Ricki King

ProGen Member Overview

Most people want to learn about their family history but don't have the time or know where to begin. Ricki Sue King has the training, does the research, and provides you with a written report of her findings. She began Roots To Branches Genealogy, LLC to help others find their family history.

In 2018, Ricki was instrumental in changing when Iowa allowed access to death certificates and fetal death records. She started requesting the state legislature change the law in 2016. Because of her follow-through, the law was changed to open fetal death records to the public after 50 years, where before, there was no date allowing them to be opened. Everyone can now access all death records after an individual has been deceased for at least 50 years.

Ricki serves as a member of the Iowa Historical Foundation board and is a private investigator.

Ricki is a genealogist whose family comes from Iowa and Missouri and focuses on Midwest research. She has been doing family history research since 2003. As Ricki retired from John Deere Financial, she decided to become a professional genealogist and an entrepreneur by starting Roots to Branches Genealogy, LLC. in 2018.


Academic Education
Bachelor of Arts, History; Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa, 2005.
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication; Drake University, Iowa, 2005.

Continuing Education
Boston University, Center for Professional Education: Genealogical Research Certificate, 2015.
Fundamentals of Forensic Genealogy, Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy Academy for Professionals, 2021.
Beyond Fundamentals: Hands-on Forensic Genealogy, Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, 2021.
Midwest African American Genealogy Institute, 2020.
Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society Conference, 2020.
Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research, 2020.
PI Education, 2020.
Preserve Iowa Summit, 2020.
Association of Professional Genealogists: Professional Management Conference, 2018.
ProGen Study Program, 2016-2017.
Iowa Genealogical Society Conferences, 2003-2019.
Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference, 2015.
National Genealogical Society Conference, 2013, 2020.


In 2018 Ricki was instrumental in changing when death certificates and fetal death records could be accessed in Iowa. She requested the state legislature change the law in 2016. Because of her follow through the law was changed to open fetal death records to the public after 50 years where before there was no date allowing them to be opened. She also was able to change the access on all death records from 75 years to the current 50 years.

"Ricki is always finding ways to improve searches and gain information for all genealogists-her sparkling personality and smile make her a joy to be around, plus she does know her stuff! -Jay Carollo"

"We have been very pleased with the work performed on our family heritage by Ricki King, she is very responsive and through in her analysis. Her work has taken my family lineage to 1780s with still the opportunity to potential go further back. Her extensive years in genealogy is evident in her performance. I would strongly recommend you consider her for your genealogy investigation. -T.A. Chandler"

"I asked Ricki to use her Genealogy knowledge and skills to help me solve a few family mysteries. After prioritizing my list and agreeing on a budget, Ricki went to work. She was ultimately able to find information I never could and interpret it to answer several questions for our family. While the related documentation can be a bit overwhelming, Ricki interpreted it and also provided a narrative that I could use and share with the rest of my family. Ricki s love of genealogy is evident when you talk with her and I would definitely work with her again! -Linda O'Toole"

Professional Memberships/Affiliations
Private Investigative Agency; Ricki King, Private Investigator
Iowa Historical Foundation Board, Member.
Association of Professional Genealogists, Member.
National Genealogical Society, Member.
State Historical Society of Iowa, Member.
Iowa Genealogical Society, Member.
Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc., Member.
Albemarle Charlottesville (Virginia) Historical Society, Member.
Seattle Genealogical Society, Member.
Utah Genealogical Association, Member.
Fort Des Moines Museum and Education Center, Past Board Secretary.
Iowa Civil War 150th Celebration, Advisory Committee.
Targeted Small Business, Iowa Economic Development Authority.
Various volunteer activities.

Publications & BLOGs

King, Ricki. "A Father's [Lynching? Murder?] Provides A Possible Motive for an African American Woman's use of Multiple Maiden Names." National Genealogical Society Quarterly. Volume 109, No. 1, (March 2021): 29-44.
King, Ricki. "Women and the 1925 Iowa State Census," WOW Women of Worth April-May 2020.
King, Ricki. "Women of Three Generations," The Urban Experience October 2018.
BLOG: Long Ago Community news from Iowa newspapers and current news about history across the country.