Rochester Genealogical Society, Inc.

Meeting Schedule

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These are the next few meetings of the Rochester Genealogical Society (RGS) and the Computer Interest Group (CIG) of RGS. You may also call the RGS Voice mail line at (585) 234-2584 for more information.

Also, check for information and the meetings of neighboring genealogical societies.

RGS Meetings

The Rochester Genealogical Society meets monthly, except July, August, and December, usually on the third Thursday of the month. The meetings are held in the Fellowship Hall (downstairs) of the Asbury First United Methodist Church, 1050 East Avenue, Rochester, NY (see map). The meetings start with a short program at 7:00 p.m., followed by a short business meeting and a refreshment break, and then a main program beginning at 8:00 p.m. and ending about 9:00 p.m.

18 September 2008 Start of our two-month 70 th Anniversary Celebration

The September meeting will feature the start of our two-month 70 th Anniversary Celebration, and will follow a different format than usual.

At 7 pm, our keynote speaker will be RGS Historian/Genealogist, Dr Marian Henry who will entertain us with a capsule history of RGS, entitled: “Evolution of the Rochester Genealogical Society - from its origin to the present day”

A longer-than-usual break will feature special refreshments, and a number of interesting exhibits showcasing the Society’s history, projects, and accomplishments.

For the last part of the program, Marlene Bettin will emcee a recognition ceremony honoring many past and present officers and other RGS volunteers.

16 October 2008 The 70 th Anniversary Celebration continues with John Philip Colletta, Ph.D.

1 st Lecture: “Passenger Arrivals from 1820-1957”

John Philip Colletta, Ph.D., a genealogist, author of “They Came in Ships” and one of America’s most popular and entertaining lecturers, will share his knowledge of passenger arrivals from 1820-1957, and also before Federal Records began in 1820. He will describe the contents of old records, using specific examples to illustrate vividly and thoroughly how to use the many web sites, National Archives indexes, published indexes and abstracts in libraries, as well as other pertinent research tools.

2 nd Lecture: “Discovering the Real Stories of Your Immigrant Ancestors”

Every immigrant's story is unique. To understand the drama of your own ancestor's story -- including his or her personality, character, and motives – you must consider: 1) leaving the homeland; 2) the voyage; 3) arriving in America ; 4) impact of the immigrant on American society; and 5) impact of American society on the immigrant. This lecture explains the original records and published materials available to discover the particular facts of your own ancestors' saga. It discusses how to evaluate those facts in light of oral family lore and old family heirlooms and keepsakes, as well as how to assemble the facts into a story that conveys both the drama and individuality of each ancestor's emigration/-immigration experience. Three specific examples bring the lessons to life: 1) a Lorrainian family of 1830; 2) a Bavarian family of 1886; and 3) an Irish family of 1893.

20 November 2008

Mini Presentation: “The Latest in Family Search” by Roy Thurston

Main Presentation: “Interweaving the Generations” by Doris Naundorf

This presentation features Doris Naundorf in a one-woman play. Wearing appropriate costumes and speaking in the accent and manner of each character, Doris portrays her grandmother, Louise Luscher; Luscher's daughter (Doris' mother) Emma Luscher Smith and Doris herself. Doris has presented this show for more than two decades, entertaining school groups, churches, Scout groups, nursing home residents, and National Park Service employees at the Statue of Liberty.

15 January 2009

Short Program:: “Reuniting Heirlooms” by Ed and Bill Groszewski

Ed Groszewski is a retired school administrator and a certified genealogist. Bill Groszewski works for the United States Postal Service.

Abstract: Over the decades, letters, photographs and other family treasures get separated from their families. Sometimes they wind up in the attics and storerooms of houses far from where the letter was written or the photo was taken. Many are lost forever, but some show up in unlikely places like E-bay. The interests of brothers Bill and Ed Groszewski sometimes combine to locate these lost heirlooms and reunite them with the descendants of their original owners. Bill has long collected books, maps, and other antiquarian objects related to the town of Greece. He has become an expert in prowling E-Bay for these items and quite good at outbidding the competition. Sometimes he comes across something that contains a clue about its origins in the area. When this happens Ed joins his brother and uses his skills as a genealogist to find the links that connect the heirloom to the heir. Their goal is to reunite the family treasures with the family. The goal of this presentation is two-fold: (1) How to search and use e-Bay to find items of historical and genealogical interest and (2) doing some forward genealogy to find heirs, family associations, etc.

Main Program:: “Relatives and Real Estate, The Holland Land Company and the Genealogical Topography of Western New York” by Steve Clarke

Steve Clarke is a retired high school teacher who spent 29 years teaching 11th and 12th grade English in Spencerport. Prior to teaching he served in the Naval Reserve and achieved the rank of lieutenant. Steve is the author of various journal articles published in the US and in Britain and is the author of two books, “Crimes and Clues” and “The Lord Peter Wimsey Companion”. Steve is the past president of the Rochester Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution and is also a member of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. His wife, Mary, and daughter, Erin, are members of the DAR and Society of Mayflower Descendants. At the moment, Steve is actively involved with a genealogical study of his mother's line and with The Society of the Hawley Family--his wife's lineage group. Steve is also a docent at the Rochester Public Library.

Abstract: This program is an examination of Karen Livesy's massive, two-volume index to the Holland Land Company records for western New York State. Steve will present first a very short history of the Company's arrival in and impact on the area, how the topography was mapped and what the anomalies are. Then he will explain how the index is organized, how to use it and what a genealogist can do with the Index to assist in research. Finally, there is a demonstration of how to use the Index with a real case study to show the sorts of things the books can help you find.

19 February 2009

Short Program:: “Hiding In Plain Sight” by Cherie Wood

Cherie Wood has been a graphic designer for 25 years. Trained in Manhattan, her love is photo restoration and preserving the past for future generations. She also designs genealogy books for authors through Gateway Press in Baltimore.

Abstract: Time is definitely not on a photo’s side. Water, mildew, light and yes, even critters are out to get our priceless treasures. But there is a way to fight back. Photos, even ones that are severely damaged, can be brought back to life digitally. See before and after photos and learn to look for clues within photos that your ancestors may have been hiding. We will also explore options to help extend the life of a photo’s original.

Main Program:: “Genealogical Resources in Libraries of Monroe County” by Patty Uttaro

Patty Uttaro is currently an Assistant Director for the Monroe County Library System and oversees the library’s Digitizing Department. She was the Director of the Ogden Farmers’ Library in Spencerport for 8 years and, during that time, worked with volunteers to build a significant collection of genealogy and local history materials second only to the Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County.

Abstract: The member libraries of the Monroe County Library System are full of little treasures for genealogists and historians. Whether you’re looking at Tax Assessment Rolls in Henrietta or an index to persons Buried in Ogden, you will find gems everywhere. Patty Uttaro will highlight some of these special collections available in libraries throughout Monroe County.

19 March 2009

Short Program:: “Finding Vital Records for Maternal Ancestors in Cook County, Illinois After the 1871 Chicago Fire – A ‘Brick Wall’ Challenge” by Lowell (“Ozzie”) Salyards

"Ozzie," a native of rural southwest Minnesota, is a retired Kodak chemist. He received his chemical education in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. He has been president of the Kodak Genealogical Society and a Program Vice President of the RGS. He is currently the chairperson of the RGS Educators Committee.

Abstract: By using a combination of the resources of county histories, the local Rochester Library, the Mormon Family History Library records and the Internet, among others, birth, marriage and death records were located for his maternal grandmother and her parents in the Chicago area after the 1871 Chicago fire.

Main Program:: “Rochester at 175 Years Old” by Christine L. Ridarsky

Christine L. Ridarsky was appointed Rochester City Historian in October 2008. She is a Ph.D. candidate in American History at the University of Rochester. Her dissertation examines the transformation of rural life during the late 19th and early 20th centuries using a case-study model that focuses on a single Finger Lakes community and several generations of the family that founded it. Ridarsky has a master’s degree in American history from the State University of New York, College at Brockport, (2003) and bachelor’s degrees in Journalism & Mass Communication and Political Science from Kent Stat University (1993). She grew up in northeast Ohio. She has been in Rochester since 1996 and resides in Charlotte with her husband and daughter.

Abstract: Rochester is celebrating its 175th birthday throughout 2009. Were your ancestors in Rochester when it received its charter on April 28, 1834? Christine L. Ridarsky will discuss the city’s plans for marking this milestone in its history and the role that she will play as newly appointed City Historian. She will then share some of the “treasures” from the City Archives on Andrews Street. Often overlooked, city records can be a tremendous resource for genealogists whether their ancestors were here in 1834 or arrived more recently. Among other things, they can help you determine what your ancestors’ homes were like and whether there were any black sheep in the family. Ridarsky will provide an overview of the records available at the City Archives and how to access them. What better way to celebrate the city’s 175th birthday than by tracing your family’s contribution to Rochester’s history!

16 April 2009     TBA

21 May 2009     TBA

18 June 2009     TBA

CIG Meetings

The CIG is for people interested in using home computers to help with their genealogical research. Meetings are held from 7:00 to 9:00 PM on the 2nd Thursday of each month, except July and August, in the Relief Society Room of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1400 Westfall Rd., Rochester, NY 14614. See map.

To get to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 1400 Westfall Rd., please see the map on this web site.

Topics dicussed in our CIG meetings include reviewing genealogical software and web sites to using your digital camera in your research. Come with questions or share your solutions! Web sites are featured at each meeting that either help you maintain your home computer or help you with your research.

Membership dues
The fee for joining the CIG is $5 for the 2008/2009 year. This money is spent on room rental, program handouts, computer hardware and software.

Fund raiser
The CIG is collecting empty ink jet cartridges and toner cartridges and recycling them to supplement the CIG and RGS budgets. You can bring them to either the CIG or RGS meetings where we will be providing a drop off box.

11 September 2008 Several topics will be discussed. Roger Heintz

  1. Using “Tabbed” Navigation to Enable Access to Hundreds of Church Records. A discussion of the “tabbed” navigation being used on RGS's web site to allow access to many Church Records.
  2. We should form the Technology Committee that was suggested by the Retreat. Some of the issues we should look at are 1. upgrading the projection capability (projector, screen, ...), 2. creating a web site restricted to RGS members, ...
  3. A Discussion of the Size of Characters Used in a Presentation so That Everyone in the Room Can Read Them.
  4. A Procedure for Photographing a Treasured Genealogical Document.
  5. Looking for Mac Users Running Mac OSX 10.5 That Want to use AppleScript to Help Automate the Enhancement of Chuch Record Images.

We will cover what we can in this meeting and the rest later if there is interest.

9 October 2008

Larry Naukam will present the genealogical research digital resources available at the Monroe County Library.

13 November 2008

Dave Enright will give us a technology update and a technical Q & A forum.

11 December 2008

Roots Magic and FTM 2009 comparison - Dick Halsey & TBD


We will demonstrate Roots Magic and Family Tree Maker 2008/9. Each program has been initialized with a common Gedcom file and we will perform three operations which will allow everyone to compare how the software handles each task. A new member will be added to the family, a new source record will be added and navigating through the family trees will be demonstrated. Lastly likes and dislikes will be discussed.

Presenters: Dick Halsey will demonstrate Roots Magic and TBD will demonstrate FTM.

The 17th meeting of THE COMPUTER INTEREST GROUP OF THE ROCHESTER GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY has been SCHEDULED as follows: DATE: December 11, 2008 TIME: 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM or so. LOCATION: for the December Meeting is at the Webster Public Library, 980 Ridge Road, Webster, NY 14580 in the Community Room.

Traveling on 104, use the Hard Road exit and head south. The first stop light after the access road stop lights is the entrance to BJ's on the right and Webster Plaza on the Left. Take a left and the Library is all the way down on the left. (The old Ames Store) The community room is on the left as you enter the library see map.

8 January 2009

Digital Scanning: The Kodak automated digital scanner - Bruce Holroyd, Solutions Business Manager For Photo Scanning

12 February 2009

Digital camera types & what basic features are best to look for when purchasing, basic shooting skills and tips when shooting digital, what formats he shoots in, how he coordinates/keeps track of his images, simple programs the average user can use to improve images - Neil Montanus.

Scanning older images, scanners the average consumer could purchase and use, file formats to scan to, how to save/preserve/store digital files for the future - John Scroth

12 March 2009


9 April 2009

Ant-Virus software, backup solutions & antispam or spyware - Tim Groth

14 May 2009

Web site creation & Maintenance - Sue Walker

11 June 2009


Storm closing? Call the RGS voice mail at 234-2584 for current meeting recordings and storm closings. Check WHAM stations for RGS/CIG cancellation.

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