International German Genealogy Partnership

Newly Elected 2019-2020 Board Members

photo of Ingeborg CarpenterPresident: Ingeborg Carpenter
The International German Genealogy Partnership started a mere 3 years ago in 2015. The Sacramento German Genealogy Society (SGGS) and I were excited to learn that an organization was forming to unite all entities that help their members research their family’s German roots. Seeing the immense value in such a partnership for the future of German genealogy worldwide, the SGGS and I became one of the first to sign a partnership agreement. I have been an active participant in the formation of the partnership ever since. It would be an honor to continue serving. I am the president of the SGGS and its former treasurer, but also hold and held board positions in other German societies in my community (Trustee of the Sacramento Turn Verein, president and teacher of the Sacramento German Language school, and more) They attest to my dedication and they helped me gain vital experiences. My upbringing in Germany, living abroad, and traveling in foreign countries gave me an understanding and appreciation of global cultural differences. As president I will work to fulfill the goal of the IGGP to facilitate German genealogy research globally as an internationally recognized federation of German genealogy organizations.
photo of Kent Cutkomp1st Vice President: Kent Cutkomp
Kent Cutkomp is a co-founder of IGGP and frequent moderator of IGGP partner calls both in English and in German. I was chair of the committee that developed the initial structure for the partnership. I was co-chair of the first IGGP conference held in Minneapolis. I lived several years in Bavaria and Austria and speak German fluently. I am a long-time Germanic Genealogy Society board member and past president of GGS, currently serving as program chair along with many other volunteer roles. My goal for IGGP is to continue to help organizations and individuals make connections, on a society level, on a personal level as well as promoting more research success.
photo of Dirk Weissleder2nd Vice President: Dirk Weissleder
Dirk Weissleder, born 1969 in Hannover, Germany. DAGV-Chairman (since 2012), the umbrella organization of German genealogy societies, editor of the DAGV-News, one of the co-founders of IGGP, co-founder of the German-Australian Genealogy & History Alliance (GAGHA) in 2016, IGGP Ambassador Award (2017) and appointed member of the Académie Internationale de Généalogie (AIG) in 2017. Never before in history has any generation had our opportunities to research, find and connect individuals and families through (German) genealogy. From my experience as a member of the IGGP Executive transition team, I know how important but challenging it is to work on the international level. As an elected board member of IGGP, I want to strengthen our societies and to form partnerships with archives and institutions. I want to grow our international umbrella organization and to initiate different research projects on the theme "Germans worldwide." This has already introduced me to colleagues in Australia (2017) and Brazil (2018). I live the words I used at my IGGC keynote in Minneapolis 2017: "Think geneaglobally.”
photo of Amy AdamSecretary: Edie Adam.
As a first-generation American of German heritage, it’s sad to see how few people understand their family background and how much Germans contributed to the development of my country. The IGGP is an important initiative for preserving the contributions of Germans to all nations where their descendants now live. I became involved when my society joined the partnership in 2016. A secretary has a specific role, but I also would seek ways to share information about the IGGP and its activities as well as to foster partnership among the members. I’ve been a member of the Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe since 1998 and presently serve on the board. I worked as a writer and editor and ended my working career as an Information Technology analyst. The latter experience means I have a basic grounding in social media and websites, which may be helpful as IGGP grows. My German background comes from Eastern Europe. My father’s family came through Poland and Ukraine to Russia – and back again. My mother’s family were Germans in Lithuania; we have begun the search to find how they got there. Thank you for this nomination.
Treasurer: Tom Foerster
Tom Foerster and GGS has been part of IGGP since its inception. Tom was solely instrumental in accounting for all the transactions for GGS' First IGGP conference and has devoted many hours to the IGGP cause. Tom is on medical leave right now but this position will be maintained by John Schulte, GGS' Treasurer until Tom returns.
Directors at Large:
photo of Kim AshfordKim Ashford (GGS)
Kim Ashford resides in Minnetonka, Minnesota. She has been researching her family history for over 20 years. She is a professional genealogist and frequent genealogy speaker. Kim currently serves on the current IGGP executive board and on the board of the Germanic Genealogy Society in MN. She is also the past president of the Germanic Genealogy Society. While in that role she had a desire to make additional connections with societies in Germany for the benefit of her society and later that vision expanded, and she became co-founder of the IGGP. Kim was also a co-chair of the 2017 IGGP Conference in Minnesota. Kim would like to see the IGGP continue to expand and include groups large and small to accomplish the goal to create connections between partners and their members. She believes that these connections should ultimately lead to stronger partners (because of shared knowledge and support of one another) and successful exchanges between their members as they help each other in their research pursuits. Connections like these are already occurring, and it will be wonderful to see it continue to increase in the future.
André Hammann (Genealogia RS)
André Hammann, 34, born in Tres de Maio, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil; married; Lutheran; graduated in Mechanical Engineering, MBA in Business Management, working as Product Programs Manager at Agricultural Machinery Industry; non-professional Genealogist (member of GenealogiaRS, IGGP, DAGV) – 84 immigrant ancestors coming from different German speaking places between 1825-1897. Language skills: Portuguese, English, German and Spanish. Research experience in Brazil: Civil Registry, Lutheran and Catholic church books, immigration archives, inventories, cemeteries in the states of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina. Research experience abroad: Schlesien, Pommern, Saarland, Rheinland, Württemberg, Schleswig-Holstein, Untersteiermark (north Slovenia), Hungary (Donauschwaben). Co-author of books: “Etnias da Colônia Ijuí – Os Austríacos” (The Austrians in Colony Ijuí). As a member of GenealogiaRS, book series “Famílias de origem alemã no Rio Grande do Sul – Volumes I and II”, working on Volume III, and “Famílias de origem alemã em Santa Catarina – Volume I” (German Families in the Southern States). Lecture skills: German Lastnames meaning and origin (great interest); Genealogical DNA (Y-DNA; mt-DNA; at-DNA; Interpreter of Lectures in German/English. Link for IGGP: as a member of GenealogiaRS, connect the International Community to Brazil and South America.
Photo of Jim Beidler James M. Beidler (Mid-Atlantic Germanic Society)
James M. Beidler is a research-reports editor for Legacy Tree Genealogists and is transitioning to Editor Emeritus of Der Kurier,  the quarterly journal of the Partner organization Mid-Atlantic Germanic Society, after more than 15 years as its editor during which time the pubication doubled in size. He is an author of four commercially published books, including three on German genealogy—The Family Tree German Genealogy Guide, Trace Your German Roots Online and The Family Tree Historical Atlas of Germany. Beidler also writes “Roots & Branches,” a weekly newspaper column and blog (at, and is a German Life magazine columnist. On the IGGP Board, Beidler looks to help the Partner organizations to better serve the many individuals interested in German genealogy around the world.
Photo of Nancy MyersNancy Myers (Ahnenforscher Stammtisch Unna)
Originally from Michigan, I’ve lived in Germany since 2001. I’m a member of several genealogical societies in Germany and the US and serve on both the organizing committee of the Ahnenforscher-Stammtisch Unna and on the board of the Roland zu Dortmund. I also volunteer at the Dortmund Family History Center. I’ve been passionately researching my family history in the US and Germany for over 25 years and know from personal experience both the joys – and many challenges - genealogists encounter when researching their German ancestors. That experience has convinced me that the most valuable resource in any “Germanic Genealogy Toolbox” is a wide and diverse network of fellow researchers and historians who are willing to work together collaboratively. If elected, I’ll focus on 3 issues: 1. Expanding the number of active IGGP partners. 2. Developing working relationships between partners to advance the genealogy research interests of the community of Germanic genealogists. 3. Creating methods to share research and resources more easily and widely between partners. I’m committed to seeing the IGGP develop into an inclusive, vibrant, and supportive community of Germanic genealogy researchers and will work to find solutions that will strengthen the Partnership for the benefit of all involved.