A Day in Court with
Judy G Russell, JD, CG, CGL
1 November 2014
.....presented by the San Mateo County Genealogical Society
Judy continues to look out for all of us and tries to educate us in law - knowing that the laws of the day make it possible for family history researchers to better understand the lives of their ancestors and the records they created. So go to the blog and register, keep yourself updated and learn in the process.
I attended the SMCGS 2014 Fall Seminar in Menlo Park to listen to what Judy Russell has to say. I am looking for purls (knitting term) of wisdom. When we arrived and checked in, there was a silent auction and book sales,. Yes I checked through all the books, there were a couple of tempting ones.. AND I carefully looked over the silent auction items. Boy was I Tempted!! -one was a year's subscription to Ancestry.com.
The topics today were -
"The Fair Court - Records of Chancery Courts"
"Polls, Personalty and Property- Making Sense of Tax Lists"
"From Blackstone to the Statutes at Large - How Knowing the Law Makes Us Better Genealogists"
A little about Judy Russell in case someone reads this post- With a Bachelor'degree in journalism/political science and a law degree from Rutgers. I was curious about the letters behind her name and only found 2 out of 3...... JD= Juris Doctor/ a professional doctorate and first professional graduate degree in law. CG= Certified Genealogist CGL= ?(I am going to continue to look)
Judy rocks.She is approachable, what a great combination. I have always felt very comfortable walking up to Judy, saying HI and asking questions, or making comments. I really enjoy her presentations.
Several items that I learned that I may even retain............
What does "Last Will and Testament" mean? A Will involves real property and Testament refers to personal property.
Whatever you are researching you have to know what the laws are of that time frame and location.
Up to the mid 1800's Guardian is about the overseeing of property not child protection/care. The overseeing of a Minor's property NOT their care.
Crown Copyright - beware- United Kingdom does not republish
Look for Dockets - index to minutes/ case by case// Minutes - events that describe each case in more details // Loose papers or case files - don't forget to ask
References to try..............
Use Google Books
Blacks Law Dictionary 1891
So now I understand why knowing the law makes us better genealogists - most records are required by law/ most records are also confusing - both the law is involved and the need to understand the law of the time and location.
To understand the records we need to understand the law, when the record was created, where the record was created.
Staff was very friendly and helpful. They were gearing up for the lunch time rush.
Yep!! It was raining earlier today but not during the day.........
It was a good day. Reunited with quite a number of old friends from the California Genealogical Society in Oakland, plus several from the SMCGS which was a pleasant surprise.
Big thanks to the SMCGS and to Judy Russell.