Saturday, June 5, 2021

Summit of Excellence Track Highlight: Legal Records

Rick Sayre describes federal land records as "A Goldmine of Kinship Information." Attend his session and you won't be disappointed. But the goldmine doesn't stop there. From immigration and naturalization to probate and tax, legal records offer insights into our ancestors not found elsewhere.

Track Presentations

The following sessions run on Friday, September 17th:

Courting America: Using Court Records with Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGLThe records created by all courts at all times offer what's often the best available evidence of the lives and times of our ancestors. But the sheer number of courts at all levels -- town, county, state, and federal -- can be overwhelming. Where do we find our best bang for the research buck? What records can we hope to find, and where can we find them? And if we spend the time learning to understand the courts and their records, what's the payoff: what can those records tell us? 

Naturalization Know-How: The Laws and Records of U.S. Citizenship with Rich VeneziaMany records were created when immigrant ancestors became American citizens. Learn what they are and how to find them. 

"To Dorothy my Dearly Beloved Wife”: Using Probate Records with Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGLWhere there's a will, there should be a probate: the legal process of settling an estate. Often when there isn't a will, there's still a probate. Understanding the legal process and finding the records created when our ancestors died can help break through the brick walls we all have in our research. And the records themselves not only can help us find out who our ancestors were but also can tell us much about their lives and their times. Well beyond just the wills, the trip through the dockets, the minutes, and the loose papers recording an estate can be one of genealogy's most worthwhile journeys.   

Federal Land Records – A Goldmine of Kinship Information with Richard G. Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA: Federal land records often provide key information to establish kinship. This presentation deals with the federal records establishing the first purchase of land in the public domain, the types of records, how to find them, and how to use them in genealogical research.

Puzzle Pieces: Understanding & Mapping State-Land States with Rebecca Whitman Koford, CG, CGL: Our Midwest ancestors often originated from state-land states in the South and on the East Coast. Land records are vastly different there. In this lecture, we discuss understanding deed terminology and mapping metes and bounds, and we use case studies to illustrate.

United States Tax Lists and Records with Peggy Clemens Lauritzen, AG: Tax records are widely available throughout the historical blueprint of our ancestors’ lives. This presentation will look at some ways they can help us.

The full schedule of all presentations and links to presenter biographies may be found here

Join Us in September!

The 2021 UGA Summit of Excellence celebrates UGA's 50th year. This exciting virtual conference, held September 15-18, 2021, is a four-day event with multiple tracks offering a premier educational opportunity at an extremely reasonable price. Each track features a different record set or research area such as legal records, methodology, technology, or DNA. 

Learn more about the Summit of Excellence or register to attend. Questions may be directed to the registrar: