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 2021

Feb 1  at 7:00 pm –  Zoom Only

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:  LuAnn Julstrom, Diane Mason, Diane Green

Mar 1 at 7:00 pm  –  Zoom Only


Using Archion and Matricula in conjunction with the Kevan Hansen Parish Map Guide series

Although the church was a major part of a person’s life, it wasn’t until the Reformation took hold that the churches (Catholic first) decided to keep track of the baptism, marriages and deaths of the common folk.  We’re seeing more collaboration by German churches of the Catholic and Evangelisch (Protestant) faiths in Germany to place records on the web.  Archion represents mostly Protestant records and Matricula presents Catholic records.

If you have the village name of your ancestor but don’t know the church parish, GIG has purchased all the books published by Kevan Hansen in his Church Parish Map Guide series to help in this area.

Facilitators:  David Bartholmy and Diane Green


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.