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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.


New Jersey was a Gateway to Freedom: Its role in the Underground Railroad @ Ridgewood Public Library
Sep 23 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

GSBC General Meeting
Monday, 23 September 2019, 7pm
Ridgewood Public Library Auditorium

Alvin Q. Corbett

New Jersey was a Gateway to Freedom: Its role in the Underground Railroad

Curious about the New Jersey’s role in the abolitionist movement and how the trail of safe houses and routes ferrying slaves from the southern states to freedom in the north worked? Alvin Corbett will provide an overview of this extensive network that eventually became known as the "Underground Railroad."

Alvin Q. Corbett, who was born and raised in Wilson, North Carolina, is a historian, educator and lecturer. Corbett holds a bachelor's degree from North Carolina A&T State University and a master's from Stevens Institute of Technology. He served as Vice President of Board of Directors for the Underground Railroad Museum of Burlington County, NJ (2014-2017); has been invited to be a visiting scholar at New Jersey's Rutgers University; is an active member of the Salem and Camden County, NJ Historical Societies; and is a friend of the Peter Mott Underground Railroad Museum of Lawnside, NJ. Corbett also served as Assistant Curator for the Mattye Reed African-American Heritage Museum on the campus of North Carolina Agricultural & Technical (A&T) State University in Greensboro, NC. In 1984, Corbett became one of the first museum digital archivist in the country.

Corbett created, "Jack Sherrod LIVES!" which is an educational art experience showcasing Jack Sherrod's evolution from a slave, to a Civil War Union soldier, and ultimately, a free landowner in Wayne County, North Carolina. Sherrod descendant, Alvin Corbett, created Jack Sherrod LIVES! to engage the community in African-American history; to honor and preserve Sherrod family heritage; and to share the extraordinary life and legacy of his great-great-grandfather, Jack Sherrod.

Corbett also served as a speaker at Rutgers University's Global Timbuctoo Symposium on the topic of the Logistics of the Underground Railroad.

Free and open to the public—all are welcome!

Your Ancestor Paid Taxes, Too @ Ridgewood Public Library
Oct 28 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

GSBC General Meeting
Monday, 28 October 2019, 7pm
Ridgewood Public Library Auditorium

Joseph Lieby, PhD

Your Ancestor Paid Taxes, Too

What do tax records tell us about your ancestor and where can we find those records?

Joseph Lieby, PhD, was the President of the Palatines to America: National German Genealogy Society. He retired as a school district administrator, and has over twenty years experience in genealogical research in the New York, New Jersey area. He has spoken at national and regional societies and has published articles on his research interests in his blog,, and in the New York Palatines newsletter of which he is the editor.

Free and open to the public—all are welcome!

New Jersey Probate Records @ Ridgewood Public Library
Nov 25 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

GSBC General Meeting
Monday, 25 November 2019, 7pm
Ridgewood Public Library Auditorium

Melissa A. Johnson, CG

New Jersey Probate Records

In this lecture, attendees will learn about the probate and administration processes in New Jersey and the abundance of records they can create. The lecture will cover estate records from the proprietary period to the present, uses for establishing kinship, research strategies, key locations of records, and more.

Melissa A. Johnson, CG, is a Certified Genealogist® specializing in genealogical research, lecturing, writing, editing and publishing. She has expertise in researching families with origins in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, England and Poland. Melissa has extensively researched the families of many of New Jersey’s first settlers, including those from Newark and Elizabeth(town). She is an expert in New Jersey genealogy research, and frequently teaches on NJ genealogy topics through the New Jersey Family History Institute. She is also proficient in using DNA test results to break through ancestral brick walls and assist adoptees and others with unknown parentage.

Free and open to the public—all are welcome!