Italian Genealogy Interest Group

The path to finding one’s ancestors is rarely walked alone. So, what better way to carry out this undertaking than to collaborate with others on the same journey?

The Italian American Cultural Center of Iowa has partnered with the Iowa Genealogical Society to form an Italian Interest Group. The group will meet annually or by appointment to share ideas, help one another, and explore a topic of interest requested by members.

For more information, contact the IGS at 515-276-0287.

Research Assistance

The Valerie Lacona Genealogy Branch

Need help tracing your family’s roots? Can’t translate that Italian document? Don’t know where to go to find a vital certificate? We can help.

In addition to our annual Italian Genealogy Class, our library and museum holds numerous resources available for researching your family history.

For more information, please contact  Kathy Foggia

American Citizen Newspaper Archives

The weekly Italian language newspaper Il Risveglio (The Awakening) was first published in Des Moines in 1922 by Anthony Sarcone. In 1925, he changed the name of newspaper to the American Citizen. During the late 1920’s the newspaper gradually converted from Italian to English, mimicking the Italian immigrants’ own language transition.

We are thrilled to announce that we have the entire collection of the American Citizen on CD. And they are fully searchable! These newspapers cover 50+ years and are a wealth of information, not only for the genealogist, but anyone interested in local and world history.

Special Projects

The genealogy group has several projects in the works. We are currently researching past Italian restaurants in Iowa for a special display at this year’s Italian American Heritage Festival of Iowa. We are also adding to our collection of Italian family wedding photos.

Past projects include building family history slide shows like this one:

Genealogy Website Links

We have compiled a list of our favorite genealogy websites here.