Regular meetings are temporarily suspended due to loss of our venue.  Meetings will be held via Zoom until further notice. Pre-registration is required. Members may register for our Zoom presentations starting the 1st of the month. Non-members may register starting on the 16th of the month (space permitting). Please pay attention to the rules listed below, being registered does not guarantee you will be admitted to the meeting. Your Zoom ID must reflect your full name.  All meetings start at 1 pm ET and you must pre-register by logging in to your free account. Information about these programs will be posted as it becomes available.

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. After the presentation we will host a short "parking lot" discussion where attendees can discuss topics or present questions of their interest.

Members of CDGS can register for these free meetings on the first of the month for that months meeting.  Non-Members can register (if there are seats remaining) on the 16th of the month for that months meeting.  

Registration closes at midnight on the Thursday before the meeting.

Non-Members must create a free CDGS account before they can register. You only need to create an account once, as you can login to that account to register for future presentations.  

Additional Genealogy Related Events
(Click on the Calendar)


For Meeting Participation


Please be considerate of your fellow zoom participants. 

We require that you....

Cancel if you can't attend.  A spot has been reserved for you.  

We have limited spots in our Zoom account.  If you are not going to attend, please cancel your reservation now by writing to: We generally have a number of people who are on our wait-list. When people register but don't attend, people who are on the waitlist get shut out.

Do not share your log-in with anyone else.  
We need to keep track of the number of people who will be able to view the program. When you share a link, you may be taking a spot away from someone who has already registered. You may also be compromising the security of the presentation. Each individual needs to make their own reservation. As a member benefit, the first 15 days of the month are for member registrations. The public is allowed to register starting the 16 th of the month if there are spots available.

Use the first and last name that you registered with when you log in for the presentation.
We take attendance in person and online!  You will not be admitted from the waiting room until the moderator sees a first and last name, as opposed to a telephone number, nickname, initials, etc. Check how to do this for your particular device.  In most cases you cannot change your name in the waiting room, you must change it in your Zoom account before you join the meeting. Be aware that Zoom accounts ask you for two names, your account name and your display name. Your display name must match the name you registered with.

Keep your mic muted and video turned off. The Moderator has already muted the microphone and closed the video for all attendees.
Please do not turn your mic or video on unless requested to by the moderator. Otherwise, the moderator will turn them off again.

Use the chat function. *You can communicate with us, with the whole group, or with an individual also in the meeting.  If you are using a device that does not show the chat please email Someone will be monitoring that email during the presentation

Submit questions for the presenter via chat. *

Our presenters prefer to have a moderator ask the questions.

* If you are using a device that does not show the chat please email Someone will be monitoring that email during the presentation

January 27, 2024 

1pm ET - 2:30pm ET
Melanie McComb
Uncovering Life Stories from Death Records

This program will cover civil death records—what information they include, how to find
them, and how to follow clues to ancestral stories. This also will include discussion on
how to interpret and evaluate the information provided by considering the informant
listed, cause of death, and more.

Melanie McComb assists library visitors, both on-site and online, with their family history
research. She is an international lecturer who teaches on a variety of topics. Melanie
holds a B.S. degree from the State University of New York at Oswego. She previously
served as the social media coordinator for the NextGen Genealogy Network, a non-
profit that creates a community for younger genealogists, where she managed the
Facebook and Twitter accounts. She continues her interest in helping younger
genealogists get involved at American Ancestors by assisting with educational
programs from local schools, scout groups, and universities. Her areas of expertise
include Irish genealogy, DNA, Atlantic Canada, Jewish genealogy, and military records.

This program will be recorded and available to members of CDGS, for 30 days, on our website in the "members only" section.

February  24, 2024

1pm ET - 2:30pm ET

Christine Cohen
Cousin Baiting and Cousin Stalking – Descendancy Research

This program focuses on the many ways to reach out to distant living cousins to help you expand your pedigree chart forward in time. You may find family treasures, photos, DNA test takers and information that will break down a brick wall. We will explore online trees, lineage societies, cemetery indexes, obituaries in newspapers, living people finder websites and social media. 

Christine Cohen is a 21-year member of the Whittier Area Genealogical Society (WAGS) and is currently the Program Director of WAGS. She is a member of the ElRedondo Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, The Society of Daughters of Holland Dames and the Association of Professional Genealogists. Her interest in genealogy began ib 1977 with the airing of the TV mini-series "Roots" and was piqued when she found a typed pedigree chart of her Dutch heritage from the New Netherlands in the 1660's. She is a native of California and a graduate of UCLA.
This program will be recorded and available to members of CDGS, for 30 days, on our website in the "members only" section. 

March 23, 2024

1pm ET - 2:30pm ET
Diana Elder
Pedigree Triangulation: A Key Methodology for Genetic Genealogy

Learn the power of pedigree triangulation in analyzing DNA matches and building your
genetic family tree. Discover how to use company tools such as Ancestry’s Thrulines
and MyHeritage’s Theory of Family Relativity to boost your efficiency and accelerate
your discovery of common ancestors. We’ll discuss the basic steps of analyzing the
amount of shared DNA, then building incomplete trees and comparing surnames and

Diana Elder AGⓇ is a professional genealogist accredited in the Gulf South region of
the United States. Diana authored Research Like a Pro: A Genealogist’s Guide and co-
authored the companion volume, Research Like a Pro with DNA: A Genealogist’s Guide
to Finding and Confirming Ancestors with DNA Evidence. Diana and her daughter,
Nicole Dyer, are the hosts of the Research Like a Pro Genealogy Podcast and share
research tips on their website,

This program will be recorded and available to members of CDGS, for 30 days, on our website in the "members only" section.

April 27, 2024

1pm ET - 2:30pm ET
Julie Stoddard
Finding New Evidence: Strategies to Improve Cluster Research

When researching ancestors who lived in earlier time periods or regions with few
records, the lack of records can create a brick wall in the research. This necessitates
expanding the research to include the cluster of people who associated with the
ancestor: immediate and extended family, friends, associates, and neighbors, also
known as the ancestor’s FAN Club. Come learn when to use cluster research, who is in
the ancestor’s cluster, how to organize the findings, and the steps for successful cluster

Julie Stoddard, MSc, AG Ⓡ, is an Accredited Genealogist professional for the U.S. Mid-
South. She received a BA in family history from BYU and a master’s degree in
Genealogical Studies from the University of Strathclyde. She works part-time as the
senior mentor for BYU’s Center for Family History and Genealogy, managing the
Linking Families for Cancer Prevention project. She is also an owner
of where she specializes in DNA and U.S. research.

This program will be recorded and available to members of CDGS, for an unlimited period of time, , on our website in the "members only" section.

May 18, 2024

10 am ET - 3pm ET
Walk-in Family Genealogy Research Day

Guilderland Public Library (Helderberg Room)

2228 Western Avenue

Guilderland, NY 12084

In Person, This program will be open to the public, with no pre-registration necessary. Participants will be allotted 30 minutes for individual assistance from a member of CDGS, on a first-come, first-served basis.  Our members have access to genealogy help sites and we will be there to help you with your family history research.

CDGS members interested in using their genealogical research skill to assist others with their family research are invited to participate as guides. You must be able to bring your own laptop, have a knowledge of on-line genealogy programs and be willing to assist others in their research. Internet access will be provided by our hosting site. If you are interested in volunteering please contact

June 22, 2024

1pm ET - 2:30pm ET
Lisa Louise Cook
How Alice the Genealogist Avoids the Rabbit Hole

Don’t let unexpected genealogical finds send you down a rabbit hole any longer. In this
video class we will cover concrete strategies for staying focused on what matters most,
while not losing track of opportunities that present themselves. You’ll also learn about
free tech tools that you can put in place to give you peace of mind, take back those lost
hours, and help you be more productive.

Lisa Louise Cooke is CEO of Genealogy Gems, a genealogy education company
featuring The Genealogy Gems Podcast, available at in iTunes, and the Genealogy
Gems app. Her books include Mobile Genealogy, The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox
Second Edition, How to Find Your Family History in Newspapers, and she has
published 100+ videos at the Genealogy Gems YouTube Channel. She also
produces The Family Tree Magazine Podcast, regularly writes for the magazine, and
teaches for Family Tree University.

This program will be recorded and available to members of CDGS, for 30 days, on our website in the "members only" section.

July 27, 2024

1pm ET - 2:30pm ET
Lisa Lisson
How to Read Old Handwriting

Struggling to read those old historical documents? Gain invaluable insights and practical
strategies for deciphering your ancestors’ records, allowing you to uncover hidden
stories and connect with your heritage in ways you never thought possible. From
understanding the evolution of handwriting styles to employing innovative techniques for
enhancing legibility, this talk promises to equip you with the skills and confidence
needed to navigate the rich tapestry of your family’s history. Don’t miss this opportunity
to sharpen your genealogical prowess and forge deeper connections with your roots!

Lisa Lisson is the genealogy expert behind Are You My Cousin? a website designed to
help genealogy researchers around the world grow their family trees without being
overwhelmed. Through hundreds of genealogy articles, YouTube videos and
international speaking opportunities, Lisa shares research strategies and how-to
genealogy tutorials. Callisto Media recently published her latest book 100 Questions for

This program will be recorded and available to members of CDGS, for an unlimited period of time, , on our website in the "members only" section.

August 24, 2024

Summer Picnic – In Person

Location and Details to be Determined/Announced

September 28, 2024
Paul Huey and Michael Lucas
The Intersection of Archaeology and Genealogy

Simultaneous Zoom presentation and "in-person" at the NYS Museum
Description – To be determined in February.

Bios – Will be provided in February.

October 26, 2024

1pm ET - 2:30pm ET
Jill Crandell
Adding Spreadsheets to Your Genealogical Toolkit

Too often family historians settle for using their computers merely to locate and store
data. More power lies at your fingertips. This presentation will demonstrate the
invaluable use of Microsoft Excel® in assisting genealogical researchers. Learn to
analyze and manipulate data like never before.

Jill N. Crandell, MA, AG® is accredited in Midwest U.S. research and holds an MA in
history and a BA in family history. She is an assistant teaching professor at Brigham
Young University and the director of the BYU Center for Family History and Genealogy.
She is also the developer of Research Ties.

November  16, 2024

Still to be Determined.