Calendar of Events

Programs-WhereverMost meetings will be held at the David Library of the American Revolution, Stone Hall, on the second floor of the Conference Center at 1201 River Road, Washington Crossing, PA.  Parking and entrance to the Conference Center are located in the rear of the Library building.  For directions, please see the Library's website at  Check individual meeting listings for alternate locations.

The fee to attend most meetings will be $5 for members and $10 for non-members, and will be collected at the door.  Reservations are NOT required.

If you attend a regular meeting as a non-member, and then choose to join the Society at the end of the same meeting, the meeting fee will be applied to your membership fee.

To stay informed of updates to our Calendar, click here to add your name to our newsletter mailing list!


May 2014 Meeting: Resources at Bucks County Courthouse

When:  Saturday, May 3, 2014, 10 am to 12 noon
Where:  David Library of the American Revolution
Subject:  Resources at the Bucks County Courthouse
Speaker:  Donald Petrille Jr., Esq., Register of Wills of Bucks County

Donald Petrille, Jr. is the elected Register of Wills of Bucks County.  Before taking office in January of 2012, Mr. Petrille spent 14 years in the private practice of law.  Mr. Petrille's legal practice focused on the needs of small businesses and individuals, focusing on real estate, contracts, estate planning and estate administration.

As Register of Wills, Mr. Petrille has instituted several community advisory panels, including those for historians and genealogists, and a well-attended professional advisory panel of accountants and attorneys.  The office is currently working on implementing a digitization plan for all of its records, and has cut the office's operating budget while increasing services.  To this end, the office has established hours at a Lower Bucks Satellite office for probate and marriage license applications.  Mr. Petrille and his staff also serve on and sponsor the Bucks County Elder Abuse Task Force.  The Register of Wills helps report financial abuse to the proper authorities.  The office is also communicating with the public via Facebook and Twitter.




June 2014 Meeting: Newspapers and Genealogy

When:  Saturday, June 7, 2014, 10 am to 12 noon
Where:  David Library of the American Revolution
Subject:  Newspapers and Genealogy
  Digitization has created a huge increase in accessibility of newspapers – making this the “hot” record group for family historians. Learn the perils, pitfalls and frequent rewards of researching local and regional newspapers of general circulation for tidbits about your ancestors.
Speaker:  James M. Beidler, Columnist and Author

James M. Beidler writes Roots & Branches, an award-winning weekly newspaper column on genealogy that is the only syndicated feature on that topic in Pennsylvania. He is also a columnist for German Life magazine and is editor of Der Kurier, the quarterly journal of the Mid-Atlantic Germanic Society. He is also an instructor for online Family Tree University.

He was the President of the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors from 2010 to 2012, and is the former Executive Director for the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania. He served as national co-chairman for the 2008 Federation of Genealogical Societies conference in Philadelphia. 

Beidler is also a frequent contributor to other periodicals ranging from scholarly journals such as The Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine to popular-interest magazines such as Ancestry Magazine and Family Tree Magazine. He also wrote the chapter on genealogy for Pennsylvania: A History of the Commonwealth, published jointly by the Penn State Press and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. 

As a lecturer, he was a part of the Pennsylvania Humanities Council’s acclaimed Commonwealth Speakers program from 2002 to 2009, and has been a presenter at numerous conferences. In addition to being a member of numerous genealogical, historical, and lineage societies, Beidler also sits on the selection committee for the Pennsylvania Digital Newspaper Project and (until recently) Pennsylvania’s State Historic Records Advisory Board.

He is an Enrolled Agent and Senior Tax Advisor for an H&R Block franchise and previously was a copy editor for 15 years for The Patriot-News newspaper in Harrisburg, PA.

Beidler was born in Reading, PA, and raised in nearby Berks County, where he currently resides and is an eighth-generation member of Bern Reformed United Church of Christ. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Hofstra University in Long Island, NY, with a BA in Political Science in 1982.



August 2014 Meeting

When:  Saturday, August 2, 2014, 10 am to 12 noon
Where:  David Library of the American Revolution
Subject: Cold Case: Blasting Brick Walls

Christine Roberts, President, Bucks County Genealogical Society



September 2014 Meeting: Genealogy Computing

When:  Saturday, September 6, 2014, 10 am
Where:  Council Rock North High School Library, Newtown
Subject:  Tips and Tricks:  Beyond the Basics of

Advanced techniques will be presented.  Attendees will have the use of library computers, including access to Library Edition, to do their own research. Door prizes donated by will be awarded to a few lucky participants.

Speaker: Sabrina Petersen, Director of Global Imaging,

Sabrina Petersen currently serves as the Director of Global Imaging for A professional genealogist, she is a member of the National Genealogical Society and Association of Professional Genealogists. Petersen has contributed works to Ancestry Magazine and her lectures are part of the “Know Your Records” series at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. and College Park, Md. Her areas of expertise include Mid-West research, NARA research, and online research.



October 4 Meeting

When:  Saturday, October 4, 2014, 10 am to 12 noon
Where:  David Library of the American Revolution
Subject:  To be determined




November 2014: Annual Meeting and Pot Luck

When:  Saturday, November 1, 2014, 10 am to 1 pm
Where:  David Library of the American Revolution

 BCGS Annual Meeting and Pot Luck Brunch

Our annual meeting will consist of our regular monthly agenda, along with elections for 2015 Executive Board positions.

Following our business meeting, guests will enjoy a Potluck Brunch of favorite family recipes and a program whose format is still being developed.



December 2014 Meeting: Dowered and Bound Out

When:  Saturday, December 6, 2014, 10 am to 12 noon
Where:  David Library of the American Revolution
Subject:  Dowered and Bound Out: Records of Widows and Orphans
  Widows and orphans have always had a special place in the law.  But it's not always the place that 21st century researchers might expect.  An orphan in the early days wasn't a child whose parents had died, but rather a child whose father had died.  The law didn't care much about the mother.  She was just the widow, entitled to her dower rights and generally not much more.  Learn more of the way the law treated widows and orphans, and what the records may tell us about them.
Speaker:  Judy G. Russell,  CG, CGL
  A Certified Genealogist and Certified Genealogical Lecturer with a law degree, The Legal Genealogist Judy G. Russell is a lecturer, educator and writer who enjoys helping others understand a wide variety of genealogical issues, including the interplay between genealogy and the law.