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GSBC Meetings, Special Events, and Classes

GSBC Meetings

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. Light refreshments and speaker handouts provided. 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 each year, including our popular 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.

Ridgewood Public Library Programs & Classes

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.

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.


Forty Days in Italy Con Mia Familia @ Ridgewood Public Library
Feb 26 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

February Program + GSBC General Meeting
Monday, 26 February, 7 PM
Ridgewood Public Library

Anthony Fasano
Forty Days in Italy Con Mia Familia:
How to Research Your Italian Roots & Travel to Italy on Your Own Terms

Anthony Fasano, author of Forty Days in Italy Con Mia Familia, the story of how he researched his Italian roots, learned Italian and planned his visit to his discovered family in Italy will discuss his journey.

About the Book:
When people asked Anthony Fasano about his nationality, he always replied, "I'm Italian," without understanding the depths of what that meant. After 35 years of saying this, and with the birth of his third child and the aging of his grandparents, he decided that vague response wasn't good enough anymore. He decided he was going to learn everything he could about his Italian family roots. Over the next two years he:

– Recorded countless conversations with elder relatives about their recollection of the family history;
– Researched online genealogies and built a full family tree with images and documentation;
– Found and connected with living Italian relatives in both Naples and Sicily;
– Learned how to speak conversational Italian
– Planned and embarked on a life-changing 40-day trip to Italy with his wife and young children, to meet his newfound relatives for the first time.

The good news is that, like you, Anthony isn't an expert in any of these fields, but he was still able to navigate them—and now he wants to help you do the same.

The first part of this book provides step-by-step guidelines for researching your family roots, learning Italian, and planning a voyage of discovery trip to Italy. The second part of the book takes you on Anthony's 40-day Italy trip so you can feel the emotional roller coaster that is connecting with your Italian relatives or simply visiting your ancestral villages. Now, every Italian American can experience the feeling of reconnecting with la famiglia.

About Anthony Fasano. P.E.:
Anthony Fasano. P.E. is an expert in the fields of career development for engineers as well as content marketing. He has created several successful content brands and podcasts which have been downloaded millions of times including The Engineering Career Coach podcast, The Civil Engineering Podcast, The Stem Cell Podcast and most recently The Italian American Podcast. His book Engineer Your Own Success, originally self-published, was picked up by Wiley Press who published a new edition in 2015. His latest book The Content Marketing Equation is due out in early 2017. Fasano has also co-authored a series of children’s books with his 8-year-old daughter entitled Purpee the Purple Dragon. They have delivered hundreds of the books to pediatric cancer centers around the United States. His work can be found at

Free and open to the public—all are welcome. GSBC Membership ($20 per year) is encouraged to help support programming and events.

GSBC Speaker: “Picturing” Your Research @ The David Library of the American Revolution
Mar 3 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

“Picturing” Your Research—Finding, Procuring, and Preserving Images
Saturday, 3 March @ The David Library of the American Revolution, 10am
Michelle D. Novak, Trustee, Genealogical Society of New Jersey (GSNJ) and The Genealogical Society of Bergen County, NJ (GSBC)

GSBC and GSNJ Trustee Michelle Novak will be giving two talks—one in February (at the New Jersey State Library) and in March (at the meeting of the Bucks County Genealogical Society). These talks are related but independent topics on organizing and preserving your research and family photos for future generations. Both talks were delivered at the 2017 National Genealogical Society Family History Conference in Raleigh, NC.

"'Picturing' Your Research" will take place at the meeting of the Bucks County Genealogical Society held at the David Library the American Revolution. (Please visit the website for more information.

“Picturing” Your Research

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 places, and share some tips for protecting the photos and artifacts for future generations. Whether you have 5,000 family photos or just five, you won't want to miss this talk! 

(FYI, this is her favorite talk!)

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; the Genealogical Society of Bergen County, NJ; and is Editor of the GSBC’s national award-winning newsletter, "The Archivist."

Hosted by the Bucks County (PA) Genealogical Society. Tickets (available at the door) are $5 for BucksGen members; $10 for non-members.

Class: Internet Genealogy @ Ridgewood Public Library
Mar 5 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Class: Internet Genealogy
Monday March 5th at 7pm
Instructor: Steve Gabai
Ridgewood Public Library 

Learn how to use the Internet to find records, family information, and known and unknown relatives.

Registration and payment required. $5 for Ridgewood residents and GSBC members; $10 for others.

BCC ILR Course: Genealogy—Researching Your Family Tree @ Bergen Community College
Mar 20 @ 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Join GSBC Trustee and Education Chair Fred Voss for an exciting course at the Institute for Learning in Retirement (ILR) at Bergen Community College (note that ILR is for registrants 55 and older). Registration opens on 7 February, 10am (see links below). Contact the college at 201-447-7156 or for more information.

Genealogy: Researching Your Family Tree (IR–026)

More and more people are interested in their family's past. This course covers both methodology and the basics of searching records in the US such as census and vital records. We will discuss both traditional and online resources—therefore, students must be familiar with navigating the Internet.

This course is sponsored by the Genealogical Society of Bergen County.

Tuesdays: March 20, March 27, April 10, May 1 2018
Room: TBA
Time: 12:00–2:00 p.m.

Instructor: Fred Voss
Online Catalog:
Registration Opens: Wednesday, 6 September 2017 10:00am; Online registration only;

Information and registration via the ILR web site at


Up the North River: An Overview of Pre-1800 Hudson Valley Ethnic Groups & Religions @ Ridgewood Public Library
Mar 26 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

March Program + GSBC General Meeting
Monday, 26 March, 7 PM
Ridgewood Public Library

Jane E. Wilcox
Up the North River: An Overview of Pre-1800 Hudson Valley Ethnic Groups & Religions

The Hudson (North) River valley was an ethnic and religious melting pot long before the late nineteenth century immigrant influx. Find out who was in the New York/New Jersey area in the beginning. You will be surprised!

About Jane E. Wilcox:

I've been digging around and rooting out ancestors practically my whole life--having learned genealogy on my DAR-researcher grandmother's lap 40+ years ago. I'm fascinated by who our forebears were--their lives, society, politics, education, religion. I want to find out what influences operated in their lives. My degrees in history, journalism and education provide an academic foundation for my work in genealogy, with my specialties being researching people and their times and writing their stories. As I research a family, it seems to me that the ancestors want their stories to be told.

Wilcox serves as contributing editor of The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record and hosts a weekly podcast at She is an frequent speaker at regional and national conferences.

Free and open to the public—all are welcome. GSBC Membership ($20 per year) is encouraged to help support programming and events.

Image: Spencer Collection, The New York Public Library. "Hudson." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 25, 2018.

Class: Census Records @ Ridgewood Public Library
Apr 17 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Class: Census Records
April 17th at 7pm
Ridgewood Public Library
Instructor: Fred Voss

Every ten years since 1790, the United States has done a national census. These records provide some of the best and most interesting information about ancestors. Find out what information is available as well as tricks for finding "missing" relatives. Instructor Fred Voss is a professional genealogist, educator and a volunteer tour guide at Ellis Island National Park. His talk will explore where these records can be found, what information is stored on these pages, and strategies on how to get the most out of these records.

Registration and payment required. $5 for Ridgewood residents and GSBC members; $10 for visitors

Class: Using @ Ridgewood Public Library
Apr 21 @ 10:30 am – 11:45 am

Class: Using
Saturday April 21st at 10:30am
Ridgewood Public Library

Instructor: Judy Kenney

Learn about the wealth of records and research help available free on In addition to millions of digitized records, discover full-text books, hundreds of research videos, and thousands of articles to help you in your research. Learn how to search more effectively and how to use the many other features on the site.

Registration and fee required (Ridgewood and GSBC members $5; Visitors $10)

AncestryDNA Results and How I Use Them @ Ridgewood Public Library
Apr 23 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

April Program + GSBC General Meeting
Monday, 23 April, 7 PM
Ridgewood Public Library

Russ Worthington
AncestryDNA Results and How I Use Them

Join Russ Worthington as he walks though the AncestryDNA Website showing how to use the results to answer a specific genealogy question.

About Russ Worthington 
Russ is well known to FHIG [Family History Interest Group] audiences, and in the wider genealogy world. Worthington started ‘collecting his ancestors’ over 16 years ago and has since traveled from Maryland to Maine visiting cemeteries and archives, finding cousins and headstones, and taking photographs in search of family history information. He has become an enthusiastic user of Google Hangouts for family history discussions and tutorials, blogs regularly on genealogy topics and on the use of the computer genealogy program Family Tree Maker, and relishes opportunities to attend and present at genealogy conferences nationwide.

Free and open to the public—all are welcome. GSBC Membership ($20 per year) is encouraged to help support programming and events.