Empire State Plaza Station

PO Box 2175

Albany, NY 12220-0175


Albany County

Columbia County

Fulton County

Greene County 

Montgomery County 

Rensselaer County

Saratoga County

Schenectady County

Schoharie County

Washington County

Counties Served

Capital District Genealogical Society

Town of Colonie Library is Closed To Meetings and In-Person Events.

Until Further Notice our meetings will be held via Zoom.

Registration for our January Zoom meeting will be open only to members of the Capital District Genealogical Society about the 1st of January. Invitations will be sent to members with a link to register. 

Please see our Meeting and Events page for program and registration information.



Contact Us



Regular meetings are temporarily suspended due to Covid 19 precautions.  Meetings will be held via Zoom until further notice.

Regular Meetings:

Held at William K. Sanford Library

Town of Colonie

629 Albany Shaker Road

Loudonville, NY 12211

4th Saturday of month, except 5th Saturday in 2020 in May for the Conference and the 3rd Saturday of month in November; no meeting in December.

All regular meetings begin at 1:00 PM.

Election of Officers - November

We welcome you to a year of interesting and informative programs at CDGS!

1:00 - 2:30  Meeting and Speaker

During the presentation questions can be submitted using the chat feature on Zoom.  Our speaker will address submitted questions at the end of the presentation.

Temporarily Suspended:

2:30- 3:00Refreshments with meet and mingle time (our

speaker usually is usually available for questions during this time)

3:00 - 3:30  Internet Resources Discussion

Additional Genealogy Related Events in the Capital District

January 23, 2021

Google Earth for Genealogists

This session will NOT be recorded. It is a members only presentation and will not be open to the general public.

Lisa Louise Cooke

In this exciting session you'll learn how to unlock mysteries in your genealogical research: from unidentified photographs, to how an ancestral location looked a hundred years ago or more, to plotting homesteads precisely using land patent legal descriptions. You’ll learn how to interpret the genealogical records you already have in new and exciting ways. Come discover why Google Earth Pro is one of the best free genealogical tools available!

Lisa Louise Cooke is the producer and host of the Genealogy Gems Podcast and the weekly YouTube show Elevenses with Lisa (both available at her website www.GenealogyGems.com.) She’s the author of five books including The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox 3rd Edition, and a podcast producer and instructor and columnist for Family Tree Magazine.

Although the New York State Library remains closed to visitors, they will be offering some upcoming free webinars of interest to genealogists. Here’s the link to register: www.nysl.nysed.gov/programs.

Jewish Genealogical Zoom Presentations

Sunday, January 10 and January 24, 7 pm

Contact: Susan Kugler


Jump Starting Your Family Tree

Have you always wanted to trace your ancestry and didn’t know where to start? Join the Capital Region Jewish Genealogical Society on January 10 to learn how to get started, including a discussion of free and for-pay resources, recommendations on which records are most useful, and practical tips and advice.

Then come back in two weeks on January 24 for a follow-up presentation on how to use DNA testing to help reach back into your family trees. Explore how DNA testing can help break down brick walls by revealing close relatives and distant names and places. Find out which websites offer testing, and what you can learn from your matches.

Register for one or both!

Part 1: Resources and Tips

Jan 10, 2021 07:00 PM

Register in advance for this meeting:


Part 2: How Can DNA testing Help?

Jan 24, 2021 07:00 PM

Register in advance for this meeting:


Presenter: Susan Kugler is the Treasurer/Vice President of the Capital Region Jewish Genealogical Society. She is a life-long resident of East Schodack and considers herself an "advanced amateur" genealogist. Susan will share her expertise and welcomes questions from participants who want to start or continue their genealogical journey

Sponsored by: The Nassau Synagogue and Jewish Community Center

Family History Fanatics

3rd annual A Winter of DNA virtual conference

Saturday, 30th January 2021 

Speakers will be talking about the following:
DNA & Law Enforcement - Marian Woods
GEDmatch Basics - Kitty Cooper
Tracing Ancestral Lines in the 1700s Using DNA - Tim Janzen
A Guide To Chromosome Browsers & DNA Segment Data - Michelle Leonard

The online sessions will begin at 10am Eastern Time on Saturday, 30th January 2021

Early bird registration is only $19.99 until January 22nd. The regular registration price is $24.99. Learn more at the website (https://www.familyhistoryfanatics.com/winterdna) and register today.

RootsTech – February 25-27, 2021.

For the first time RootsTech, presented by FamilySearch International, will be a virtual and completely free online conference. All recordings and videos of speakers and sessions will be available on demand throughout the year. Registration is open now.

Visit:     https://www.rootstech.org/?lang=eng

February 27, 2021

New York State Archives Collections Available Through Ancestry

Jamie Brinkman

The New York State Archives is engaged in another collaboration with Ancestry on the digitization of NYS records, which were released in 2020. CDGS is very pleased to welcome Jamie Brinkman, an experienced archivist, to present on the recently digitized records which include:
• Prison and executive clemency records
• Civil service employment cards
• Grand Army of the Republic post rosters

Jamie will also discuss the unique arrangement that the Archives made with Ancestry that allows NYS residents free access to these and other records without the need of an Ancestry subscription.

Jamie is an archivist who has been with the New York State Archives since 2018. She received both her Bachelors in History and Masters in Library Science from the University at Albany. During her time with the Researcher Services unit at the State Archives, she has assisted with numerous genealogy requests. Helping others find valuable resources inspired a journey into her own genealogy research and use of resources such as the Ancestry.com NY portal.

March 27, 2021

An NGSQ Case Study: DNA Corroborates Oral Tradition
This session will NOT be recorded.

LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson

This lecture is based on a case study that was the lead article in the June 2020 edition of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly. The speaker will provide information needed to make sound decisions on when DNA tests can or should be used in genealogical research, and how to meet the DNA-specific genealogy standards for accuracy and completeness. The lecture will include an overview of available direct-to-consumer tests, a discussion of the elements of a targeted testing plan, and information about analyzing DNA test results.

LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson is a trustee and current president of the Board for Certification of Genealogists®. She is also the Registrar General for the Sons and Daughters of the United States Middle Passage, a national lineage society that honors ancestors who were enslaved in the United States before 1870. She enjoyed a 35-year career as a tax lawyer before her 2013 retirement as a partner from the big four accounting firm of EY, and is now focused on teaching and writing. In addition to publishing in genealogical journals, in 2016 LaBrenda authored a guide for researching African Americans in SC that was hailed in the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s long-running genealogy column as an important model for all counties of South Carolina and other states.

LaBrenda earned a BA from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, and both a Law degree and a Master of Laws degree from New York University. After completing ProGen 13 she was the mentor to ProGen 37, and served as a teaching assistant in Boston University’s Online Genealogical Program from 2016–2019. LaBrenda is a course coordinator at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, and on the faculties of the Genealogical Institute of Pittsburgh, the Genealogical Institute on Federal Records, and the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research.

Additional information about LaBrenda can be found on her website: https://www.LaBGarrettGenealogy.com.

May 22, 2021

Genealogy and German Jews: A Success Story in Reconstituting an Entire Family

Michael Tuteur

Jewish genealogy presents multiple challenges: Before 1800, Jews typically had no last names; records were not kept in family bibles or at the synagogue; and tradition dictated that children were to be named after deceased relatives, leading to many relatives having the same name. Despite these challenges, Jewish genealogy in Germany can yield highly successful results, in part because German society excelled in keeping and maintaining records, even of Jews. This presentation will offer tips and tricks for finding your German Jewish ancestors and relatives (and European Jews generally). It will do so through the lens of a 30-year effort to document and connect all persons who descended from two half-brothers with a unique last name: Tuteur.

April 24, 2021

Unlocking Notation Codes on Alien Passenger Lists
This talk will be recorded but be placed on Members Only page for one month.

Elizabeth Williams Gomoll

Late 19th and early 20th century alien passenger manifests often contain cryptic number and letter codes. Learn how to interpret them and what significant details they can reveal about your ancestor’s immigration and naturalization experience.

Elizabeth Williams Gomoll, CG® received her credential from the Board for Certification of Genealogists. She is president of the Association for Professional Genealogists Northland Chapter, co-editor of Minnesota Genealogist, and a director for the Minnesota Genealogical Society. She is also a member of the National Genealogical Society and several ethnic societies. Liz does research professionally as Red Bird Genealogy Services (www.RedBirdGen.com).

Michael Tuteur has been an amateur genealogist for over 30 years. Michael is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, and is a practicing litigation partner at a national law firm, residing in Boston. Michael has spent countless hours in the U.S. and Germany researching and documenting his ancestors and relatives, all of whom were Jews from German-speaking locations within Europe. Beginning in 1990, Michael committed to uncovering the roots of his own, very unusual last name – a French legal term that appears to have nothing to do with the original “family business” of boiling and manufacturing soap. Michael ultimately established through his research that every person who carries the name “Tuteur” is a descendant of two half-brothers who, in accordance with a Napoleonic decree, first adopted the Tuteur surname in the tiny German town of Winnweiler in October 1808.