2019 Fall Seminar: Judy Russell, The Legal Genealogist

SEMINAR REGISTRATION is OPEN!  Click HERE to register online. By mail, see below.

 - PLEASE REGISTER ASAP-- Early Bird discount rate ends Fri Oct 25.

PRICING –   Members $50.00,   Non-Members $60.00,   LUNCH $10.00.  
          After October 25 & Walk Ins, if available, add $10 to ticket price.

          Lunch sandwich choice (select 1):  Turkey & Mozzarella, Roast Beef, Ham & Swiss, Vegetarian

          SUPPORT SMCGS. Become a new member for 2020 ($30) and register at the member rate to save $10.

          RENEW your SMCGS membership for 2020 when you register!


  1. Register online via PayPal, click HERE.
  2. Register by mail, write checks to SMCGS Seminar, mail to: SMCGS Seminar, PO Box 5569, Redwood City, CA 94063. 
Saturday, November 2, 2019,  9 am - 3 pm. Doors open at 8 am.
Join us for a day of gaining insight about genealogy, more than you may have thought.
Judy Russell is a genealogist with a law degree and one of the best thinkers and lecturers in the field. Her talks are delivered with good humor, perception, and thoughtful connections. She will address law in our ancestors' time, conducting solid research, and ethics surrounding today's DNA testing.

• Finding the Law

• The Law and Reasonably Exhaustive (Re)Search

• DNA and the Golden Rule: The Law and Ethics of Genetic Genealogy

• No Vitals? No Problem! Building a Family through Circumstantial Evidence

The Legal Genealogist, Judy G. Russell CG®, CGL℠, writes and lectures on topics ranging from using court records in family history to understanding DNA testing. On the faculty of numerous genealogy institutes, she is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, from which she holds credentials as a Certified Genealogist and Certified Genealogical Lecturer. Her award-winning blog is at https://www.legalgenealogist.com/

  • From Ancestry.com:
  • 6 month Ancestry world subscription
  • 6 month Ancestry world subscription
  • DNA Kit
  • 12 month Fold 3 subscription
  • 12 month newspapers.com subscription
  • From Genealogical Publishing Co:
  • Genealogy at a Glance - Irish Genealogy Research
  • Genealogy at a Glance - US Federal Census Records
  • How to Find Your Family History in U.S. Church Records by Sunny Jane Morton and Harold A. Henderson CG, 2019
  • From MyHeritage:
  • One DNA kit
  • 12 month Complete Plan ($299 value)
  • Hand-made pieced Quilt, 1930 top pieced in Ohio, 2019 completed in Redwood City.





  8:00 – 9:00

REGISTRATION & Time to Browse our Silent Auction Items & Book Sales

  9:00 – 9:15


  9:15 – 10:15     LECTURE ONE

Finding the Law

Time and time again, we’re told as genealogists that we need to look at records in the context of the law at the time and in the place where the records were created. Easier said than done! With 50 states and the federal government all passing laws, how do we find the laws we need?

10:15- 10:45


 10:45 – 11:45   LECTURE TWO

The Law and Reasonable Exhaustive (Re)Search

They’re the building blocks of any genealogy: wills, deeds, vital records. Once we've gathered records from all areas where our ancestors lived, we tick off that GPS—what once was called the “reasonably exhaustive search.” We have, we believed, examined “a wide range of high-quality sources” and therefore minimized “the probability that undiscovered evidence will overturn a too-hasty conclusion.” Or have we?

 11:45 – 12:45   LUNCH

LUNCH – Time to check out the Silent Auction Items, Book Sales and the Family History Center

 12:45 – 1:45   LECTURE THREE

DNA and the Golden Rule: The Law and Ethics of Genetic Genealogy

Whose permission is needed to test a child or an adult unable to consent? Who owns our DNA? What can we disclose about a cousin who has tested? The rules of the road for the ethical challenges facing genealogists interested in using DNA evidence as part of their family history research. Learn how applying the Golden Rule can guide us through many if not most of the situations in which we as genetic genealogists find ourselves.

 1:45 – 2:00  


 2:00 – 3:00   LECTURE FOUR

No Vitals? No Problem! – Building a Family through Circumstantial Evidence - A Family for Isabella

When there’s no birth, marriage or death record, what’s a genealogist to do? Learn how to use circumstantial evidence to build a family. This case study involves

tracing a woman married before the 1850 census.

Saturday, November 2, 2019    9 am - 3 pm
Doors open at 8 am. Registration, Book Sales & Silent Auction.
Menlo Park LDS Church - 1105 Valparaiso, Menlo Park

Click HERE to register for the seminar.