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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.


Finding Aids, Inventories, and Record Group Descriptions: Why Should I Care?
Apr 26 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

GSBC General Meeting
“Finding Aids, Inventories, and Record Group Descriptions: Why Should I Care?”

Monday, 26 April @ 7pm (EDT)
Free Online Webinar—All Experience Levels are Welcome

Presented by Dr. Michael Lacopo

The answers to difficult genealogical questions are sometimes buried in collections that nobody has researched. How will you find them? Published finding aids are the treasure maps.

REGISTER for this free webinar: >

Dr. Michael D. Lacopo is a retired small-animal veterinarian and professional genealogist born and raised in northern Indiana. Researching since 1980, he has contributed to numerous periodicals and has helped numerous people in their quests to locate their relatives—living and dead. He appeared in USA Today in 2000 discussing genealogy and the proposed destruction of the federal census tabulated in that year. His national lecturing began in Sacramento, CA, at the National Genealogical Society’s conference in 2004, and has continued with several local, state, national, and international conference speaking engagements.

Class: The Ridgewood News Digitized (Virtual Class)
Jun 8 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm

NOTE: The date of this class has changed from Monday, 7 June @ 7:00pm TO Tuesday, 8 June @ 10:30am. Please contact Sarah Kiefer if you have questions or need to modify your existing registration.

Have you been searching in vain for Great-Aunt Edna's obituary? Curious if your Dad scored as many touchdowns as he said he did for the Ridgewood Maroons back in the 1960s? Well now you can by searching the Ridgewood News from 1891–present day on Learn how to find that obituary, news on sports, or the headlines from different time periods.

This class will be held via Zoom. Details will be sent closer to the date of the class. Registration required:

Questions? Contact Sarah Kiefer at 201-670-5600 x135 or

Researching US Citizenship and Immigration Services Records
Jun 28 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Marian Smith
Researching US Citizenship and Immigration Services Records
Monday 28 June, 2021, 7pm
Online and free—all are welcome

Marian Smith presents an overview of three historical eras of US immigration and naturalization records, illustrated with documents of Jewish immigrants. Using a timeline tool (included in the handout), she demonstrates how plotting an immigrant’s life events can identify what records may exist for that particular immigrant and where these records can be found.


Marian Smith retired in 2018 after thirty years as an Historian for the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), later US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). She now speaks to groups on US immigration and nationality records and leads the I&N Records Fortnightly study group.

Lutherpalians & Presbygationalists: Where Did Grandma’s Church Go?
Jul 26 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

GSBC General Meeting
Lutherpalians & Presbygationalists: Where Did Grandma’s Church Go?
Presentation by Dr. David McDonald
Monday, 26 July & 7pm
Online and free—all are welcome. Registration required.

Lutherpalians & Presbygationalists: Where Did Grandma’s Church Go?

Did Grandma play cards? Was alcohol banned in the household? Is Jell-O a food group in your family’s culinary record? Did they start out Catholic, pass through Episcopalianism, and wind up Disciples of Christ? We’ll consider cultural clues for determining a family’s religious heritage, and strategies for finding records of various churches and denominations, locally and a wider basis.


Dr. David McDonald, president of the Association of Professional Genealogists and past president of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, has 45 years’ genealogical research experience. A lecturer for 40 years, he specializes in the Midwest and English research, along with transcontinental migration patterns. He is a nationally-recognized expert on matters of religion and genealogical research. McDonald has served as a Director of the National Genealogical Society and edited the Wisconsin State Genealogical Society Newsletter. He has written for the NGS Quarterly and various state and local societies through the years.



Image Courtesy of Wings and Faces, courtesy of Jocelyn Kinghorn (CC2.0).