The German Special Interest Group (G-SIG) began as a joint venture of the St. Louis Genealogical Society and the German American Heritage Society. John Wittenberg, a member of StLGS, and Hermann Eisele, a member of GAHS, explored the idea of beginning this Special Interest Group to promote German family history research. The group began gathering in the summer of 2005. Since that time it has grown to include more than 500 members with joint interests in German genealogy and history.

G-SIG sponsors four to five programs a year attended by 70 to 125 participants. Speakers present topics such as “Coming to America” by author Dr. Anita Mallinckrodt, “Germans Along the Missouri Rhineland” by Maryville professor, Dr. John Wickersham, and “Connections with Melle” by JoAnn Hammel. G-SIG also participated in the German American Open House, a gathering of German organizations held at the German Cultural Society.

Since its conception, Gerry Perschbacher has served as G-SIG’s leader with John Wittenberg and Hermann Eisele as associate leaders. The major form of communication is the monthly Forum, a publication that provides many topics pertinent to German heritage, history, and research.

Gerry introduced the “cluster concept” in December, 2005. A cluster is a limited group of participants with a common interest such as origins in a particular area of Germany. At present there are five clusters. Each year G-SIG has a gathering that highlights the clusters and their many activities.

Anyone interested in joining the German Special Interest Group can contact the SIG leaders at .

Last modified: 29-Jun-2016 20:07