The Capital District Genealogical Society has announced their 2020 Conference, set for Saturday, May 30th, at The Desmond Hotel in Albany.
Judy Russell will be the Keynote Speaker on the subject “After The Courthouse Burns: Rekindling Family History through DNA.” Catastrophic records loss due to fires and disasters at courthouses is a fact of life for genealogists. When a disaster takes out birth, marriage, death, court, land and probate records all in one fell swoop, it may still be possible to light our family’s research fires — to rekindle our interest in our ancestral roots — using DNA evidence.
Russell will speak in the afternoon on the topic: “Don’t Forget the Ladies: A Genealogist’s Guide to Women and the Law.” In early America, women were all too often the people who just weren’t there: not in the records, not in the censuses, not on juries, not in the voting booth. The common law relegated women to “protected” – second-class – status and understanding how they were treated under the law provides clues to finding their identities today.
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. Before she retired, she worked as a newspaper reporter, trade association writer, legal investigator, defense attorney, federal prosecutor, law editor and, for more than 20 years, was an adjunct member of the faculty at Rutgers Law School.
Tom Jones will be speaking to the topics: “The Jones Jinx: Tracing Common Surnames.” This case study will explain how missing, erroneous, and altered records were overcome to identify the parents of an orphan named Jones. Attendees will learn research strategies that they can use to solve their own common-surname problems. Also, “Out-of-State Workarounds for In-State Record Shortages”. Thomas Greenfield owned no land. He left no record of his heirs. This case study describes the reconstruction of his family — two wives and eighteen children — from direct and indirect evidence in DNA and common and obscure records from national to local levels mostly from states where Thomas never lived.
Meryl Schumacker will present two lectures: The first “Lets Make Trying New Things in Genealogy Less Scary”: Going offline is a necessary step on the path to genealogical discoveries, but walking into an unfamiliar courthouse, research library, or even a genealogy conference can be unfamiliar. Learn tips to conquer your fear of the unknown and “level up” in your research. And the second “Strategies for Urban Research”: Pinpoint the city dwellers in your family tree with methodologies and record types specific to New York’s biggest cities. Learn to navigate urban geography, distinguish between same-name individuals, and work through census gaps and losses.
The Desmond is located in the Town of Colonie, near the intersection of Wolf Rd. and Albany Shaker Road just down the road from the Albany County International Airport. There is easy access from the Adirondack Northway and from I 90.
More information on the conference can be found online.