Dutchess County Genealogical Society

Topics of Meetings Held in 2011-2012

September 20, 2011 Caring for Heirloom and Modern Scrapbooks

Scrapbooks can contain an infinite number of types of inclusions, which can make their care and preservation a problem. Owners of heirloom scrapbooks may need guidance for their care. Modern scrapbookers can get a head start on preservation by using the best archival quality materials and storing their scrapbooks in optimum conditions. Christine Crawford-Oppenheimer will discuss the history of scrapbooks, how to preserve ancestral scrapbooks, and what to do to be sure your modern scrapbooks survive.

Christine Crawford-Oppenheimer, MLS, has been doing genealogical research since 1979, and has been Vice President for Programs and Vice President for Publicity for the Dutchess County Genealogical Society since 1988. She is a member of several genealogical and professional societies, including the Association of Professional Genealogists, the Genealogical Speakers Guild, the National Genealogical Society, and state and local societies. Her training as a librarian is useful in her second profession as genealogist.

Ms. Crawford-Oppenheimer's book, Long Distance Genealogy: Researching Your Family History from Home, was published by Betterway Books in 2000. Articles she has written have appeared in journals such as the National Genealogical Society Quarterly.

Ms. Crawford-Oppenheimer has spoken on topics as varied as basic genealogy, long-distance genealogy, family health history, and the published Pennsylvania Archives at many national conferences and at meetings of the Dutchess County Genealogical Society, the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society, the Capital District [NY] Genealogical Society and other societies. She lives in Dutchess County with her husband and five cats.

October 29, 2011


November 15, 2011 Immigration to Poughkeepsie (check back in the coming weeks for details)

Harvey K. Flad will present “The Immigrant Experience in Poughkeepsie.”

From the 17th C to the 21st C, immigrants to Poughkeepsie and Dutchess County have followed national trends of source regions, flows, and life experience. A short introduction to the region’s various national, ethnic, and religious groups, and where they lived, worked and recreated, will lead to an informal discussion. Copies of Main Street to Mainframes: Landscape and Social Change in Poughkeepsie (Albany: SUNY Press, 2009) by Vassar emeritus professors Harvey K. Flad (historical geography) and Clyde Griffen (social history) will be available.

Harvey K. Flad is Emeritus Professor of Geography at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. He received his Ph.D. from Syracuse University in 1973. From 1972 to 2004 he taught courses in Geography, American Culture, Environmental Studies, and Urban Studies. Dr. Flad’s scholarship has focused on cultural and historic landscapes, and environmental and urban planning, including waterfront and urban revitalization. He has published numerous articles on 19th century landscape design theory and practice, including the influence of the Hudson River School of Art. His work in film, video and photography has included the prize-winning film Hyde Park; an on-line essay on landscape photography for the Smithsonian Institution; and as writer and narrator of the 2006 DVD A Digital Tour of Poughkeepsie, reissued on the Vassar College YouTube site in 2010. Research for the latter led to the best-selling book Main Street to Mainframes: Landscape and Social Change in Poughkeepsie, co-authored with Clyde Griffen (SUNY Press, 2009). He is the recipient of a Ford Fellowship, Fulbright Award, Manitoga’s Russel Wright Award for Environmental Preservation in 2003, and the Helen Wilkinson Reynolds Award from the Dutchess County Historical Society in 2010.

January 17, 2012
Members Helping Members
“Members Sharing with Members:” The meeting will be an informal, open forum where attendees (non-members are welcome) can discuss their research problems and see if others have suggestions to help them. Attendees are also invited to share research breakthroughs and tell how they made them, or to bring along their favorite genealogical book and discuss why it is important to them. 
March 20, 2012 Tracing Irish Ancestors

Mary Colbert will present “Researching Irish Ancestors”

Finding Irish ancestors can sometimes be a challenge, but many records are now available online making success more likely than ever. Mary Colbert will show how to use American and Irish records to find the townlands of your Irish ancestors.

Mary Colbert has been researching her New York-Irish family history for over 30 years. Her first ancestor arrived in 1843 and the last in 1901. She is currently writing a family history book which should be finished next year. She posts her progress on the book as well as family stories on her blog:

For the last year she has served as the DCGS Librarian and has taught genealogy classes.

May 15, 2012 Research in the 1940 Census

Mary Colbert will discuss research in the newly released, currently unindexed 1940 census, including tips for finding families without an index, and what's new and different about this census.

Mary Colbert is the librarian for the Dutchess County Genealogical Society, and a long-time genealogical researcher.

June 2, 2012 Seminar (postponed from October 29, 2011) - "Who Do You Think Your Ancestors Were?"

9:30 AM - 3:45 PM
Hyde Park United Methodist Church
Hyde Park, New York

Click here to view/print brochure and advance registration form

September 18, 2012 "The Quack's Daughter: The True Story of the Private Life of a Victorian Girl"
Featuring author Greta Nettleton, presenting her over five years of research of the life of ancestor Cora Keck, a unique and independent Victorian piano prodigy who rose to the pinnacle of America's social pyramid at Vassar College. Nettleton describes it as thus- "Imagine that a Saratoga trunk full of diaries and photgraphs belonging to a forgotton black sheep ancestor came your way... what secrets might be hidden inside?"