Rock Stars: Judy Russell, The Legal Genealogist
|Me with Judy Russell, The Legal Genealogist|
I even went to an orientation session at the University of Nebraska College of Law, Becoming a student at that time wasn't going to happen, so I took several paralegal classes at the College of St. Mary a couple decades ago. I am still hooked on law, especially copyright law. So it should come as no surprise that Judy Russell is one of my genealogy Rock Stars.
I was wandering through the vendor hall at NGS and Judy was standing by the booth sponsored by the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), of which I've been a member for a couple years. One of the ladies asked if she could help me and I replied, "I want to meet Judy Russell!" At which point, Judy and I greeted each other and posed for a selfie as we've been Facebook friends for a couple years.
When I attended the state conference of the Missouri Genealogical Society (MoSGA) in 2014, I was thrilled to learn that Judy would be speaking at the 2015 conference. So I wondered if I was going to "overdose" on Judy by attending Judy's sessions at NGS. This is not possible! I ended up attending three of Judy's talks at NGS and she knocked it out of the park on every one!
First, I attended Judy's talk at the luncheon, The Rest of the Story. The one concept I got from this talk is that some of our ancestor stores may not be ours to tell. Respecting the privacy of living persons is important.
The sound bites-tweets-comments from this session include:
- We do a disservice to our history when all we do is repeat facts.
- We must put the story of every member of our family into the context of their life at their time in history.
- We are the gatekeeper of secrets.
- Not every story is ours to tell.
- Sometimes it is our responsibility to leave the stories there.
- There is a distinction between story keepers and story tellers.
Living With Legal Lingo
The next session of Judy's that I attended was Living With Legal Lingo. From my days as a student of paralegal studies, I was already a fan of Black's Law Dictionary. I remember writing out my 3x5 cards of legal definitions in preparation for the tests at College of St. Mary. Even when I downsized my collection of physical books a couple years ago, I HAD to have the e-edition of Black's. It IS ESSENTIAL!
What I learned from Judy in this session that there are many other law dictionaries that are contemporary to their times. Quoting Judy: "To understand the records, we need to understand the law at the time and place the document was created."
Additional Legal Resources:
Additional Legal Resources:
- Law Dictionary Legal App (IOS)
- Black's Law Dictionary App
- Black's Law Dictionary (Kindle)
- Jacob's Law Dictionary
- John Bouvier Law Dictionary
- Georgetown Law Library
ARG! No, that wasn't enough! I also attended Judy's luncheon session about Pirates in genealogy! And they aren't all Jack Sparrow! This lecture was just pure fun!
On Saturday night following the conference, about 25 of the genealogy bloggers got together for dinner. It was beyond my wildest imagination that I would actually be seated next to Judy at this dinner! Sometimes, I'm a Chatty Kathy, but in this situation, I was just thrilled to sit there and listen to all that Judy had to share! She is one classy woman, a genealogy rock star, a legal beagle, and I am honored to be in her presence!
Yes, in my book, Judy G. Russell is a Genealogy Rock Star! And I am looking forward to spending two days with her in August at MoSGA!!!