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


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.

Computer Resources Group meets 3:00 PM

Election of Officers - November

Donations Needed

CDGS has a "sale" table set up during the meeting, bring any genealogy magazine, maps and/or books and put a price on them, it is 50/50, you get half of the sale, or you can donate your half to the society.

Our inventory is low at the moment so if you have any genealogical journals or books you would like to donate they would be appreciated.

1:00 - 2:30  Meeting and Speaker

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

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

January 25, 2020

Michael P. Barrett

Anti-Rent War: 1839 to 1869

If you had family in New York State in the mid 1800’s then you won’t want to miss our January presentation on “The Anti-Rent War: 1839 to 1869.” For more than a half-century following the American Revolution, over 10% of the NYS population lived on leasehold property that they could not purchase from members of the landed aristocracy. These owners jealously guarded their rights to perpetual ownership, which traced from original Dutch or Royal land grants, and would allow only rental leases, often on onerous terms, to their farming tenants.
The Anti-Rent movement gained momentum upon the death of leading landlord Stephen Van Rensselaer in 1839. The initial lack of financial and political power led the resisters to adopt the Boston Tea Party tactic of “Indian” disguise in order to stymie law enforcement and eviction. Politicians and liberal thinkers adopted the cause, and it became one of the most important legal and social issues of the turbulent pre-Civil War period. Thirty years of armed resistance, terror, imprisonment and strife swept across 16 counties of upstate New York.
On a national level, the War indirectly led to the founding of the Republican Party and to the passage of the federal Homestead Act, which opened the West to settlement. Ironically, here in NY, neither the landlords nor the tenants could ever claim a true victory, as both sides were forced to eat bitter fruit in the eventual resolutions of the disputes.

Michael P. Barrett earned a B.S. in Criminal Science at Russell Sage College, while working as a police officer for the City of Troy, NY. He went on to earn a Juris Doctor degree from the Western New England University School of Law, in Springfield, Massachusetts. He is presently employed as Executive Director of the Hudson Mohawk Industrial Gateway, and the Burden Iron Works Museum in Troy, NY.
He is a member of many of the local historical societies, and has lectured at, or led historical tours for over one hundred and forty different organizations. Among other positions, he is a Board member of the Lansingburgh Historical Society, a Past President and Editor of the Brunswick Historical Society; a Past Chairman and Editor of the Capital District Civil War Roundtable; a former member of the Board of Advisors at the N.Y.S. Military Heritage Museum; and a contributing author to The Encyclopedia of New York State.

February 22, 2020

Christopher White

Gravestone Conservation for the Genealogist

Remember that gravestone that was so dirtythat you could not read it or the one that wastipped over? What can you do? What should
you do? Discover what that "dirt" is and theproper methods for conserving gravestones.
Determine why a gravestone is in its present
condition, learn what to do and what not to
do so that you help preserve gravestones for
the next generation.
Presenter Christopher White is a
genealogist, historian, and gravestone
conservator with over thirty years of
genealogical research. He holds both a
Bachelors and Masters degree in History
from the University at Albany. His writings
include a Masters Thesis, “From Acceptance
to Renunciation: Das Ende von Albanys
Deutschtum.” His focus is on local

genealogy, cemeteries, and German-
American history in the Capital District area

of New York. Read more from Christopher at
www.albanygravedigger.com and

March 28, 2020

Jamie Brinkman

The New York State Archives

The New York State Archives is engaged in another collaboration with Ancestry on the digitization of NYS
records, which are expected to be released in early 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
• 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.

April 18, 2020

Research Day

Are you new to genealogy? Do you have a brick wall you would like help with?

CDGS volunteers will be available from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on April 18, so drop in to the Colonie Town Library at your convenience and our volunteers will assist you with your research.
May 30, 2020

All Day CDGS Conference at the Desmond. See the Conference Page for more details. Questions? email to cdgsconference@gmail.com.

Additional Genealogy Related Events in the Capital District

The Group Family History Fanatics is sponsoring, on Saturday 1/25/2020 

A Winter of DNA eConference

Learn all about DNA in your pajamas, sipping your morning coffee. If you can't watch the live eConference, recordings of the sessions are available for 30 days after the live eConference.

Speakers will be talking about the following:
Louis Kessler - Using Double Matching to Build Triangulation Groups from Segment Matches

Jonny Perl - Chromosome Mapping for Absolute Beginners

Devon Noel Lee - Exploring the Advantages and Disadvantages of Ancestry ThruLines

Paul Woodbury - Anchoring Analysis with Multiple Types of DNA Evidence

The online sessions will begin at 9am Central Time on Saturday, 25 January 2020. Some answers to common questions that people have asked us:
1. Yes, the sessions are live. These are not pre-recorded, so if you have questions, then please ask them in the chat during any of the sessions and we'll get them answered.

2. Yes there are door prizes. We have DNA kits donated from several companies as well as other prizes.

3. No, you don't have to be watching the live presentations to win (although we hope you do), everyone who is registered will be eligible to win the DNA kits.

4. Yes, recordings of the sessions will be available for 30 days after the eConference so even if you can't make the live session, register so that you can watch the recordings.

5. Yes we use our webcams. You don't have to watch slides all the time. You also get to see people.

6. Yes, this event is open to anyone who wants to register. No need to travel or even change out of your pajamas if you don't want to.

 There will be a 5th hour panel discussion where you can ask questions about any of the topics or even anything else related to DNA and genetic genealogy. Early bird registration is only $19.99 until January 17th. Regular registration price is $24.99. Learn more at the website (https://www.familyhistoryfanatics.com/winterdna) and register today.

On Saturday, February 8, from 10:30 am - noon, the New York State Library will host a tutorial on using the Ancestry Library Edition to research Genealogy Online.

Senior Librarian Stephanie Barrett will demonstrate the Ancestry Library online database which are accessible at the New York State Library. Learn how to access Census records, genealogy and history book, maps and other resources included in this database, as well as, the resources on Ancestry NYS page which are freely available to all New Yorkers. Stephanie will also demonstrate search tips and strategies, how to save records, printing and how to create a family tree via Ancestry. Seating is limited and registration is required.

Location: New York State Library, 7th floor computer classroom

The Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library has a program on February 24, 2020, from 1 pm - 3 p, titled "Genealogy: Database Spotlight" It covers how to use the four genealogy databases available in the Clifton Park-Halfmoon library, namely

  • African American Heritage
  • American Ancestors - the New England Historical and Genealogical Societies database 
  • Ancestry Library Edition
  • Heritage Quest Online

Registration is required and opens on February 3, 2020. See this link for further information:  https://events.cphlibrary.org/event/3677317