:  open half hour early)

GIG will not have a speaker tonight, but an open night to research.  People wanting help from others in the group are encouraged to bring their problems/information along that night.  Because it’s a dark, cold time of the year, we will start a half hour early (6:30 p.m.)

Feb. 3

Topic:  The Emigrant Experience

As researchers, we know there were many push/pull factors in propelling our ancestors from the life they had known for many years in German-speaking lands to go to the U.S., Australia, South America, or even jump from neighboring province to province.  What were some of the reasons, and what was their experience like?  The speakers will discuss timelines of great waves of emigrants leaving, documents needed, what waterways they might have taken, and more.

Facilitators/Speaker:  Mike Schrader and Diane Green

March 2


CompGen (Verein fur Computergenealogie (or  This group is the largest genealogical society in Germany.  The group was formed to help preserve and access records of all areas of Germany today as well as the former German areas.  CompGen is the overarching umbrella and their website has much information.

Facilitators:  GIG Program Committee

April 6

Topic:  The Immigrant Experience

Our ancestors may have been the first of their family and social group to come, or they followed others.  The streets of the U.S. may not always have been paved with gold, but many of those who spoke German settled and thrived in their new homes.  What was their experience like?

Facilitators: GIG Program Committee

May 4

Topic:  Germans to Russia

Topic:   Germans were invited to Russia by Catherine the Great, who was a German princess who muscled her way onto the throne.  Ron has traveled to the Volga region of Russia where his ancestors came from.  He will speak of his work with the Lincoln, Nebraska association and his search for his ancestors.

Speaker:  Ron Brott


GERMANS TO AMERICA Because of the many generous donations from German Interest Group members and others, IGS now has the complete set of Germans to America, consisting of 74 volumes.The Germans to America series lists passengers arriving at U.S. ports from 1840 through June 1897. For a small fee, ALL OF WHICH WILL GO TOWARD ADDITIONAL GERMAN RESEARCH MATERIALS FOR THE LIBRARY, a German Interest Group member will look up your surname in the appropriate volume(s).Include $10.00 for a search, any additional information which may help the researcher find the right person (especially the probable year of immigration and the names AND AGES of anyone likely to be traveling with your ancestor).NOTE: Some resources added to the IGS Library through these services:+++ Meyers   Orts-und Verkehrs-Lexikon des Deutschen Reichs, 3 volumes+++ subscription to several German genealogical magazines


Address all requests and include a SASE to:
German Interest Group
628 E Grand Ave
Des Moines IA  50309-1924 | 515-276-0287 | FAX: 515-727-1824 |
Send us an e-mail.
General information about the group. The German Interest Group (GIG) was formed about 1992 and meets on the first Monday evening of each month. Meetings are held at 7 p.m. at the Iowa Genealogical Society (IGS) library and have a freewill offering. (Meeting moves to second Monday if a holiday would conflict.) The December meeting is our traditional potluck with entertainment afterwards. Anyone interested in German research is welcome to attend, although regular attendees are requested to be Iowa Genealogical Society members. After a short business meeting there is usually a program, varying from helping each other with brick walls, members who have traveled to Germany, how to use books in the German section, internet tips, putting your history into book or scrapbook form, etc. For a small fee we offer research services using the Germans to America series.
IGS’s extensive collection of German resources is due to the efforts of this group. The GIG has held many conferences in the past and will continue to do one every three-four years. Several members have also given a “Searching for Your German Roots” class at IGS. The more we learn about good research tips, the more interesting our ancestors’ lives become.