Presentations: GSBC General Meetings + GSBC Extras!

The GSBC regularly holds two types of educational meetings:

GSBC General Meetings are held the 4th Monday of the month (except holidays and December) at 7pm. The General Meeting begins with a brief society business meeting before the main presentation begins. The meeting may be help in-person at the Ridgewood Public Library or online—or both!

GSBC Extras! was introduced during the 2020 lockdowns and are presented entirely online. GSBC Extra! presentations most often occur on a Monday @ 2pm (Eastern) and registration for the online presentation is required.

Both the General Meetings and GSBC Extra! presentations are free and open to the public—and researchers of all skill levels are encouraged to join us at our events.

Please see the individual event below for details on day, time, venue, and registration.

GSBC Seminars, RPL-GSBC Lock-Ins, and Special Events

The GSBC holds several special events throughout the year—most often an additional ticket price, and generally discounted for GSBC members.

The GSBC Annual Seminar is often a day-long event where a select speaker, or a few select speakers, will deliver educational presentations organized around a theme or topic.

The annual RPL–GSBC Lock-In is an always-fun event that welcomes family historians to the Ridgewood Public Library after the doors are closed to the general public. At the Lock-In, genealogists can attend talks on a variety of subjects, collaborate on problems, receive one-on-one research assistance, and enjoy a light supper and snacks. It’s always a fun and popular event—and almost always sells out!

Sign-up for the GSBC eNews or watch this calendar or our Facebook page for upcoming events!

GSBC Tech Classes, Workshops, In-Depth Courses at BCC, and SIGs

GSBC Tech Classes are organized in conjunction with the Bolger Heritage Center at the Ridgewood Public Library. Please check the full RPL calendar for class information, fees, registration, cancellations, and for classes on other topics.

GSBC Workshops are occasional GSBC Extra! online presentations where experts can share their screen and show you the steps to tackling tech problems or explain specialized software. Watch the GSBC calendar for these events—which are free and open to the public.

GSBC’s in-depth courses are held at Bergen Community College’s Institute for Learning and Retirement (BCC-ILR, for those 55 and older). These courses are multi-week sessions and often focus on a particular aspect of family history research (e.g., DNA and Genetic Genealogy tools, getting started, intermediate skills).

GSBC SIGs (Special Interest Groups) are small gatherings where researchers meet and discuss particular topics and work through problems—and especially popular are our SIGs on technology and DNA.

Upcoming Events from the GSBC, Ridgewood Public Library, and Events of Note from Other Societies

Use the Category filter below to hide the events in a specific category.

Celebrating 100 Years of Library Service – Ridgewood Public Library
Dec 9 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Program: Celebrating 100 Years of Library Service
Date: Saturday December 9
Time: 2pm
Location: Ridgewood Public Library, Auditorium
Description:  Join Local History Librarian Sarah Kiefer and Village Historian Peggy Norris, as they take a look back at the Ridgewood Library's history. Learn all about the group of volunteers who started the lending library, which led to the establishment of the George L. Pease Memorial Library in 1923. Light refreshments will be served at the lecture. No registration required. Any questions contact Sarah Kiefer at 201-670-5600 x2135 or
No registration required.
Captain Jacob J. Westervelt, Uncelebrated Hero of the Civil War (11 am and 7pm)
Dec 14 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Captain Jacob J. Westervelt, Uncelebrated Hero of the Civil War
Presented by Anthony J. Cavo

Ridgewood Historical Society Schoolhouse Museum
650 E Glen Ave, Ridgewood, NJ 07450

Thursday, December 14 at 11:00 am & 7:00 pm
$10.00 for members, $15.00 for non-members

Learn about Bergen County’s Civil War hero through his military service, letters, photos, and personal possessions.

Reservations are required, call 201-447-3242, or email

Tickets to be paid at the door.


Mining Collateral Lines for Fun and Genealogical Profit
Mar 25 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

GSBC General Meeting - Online
Mining Collateral Lines for Fun and Genealogical Profit: Researching Sideways Around Brick Walls
Presentation by Diana Crisman Smith (virtually)
Monday, 25 March 2024 @ 7pm Eastern
Online and open to all, but space is limited! Registration required.

Registration link:

You may ask: “What is a collateral line, and what use is that to me?"  In genealogical terms, a collateral line is any line of descent from one or more of your ancestors through any other than your own direct line.  What does this mean to me? By researching those collaterals you may get the information you need on your ancestors.  We’ll talk about what to research and why it’s important.

About our speaker:
Diana has been researching her ancestry since age 10, speaking since 1980, and writing, teaching, and researching for clients since the late 1980s. She and her husband enjoyed serving as lay librarians at the Westlake, Ohio, Family History Center (now FamilySearch Center) for over 20 years. She has enjoyed speaking live and virtually at conferences around the country (and at sea) since the 1980s (always looking for some new audiences and topics), She has spoken to large and small audiences around the United States, in addition to the genealogy cruises. Virtual presentations have offered welcome new opportunities.

She has written for numerous genealogical publications, including a regular column in the NGS NewsMagazine and the APG Quarterly; she was a frequent contributor to Digital Genealogist Magazine, as well as penning a regular column that ran for two years in the Cleveland Sun Newspapers. In addition, Diana also wrote "Finding Your Danish Ancestors: A Primer for Research & History" published by Heritage Productions, Toronto, Canada, 2015, “Chapter 4: Scandinavia” in The Family Tree Guidebook to Europe: Your Essential Guide to Trace Your Genealogy in Europe (2013), and transcriptions of Green County Iowa and Shelby County Iowa Cemetery Records from Cemetery Readings Copied by Graves Registration W.P.A. Project published by Heritage Books (2021). She is past board member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, Florida State Genealogical Society, Genealogical Speakers Guild, and the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors.  Since concluding a career in software consulting she has sought new opportunities to learn (including GRIP 2020 week-long sessions: Law School for Genealogists; Hands-On Forensic Genealogy; and Workshop on Land and Property Records), and to teach (currently available courses on Vital Events 101 and City Directories at ResearchWriteConnect Academy online).

GSBC Genealogy Consultants

GSBC Genealogy Consultants offer complimentary assistance to researchers—on-site and online. Consult the calendar below for available consultants, and learn more about this service under the “Get Help” section.