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 2018

June 4

Topic:  These are a Few of Our Favorite Things (Websites, that is!)

The Web can be overwhelming when using it for genealogical research.  We will share some of our favorite sites in both US and Germanic research, including the two major players (Ancestry and FamilySearch).  Members are encouraged to share a favorite as well at the meeting.

Speakers All members

July 9          Note Date Change

Topic:  Show ‘n Tell and Snacks

GIG members are invited to bring a recent find, something to show, or story to tell on their research.  Also, bring a sweet or salty snack. IGS Conference Room at 6:30 pm for July.

August 6

Topic:  Iowa Barn Foundation–Ethnic Groups and Differences in Barns

Iowa has been mainly an agrarian society up until the past generation or so.  Did you know that different ethnic groups like Norwegians, Irish and Germans built their barns in different ways based on old-world methods?  And materials were often based on what was locally found.  Our speaker is the Polk County representative of the Iowa Barn Foundation.

Presenter:  Ober Anderson, Iowa Barn Foundation

October 1

Topic:  Bessarabia Regional Interest Group, Bismarck, ND

Our speaker is the recent president of the Bessarabia Regional Interest Group (which is one chapter of the entire Germans from Russia Heritage Society–GRHS.)  Bernice will discuss the history of Germans emigrating to Russia at Catharine the Great’s invitation.  And we will hear about her own research journey on her ancestors’ lives.

Speaker:  Bernice Kimball



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.