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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.


The Great Hunger in Ireland (1845–1852) @ Ridgewood Public Library
Feb 24 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

GSBC General Meeting
Monday, 24 February 2020, 7pm
Ridgewood Public Library Auditorium

Tom Riley

The Great Hunger in Ireland (1845–1852)

Join the GSBC as we welcome Tom Riley for the second of two talks. Free and open to the public—all are welcome.

The Great Hunger In Ireland (1845–1852) saw the population of Ireland decrease from nine million people to below five million in seven years. Approximately 1.2 million people died of starvation, 2.8 million immigrated to Europe, Australia, Canada, and America—with the U.S. receiving the bulk of the immigrants. About 40% of those coming to Canada and America died of disease en route and were buried at sea.

Tom Riley grew up in a broken home in New York and he and his siblings were raised in the foster care system—which spurred his interest in the Orphan Trains. During his professional career with the YMCA, health clubs, and the U.S. Post Office,he worked part-time as a writer and photographer while raising a family. Riley has written more than 2,800 articles and 10 books. He has also presented numerous lectures at libraries, colleges, and other organizations. Four of his ten books are about the Orphan Train Era (1853–1929). In addition, he has been a freelance writer for Rivertown Magazine since 2008.

As a crucial part of his efforts to raise awareness about the history and legacy of the Orphan Trains, Tom is creating an Online New York State Orphan Train Museum via his Patreon page. Patrons of this museum will receive online access to many of Tom’s books, articles, photos, and other memorabilia. In addition, one third of the proceeds will go towards helping Wounded Warriors, Feeding the Hungry and establishing an expanded and beautiful Online Orphan Train Museum. For more information about this museum or to become a patron, please check out the link below:

Free and open to the public—all are welcome.
[Image of the Irish Famine Memorial, Dublin, courtesy of William Murphy.]
The History of the Irish in New Jersey @ Ridgewood Public Library
Mar 9 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Monday, 9th March @ 7pm
Ridgewood Public Library Belcher Auditorium
Dr. Alan Delozier, Seton Hall University
Sponsored by the Bolger Heritage Center, Ridgewood Public Library

The History of the Irish in New Jersey

This program will look at the varied and invaluable contributions made by the Irish from the founding years of the Garden State from the Colonial-era to the present day. A look at the development of Hibernian-centered influence will be traced through the individuals, families, events, milestones, and other memorable facets that makes the story of Irish New Jersey special. Guest speaker Dr. Alan Delozier from Seton Hall University.

All welcome, no registration required.

That Other DNA Test—Understanding and Using Y-DNA @ Ridgewood Public Library
Mar 23 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

GSBC General Meeting
Monday, 23 March 2020, 7pm
Ridgewood Public Library Auditorium

Skip Duett

That Other DNA Test—Understanding and Using Y-DNA

Learn the basics of the science and how to apply Y-DNA to help identify direct male lines throughout your family tree. Understand how to effectively evaluate your Y-DNA matches.

Skip Duett has been actively researching in Upstate New York since 1995 and has extensive experience in Onondaga, Madison, Montgomery, and surrounding counties. He has a particular interest in Palatine immigrants to the Mohawk Valley in the early-mid 1700s; has very strong DNA research skills; and is a published author "The Mohawk Valley Ehles and Allied Families" (2003), documenting over 4,200 descendants of three early Ehle immigrants to Montgomery County, NY.

Free and open to the public—all are welcome.

[Image courtesy of Andy Leppard.]

Historical Highlights of New Jersey Counties @ Ridgewood Public Library
Apr 11 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

Saturday, 11 April @ 2pm
Belcher Auditorium, Ridgewood Public Library
Historian Phil Jaeger
Sponsored by the Bolger Heritage Center, Ridgewood Public Library

Historical Highlights of New Jersey Counties

Historian Phil Jaeger focuses on historical highlights of New Jersey's 21 counties. Sites and events include: deserted villages, a castle, the country's oldest seaside hotel, canals, railroads, America's first coast-to-coast highway and “the trial of the century.”

All welcome, no registration required.

GSBC 2020 Seminar: Maureen Taylor, The Photo Detective®—A Three-Lecture Program @ Ridgewood Public Library Auditorium
Apr 18 @ 9:30 am – 3:00 pm

GSBC 2020 Seminar

Maureen Taylor, The Photo Detective: A Three-Lecture Program

Saturday, 18 April 2020, 9:30 am–3:00 pm
Ridgewood Public Library Auditorium, Ridgewood, NJ

Join the GSBC as we welcome internationally known photo expert and speaker Maureen Taylor for a full day of talks about family photos: how to identify, understand, and preserve them. Whether you are organizing photos as part of your family research or enjoy old photos—this day and these talks are not to be missed!

9:30 am—Coffee and Welcome 

Identifying and Dating Family Photographs
An interactive lecture on discovering who’s who in family pictures. Learn 10 easy steps for naming those unidentified pictures tucked away in shoeboxes.

Buns, Beards, Bodices, and Bustles: Understanding Ancestors Through Clothing
Ancestral fashions and the industry that produced them left behind a fascinating legacy of images and information.

Preserving Family Photographs—1839 to the Present
From daguerreotypes to digital imaging dilemmas, this in-depth seminar covers everything a family photographer needs to know about caring for photographs. Topics include printing and sharing digital images, and how to safely label your grandparents’ pictures.

Seminar includes beverages and light refreshments, an option to add a box lunch, chance to win one of our wonderful door prizes, and a Q&A session with Maureen Taylor!

Type of Registration Per Person
GSBC Member Early-Bird (Registration before 18 March*) $40
Non-Member Early-Bird (Registration before 18 March*) $50
GSBC Member (Registration after 18 March) $45
Non-Member (Registration after 18 March) $55

ADD Boxed Lunch—Choice of Sandwich (Beverages will be available.)
Turkey and cheese, chips, fruit
Ham and swiss, chips, fruit
Roast beef, chips, fruit
Roast vegetables and mozzarella, chips, fruit
Gluten-free wrap (specify filling from above choices)

ADD GSBC Membership 
Join and select the GSBC Member Registration price!

* Online sale or postmarked mail-in form.


Ridgewood Public Library Auditorium
125 N. Maple Avenue, Ridgewood, NJ 07450
(201) 670-5600

Google Maps:

Free parking is available in the lower parking lot. Meters in effect for street-parking. 
The Ridgewood Public Library and Auditorium are handicap-accessible. 

Early-Bird Pricing, Refund, and Cancellation Policy

Early-Bird Pricing is in effect before 18 March, one month before the Seminar. Mail-in forms must be postmarked on or before 18 March. Online pricing will change midnight, 18 March.

Refunds for cancelled registrations will be issued up to one month before the event, or 18 March 2020. Refund requests after this date are at the discretion of the GSBC and Seminar Chair.

In case of a speaker or venue cancellation, refunds will be issued for paid event fees.  

Questions? Contact the Seminar Chair Lauren Maehrlein, MA, at or (201) 446-9642.