PO Box 2175      


ESP Station

Albany, NY  12220

September Virtual Conference - Celebrating 40 Years of CDGS

09/25/2021 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM ET


Join us September 25, 2021, from 9:00am to 5pm EST, as the Capital District Genealogical Society celebrates its 40th Anniversary with a special event in place of our monthly meeting. The Society will hold its first virtual Conference! Set your day aside to join us at what promises to be a fun educational day.

Interested in DNA? Have you received a genealogy DNA kit and want to understand what it means? How can you make the best use of those matches? We’re offering two sessions by Fred Voss who will help us by sharing some case studies and techniques.

Are you looking to take that first step into the genealogy world? Have so many challenges and sorting of surnames tangling your efforts? Let Tom Jones share his knowledge as only he can. Perhaps you’re an avid genealogist who wants to publish your own family history. Did you uncover a “sensitive” piece of history and struggle with how to present if you do? Tom will also provide a talk about dealing with those “sensitive” findings.


Do you have an old photo you would like to identify? Fifteen lucky CDGS members will have their photo submissions selected by Maureen Taylor, "The Photo Detective", who will search for clues in the photo to enable the owner to learn more about their history.


Note that there will be NO recording of presentations.

Registration 8/16-9/22/21: Members: $35; Non Members: $40

Link to Agenda


Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNG

Tom has been pursuing his ancestry since 1963. For the first twenty years he was clueless about what he was trying to accomplish and how to do it. When he started climbing the genealogy learning curve he repeatedly experienced the challenges, joys, and rewards of tracing his ancestors reliably and understanding their lives. Tom eventually became an award-winning writer, board-certified genealogist, editor of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, recipient of honors from genealogical organizations, and author of the textbooks Mastering Genealogical Proof and Mastering Genealogical Documentation. Using his nearly lifelong career in education as a springboard, including classes since 1999 online, he enjoys teaching at weeklong genealogy institutes, weekend seminars, and local, national, and international genealogy conferences, either “virtually” or in person. 




Fred Voss

Fred Voss is a professional genealogist, researcher, and educator. He has been doing personal genealogy for over 20 years and is a Trustee and Education Chair for the Genealogical Society of Bergen County. His areas of interest are Germany, Switzerland, and New Hampshire, with special interest in DNA, Immigration, and Naturalization.  Mr. Voss is a certificate holder of the Boston University Genealogical Research Certification program (OL13). He is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and the International Society of Genetic Genealogists as well as various regional societies.  He volunteers as a tour guide at Ellis Island, leading both historical and photographic tours of the abandoned hospitals on the south side of the island (SaveEllisIsland.org).  Mr. Voss is a popular and sought after speaker in the tri-state area. His lectures have been featured at the New York Public Library, the Genealogical Society of Bergen County, the Monmouth Genealogical Society, the Passaic County Genealogical Club, the German Genealogical Society, and the Jewish Genealogical Society of Long Island. He teaches Introductory Genealogy and DNA and Genealogy at Bergen County Community College in Paramus, New Jersey.  He graduated from Boston College with a BA in Mathematics. He has spent his career working for and with software startup companies such as Netscape Communications, Sun Microsystems, and Oracle. Since 1990, he has specialized in Internet Identity and Security.  Fred Voss can be contacted at "gfred at tweedriver dot com”.




Maureen Taylor, “The Photo Detective”

Maureen Taylor is an internationally recognized expert on historic photograph identification, photo preservation and family history research.  Sought out by clients all over the world from as far away as New Zealand, her pioneering work in historic photo research is unprecedented, evidenced by her success in solving photo mysteries.  The author of several books, scholarly articles and online columns, she appeared on The View and The Today Show for completing Meredith Viera’s family tree.  She has been featured in numerous publications including The Boston Globe, The New York Times, Better Homes and Gardens, and was dubbed “the nation’s foremost historical photo detective” by The Wall Street Journal. Her focus is on helping people rediscover their family history one picture at a time, and is passionate about getting folks to dig deep into their family history to tell the story of their ancestors.  For more than a decade, she’s searched for images of individuals who lived during the Revolutionary War but also lived into the age of photography.  It’s currently a two-volume set titled, The Last Muster, and a series of three films,  A Revolutionary Trio. https://maureentaylor.com/a-revolutionary-trio/   The quest for more photographs is ongoing. 



Session descriptions: 


“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


“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 Detective Roadshow “

Maureen Taylor
Have you ever wished that I could come to 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.


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