9 September 2016

The GSBC’s quarterly newsletter, The Archivist, proudly follows its 2015 International Society of Family History Writers and Editors (ISFHWE) Excellence-in-Writing award win with TWO wins in 2016.

The Archivist received first place in the newsletter category, with the award for Editor and GSBC Trustee, Michelle D. Novak. In addition, GSBC Vice President—Programs Chair, Barbara Ellman, received a second place award for her 2016 article "Genealogy Myth-Busters" in the Articles category.

From the Editor, Michelle D. Novak:

gsbc-banner-082A BIG THANK YOU to all those who contribute original articles to our newsletter, write recaps of our presentations for those members who cannot attend in person, share their family stories, and share their love and knowledge of Bergen County history and genealogy with us!

Special thanks go to Margaret Kaiser (GSBC President) and Lauren Maehrlein (GSBC Membership Chair) for their dedication to making sure our publication is always top-notch.

In celebration, we're making the August 2015 issue of The Archivist—with a great article on Ellis Island and Barbara Ellman's award-winning article “Genealogy Myth-Busters”—available as a complimentary issue for you to download and share. 

We hope you will enjoy this complimentary issue and, if you are not yet a GSBC Member, join us! The GSBC's work is entirely due to the efforts of volunteers who are passionate about what they do—and we would love to have your support.



Thank you to the writers and contributors for our 2015–2016 publication year, including:

Lucille Bertram; Mary Beth Craven; Barbara Ellman; Steve Gabai; Nancy Groo; Joan Hagel; Maria (Ree) Jean Pratt Hopper, CG; Melissa A. Johnson, CG; Margaret Kaiser; Judy Kenney; Sarah Kiefer; Nancy Klujber; Lauren Maehrlein; Peggy W. Norris; Sydney Robertson; and Fred Voss. Thank you!

Volume 42, Issue 1, February 2015

  • "President's Letter" (Margaret Kaiser);
  • "Program Recap: What to Find at the New National Archives (NARA) NYC" with Christopher Zarr (Barbara Ellman);
  • "GSBC 2014 Annual Seminar—'Genealogy and the Law'" with Judy G. Russell, CG, CGL (Lucille Bertram);
  • "Bergen Roots: Descendants of John B. Van Horn and Elizabeth Hopper" (Ree Hopper, CG, and Joan Hagel);
  • "Transcribing my 'Boring' Ancestor" (Michelle Novak);
  • "GSBC Library Acquisitions" (Nancy Groo);
  • "Requesting a GSBC Research Query" (Lucille Bertram);
  • "Repository Tour: Bergen County Historical Society Library" (Lucille Bertram);
  • "Of Note" and Calendar (various writers)

Volume 42, Issue 2, May 2015

  • "President's Letter" (Margaret Kaiser);
  • "Program Recap: Understanding DNA and Genealogy Webinar and Discussion" (Nancy Klujber);
  • "Program Recap: Out of Ireland Video and Discussion" (Judy Kenney);
  • "A New Resource for Civil War Records: The Records of the U.S. Sanitary Commission (1861–1872) at the New York Public Library" (Michelle Novak);
  • "The Federation of Genealogical Societies Annual Conference" (Lauren Maehrlein);
  • "What's Different about Jewish Genealogy?" (Barbara Ellman);
  • "Bergen Roots: Descendants of John B. Van Horn and Elizabeth Hopper" (Ree Hopper, CG, and Joan Hagel);
  • "Repository Tour: The Bolger Heritage Center for Local History and Genealogy" (Peggy Norris and Sarah Kiefer, Librarians, Ridgewood Public Library);
  • "Of Note" and Calendar (various writers)

Volume 42, Issue 3, August 2015 (Issue submitted for ISFHWE competition—First Place, 2016)

  • "President's Letter" (Margaret Kaiser);
  • "Program Recap: Ellis Island" with Fred Voss (Lauren Maehrlein);
  • "Program Recap: Passenger Manifests and the Immigrant Experience with Phyllis Kramer" (Sydney Robertson);
  • "'Program Recap: Expanding Your Research from a Single Fact' Webinar and Discussion" (Nancy Klujber);
  • "Finding That Elusive Ancestral Town" (Barbara Ellman);
  • "School Days!" (Michelle Novak);
  • "Parish Records on the National Library of Ireland Website" (Judy Kenney);
  • "Budke Tombstone Transcriptions—The Lost Volume" (Michelle Novak);
  • "Bergen Roots: Descendants of John B. Van Horn and Elizabeth Hopper" (Ree Hopper, CG, and Joan Hagel);
  • "Repository Tour: The Brooklyn (and Long Island!) Historical Society" (Michelle Novak);
  • "Of Note" and Calendar (various writers)

Volume 42, Issue 4, November 2015 (Issue submitted for ISFHWE competition—First Place, 2016)

  • "President's Letter" (Margaret Kaiser);
  • "'Program Recap: Old Fulton Postcards'" with Laura Congleton (Michelle Novak);
  • "A Tour of the English Neighborhood Reformed Church in Ridgefield, NJ" (Steve Gabai and Peggy Norris);
  • "Girl Waits with Gun, A Novel by Amy Stewart" (Mary Beth Craven);
  • "Bergen Roots: Ahnentafel Report for Leigh Brickell Hopper" (Ree Hopper, CG);
  • "Repository Tour: New Jersey State Archives—Part I" (Michelle Novak);
  • "Of Note" and Calendar (various writers)

Volume 42, Issue 1, February 2016

  • "President's Letter" (Margaret Kaiser);
  • "Introduction to British Genealogical Research" with Melissa A. Johnson, CG (Michelle Novak and Melissa A. Johnson, CG)
  • "Peter Hopper Post: A Cane, a Letter, and a War" (Tina Zych Post)
  • "Genealogy Myth-Busters" (Barbara Ellman) (Article submitted for ISFHWE competition—Second Place, 2016)
  • "GSBC 2015 Library Acquisitions" (Lucille Bertram);
  • "Of Note" and Calendar (various writers)

Please draw inspiration from these wonderful submissions—and use them to inspire your own articles and insights. Share your knowledge, reflections on genealogical research, a particular case study and how you solved it, or volunteer to recap GSBC programming. When you share your experiences you get so much in return.

For more information or to discuss submitting an article, contact the Editor at [email protected]


2015 Announcement—3 September 2015




Great news! The GSBC's quarterly newsletter, The Archivist, was awarded first place in the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors (ISFHWE) annual Excellence-in-Writing competition. This past May, two consecutive 2014 issues of The Archivist were submitted for review by the board and ISFHWE Competition Committee. The GSBC was awarded first place in the Newsletter competition!

From the Editor,

I would like to thank all who participate in writing and proofreading our newsletter and who inspire us to share our love of genealogy and Bergen County history.

Special thanks go to proofreaders Margaret Kaiser (GSBC President) and Lauren Maehrlein, MA (GSBC Membership Chair), for their patience and dedication to producing such wonderfully interesting issues. They dedicate hundreds of hours each year to this endeavor.

Thank you also to our many recent authors, editors, and contributors: Lucille Bertram; Joe Boyle III, MD; Afina Broekman; Larry Craven (your are missed!); Mary Beth Craven; Carol DeWItte; Barbara Ellman; Anne Greene; Nancy Groo; Joan Hagel; Maria (Ree) Pratt Hopper, CG; GSBC President, Margaret Kaiser; GSBC Past President, Judy Kenney; RPL Librarian, Sarah Kiefer; Nancy Klujber; Terry Koch-Bostic, CG; Lauren Maehrlein, MA; GSBC Past President, Geraldine Mola; Peggy Norris; Ray Ralph; Sydney Robertson; Fred Voss; and Stephen L. Winter. (Please let me know if I missed anyone!)

The Archivist is published for two reasons. First, to engage, inform, and inspire genealogists to hone their craft and discover new things. And secondly, to serve as the “newsletter of record” for the Society. We love submissions on all topics related to genealogy.

So, if you have a family story you wish to share (as Joe Boyle, MD, did when we published poetry written by his aunt), a brick-wall-busting research tip or technique (as Barbara Ellman is so adept at offering), or have a document that you would like to share with the world (as Ree Hopper shares her family’s Bible records and one-of-a-kind family papers), please drop us an email at [email protected] . We will happily assist in helping to get your submission published. Who knows, your descendants may stumble across your family story or how-to article many generations from now!

Now, back to work on the November issue!

— Michelle Novak, Editor, The Archivist

[email protected]