Tracking Hawkeyes in Your Family Tree

In a given week, Alumni Records receives numerous requests from alumni seeking information about family members who attended the University of Iowa. The requester is usually conducting genealogical research on their parents, grandparents, cousins, etc.

If you’d like our assistance, it’s helpful to have both the birth and married names of your relatives, as well as an idea of when they may have attended the UI.  Often, alumni will send us a scanned news clipping about the loved one they are researching.

Staff here will check the UI Alumni Association’s Hawkeye yearbook collection to see if we can find references to your loved ones. If we find them, we’d be happy to scan the page (s) and send them to you. We can also provide information about the year(s) of graduation and the degree(s) obtained, but we do not have access to the course of study at the time of graduation. These types of historical questions are forwarded to our collegiate external relations colleagues.

When we can’t find a person on the alumni database, Alumni Records staff will turn to the UI Registrar’s office. The registrar maintains a listing of all students who study at the UI, whether or not they graduate. Again, it is helpful to have any additional names your loved ones may have gone by during their time at Iowa.

While Alumni Records research does not always produce results, we are pleased to assist alumni with the occasional genealogy request. In mid-August, we had the pleasure of hearing back from a woman whose cousin was a 1920 UI alumna. She shared that the information we provided about her cousin led to locating a family business that is still in existence today. She’s in the process of contacting the current business owners, who appear to be her long-lost relatives.

Good luck to all of you doing genealogical research!

Susan E. Sweeney
Alumni Records Manager

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