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 East 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.


Programs 2017


Sept  11  Note: Date Change

Topic:  “Share your Knowledge”

Some of us have recently been to interesting conferences.  If you  learned a new top tip or take-aways via conference, webcast or other technological events this summer, please come and share your knowledge.

In addition, we will hold our first garage sale.  Bring your priced genealogy books, software, maps, historical books, etc., and change.  Time will be provided at the end of the evening to sell and shop.


Oct  2

Topic:  Online Newspaper Websites, Naturalization Process and more.

Speakers:  David Bartholmy, Dorothy Lueck

We’ve all heard the phrase “putting flesh on our ancestors’ bones.” After hearing from others members who have had success with online newspaper websites this summer, we’re going to give tips on finding your family online.  Also, we will have an update on the naturalization process, especially as it changed and affected women over time.  Then members will break into groups by province based on percentages of survey information turned in to our group.  Members can share names and research helps with each other.


Nov 6

Topic:  “The 500th Anniversary of the Reformation

The major players, the Counter-Reformation, and how the Thirty Years War Started

Presenter:  Dr. Lisa Payne Ossian, Professor of History at DMACC

(she will be leading a tour this year to Europe and will show photos of places the reformers lived and worshiped at.)


Dec 4

Annual Holiday Party and potluck:

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

Where:   IGS’s west wing.


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

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 East Grand Avenue
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.