Calendar of Events

September 27 (Saturday): 9:30 - 4:30 Fall Seminar

Laura PrescottThe Dallas Genealogical Society invites you to join us for a one‐day workshop featuring Judy Russell, a Certified Genealogist and Certified Genealogical Lecturer with a law degree. She 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.

Judy was also just voted a Gold Medal Genealogical Rockstar - described as “those who give “must attend” presentations at family history conferences or as webinars. Who, when you see a new family history article or publication by that person, makes it a must buy.” Who is it, he asked, where you “hang on their every word on a blog, podcast or newsgroup, or follow avidly on Facebook or Twitter?”. Read more about this award on her blog


Judy will be presenting four sessions: 

  • From Blackstone to the Statutes at Large - How Knowing the Law Makes Us Better Genealogists
  • Don't Forget the Ladies” - A Genealogist's Guide to Women and the Law
  • Through the Golden Door: Immigration After the Civil War
  • The Ethical Genealogist

Judy will be speaking on the following topics.


  • From Blackstone to the Statutes at Large - How Knowing the Law Makes Us Better Genealogists. To understand our ancestors' lives - why they did what they did, we need to understand the law that governed their lives in so many ways. Learn how knowing the law our ancestors lived by helps us make sense of the records they left and find clues to more and different records
  • Don't Forget the Ladies - A Genealogist's Guide to Women and the Law. In early America, women were all too often the people who just weren't there: not in the records, not in the censuses, not on juries, not in the voting booth. The common law relegated women to “protected” – second-class –status and understanding how they were treated under the law provides clues to finding their identities today
  • Through the Golden Door: Immigration After the Civil War. America's doors were open to all before the Civil War, with few restrictions. Afterwards, the laws began tightening, with exclusions, quotas, even required visas. How did the immigration laws affect your ancestors who immigrated after the Civil War? What hoops did they have to jump through to enter America's “golden door”?
  • The Ethical Genealogist. Genealogists deal with sensitive issues all the time: how to handle family secrets, what to say about living people, crediting the work of others. Learn more about the ethical challenges of trying to solve family history mysteries in the 21st century

Schedule and Location

This event will be held at the Dallas Public Library: J. Erik Jonsson Central Library 1515 Young Street Dallas, TX (DirectionsWeb page)

  • Registration: 9:30 a.m.
  • Workshop: 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Lunch: NOT PROVIDED due to renovations being performed at the library. The lunch break will be 90 minutes and you will be provided with a list of local restaurants. Limited space will be available at the library on a first come - first seated basis for those who may want to bring a lunch.
  • Parking: $1.50 (Discounted fee)


  • $50 (Member)
  • $60 (Non-Member)

Registration (On-Line)

  • DGS Members and Non-Member Account Holders: To register for this event online (with a credit card), please follow the steps outlined below:
    • Click on the Membership tab at the top of this page
    • Click on Account Manager (in the menu on the left)
    • Enter your Login Name and Password and click on the Log In button
    • A pull-down menu (default value: "What would you like to do?") will be displayed on the right side of the page. Select Upcoming Events
    • This event should be listed... click on Register and follow the instructions
  • Individuals who are not DGS members and have never attended a DGS lecture, institute or other event
    • You may still register online for the Fall Lecture. Click here to create a non-member account and then follow the directions for Member and Non-Member Account Holders above.

Additional Information


About Our Speaker

Judy Russell is a genealogist with a law degree, whose purpose, in part, is to help folks understand the often arcane and even impenetrable legal concepts and terminology that are so very important to those of us studying family history. Without understanding the context in which events took place and records were created, we miss so much of both the significance and the flavor of what happened.


Judy has a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a political science minor from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and a law degree from Rutgers School of Law-Newark. She has worked as a newspaper reporter, trade association writer, legal investigator, defense attorney, federal prosecutor, law editor and, for more than 20 years, has been an adjunct member of the faculty at Rutgers Law School.


She holds credentials as a Certified GenealogistSM and Certified Genealogical LecturerSM from the Board for Certification of Genealogists® where she currently serve as a member of the Board of Trustees. Judy is a member of the National Genealogical Society, the Association of Professional Genealogists, and, among others, the state genealogical societies of New Jersey, North Carolina, Virginia, Texas and Illinois.


Several of her articles have been published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly and the National Genealogical Society Magazine.


Visit Judy’s web site at

Dallas Genealogical Society
P. O. Box 12446, Dallas, Texas 75225-0446
1-866-YOU2DGS (866-968-2347)