Throughout the year, the Society hosts a variety of genealogy related programs and events  designed for all levels across a broad selection of topics. For more information about a particular program, meeting, or event, please visit the specific page related to the item of interest.

NSDCGS Calendar


Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Program Meeting

August 22 @ 9:00 am - 11:30 am

Today’s topic: “So, Who Is This Rathbun Fellow?” presented by Mary Van Orsdol

New York research is always challenging. One major reason for the difficulty of researching in New York is that the state was late in requiring civil registration of birth, marriage, and death events and did not reach 90% compliance until 1915. Complicating vital records research is the state’s deliberate efforts to restrict public access to these records. As Del Ritchhart explained in his recent lecture, “Extra! Extra! Read All About It!,” newspapers can provide a wealth of information about births, marriages, divorces, and deaths.

Inspired by Del’s presentation and by Carol Baird’s presentation in May, “They’re Nuthin’ to Me,” Mary will

Mary Van Orsdol

Mary Van Orsdol

demonstrate how she used newspapers and anticlimactically a marriage record to piece together how Nettie Van Orsdal (her sixth cousin, twice removed) became M. Antoinette Rathbun.

Speaker Biography

Mary received her B.A. in history from University of California, San Diego, her M.A. in American history from University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and her M.L.S. from University of California, Los Angeles. Her first library position was at University of California, Irvine, as the Humanities Reference Librarian. Mary began researching her genealogy in 1991 after she attended a Van Orsdol family reunion in Bristow, Oklahoma, and met several Van Orsdol genealogists who generously shared their findings. She was able to combine her professional interests in research methodology and her personal interest in genealogy when she was hired as a genealogy reference librarian at the Carlsbad City Library; she became the head of the Genealogy Division in 1993 and retired from that position in 2015.

Mary developed a strong research interest and expertise in New Netherland research as she traced her family’s history. Her other genealogy interests include genealogy research methodology and how this is changing with the internet, source citations and how citing sources influences research methodology, and, most recently, organizing genealogy findings electronically, in other words, going paperless. When not researching her family, Mary enjoys knitting, gardening, and playing with her cats.

We welcome your participation to join in the sharing and/or present a brief case study! If you would like time to share at the member’s meeting or present a brief case study, you may contact our Program Chair, Jean Tempke, in advance, at Jean also welcomes volunteers to present topics of general genealogical interest to the members at large or a case study, either must be about an hour in length plus a few minutes for questions.

The Society sponsors coffee & sweets preceding each meeting. Please join us in the coffee room; on the left, inside the chamber. Note: only water is allowed in the chamber.
Society meeting format:

  • 9:00 am Coffee Social
  • 9:30 am Members’ Meeting: Society News, Sharing and occasional Case Studies
  • 10:00 am Break
  • 10:15 am Featured Speaker


August 22
9:00 am - 11:30 am
Event Category:


Jean Tempke


Carlsbad City Council Chambers
1200 Carlsbad Village Drive
Carlsbad, CA 92008 United States
+ Google Map