30 August 2021

Slingerland Family Burial Vault

 The Slingerland Family Burial Vault was recently renovated. On Wednesday, September 8, 2021, at 11 a.m. the burial site will be re-dedicated. See the attached flyer for further details.

Please contact the Town Historian Susan Leath, sleath@townofbethlehem.org or 518.209.5855 for further details.

13 August 2021

Capital District Genealogical Society Virtual Conference

The Capital District Genealogical Society is pleased to announce that we are holding a virtual conference in lieu of our regular scheduled meeting on Sept 25, 2021 from 9am to 5pm on Zoom. 

 At this time, both members and the public are invited to register. Please see our website under meetings and events
 Registration: Members: $35 & Non-Members: $40. 

"The Jones Jinx: Tracing Common Surnames" Thomas W. Jones This case study will explain how missing, erroneous, and altered records were overcome to identify the parents of an orphan named Jones. Attendees will learn research strategies that they can use to solve their own common-surname problems. 

"Getting the Most From Your DNA Matches" Fred Voss Getting started with researching your DNA matches means having your family information well organized and using the right tools from your DNA test vendor to help you narrow your search for the Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA). Mr. Voss will talk about working your way through the best techniques and tools to help connect to that unknown match. A step by step case study is included. 

 "Photo e Detective Roadshow" Maureen Taylor Have you ever wished that I could comto your meeting to look at your pictures? Well now I can. If you’ve watched Antiques Roadshow, then you know how this works. It’s a virtual show and tell. This is a totally interactive event in which members of CDGS submit photos ahead of time and then meet virtually with me to learn about the specific clues I uncover in the photos. The Roadshow Format - basically a group live consult via internet connection - Details for submitting a photograph will be posted to the CDGS Conference website. Only fifteen (15) photos will be selected. This is a "MEMBERS ONLY” offering however, all Conference attendees will be able to attend the session. There will be a $15 fee if your photo is selected. 

"Honesty, Courtesy, and Confidentiality: Ethics for Family Historians" Thomas W. Jones How do “ordinary” genealogists benefit from ethics? How should family historians handle “sensitive” information like adoption, illegitimate birth, law-breaking, and suicide? What are standards of fair use and courtesy? The presenter will answer these questions and address issues related to ethics for all family historians. 

"Organizing Your DNA Matches: Introduction to the Leeds Method" Fred Voss So you log on to your DNA test site and it says you have 1139 matches. OK, what are you going to do next? Mr. Voss will talk about organizing your DNA along family lines by color clustering using the popular Leeds Method. Simple examples take you step by step through this organizing approach.

11 July 2021

Hands-on Gravestone Conservation Workshop


Hands-on Gravestone Conservation Workshop

When: Saturday, 24 July 2021

Where: Beverwyck Cemetery, Washington Ave., Rensselaer, near Doane Stuart School

Time: 8:30 AM till 1 PM


In our outdoor classroom, the Beverwyck Cemetery, learn hands-on, the proper methods and what materials are used to correctly conserve gravestones. Christopher White, genealogist, historian, and gravestone conservator will lecture, demonstrate, and instruct one-on-one with attendees the following:

∙ Different types and styles of gravestones

∙ Problems associated with gravestones

∙ Knowing your limitations

∙ Proper method for cleaning gravestones

∙ Resetting tablet style gravestones

∙ Resetting mortise and tenon gravestones

∙ Repairing broken gravestones

10 May 2021

Boston University Certificate in Genealogy Review

My online course through Boston University is now complete. Yesterday, I received my grade on my final project and was pleased with my grade. Final grades are not yet sent out however I was able to compute my grade. In the next few weeks I hope to have my certificate in hand after it is mailed out.

The biggest take-a-way that I have and want to pass on to prospective students for the 15 week certificate in genealogy course is to make sure that you have the time to invest in the course. If you do not have "a lot" of extra time, please reconsider enrolling. The course will consume an enormous amount of your time. The reading can be heavy at times but the time involved in the writing and the research assignments is daunting. I estimate that I spent a minimum of 30 hours per week on the course; sometimes more.

Years ago, as an adult and working full-time, I enrolled at the University of Albany to begin studies for my Bachelors and later Masters in History. This was a lot of work and took almost nine years. In my opinion, the BU course was more intensive, demanding, and nerve wracking then when I was a college student. And the the certificate in genealogy course does not carry any college credit nor does it earn you the title of being a Certified Genealogist or CG.

The BU course is taught by genealogy professionals and it will help you become a better genealogist by learning and applying the five-step fundamentals of the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) to answer your genealogical question.
    1) Conduct a reasonably exhaustive search for all information
    2) Compile complete citations for each information item
    3) Analyze and correlate information used as evidence
    4) Resolve any conflicts contrary to answering the question
    5) Write a coherent conclusion based on the evidence

Other key learning points include:
    1) Learning about evidence analysis.
            Sources provide information that identify evidence for analysis.
    2) The proper method of writing source citations.
    3) Uses of DNA testing.
    4) Genealogical writing: proof statements, proof arguments, and proof summaries.

I found the course very worth while. Even if you consider yourself a hobbyist genealogist this course still may be for you especially if you wish to up your game in genealogy. My next course of action is to get on the waiting list and enroll in the 14 month ProGen study group.

Presently there are numerous gravestones waiting for me... 

18 April 2021

Boston University Certificate in Genealogy Program : Week 12

 Well, I have not posted in quite a while due to the demands of the BU program. Initially I believed that many of the reviews regarding the time commitment for the program might have been exaggerated. The time involved in this is huge. That is if you want to be successful.

There is a little more than two weeks left in the program. Yes, I am still in it. I cannot say that the course was easy. It was not. The instructors want you to succeed but you are working completely on your own.

Was it worth it? Yes, I feel that I will be a better genealogist if I continue to use the methods and practiced that are taught in the course. I am still hoping for that sheepskin.