Tuesday, April 12, 2016

SLIG 2017 Highlight: The Family History Law Library

Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL
Want to know one of the key differences between a good genealogist and a great one? Knowledge of and experience with court records! And who better to learn from than The Legal Genealogist herself Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL, and the knowledgeable Richard G. Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA.

The course will cover the basic legal concepts and legal research approaches appropriate for genealogists, and will require the student to employ these concepts with hands on exercises using the resources of the FHL. Topics will include courts and their records, estate laws, legislative records, pensions, and property law.

Additionally, elements of both English common law and Roman law will be introduced through classes on the legal concepts found in Irish, German, and French law that relate to research in those countries and their relevance to research in the United States.

Richard G. Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA
Previous attendee Michelle Ganus Taggart said of her experience, “The Law Library Course at SLIG was a fun and engaging class packed full of great information.  Coordinators Judy Russell and Rick Sayre helped us see the many ways the law impacted our ancestors' lives.  We learned where to find the laws, how to apply them, and how understanding the law of the time period can help provide clues that lead to further discoveries about our ancestors in related records. Among other things, we learned about civil law, common law, family law, probate law and military law. During the course I literally kept a running list of new things to try in my own research and I left excited to put my new knowledge to work. This class provided me with new tools that have helped me tackle some of my most stubborn genealogical problems!

Have questions about The Family History Law Library, and if it’s the right class for you? Email us at

For more information about Judy Russell, visit her blog The Legal Genealogist.

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