Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Weekend with Judy Russell

Wow! What a great weekend I've had. 
Judy G. Russell, The Legal Genealogist, was here in Seattle as the featured speaker at the Seattle Genealogical Society's annual Spring Seminar. What a treat for all who attended!

Don't let the photo on her website scare you. Judy is nowhere near as formal and serious as that photo would suggest. She's a surprisingly dynamic speaker with a great sense of humor. Who would guess that a lawyer could be funny?

I've attended a LOT of genealogy presentations over the years, including at multiple national conferences. Judy Russell is definitely in the top handful of genealogy speakers I've heard.

Back to Saturday--4 great presentations on topics related to using legal records for genealogy. I think most of us figured we'd gotten our money's worth after the first two presentations; the afternoon was gravy! I left with a long list of "To Dos" scribbled on the back of my syllabus. And, of course, stayed up until well after midnight searching some of the websites Judy suggested, because I kept finding things I'd never seen before about every ancestor I chose. Amazing!

To top off the weekend, Judy presented a special two-hour advanced case study workshop at SGS this morning. Attendance was limited to 25. Judy's presentation was an excellent example of the Genealogical Proof standard: conducting a "reasonably exhaustive search", "evaluating the records" and "analyzing your findings" to overcome a seemingly impossible brick wall. It makes me want to dive back into ALL of the records I've collected over the last 30+ years, organize them so I can actually see what I have, and work through the process of evaluating and analyzing all the information contained in them.

But the sun's shining in Seattle this afternoon, so obviously that's not going to happen today!

Really--if you have a chance to attend a Judy Russell talk, GO!

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