March 14, 2017

7:00 PM Melissa Johnson |View the Flyer for this event

Case Studies in New Jersey Genealogy

Melissa A. Johnson, CG, is a professional genealogist specializing in genealogical research, lecturing, writing, editing and publishing. She has expertise in researching families with origins in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and the British Isles.She has worked on several projects for television shows, including Genealogy Roadshow, and Spoorloos, a popular Dutch television series focused on reuniting long-lost relatives. Melissa has assisted many researchers with dual citizenship matters and lineage society memberships. She is also proficient in using DNA test results to break through ancestral brick walls and assist adoptees and others with unknown parentage.

She is the Editor of NGS Monthly�and writes two articles�for the publication each month.�She is�also�the Reviews Editor of the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly (APGQ), and is the editor of the GSNJ Newsletter, a publication of the Genealogical Society of New Jersey. Melissa has taken genealogy courses at Boston University, Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA (GRIP), Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research, Samford University, Birmingham, AL, Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, British Institute, Salt Lake City, UT, Forensic Genealogy Institute, National Institute of Genealogical Research, Washington D.C..

April 11, 2017

7:00 PM David Kendall |View the Flyer for this event

When Descendants become Ancestors

As we research our own ancestors and mourn the lack of information available to us, we forget that we are the future ancestors of our descendants. And if we don't leave to them the kinds of information about our lives that we crave to know about our own forefathers, then we are merely perpetuating the problem.

Dr. Kendall is the author of the recently published When Descendants Become Ancestors: The Flip Side of Genealogy. Raised in a small tourist village in northern New York, where he has returned in retirement, Dr. Kendall spent thirty years educating professional counselors. His life experiences amid studies in history, genealogy, and gerontology, coupled with his belief in the innate wisdom of every individual, have inspired this writing.

May 9, 2017

7:00 PM Michael Cassara View the Flyer for this event

Cemetery Crowdsourcing

Cemeteries are often an invaluable resource for a genealogist: they provide information that might not exist elsewhere and offer family researchers an opportunity to stumble upon new ancestors - sometimes quite literally! The important records found in cemeteries and cemetery offices have never been more readily available than they are at present and, with many community and crowdsourcing movements underway, the number of available records are growing exponentially every day, regardless of where you might live in proximity to them. The advent of the digital age has completely redefined what is possible in terms of genealogical research using cemeteries and cemetery records. Today we will learn how to contribute to these invaluable collections - and learn how to use the most popular graveyard/cemetery websites. We'll explore BillionGraves, Find A Grave, mobile apps, programs and strategies to further your own family history via cemetery research.
This talk will be presented by Michael Cassara, a New York-based professional genealogist and popular conference speaker. Michael holds a Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University, and writes about genealogical topics on his website/blog: He is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), the Genealogical Speakers Guild (GSG), and the Italian Genealogical Group (IGG).

Tammy Hepps is the creator of and past winner of the RootsTech Innovator Challenge. She is recognized for her fresh perspective on combining creative research, cutting-edge technology, and meaningful storytelling to make family history more engaging.

June 13, 2017

7:00 PM Gordon Thomas Ward View the Flyer for this event

Historic Haunts of Central Jersey

A presentation that has stories, photos, and audio evidence from his investigations related to his book (Ghosts of Central Jersey: Historic Haunts of the Somerset Hills (The History Press, September 2008). He may even perform his song about the ghost of the Parker Tavern.

Gordon Thomas Ward is a writer, presenter, and educator. Born in Tacoma, Washington, Mr. Ward's family moved to New Jersey when he was eleven months old. Both of his parents were talented artists and enjoyed the outdoors, and his family divided their time between the family�s home in Bernardsville, New Jersey, and a summer cottage in Maine. After high school, Mr. Ward went on to major in fine arts and psychology at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, New Jersey, where his father was a professor. Gordon currently divides his professional time between writing, lecturing, and being the Family and Youth Minister at a Presbyterian church.� He has worked as a history teacher in the classroom and as a group transformation facilitator in the experiential education field where he designed and facilitated teambuilding programs for twenty-two years. Clients have ranged from education groups in international conference settings to major corporations, government groups, athletic teams, community groups, and individuals. A lifelong writer, Mr. Ward�s works have included books, speeches, newspaper and magazine articles, and poetry. Gordon is the author of Life on the Shoulder: Rediscovery and Inspiration along the Lewis and Clark Trail (Lucky Press 2005) and a self-published book of original poetry entitled Windows (1994). A Bit of Earth (The History Press 2007) brings the author back to the land where he spent his childhood. With echoes of Wordsworth and Thoreau, A Bit of Earth is a timeless meditation on the meaning of childhood. Mr. Ward is a member of Haunted New Jersey, a premier group of paranormal investigators who make use of many years' worth of experience and the collection of forensic-based evidence to both dismiss and support claims of hauntings, especially in historic locations. As a result, Mr. Ward's latest book Ghosts of Central Jersey: Historic Haunts of the Somerset Hills (The History Press, September 2008) is about ghostly phenomena at historic locations in New Jersey.� Also in the works is a manuscript entitled Tracing Infinity: Following Life's Sacred Signs that is more spiritual in nature and deals with sensing and experiencing the divine in the world around us. The author currently resides in northern New Jersey where he continually pursues his other passions for songwriting and running.

July 11, 2017

7:00 PM Jeff Macechak View the Flyer for this event

Colonial America

Jeffrey Macechak is the Education Director at the Burlington County Historic Society. It will be a "hands on" demonstration.

August 8, 2017

7:00 PM Francoise Lampe View the Flyer for this event

Genealogy in France and in the French Province of Quebec

The focus is on sharing my research experience and identifying resources available on line to locate French and French Canadian ancestors. Born and raised in the Champagne region of France,

Francoise Lampe has researched her ancestors dating back to the early 1600's. She has shared her experience with several genealogy clubs with presentations focusing on resources available online to locate French and French Canadian ancestors. Her research has taken her to the French National Archives in Paris and to her region departmental archives. She participates in the genealogy programs at Founders Hall in Ridgefield, CT and is a member of the Genealogy Club of Newtown, CT. She is also an active member of a volunteer genealogy association of the Champagne region in France which photographs, indexes and digitizes vital records as well as census and military records and makes them available online free of charge. She regularly attends the meetings of this association during travel to France. In addition to researching her own French roots, Francoise has done extensive research on her husband's German ancestors. She has shared that experience and lectured on researching both German and American online resources and on techniques to use in overcoming some of the unique challenges of German genealogy.

September 12, 2017

7:00 PM Michelle Chubenko View the Flyer for this event

Discovering Your Immigrant Origins

Michelle Chubenko has over 24 years experience in researching families in New Jersey, Maryland, southwest Virginia, and Oklahoma/Indian Territory. Michelle has presented genealogical lectures to audiences on a local, county, state and national level and also via online chat sessions. Another exciting and wonderful experience for Michelle was the research completed for the Brooke Shields' episode for NBC's show "Who Do You Think You Are?" which also led to the opportunity to appear in the actual filming of the episode. She is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, other local and ethnic genealogical societies and active in local history organizations. In 2011, she was appointed to the Middlesex County Heritage & Cultural Commission. In December 2013, she became the co-coordinator for the Ukrainian Historical & Educational Center'sFamily History Group.

October 10, 2017

7:00 PM History Month View the Flyer for this event

Members share about an ancestor

November 14, 2017

7:00 PM Rich Venezia View the Flyer for this event

Italian Americans: Find Your Roots in the Old Country

Rich Venezia is a New Jersey native who now calls Pittsburgh home, with roots in Italy, Ireland, England, Wales, and Prussia. He started Rich Roots Genealogy in 2013, and credits his maternal grandmother for his passion for family history. He has been a member of the research team of Genealogy Roadshow (PBS) for two seasons and consulted on Follow Your Past (Travel Channel). He specializes in twentieth-century immigrant ancestry, and often conducts on-site research for clients with Italian and Irish ancestry. He also assists with dual-citizenship applications for Ireland and Italy. He is President of North Hills Genealogists and holds a Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University.
Learn the basics of Italian records, what's available and where, and tips and tricks for finding elusive ancestors. Discover your famiglia and make Nonna proud!
Italian-Americans and Italian immigration patterns are placed into context, and a concise history of modern Italy is given so as to understand genealogical records available during different timeframes. Brief suggestions are given regarding finding the place of Italian origin, but the meat of this presentation lies in the Italian records themselves. The lecture covers:
- Record availability
- Timeline of records
- Stato Civile records (births, deaths, marriages, marriage banns, allegati, and atti diversi)
- Church records
- What's available online vs. what's available only in Italy

December 12, 2017

7:00 PM Family Roundtables View the Flyer for this event

March 13, 2018

7:00 PM Cathy Ivins View the Flyer for this event

Genetic Genealogy: DNA for Newbies, Wannabes and Crackerjacks

The popularity of DNA analysis flourishes with witty television promotion, and affordable at-home kits. But the value to genealogists is more than just prediction of ethnicity. It can boost your family tree research, break through a brick wall, and help find biological families. It can confirm your findings obtained through traditional genealogy research, and even provide your personal health information. Our speaker will take us step by step in determining the right test and testing company for our needs, decoding the mysterious results, using third-party tools, and creating skeleton trees to link to our DNA as "cousin bait." Whether you are a NEWBIE and need help understanding your results and what to do with them, a WANNABE curious what DNA can do for you, or a CRACKERJACK that can share your knowledge and experience during the program, we hope to see you on March 13th.

Speaker: Cathy Ivins, Genetic Genealogist

Cathy Ivins is a charter member of BCGS as well as its Director of Publicity for the last three years. An Instructional Assistant for the Bristol Township School District by day, she has been researching her family history for over 12 years. Cathy completed the Practical Genetic Genealogy course at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, taught by CeCe Moore and Blaine Bettinger, as well as Fundamentals of Forensic Genealogy, taught by Michael Ramage and other experts in the field. Cathy has benefited tremendously from DNA testing and hopes to encourage others to "give a spit!"

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