PO Box 2175      


ESP Station

Albany, NY  12220

The Capital District Genealogical Society was organized in 1981 with the following purpose:

  • To teach members and other interested persons how to trace their family roots, lineage, or heritage
  • To provide help to those seeking information via queries on relatives and/or family who in the past had connections to the Capital District and adjacent counties
  • To educate the general public and membership by conducting special programs relevant to the purpose of the Society
  • To coordinate the interests and concerns of persons and/or organizations throughout the Capital District area, New York State and the country in the development of information and resources to better serve the purpose of the Society, the membership and the public at large.

The CDGS is positioned to have access to resources critical for genealogical research.

The Capital District of New York State is home to many records at the city, county and state levels.

The NYS Cultural Education Center in Albany, home to The NYS Library, NYS Museum, & NYS Archives is considered one of the top genealogy repositories in the country. It houses a variety of records, such as church records, local histories, published genealogies, DAR source publications, military publications, census films for federal and state enumerations, city directories and statewide newspapers.

The NYS Archives has New York State Department of Health vital records indexes, one of only eight locations at which the indexes may be read in person. It’s also a great place to look for military records, tax records, early wills and even the ledgers that hold Department of Corrections information. The NYS Library website is available at http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/.

The Capital District Genealogical Society maintains a genealogy support desk at the Library operated by our volunteers. they are on duty Monday - Friday. A list of researchers for more extensive research assistance is maintained by CDGS and available upon request.

In this historic area at the confluence of the Hudson and Mohawk rivers, several counties are very close together, each with a unique collection of church records, cemetery records, surname files and more. County courthouses are important sources of information, such as probate records, real estate records and sometimes naturalization paperwork. Within an hour’s drive are the counties of: Albany, Columbia, Rensselaer, Fulton, Greene, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, and Washington. Most, if not all, have active Historical Societies or county records offices such as the Albany County Hall of Records.

Questions?    Contact us by email:

General Information:    contactcdgs@cdgsny.org

Sign in issues:   support@cdgsny.org

Membership membership@cdgsny.org

Meetings/Zoom: contactcdgs@cdgsny.org

Newsletter:      newsletter@cdgsny.org

Research/Lookups: research@cdgsny.org

Conference 2021:  conference@cdgsny.org

send us a letter at     

Capital District Genealogical Society

 PO Box 2175

 Empire State Plaza Station

Albany, NY.  12220 

C o n t a c t   U s

Q. When and where does CDGS meet?
A. CDGS meets every month, except December. Our meeting are held on the fourth Saturday of each month except May and November when we meet on the third Saturday because of holiday weekends. We meet in the Stedman Room of the William K. Sanford Town Library in Colonie, NY (629 Albany Shaker Road). Occasionally we "extend our horizons a little" and meet in a neighboring city or village to visit a location of special interest.

Q. What are the annual dues to become a member of CDGS?
A. Dues are a very reasonable $15.00 (if paying by check) and $16 (if paying by credit card or PayPal) annually through 2021 and will increase to $25 (if paying by check) and $26 (if paying by credit card or PayPal) in 2022. Membership is on a calendar year basis, January 1 to December 31.

Q. Can I attend a meeting if I am not a member of the Society?
A. Yes! our meetings are free and all are open to the public. We invite anyone interested in family history to join us.

Q. What are the benefits of membership in the CDGS?

A. Members receive four issues of the 16 page CDGS Newsletter and enjoy unlimited free queries in that newsletter. The newsletter includes updates on local, state, and national genealogical topics, unpublished records when they are available, queries and notice of meetings, summaries of our meetings including speaker presentations, and all of the online links discussed in the computer portion of our meetings. In addition members can obtain access to the members only section of our website where past newsletters are posted in pdf format, full speaker handouts are reproduced (with our speaker's permission), and working links of our internet presentations.

Q. What happens at a CDGS meeting?
A. General meetings start at 1 pm with announcements, genealogy discovery moments, and call for first time attendees. The program follows with a featured speaker.
At approx. 2:30 we have a short break with refreshments provided. This allows for an opportunity to meet and greet, ask private questions of our speaker, pay your dues, use the ASK ME service, and meet new friends. Members with blue name tags are members of our Executive Board of Trustees, feel free to ask us just about anything.
At 3pm the computer group meets. This is a presentation by a member or members of CDGS about websites and other computer information of interest to genealogy enthusiasts. You are welcome to attend part or all of a meeting.
Once a year we dedicate an entire meeting to Internet Research Day. On this day we throw out the timeline and work exclusively with you from 10am - 4pm. Volunteers bring their computers (and some printers) to the library and the entire day is devoted to working with people one-to-one helping them find their ancestors (or at the very least websites that will help them find their ancestors). Come and go anytime you want during the 10am - 4pm time period. Spend a half hour with us- or an hour - or more.

Q. How can you help me if I don't live in the Capital District region?
A. The genealogical history of the Capital District is deep, rich, and varied. Important waterways including the Hudson River, Mohawk River, Schoharie Creek, Erie-Barge Canal and significant rail transport brought settlers from afar to, and through, this area. Claimed by the Dutch in 1609, the first European settlement was in 1614. History was made here. Wars were fought here. People came, lived, fought, had families, and died here; leaving behind priceless records. Many of those families moved on, but their history is here. We have volunteers who will do limited research for you and/or will provide a list of genealogists in the area, and we have wonderful & informative newsletters and members only page. We have members who live as far away as Alaska, California, Arizona, Florida and everyplace in-between. If you don't live near the resources in the Capital District, contact us and we will try our best to help you.  The Covid19 pandemic gave us the impetus to Zoom meeting our speaker presentations.  We are maintaining ( when our contracts allow) a library of these videos on our "members only" page.

Q. How can I find out more?
A. Topics of meetings and speakers are announced in our Newsletter, in local newspapers and on our website, www.capitaldistrictgenealogicalsociety.org. You can also contact us by email at contactcdgs@cdgsny.org

Q. Where is your office?
A. CDGS does not have it’s own office or library; Volunteers work daily with people who are researching their genealogy at our desk in the Genealogy and Local History area of the New York State Library, located on the 7th floor of the Cultural Education Center at the Empire State Plaza, 222 Madison Avenue in downtown Albany.

Frequently Asked Questions

Board of Governors


President: Margaret Lanoue

Vice-President: David Dewald

Treasurer: Patricia Carey

Corresponding Secretary: OPEN

Recording Secretary: Suzanne Mackey


Tom Amyot 

Ellen D'Aniello

Denise Eisele

Andrea Kelly

Megan O'Toole

William Parker

Beth Snyder

Deborah Wentz

Christopher White



Newsletter: Melissia Mason

Mailing: William & Daphne Thompson

NYS Library Volunteers: Terri Moran

Programs: Ellen D'Aniello & Tina Post

Publicity: Christopher White

Computer Resources: David DeWald

Albany County

Columbia County

Fulton County

Greene County 

Montgomery County 

Rensselaer County

Saratoga County

Schenectady County

Schoharie County

Washington County

Counties Served