VGS German SIG

The Villages Genealogical Society


The VGS Joins the IGGP

International German Genealogy Partnership Logo



VGS Board Says “We’re In!”

On June 15, 2016, the Board of Directors of The Villages Genealogical Society voted to join the International German Genealogical Partnership (IGGP) through our large German Genealogy Special Interest Group. The German Genealogy SIG is co-led by Bernhard “Bernie” Guenther and Margaret Sgritta. Bernie brought forward the concept of joining the IGGP, and was the major impetus in bringing it to fruition. Bernie plans to attend the groups first Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota July 28-30 2017.

What is the IGGP?

  • The International German Genealogy Partnership is the new name adopted by members of a new and rapidly growing global organization known since its founding less than two years ago as the German-American Genealogical Partnership.
  • News release about the name change
  • A growing collection of societies and organizations interested in working together to help every society make connections with their Germanic family wherever they are found.
  • Currently it has 30 partners, with others in the process of joining. List of current partners.


  • One of the greatest needs for ethnic genealogy societies is to make connections with the ancestral home.  This can be a daunting task without assistance.  Partnering with societies all over the world can help all of our members to find willing volunteers to assist them in their research.
  • Together, we can do great things.  We have come up with several common projects to work on together.  The largest one is the International Germanic Genealogy Conference that will be held in Minnesota in July 2017.


  • Who can join?  This is a partnership at the organizational level, and not for individuals.  Our common goal is to make each organization stronger by working together.   We encourage organizations to get their members involved in the community projects.
  • Join the partnership

AARP Discount at

aarp_discounts_logo Ancestry_com_logo

30% Off AARP Discount on Ancestry World Explorer Membership

Yesterday, my real life human alter-ego, Jim Lannin, remembered that his Ancestry membership was about to auto-renew today at the sky-high price of $299.40/year. Calling Ancestry’s Customer Service line to grovel and beg seemed to be the only last minute option. Besides, he embarrasses me when he gets like that!

Robot on PhoneWhen “Little Mary Sunshine” came on the line, her cheerfulness and friendliness immediately began to soften his cynicism. When he started to whine about getting stonewalled at renewal time last year, only to have his friends tell him all year stories about the discounts they had received… well, it was just plain ugly!

Things got better when “Little Mary” interrupted him and asked: “Sir, are you a member of AARP?” He responded: You bet! I’m surrounded by hundreds, maybe thousands, of people here in The Villages who are both customers and AARP members.”

Little Mary Sunshine“Mary” then told him about the discount now available to AARP members of 30% off on Ancestry subscriptions. “That will cut your annual subscription cost to $209.00″, she said. After a feeble attempt to grind another $10.00 off, he gave in, saying: ” OK you win! Just don’t take the payment out again tomorrow!”

Jim then proceeded to give “Little Mary Sunshine” his card number for a one year subscription. This, of course, gives new meaning to the old expression: “Pay a “Little”, save a lot”! For more info on this deal, please check out the AARP Benefits Page on the subject at: Save 30% on an® membership for a year .