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

April 1       

Topic:  A Travelogue Down the Rhine River

Diane Mason and her family traveled to Germany in 2017.  Besides finding her family village, they took a tour down the Rhine River.  Diane will discuss the history of that area, and she’ll give tips that first-timers going to Germany will appreciate.

Speaker:  Diane Mason


May 6      

Topic:   The Pennsylvania/Kentucky Long Rifle

Joyce found she had a colonial ancestor who built rifles.  She will talk about the reasons for the long rifle’s development by early German immigrants and its role in the early wars c.1700-1812.

Speaker:  Joyce Lindstrom


June   3

Topic:  Tour the State Historical Society of Iowa (SHSI) website and find new gems.   Shari Stelling will share new updates made on the website, how special money was used to fund digitization of many records, and tips on how to use the search features to find interesting papers, books, and films to be found at our neighbor across the street and in Iowa City.

Speaker:  Shari S. Stelling, Librarian, State Historical Library & Archives


July 12   

What: Road trip–tour of Iowa’s only Funeral Museum

Where:  (Marshalltown)  Hosted by Marty Mitchel, funeral home director in Marshalltown and owner of the museum.  Plans are for a morning tour, followed by an option of the group lunching at a nearby restaurant.

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.