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Genealogy and the Law

Learn from the nation's leading genealogy experts how to use local, state and federal laws and the records those laws generate to enhance your genealogy research.








Program will be held in the auditorium of the


Delaware County Bar Association

335 West Front Street, Media, Delaware County, PA 19063


10:00 am until 2:00 pm



With Guest Speakers:



Judy G. Russell, J.D., CG(SM), CGL(SM)


(10:00 - 11:00 am)


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 brought over by the colonists relegated women to “protected” -- second-class -- status. There were exceptions but, generally, women had good cause to wish, as Abigail Adams did, that their husbands would “remember the ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors.” Understanding the law as to the legal status and rights of women as it existed and changed over the years helps explain the records we find of our ancestors.




Michael Hait, CG(SM)


(11:00 am - noon)


Finding and Using Online Legal Resources

Michael Hait will discuss how to locate federal and state laws and court decisions online, and what effect they had on our ancestors’ daily lives and how we research them. 




Noon - 1:15 pm - Lunch - You are invited to explore the numerous Media restaurants available within a short walking distance from the Delaware County Bar Association. Please see the Visit Media website for details about local eateries.


Michael S. Ramage, J.D., CG(SM)


(1:15 - 2:00 pm)


Forensic Genealogy in a Nutshell

Forensic genealogy involves the legal side of family history and includes such matters as missing and unknown heir searches involving estates and real estate; adoptions; genetic genealogy; mineral & gas rights; military reparation cases; citizenship; guardianships; and expert testimony.  This talk will provide an overview of what is involved in this field.


Speaker Bios:

Michael Hait, CG(sm) is a full-time professional genealogist, with over fifteen years of research experience across the United States. His specialties include Maryland research, African American genealogy, and records of the Civil War and Reconstruction era. Michael is a frequent contributor to genealogy magazines and journals, and a popular lecturer in the Mid-Atlantic area. Michael is currently serving as the Chapter Representative of the Greater Philadelphia Area Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) and on the Association of Professional Genealogists Board of Directors for the term 2012-2013.


Michael S. Ramage, J.D, Certified Genealogist(SM).  Michael is a full-time, professional genealogist and licensed attorney specializing in forensic genealogy including missing and unknown heir research, adoptions, and expert testimony.  Board for Certification of Genealogists (V.P., Trustee &  Chair of Intellectual Property Committee); Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy (Vice President); Teaching Assistant at Boston University’s Genealogical Research Program; author of “Missing and Unknown Estate Heir Law Practice and Procedure,” Pennsylvania Bar Association Quarterly, Volume LXXVI, No. 3 (July 2005): 125; “What Lawyers Need to Know about the Heir-Hunting Industry,” The Pennsylvania Lawyer (May/June 2013): 43; and others.  He has worked on U.S. Army projects to connect the DNA of descendants of soldiers lost or missing in the Korean War.  For more information you may consult his website: www.ForensicGenealogist.Pro.


The Legal Genealogist Judy G. Russell is a Certified Genealogist℠ and Certified Genealogical Lecturer℠ 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 is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the National Genealogical Society and numerous state and regional genealogical societies. On the faculty of the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy and the Institute for Genealogy and Historical Research in Alabama, she is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, and has written for the National Genealogical Society Quarterly and the National Genealogical Society Magazine.






October 26th, 2013 10:00 AM   through   2:00 PM
335 West Front Street
Delaware County Bar Association
Media, PA 19063-2340
United States
GSP Member $ 40.00
Non-Member $ 55.00
Webinar (Russell and Hait only) $ 20.00