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.

Programs 2019

September 9 

Topic:   Tips from the Trenches

Summer is a time of road trips and conferences and stomping through cemeteries.  Your program committee members will share some finds from their research such as:  (a)  what is GEDCOM and why is it important;  (b) some highlights of the International Germanic Genealogy Partnership Conference in California (c)  connecting with others through an internet mail list, and more.

Speakers:  David Bartholmy, LuAnn Julstrom, Diane Mason, Mike Schrader, Diane Green, Dorothy Lueck

October 7

Topic:  The province of Pommerania (Pommern in German)

These four members have ancestors from the Province of Pommerania.  A major part of Pommerania is now in today’s Poland.  There is much history here but also much of it was lost when WWII ended and the Russians came in and took over the area.  We’ll review a history of this province and what records might be found plus share stories of our families and trips.

Speakers:  Pam Washington, Diane Green, Karen Smith and Dorothy Lueck


November 4

Topic:  Sharing Revealing Breakthroughs in your Family History.

“Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.” —(attributed to Mark Twain)

We’d like to hear your stories of surprise findings you may have made.  Did a grain of truth in a family story turn out to have some basis in fact, or was it all a bunch of hot air promoted consistently down through time?  We’ll allow members 10 minutes each to share their hilarious, amazing or disappointing revelations.

Speakers:  All Members


December 2

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 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.