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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 Special Events + Seminars
The GSBC holds several special events, including our day-long Annual Seminar and late-night RPL Lock-In—where genealogists can attend talks on a variety of subjects, collaborate on problems, and receive one-on-one research assistance. Additional event fee may apply. Discount for GSBC members.

GSBC Classes + Ridgewood Public Library Programs
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.


Annual Genealogy Q&A @ Ridgewood Public Library
Aug 27 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

August Program + GSBC Summer Meeting
Monday, 27 August 2018
Ridgewood Public Library Auditorium, 7pm 

Genealogy Q&A

Join GSBC as we welcome a panel of experts to answer your questions, share experiences, and bust through some brick-walls!

All are welcome—whether you are a new researcher, curious about getting into genealogy, or have many years of experience—come and join in the conversation. It's always a fun evening!

Free and open to the public—all are welcome.

Behind the Institutional Walls of Nineteenth-Century New York City: What’s to be Found? @ Ridgewood Public Library
Sep 24 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

September Program + GSBC General Meeting
Monday, 24 September 2018
Ridgewood Public Library Auditorium, 7pm 

Joan Koster-Morales

Behind the Institutional Walls of Nineteenth-Century New York City: What's to be Found?

Learn about the impact of the Health, Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) on records access and current New York State Freedom of Information law. Koster-Morales will also discuss how to access records, when available, online and in archives.

Free and open to the public—all are welcome!

Class: What’s different about Jewish Genealogy? @ Ridgewood Public Library
Sep 25 @ 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm

Class: What’s different about Jewish Genealogy?
Tuesday, 25 September, 2pm
Ridgewood Public Library (Please Register)
Instructor: Barbara Ellman

What’s different about Jewish Genealogy? This class will focus on Jewish naming patterns, how to find the elusive ancestral town, identifying if vital records for your ancestral town exist and where they can be located. Many on-line resources including will be covered. Basic genealogical research methods will be covered briefly.

Instructor Barbara Ellman Registration and small fee required ($5 for Ridgewood residents and GSBC members; $10 for visitors). Classes last about an hour, or slightly more depending on Q&A. Please reserve your seat by registering; classes that do not have adequate registration may be subject to cancellation or rescheduling.

Sign-up here:

Barbara Ellman is a genealogist with over 15 years of experience specializing in Jewish and New York research. She has worked with clients in researching their family histories. Her own research has led her to locate family on four continents and includes family back to 1760 in Eastern Europe.

Currently, she is the JewishGen KehilaLinks Technical Coordinator assisting site managers in creating websites memorializing the communities where their ancestors lived. Barbara has created three KehilaLinks sites and is the Town Leader for Minkovtsy, her grandfather’s ancestral home. She is a contributor to The Archivist publication of the Genealogical Society of Bergen County and has been awarded second prize by the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors (IFSHWE) for the 2016 Excellence in Writing Competition. For the fourth year, Barbara is being recognized for her volunteer work for the Israel Genealogy Research Association.

Barbara is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and President of the Genealogical Society of Bergen County. 

Class: Organizing Your Genealogical Records @ Ridgewood Public Library
Oct 18 @ 7:00 pm – 8:15 pm
Class: Organizing Your Genealogical Records
Thursday, October 18, 7pm
Ridgewood Public Library Computer Lab
Instructor: Fred Voss

Successful genealogy takes skill, hard work, and luck. And it is so much easier if you are organized. We will talk about various approaches to organizing your files, photos, and papers, so that you can find them when you really need them. Remember, the best method of organizing for YOU is the one that you are most comfortable using.

Registration and small fee required ($5 for Ridgewood residents and GSBC members; $10 for visitors)
The Jersey Dutch and Their Contribution to Bergen County @ Ridgewood Public Library
Oct 22 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

October Program + GSBC General Meeting
Monday, 22 October 2018
Ridgewood Public Library Auditorium, 7pm 

Tim Adriance

The Jersey Dutch and Their Contribution to Bergen County

Eighth generation Jersey Dutch himself, Tim Adriance has written on Bergen County and Rockland County history, focusing on the historic homes of the Jersey Dutch. He is the author of the Onderdonck-Tallman-Budke House, and The William Holdrum, Sr. House Reconstruction.

Free and open to the public—all are welcome.

GSBC-RPL 15th Annual Genealogy Lock-In @ Ridgewood Public Library
Oct 27 @ 5:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Save the Date!

GSBC-RPL 15th Annual Genealogy Lock-In
Saturday, 27 October, 5-11pm
Ridgewood Public Library

The Ridgewood Public Library and the Genealogical Society of Bergen County are sponsoring an after-hours opportunity for all genealogists from beginners to advanced to attend.  Get advice from an expert panel; attend various workshops; or receive individual genealogy assistance.

Advanced registration and a small fee of $10 will get you into this special event which includes a light supper.

Schedule details and registration to come end of September!  

Class: Intro to @ Ridgewood Public Library
Nov 5 @ 10:00 am – 11:15 am
Class: Intro to
Monday, 5 November, 10am
Ridgewood Public Library Computer Room
Instructor: Peggy W. Norris

The database Ancestry Library Edition (LE) is available for you to use at the Ridgewood Public Library. It provides you with access to 705 million US names and census images, along with the UK/Ireland collection.This session will discuss the resources available on Ancestry LE, and also teach you the best methods of searching for your genealogy records.

Registration and fee required ($5 Ridgewood residents and GSBC members; $10 visitors)
Please note that advanced registration is required and classes fill up quickly. Classes are small-scale sessions held at the RPL. Classes that do not receive sufficient advanced registration are subject to cancellation or rescheduling—so don’t delay to reserve your seat! Classes last from 1.0 to 1.5 hours depending on instructor and time for Q&A needed.
“Picturing” Your Research—Finding, Procuring, and Preserving Family Images @ Ridgewood Public Library
Nov 26 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

GSBC Annual Meeting + Presentation
Monday, 26 November, 7 PM
Ridgewood Public Library—All Are Welcome

“Picturing” Your Research—Finding, Procuring, and Preserving Family Images
Your research can come alive with images but working with images can be a daunting prospect for many researchers. In this talk, we’ll look at all three—from the view of a researcher, designer, and photographer, Michelle D. Novak. She will show us how to best scan the images you have, ways to find images in collections to supplement your research, new online resources to help identify those mystery people, and share some tips for protecting the photos and artifacts for future generations. (P.S., It’s her favorite talk!)

This is the perfect talk in the run-up to welcoming family over the holidays—don't miss it! Free and open to the public—all are welcome.

Michelle D. Novak is President of [MND] (, a NYC Brand-Design agency and a graduate of RISD and BU Genealogical Research. She is a Trustee of the Genealogical Society of New Jersey (www.gsnj,org); the Genealogical Society of Bergen County, NJ; Project Administrator for the Early New Jersey Land Records Project (, and is Editor of the GSBC’s national award-winning newsletter, The Archivist.