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GSBC Meetings, Special Events, and Classes

GSBC Meetings + Presentations
GSBC Meetings are held every 4th Monday of the month (except holidays and December). General Meetings include a brief business meeting. Meetings start promptly at 7pm in the Ridgewood Public Library Auditorium, 125 N. Maple Ave., Ridgewood, NJ. Phone (201) 670-5600 (see map, above), unless otherwise noted. Your membership dues directly supports this programming and allows us to host speakers on a wide variety of topics — thank you!

GSBC Seminar + Special Event
The GSBC holds several special events, including our day-long Seminar and late-night GSBC-Ridgewood Public Library Lock-In—where genealogists can attend talks on a variety of subjects, collaborate on problems, socialize over a light supper, and receive one-on-one research assistance. Additional event fee may apply. Discount for GSBC members.

GSBC Classes + Genealogy Courses at Bergen Community College
The Bolger Heritage Center at the Ridgewood Public Library holds events on local history and genealogy-focused computer classes. Ridgewood residents and GSBC members receive a discount on these events. Included in the calendar below are RPL classes of interest to genealogists and local researchers. Please check the full RPL calendar for class information, fees, registration, cancellations, and for classes on other topics. All registration is through the Ridgewood Public Library calendar or by calling (201) 670-5600.

Additionally, the GSBC holds in-depth courses, for those 55 and older, at Bergen Community College, Institute for Learning and Retirement (BCC-ILR). Please check our calendar for registration dates, visit the BCC-ILR website, or contact BCC-ILR at 201-447-7156.

Below is our complete calendar showing all Meetings, Events, Seminars. Library Programs and Classes. Use the Category filter below to hide the events in a specific category.


Meet the Author: Ellen Marie Wiseman, “The Orphan Collector”
Aug 5 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Zoom Author Event: Ellen Marie Wiseman

Ridgewood Public Library
Wednesday, Aug. 5, 7:00 pm

REGISTER NOW or call 201-670-5600.

Join The Ridgewood Public Library and internationally bestselling author Ellen Marie Wiseman for an online Author Talk and Q&A about THE ORPHAN COLLECTOR, her astonishingly timely new novel set in Philadelphia during the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic.

A story of hope and resilience, THE ORPHAN COLLECTOR follows a young German immigrant in Philadelphia struggling to protect her family at a time when more Americans were dying in our nation’s streets and homes than on the battlefields of WWI. Making the agonizing decision to leave her baby brothers alone while she ventures into the eerily deserted city in search of food, Pia Lange isn’t aware that she herself will soon fall dangerously ill. She doesn’t know that after waking in a makeshift hospital, she’ll be forced into an orphanage, and even as she runs away to find her brothers, an evil woman who is perhaps a greater threat than the virus itself will plot to keep them separated…Powerful, harrowing, and ultimately exultant, THE ORPHAN COLLECTOR is a story of love, resilience, and the lengths we will go to protect those who need us most.

At this moment in time, it’s a strange comfort to read about how America survived the last major global pandemic in 1918. The Spanish Flu ended up killing more people than any other illness in recorded history, including the Black Death in the 14th century and AIDS in the 20th century. It was undoubtedly terrifying, but reading THE ORPHAN COLLECTOR also highlights how far we’ve come and how much more capable we are to deal with the current virus. During this virtual event, Ellen Marie Wiseman will discuss the parallels between her novel and today’s reality, the 1918 flu’s devastating impact on the immigrant population, the strange cures and preventive “medicines” used during that time (Formaldehyde tablets! Sugar cubes soaked in gasoline! Onions!), and the role of the Visiting Nurse Society of Philadelphia.

Support The Friends of the Ridgewood Library and Ellen Marie Wiseman by purchasing The Orphan Collector on Amazon Smile:
Autographed, personalized copies of the novel can be ordered here:
More information about Ellen Marie Wiseman and THE ORPHAN COLLECTOR can be found at

The event is free but registration is required for the Zoom invitation.

“Heirloom Genealogy” and Show-and-Tell
Aug 24 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

GSBC Summer Meeting: “Heirloom Genealogy” and Show-and-Tell
Monday, 24 August, 7pm
Free Online Program
GSBC First Vice President and Program Chair, Lauren Maehrlein, and YOU!

Your family's history is so much more than birth and death records. Did you inherit a special family artifact?: a piece of jewelry, the family bible, a wedding dress, a china set, a well-worn tool. Maybe you were reunited with an artifact or found something on eBay important to your family.

GSBC First Vice President and Program Chair, Lauren Maehrlein, will provide a short talk on “Heirloom Genealogy,” followed by some time for YOU to join in with a show-and-tell. (This is always a popular, and fun, program so don't miss it!)

All are welcome to send photos of family artifacts, photos, or documents and take a minute or three to tell a story about it! Please send photos of your family artifact, with your contact information, in advance of the program to by 21 August, 2020.

REGISTER for this online event:

Bergen Roots—Part Four: Vital Records and Cemeteries
Sep 14 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

Join us as we talk about all things Bergen County! Over this series of sessions, we will dive into County-specific topics, history, and resources with the experts, historians, and genealogists who know Bergen County, New Jersey, best.

Bergen Roots: Part Four—Vital Records and Cemeteries
Monday, 14 September; 2pm (EST)
Free Online Event
Maria "Ree" Hopper, Peggy W. Norris, Joe Suplicki


Any level of question—from beginner to expert—is welcome. We will try to answer as may as we can and may follow up with you after the session to help. We will field questions during the sessions but you can also present a question to us in advance via this form. This will allow us to do some research before the event and your question will be at the top of the list!

Thank you—and join us for this, and other, online events!

Earlier sessions from this series are available on the GSBC Members' website,
Bergen Roots—Part One: Genealogies & County Histories; Land Records
Bergen Roots—Part Two: Probate & Wills
Bergen Roots—Part Three: GSBC Website Resources; Newspapers


What You Didn’t Know About the Census
Sep 28 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

GSBC General Meeting
Monday, 28 September, 7pm
What You Didn't Know About the Census
Free Online Event

Thomas McEntee


Thomas McEntee is a genealogy professional who’s also a blogger, educator, author, social media connector, marketer, network builder and more. A former information technology professionals, McEntee is founder of High Definition Genealogy and runs the popular Genealogy Bargains and DNA Bargains websites! You can read some of his articles and watch videos at Abundant Genealogy.

Genealogy Resources at the Newark Public Library
Oct 5 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

GSBC Extra: Genealogy Resources at the Newark Public Library
Monday, 5 October @ 2pm
Tom Ankner, Librarian, Newark Public Library
Free online webinar!

[Description to come!]


Save the Date—RPL-GSBC Lock-In
Oct 24 – Oct 25 all-day

Saturday, 24 October 2020

Save the date for the RPL-GSBC Lock-In—quarantine edition!

Details and registration link to be announced by mid-September. Stay tuned.

The Importance of Stories @ Ridgewood Public Library
Oct 26 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

GSBC General Meeting
Monday, 26 October 2020 @ 7pm
Ridgewood Public Library Auditorium

Bill Ervolino, Former columnist for The Record

The Importance of Stories

An informative and entertaining program about preserving your family's history with an author who has written about his family for 43 years. This is also an interactive program, audience members are encouraged to share their own experiences with genealogy and their favorite family stories. Free and open to the public!

Note: Because of COVID-19 closures and occupation restrictions we may have to change the format of this presentation to online or a hybrid, with a limited number of in-person guests and online simulcast. Please check this page for updates.

Bill Ervolino is a professional author and for 28 years was a humor columnist and features writer at The Record. He is the author of Some Kind of Wise Guy: Stories about Parents, Weddings, Modern Living, and Growing Up Italian, and often draws upon his own family's stories and his personal experiences in his writing. Join his email list at