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NY genealogy societies offer free programs in February

Several New York State genealogy societies will be hosting programs in February.

Volunteers of the Buffalo Irish Genealogical Society will be at the Heritage Discovery Center on Saturday, Feb.3 and Saturday, Feb. 10 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to help with genealogical research. For more information, email

The Orange County Genealogical Society will present a talk by Orange County Attorney Peter Schwarz on Saturday, Feb. 3 from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the 1841 Historic Courthouse in Goshen. Are you a collector of items of historical value to you? Peter is a lifelong collector of historical ephemera, most particularly pinback pins. He will share his memorabilia collection at this meeting.

The Ontario County Genealogical Society will present “Military Awards and Recognitions Over the Years” on Wednesday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. This program will cover sword presentations during the War of 1812 and Civil War badges and brevets, and then focus on World War I and the 20th Century. For more information, go to:

The New York Chapter of Palatines to America will host a 2024 Conference Preview on Wednesday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. on Zoom. Tom Shannon, New York Chapter President, will provide an overview of the conference topics and speakers and Philip Otterness, Conference Keynote Speaker, will outline his presentation.  The New York Chapter is hosting this year’s conference to be held in Albany, New York from June 6 – 9, 2024. You need to register for this webinar. To register, go to:

The Polish Genealogical Society of New York will present “History of Divorce Laws in New York State” on Thursday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m.  The history of divorce in New York State is complicated. The types of marital dissolution available varied not only by decade but also by social class. In this talk, you will see examples of the types of marital dissolution accessible to New Yorkers across the decades, including the ubiquitous “self-help” divorce. The speaker will also provide information about where to obtain divorce decrees and related materials for couples in New York State, other states, and some of the provinces of Canada.
To register, go to:

The Westchester County Genealogical Society will present “How Do I Approach New York?” on Saturday, Feb. 10 at 10 am. Whether you are starting or restarting New York research, knowing a few fundamental points about the state will set you in the right direction. Learn about the history, governmental organizations and several key resources to move forward in New York genealogy. To find out how to receive the link for the program, go to:

The Western New York Genealogical Society will present “Using Artificial Intelligence for Genealogy” on Saturday, Feb. 17 at 10:30 a.m. AI has already been used in the realm of genealogy, with major success in indexing records as well as colorizing and animating photographs. Learn from a computer science, engineering and cybersecurity professor how AI products can assist you in your genealogical endeavors.  To register, go to:

The Jewish Genealogy Society of New York will present “Historical Maps in Genealogical Research” on Sunday, Feb. 18 at 2 p.m. This will be a Zoom presentation. Identifying the towns and villages where our ancestors used to live can be a critical step in finding relevant sources of genealogical information. However, locating some of those places often becomes quite a challenging task, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe. Readily available web-based resources – including digital repositories of historical maps and geographic information databases – can help to overcome many of those challenges. There is a $5 fee for non-members. For more information, go to:

The Rochester Genealogical Society will present “Breathing New Life Into Your Boring Ancestors” on Tuesday, Feb. 20 at 6:45 p.m.  There is no such thing as a boring ancestor! Many genealogists will say they have boring ancestors because they can’t find records or information for them. Learn from a seasoned genealogists and archivist how to locate records and information to bring those boring ancestors back to life. For more information, go to:

Volunteers of the Buffalo Irish Genealogical Society will be at the Heritage Discovery Center on Tuesday, Feb. 20  from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to help with genealogical research. For more information, email

The Rochester Genealogical Society will have a DNA Help Session on Wednesday, Feb. 21 from 10 a.m. to noon.  It will take place at the Irondequoit Public Library. DNA Help Sessions are designed to assist individuals and/or small groups answer DNA questions and help guide you in utilizing DNA in your research. Please register and complete the short registration form and if you have any questions, please email

The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society with the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, New York Chapter, will present “The Truth of the 110 Survivors Aboard the Clotilda” on Saturday, February 24, 2024, at 1 p.m. This is a free Zoom presentation. The Clotilda was the last known slave ship to enter the United States. The presenter is Jeremy Ellis, President of the Clotilda Descendants Association. CDA’s mission is to honor their ancestors; preserve their culture, landmarks, and legacies; and educate future generations of descendants and the community.

The Capital District Genealogical Society will present “Cousin Baiting and Cousin Stalking” on Saturday, Feb. 24 at 1 p.m.  Learn how to reach out to distant living cousins. Learn about online trees, lineage societies, cemetery indexes, obituaries in newspapers and social media sites. Registration closes at midnight on the Thursday before the meeting. For more information on upcoming meetings, go to:

The Niagara County Genealogical Society will present “Combining Tools to Find Biological Family” on Saturday, Feb. 24  at 10:30 a.m. Whether due to adoption or unmarried parentage, finding an unknown biological relative is challenging. By combining document research with DNA, while using good methodology (and a bit of luck), there is a chance for success. This presentation supplies the method and illustrates its use with a real-life case. To register, go to:

The Genealogical Society of Rockland County will present “Stories from the Archives: Family Recipes” on Tuesday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. This is will be Zoom only.  This will be a pre-recorded lecture from the New England Historic Genealogical Society of recipes held in the R. Stanton Avery Special Collections at American Ancestors. Also learn tips on finding examples at other repositories and archives as well as learning suggestions on what to do with such items in your personal collection. To register and receive the Zoom link, go to:


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