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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.


GSBC Extra! What the Heck Does That Say? The Challenge of Difficult Handwriting
Jan 9 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

GSBC Extra!
What the Heck Does That Say? The Challenge of Difficult Handwriting
Presentation by Pam Vestal
Monday, 9 Jan 2023 @ 2pm Eastern
Online and open to all!

Registration required:

One of the biggest hurdles to overcome in genealogy is the seemingly illegible handwriting in our ancestors’ records. Whether you struggle to navigate colonial penmanship that doesn’t even look like English or wrestle with contemporary documents that are poorly written, a few good strategies can make all the difference. We’ll look at more than 20 techniques to help you figure out what the chicken scratches on the page say as well as what the style of writing might reveal about our ancestors.

Pam Vestal is a professional genealogist and speaker who turned her focus to her longtime love of genealogy after a 20-year writing career. Her articles have appeared in the National Genealogical Society Magazine, the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly, and FGS’s Forum magazine, and her lectures take her from coast to coast. Pam specializes in conducting genealogical research and then transforming that information into illustrated stories that even non-genealogists can enjoy.

GSBC Extra! Researching Your New Jersey Revolutionary War Ancestors
Mar 13 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

GSBC Extra! — Online
Researching Your New Jersey Revolutionary War Ancestors
Presentation by Michelle D. Novak, MI (Online)
Monday, 13 Mar 2023 @ 2pm Eastern
Online and open to all, but space is limited!

Online, registration required:

Explore resources (online and off) to get to know more about your Revolutionary War ancestors—whether they were soldiers or civilians. (And if they were from New Jersey, you may be in for some pleasant research surprises!) Michelle D. Novak will share her favorite collections and sites for researching records including Fold3/Ancestry, the New Jersey State Archives, the U.S. National Archives and their digitization partners, and the DAR Library in Washington DC, among others; as well as share some examples from her personal research files.

Michelle D. Novak, MI, is a brand-designer (, historian, genealogist, and teacher. She holds a Masters of Information degree in Archives and Preservation from Rutgers University, a BFA from RISD, a Certificate of Genealogical Research from Boston University’s CE program, and certificates from Gen-Fed and GRIP. Novak is a Trustee for the Genealogical Society of Bergen County (GSBC), New JerseyJ, and a former Trustee of the Genealogical Society of New Jersey (GSNJ). She also served as Grant Administrator for the GSNJ New Jersey Early Land Records Project at the New Jersey State Archives; as editor of the GSBC’s national award-winning newsletter, “The Archivist;” as Chair of the Society of American Archivists Students and New Archival Professionals section; and is involved with numerous transcription, indexing, publicity, and digitization projects.