Judy G. Russell, JD, CG℠ , CGL℠

Judy Russell’s wit and wisdom have made her the favorite lecturer and author among genealogists. Her background as a reporter, investigator, attorney, and genealogist makes her the perfect guide for researchers delving into court records and legal documents. Judy teaches at the Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research (IGHR); The Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG); and The Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP).
Courting Virginia: Understanding the Old Dominion’s State and Federal Courts
Saturday, 1 April 2017
9:00-10:00 a.m.
(S11) Gentlemen’s Justice: The Justices of the Peace. What did Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and James Madison have in common with Thomas, Lord Fairfax? They were all Justices of the Peace, presiding over what was then the people’s court, meting out justice that directly touched our ancestor’s day to day lives and in whose ranks so many of our ancestors served. Learn more about Virginia’s gentlemen judges.
10:30-11:30 a.m.
(S12) The Fair Court: Virginia’s Court of Chancery. What was the Court of Chancery? What did it have to do with fairness? Why did it exist? How did it differ from the law courts? And what treasures await the genealogist in its records? These are some of the questions to be answered in this review of the court called the Fair Court – Virginia’s Court of Chancery.
1:15-2:15 p.m.
(S13) Before the Circuits: Virginia’s Early Courts. Successful research in Virginia often means leaving no stone unturned in the search for surviving records. Understanding the rolls and the records of Virginia’s early courts – from the colonial Governor and Council to the County and Hustings Courts to the District and Superior Courts – is crucial to finding the clues that may still survive in Virginia today.
2:45-3:45 p.m.
(S14) Making a Federal Case Out of It in the Old Dominion. Even genealogists who have a good background in Virginia court records often overlook the wealth of detail available in the records of the federal courts: the District Court and the Circuit Court (now Circuit Court of Appeals). From bankruptcies to copyrights to patent to cases in admiralty jurisdiction and more, federal court records merit a close look.