Wednesday, January 7, 2015

FGSCruise2015: Featured Speaker Judy Russell

The 2015 FGS Alaskan Cruise, August 28-September 4, is going to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. A genealogy cruise is like getting the best of everything:

  • A sightseeing vacation (Alaska! The inner passage…glaciers…whales…eagles!)
  • A learning experience beyond compare (Elizabeth Shown Mills, David Rencher, D. Joshua Taylor and me, up close and personal, with a wide variety of topics to choose from)
  • A chance to mingle with like-minded folks (who are guaranteed not to roll their eyes when you start talking about genealogy) -- all wrapped up in one package. 

Throw in the food, the entertainment, plenty to keep the non-genealogist spouse or travel companion busy and happy, and it simply doesn't get much better than that.

Spencer Glacier-Placer River panorama

We'll be able to take a careful look at court records at all levels -- federal, state and county -- and how to make use of them in family history. We'll have lots of time to do some hands-on work with those records, and even learn about some of the judges who created them:  the justices of the peace.  And I'm particularly looking forward to the chance to help cruisers really understand autosomal DNA testing and how useful it can be in breaking down brick walls.

Hope to see you onboard in 2015!

--Judy Russell

Judy will be delivering four lectures during the cruise:

  • Beyond X and Y: The Promise and Pitfalls of Autosomal DNA Testing
  • Order in the Court: Hands-on with Court Records (2-part workshop)
  • Making a Federal Case Out of It 
  • The Gentlemen Judges: Justices of the Peace

The Legal Genealogist Judy G. Russell is a genealogist with a law degree. She writes, teaches and lectures on a wide variety of genealogical topics, ranging from using court records in family history to understanding DNA testing. A Colorado native with roots deep in the American south on her mother’s side and entirely in Germany on her father’s side, she is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the National Genealogical Society and numerous state and regional genealogical societies. She attended the National Institute on Genealogical Research (NIGR) at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., and was a Walter Lee Sheppard Jr. prizewinner in Advanced Methodology and Evidence Analysis at the Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research (IGHR) at Samford University. Now on the faculty of IGHR as well as the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy and the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, 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℠. She has written for the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, the National Genealogical Society Magazine and BCG’s OnBoard newsletter. Her blog, chosen as one of the American Bar Association’s top 100 in 2013, appears at The Legal Genealogist website

The FGS 2015 Alaskan Cruise will offer a full genealogy conference during sea days that does not encroach on time to enjoy mainland excursions.  Register for the cruise at

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