German SIG

German Interest Group

German Flag

German Flag

Programs 2016

September 12   NOTE date change

Hometown Church records

Getting a copy of my hometown church records.  Through a process of finding out where her church’s old vital records were stored at the national level, Ruth will tell of the steps she had to take and  how she requested and paid for a microfilm copy of the records for her personal use in family genealogy.  The agreement includes the fact that the microfilm will eventually go to her hometown church.

Speaker:  Ruth Bartels



October 3

Coming home to the nation I grew up in.  One of our interns met her future husband while in college in Germany.  After many years of raising a family and living in Germany, Karen is back temporarily in Des Moines.  She will talk about the cultural differences of “coming back to the states” after so many years away, but also remembrances of how education differed between her and her boys and other stories.

Speaker:  Karen Voss


November 7

Topic:  Research in Hanover—history and tips for research.

Speaker:  Diane Green


December 5

Annual Holiday Party and potluck:  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.