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 are currently conducting meetings via Zoom, but expect to resume in-person meetings (with a Zoom component) monthly at the Guilderland Public Library. 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 $25 (if paying by check) and $26 (if paying by credit card or PayPal) for 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 in-person meetings (when resumed) are free and all are open to the public. Currently you must register to attend a Zoom meeting. Registrations for members of CDGS open on the first of the month. Non-members can register (if there are seats remaining) starting the 16th of the month. 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 The newsletter includes updates on local, state, and national genealogical topics, unpublished records when they are available, queries and notice of meetings, summaries of our meetings including speaker presentations, and all of the online links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 past video presentations (subject to our contractual agreement with our speaker which may time limit access to the videos).
Q. What happens at a CDGS meeting?
A. During the changes that occur due to Covid 19 restrictions and building closures we are currently meeting using the virtual online format, Zoom. Our meetings start at 1pm with a short period of announcements by our President. This allows us to let people that may show up a few minutes late to enter the meeting. By 1:10 pm we introduce our speaker who takes over the meeting. The speakers share their computer screen so we see videos, slides, pictures, notes, etc. while our speaker is speaking to us live. Audience members can ask questions in the chat section. All questions will be read to the speaker before the meeting ends. While it is a virtual presentation there is live interaction. If the speaker has a handout that handout is posted in the chat area in .pdf format. It is also posted in our members only area for members who may miss the meeting or who watch using an ipad or other device that does not show .pdfs in chat. General meetings start at 1 pm with announcements, genealogy discovery moments, and call for first time attendees. The program follows with a featured speaker. When entering a Zoom meeting all audience members must identify themselves by their full name, not a Zoom alias of ipad12 (for example). After our planned program we offer a "parking lot" chat for those who want to stay on. People can turn on their cameras (or not) and ask general questions, share information, etc. about all things genealogy.
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. We also have members who live in Canada, Scotland, England, and Australia! 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. We also have both Facebook public page and a Facebook private group (links to each are at the bottom of this page. You can also contact us by email at email@example.com
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. We do have a facebook group, link below.