Classes and Events

Class and Event Schedule 2016

Unless otherwise noted: pre-registration is required so there will be an adequate number of handouts; all classes and events are OPEN TO THE PUBLIC and are at the IGS Library, 628 E Grand Ave,  515 276-0287.

Descriptions are below the schedule. $5 for IGS members and $10 for non-members

Lunch and Learn (L/L) – bring your lunch and learn something new at the same time.

Aug 20, SaturdayAnalysis and Correlation: Strategies for SuccessAlice Hoyt Veen, CG$5 members
$10 non-members
Aug 20, Saturday1:30 pm -
3:30 pm
Resolving Conflict in Evidence: Making the CaseAlice Hoyt Veen, CG$5 members
$10 non-members
Sept 12, Monday6:30 pm -
8:30 pm
TBAFree Members Only
Sept 14, Wednesdaynoon -
1:00 pm
Lunch & Learn
Using LULU to Self PublishBryon Strom$5 members
$10 non-members
Sept 17, Saturday11:00 am to 2:00 pmOpen House
Sept 19, Monday5:30 pm - 7:30 pmBeginning GenealogyJennifer EwingFree
Sept 24, Saturday1:30 pm -
3:30 pm
Beginning Swedish ResearchDonna Anderson$5 members
$10 non-members
Oct 15, Saturday10:30 am - 12:30 pmTracing Your Italian RootsKathy Foggia and Jennifer Barsetti$5 members
$10 non-members
Oct 29, Saturday10:30 am -
12:30 pm
Cemetery SymbolsKevin Spire$5 members
$10 non-members
Oct 29, Saturday1:30 pm -
3:30 pm
Beginning GenealogyDonna AndersonFree
Oct 30, Sunday1:30 pm -
3:30 pm
Adoption researchMichelle Spear$5 members
$10 non-members


Genealogy – Ancestry Special Information Group

A free class held at the Iowa Genealogical Society in Des Moines, IA for people performing research and recording their genealogy research with software from Ancestry.  Contact us for more information and to get registered.


Beginning Genealogy

Your ancestors are waiting for you to find them…  Learn how to get started with a free class at the Iowa Genealogical Society located in Des Moines, IA.  Classes fill up quickly.  Contact us for more information and to get registered.


Genealogy – Roots Magic Users Group

Work with others and learn tips and tricks with the Roots Magic software to record your genealogy research.  Join us at the Iowa Genealogical Society in Des Moines, IA.  Contact us for more information and to get registered.


Genealogy – Challenge Yourself to get Certified

Learn about certification in the field of genealogy research at the Iowa Genealogical Society located in Des Moines, IA.  Contact us for more information and to get registered.


Genealogy – Using

Learn tips and trick to finding more information with  Join us at the Iowa Genealogical Society in Des Moines, IA.  Contact us for more information and to get registered.


Open House – Iowa Genealogical Society 50th Anniversary

The Iowa Genealogical Society is celebrating their 50th Anniversary during 2015.  Visit our library during the open house and learn about researching your family history.  Make connections with other researchers and pick up on the latest tips and tricks in the field of genealogy.  Talk with members about membership.  See presentations about online research and software tools.  Learn about classes and how to research ancestors before they arrived in the USA.  There will be a lot to see and do, so join us!


Genealogy – Using Excel for Genealogy

Microsoft Excel is a powerful tool that can be used in many ways.  Learn tips and trick and how to use the spreadsheets in Excel to record and research your family’s genealogy.  Contact us for more information and to get registered.


Genealogy – Civil War Records

Do you have ancestors that were involved with the US Civil War?  Learn from the experience of our IGS president about how Civil War records can help with your genealogy research.  Contact us for more information and get registered.


Genealogy – Preparing for a Road Trip

Whether you’re traveling to a neighboring county or the Family Search Center in Salt Lake City, UT, you want to be prepared.  Learn from the experience of others on how to make the best use of your time, once you arrive.  Contact us for more information and get registered.


Genealogy – Newspapers in Genealogical Research

This class will describe the types of information genealogists will find useful in newspapers, where to find those newspapers, and how to access them.  Most of the class time will involve a demonstration of archival newspaper websites.


Lives and Times of Nancy Drew

Nancy Drew – Iowa’s Heroine to the World. Barbara Lounsberry, a Humanities Iowa Speaker, will talk about Nancy Drew. Afterwards there will be an ice cream social for attendees.  For more information contact the Iowa Genealogical Society


Genealogy – Using Facebook for Genealogy

Did you know that Facebook can be a useful addition to your genealogy toolbox? This class will demonstrate how using Facebook can help you in your genealogy research. Emphasis will be on common sense social media practices, navigation of Facebook, examples of Facebook genealogy groups and pages, as well as Facebook etiquette and best practices.


Genealogy – Revolutionary War Records

Learn how to use records from the Revolutionary War period to understand connections to your ancestors.


Genealogy – Basics of Land Records Research

Explore basic techniques for locating federal, state and local land records and identify different types of records associated with land ownership.  Discussion includes commonly used historic land transaction terminology and how to understand and use land records for family research.


Genealogy – Land Research: Metes and Bounds

Hands-on practice reading and platting metes and bound property descriptions.  Discussion includes basic terminology associated with metes and bounds and how to use these irregular shaped tracts to help solve genealogical puzzles.


Genealogy – Maps: Putting the Past in its Place

Introduces basic map studies for genealogical research.  Learn map terminology and identify the types of maps most commonly used in historical and genealogical research and explore online and offline map resources.


Genealogy – Between Two Rivers: Territorial Iowa to Statehood

Examine a timeline of migration and settlement in Iowa’s earliest years, discuss Iowa’s territorial population and identify territorial records and resources.


Genealogy – Prairie Patchwork: Iowa’s Ethnic Heritage

Iowa’s history is patterned by a colorful patchwork of ethnic immigration and settlement.  These diverse groups have been instrumental in the development of Iowa from its earliest years to the present.  Explore who these ethnic groups were and what motivated them to choose Iowa.  Discussion includes patterns of settlement and the resources available for exploring Iowa’s ethnic heritage.


Genealogy – Iowans go to War

Since its earliest settlement, Iowans have answered the nation’s call to arms.  This class explores a timeline of US military conflicts and the role Iowans have played in defending their country.  Discussion includes sources and resources unique to Iowans’ service history.


Military Pensions

Where to find them and what gems they may include – marriage and death information, family relationships, military experiences.  If your ancestor served, you need to check for them.

What Questions to Ask When Visiting a Cemetery or Funeral Home

Over the years of working with cemeteries and funeral homes we have learned that there is information that most people do not know about hidden in cemetery and funeral home records.  Come learn what questions to ask and what hidden gems that can be found.


Canadian Records

Did your family spend time in Canada, eh?  There are wonderful records to research – census, vital records, land.  An overview of the records and history that can help you fill in the blanks.


Using Heirlooms to Tell Your Family Story

We all have stuff passed down from our ancestors.  And we all seem to need motivation to write down our family histories.  We will discuss ways to use those items as a catalyst to document your family history.


The “Reasonably Exhaustive Search”: When is Enough, Enough? 
To meet accepted genealogical standards, research must be as thorough as possible. But how do you know when you’ve met that standard? When is enough, enough? Learn to craft a focus research question, identify relevant sources, and construct a solid research plan. We’ll discuss tips and techniques for efficient, effective searching and how to track your progress with a well-organized research log. Preregistration required. Cost: $5 IGS members/$10 non-members.


Maps: Putting the Past in its Place

Maps are a rich resource for family historians. They help us visual the spaces our ancestors inhabited and offer clues to their movements, property ownership and lifestyles. This class introduces basic map studies for genealogical research. Content includes: map terminology, types of maps commonly used in historical and genealogical research, and resources for locating relevant maps. Preregistration required. Cost: $5 IGS members/$10 non-members.


Analysis & Correlation: Strategies for Success
Learn the basics for evaluating sources, information and evidence. Explore strategies, tools and techniques for comparing and contrasting evidence. We’ll discuss how to determine when a reliable conclusion may be reached or when more research is needed. Preregistration required. Cost: $5 IGS members/ $10 non-members.


Resolving Conflicts in Evidence: Making the Case
Different sources often supply different answers to the same question. How do you determine which answer is correct? We’ll identify what is meant by “conflicting evidence,” discuss the various ways evidence may disagree, and explore strategies for resolving inconsistencies. We’ll also learn how to explain our “well-reasoned” conclusion. Preregistration required. Cost: $5 IGS members/$10 non-members.


Institutional Records

A relative suddenly disappears from records then reappears.  Could they have been in an institution?  This class discusses the different types of institutions, clues to finding if they were institutionalized and records and resources available and how to get those records.


How We Got Here
Our ancestors got here somehow but finding out where they landed is sometimes difficult.  The class will cover the different ports of entry, a brief discussion of immigration records, and the different ethnic groups and times that those groups arrived.


Online Tutorials
There are many online tutorials and webinars that offer educational opportunities.  This class will discuss how to find those resources.


Widow Smith

Women can be very difficult to find in records.  This class will provide tips and tricks on finding those elusive female ancestors.


2016 Spring Conference

Workshop Description:  With a mouse-click and credit card sophisticated DNA tests for detecting relatedness and predicting ancestry are available directly to consumers at a relatively low cost. Advances in human genetics over the past 30 years have enabled the emergence and growth of this “recreational genetics” marketplace. This course will introduce the science underlying these tests and explore the products delivered by the companies that dominate the US marketplace (e.g., 23andMe, AncestryDNA, and Family Tree DNA). Personal genetic analysis provides a window into the past at different time scales, and this course will examine the discovery of genetic relationships between cousins as a genealogical research tool along with inferences that extend beyond the historical record.


Staff and Chapter Training

Library Volunteer Training-Are you interested in being a Library Attendant Volunteer at IGS?  This class will go over the basic organization of the library, operating the cash register, microfilm readers and printers, the alarm system and the computers at IGS.


Society Management Workshop—this all day workshop provides information for local genealogical chapters.  Topics covered: Financial and society structure, membership, and publicity.