Understanding the Records, Understanding the Law

This two-part workshop covers key aspects of legal records critical to genealogy: reading, abstracting, understanding, and properly interpreting them under the laws of their time.


9:00 - 9:30 Regstration/admission

9:30-1:00 Morning session

1:00-2:00 Lunch

2:00-5:30 Afternoon Session

Register for Saturday, 24 April 2021. $95.00 Registration and Waitlist filled.


StefaniEvansUnderstanding the Records

Stefani Evans, CG


Stefani Evans, CG, of Las Vegas, Nevada, was Board certified in 2005 and elected to the Board for Certification of Genealogists’ (BCG) board of trustees in 2011, serving through 2020, and to the Board’s executive committee 2012—18 as member at large and vice president. From 2009–16 she served as trustee for the BCG Education Fund. During her 2010–14 term as a National Genealogical Society (NGS) director, she chaired the NGS 2013 Family History Conference.  Thirty years after earning her M.A. in educational administration, the former elementary school teacher returned to college to complete her M.A. in U.S. history, which she accomplished in 2011 (although the graduation ceremony conflicted with the 2011 NGS Family History Conference). She is currently a PhD candidate in the History of the North American West and serves as the Nevada delegate on the board of the Southwest Oral History Association.

She recently authored the Nevada guide as part of the NGS Research in the States Series (NGS 2020). She authored the chapter, “Critiques & Reviews,” in Professional Genealogy: Preparation, Practice & Standards edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills (2018), and her work has been published by the NGS Quarterly, the NGS Magazine, and the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society Record

Since 2014, she has worked at the Oral History Research Center at University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) Libraries, where she coordinated the Building Las Vegas oral history project and conducted more than 140 interviews of architects, designers, infrastructure executives, planners, etc. She has just begun Reflections: A Las Vegas Asian American and Pacific Islander oral history project with four undergraduate assistants to help with the project . She co-edited Healing Las Vegas (University of Nevada Press, October 2019), a book about the Las Vegas Community Healing Garden that was conceived the day after the 1 October 2017 mass shooting and dedicated five days later. The book benefits the Healing Garden and builds on photographs and hopeful, inspirational quotes from nearly 70 oral histories of bereaved family members, community volunteers, first responders, and survivors. 

She has lectured at National Genealogical Society conferences; she mentored the ProGen2 Study Group, and she has taught in the Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum, You Be the Judge (now Applying Standards to Appraise Genealogical Work), and Chinese Family History courses at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), and the You Be the Judge course at the Genealogical Research Institute at Pittsburgh (GRIP).

In her own work, Stefani focuses on her Baptist, Episcopalian, Jewish, Lutheran, Mennonite, Presbyterian, Quaker, and Reformed Dutch ancestors and their migration routes from New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Virginia to Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio and on to California, Oregon, and Washington. She applies her background in social history to genealogical analysis and vice-versa and looks forward to applying these dual backgrounds to her students in the Understanding the Records module in the 2021 annual BCG Education Fund workshop, Putting Skills To Work.

JGR.5x7.300Understanding the Law

Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL

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 holds 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 before her retirement in 2014, was an adjunct member of the faculty at Rutgers Law School.

She is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the National Genealogical Society and numerous state and regional genealogical societies. She has written for the National Genealogical Society Quarterly (from which she received the 2017 Award of Excellence), the National Genealogical Society Magazine, the FGS Forum, BCG’s OnBoard, and Family Tree Magazine, among other publications.

On the faculty of the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research, the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, the Midwest African American Genealogy Institute, and the Genealogical Institute on Federal Records, 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℠. Her award-winning blog appears at The Legal Genealogist website (http://www.legalgenealogist.com).