Family History Conference

March 28-30, 2019

No Person Shall Gallop Horses in the Streets! Using Court Records to Tell Stories of Our Ancestors’ Lives

Keynote by “The Legal Genealogist” Judy Russell

‘No Person Shall . . . Gallop Horses in the Streets’: Using Court Records to Tell the Stories of Our Ancestors’ Lives”

Early court records give color and meaning to the lives and times of our ancestors. County courts often functioned as both judiciary and legislature, and appeals courts published fact-filled opinions. While the records often establish relationships to help build a family tree, they also offer much richness and depth to help tell a family’s story.

About the Speaker

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 (


The Thursday and Friday portions of the Lancaster Family History Conference are held at the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society, 2215 MIllstream Road, Lancaster, PA 17602.

The Saturday portion of the Lancaster Family History Conference takes place at the Farm and Home Center, 1383 Arcadia Road, Lancaster, PA 17601.

To travel to the Farm and Home Center, take Route 30 West to Route 283 West, and then to Route 72 South, going under the Route 30 bypass. Turn left at Jones Honda Dealership onto Service Road. Go straight at stop sign to enter Farm and Home Center parking lot. See