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NGS Law School for genealogists

So… you always wanted to go to law school but became a genealogist instead, huh? And now you’re headed off to Cincinnati for the 2012 National Genealogical Society Conference — maybe you’re already there, sitting in your hotel room with your syllabus, trying to decide which sessions to attend?

Well, you’re in luck. Because you can combine both of those interests over the next few days.

Here are The Legal Genealogist‘s recommendations for Law School for Genealogists at the NGS conference.

Wednesday, May 9

Start out on Wednesday morning at 11.m. with W123, “Solving Problems with Tax Records,” presented by Victor S. Dunn, CG. Of all the records various laws required to be created, tax records may be among the most useful, allowing us to track even landless families where few other records exist.

Thursday, May 10

Those who were lucky enough to pre-register for the hands-on workshop, T203, “Understanding Court Records,” by J. Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA, are in for a real treat. But even if you didn’t manage to get into that workshop and can’t snag a late registration, there’s a lot to choose from on Thursday.

At 2:30 p.m., Jana Sloan Broglin, CG, OGSF, will present “Ohio’s Common Pleas Court,” T245. The Common Pleas Courts throughout early America were the courts closest to the people and their records are genealogical goldmines. Though this focuses on Ohio, what you’ll learn is easily transposed to any similar court anywhere.

At 4 p.m., there are two choices. First, Barbara Vines Little, CG, FNGS, FVGS, presents the Helen F.M. Leary Distinguished Lecture “Locating and Understanding the Law”, T253. And Gail Jackson Miller CG presents “Using Kentucky Equity and Criminal Court Cases to Complete Your Research,” T257.

Friday, May 11

There are three solid choices for Friday attendees starting with F313 at 9:30 a.m., “Chancery Records: The Secrets They Hold, the Families They Reveal,” presented by Barbara Vines Little, CG, FNGS, FVGS. Chancery courts were the courts of equity, handling all kinds of cases involving family matters that weren’t the usual lawsuit for money type of court case.

At 11 a.m., Michael J. Leclerc presents “Advanced Probate Research,” F323. That means going beyond the simple will to the many additional types of records that could be created in connection with a death.

And for those who are still a little leery about even looking at the law, at 2:30 p.m. Debbie Mieszala CG presents “Taking the Awe out of the Law Library,” F345.

Saturday, May 12

There aren’t any specific law-related lectures scheduled for Saturday. But there are some awfully good offerings. Listen to Pamela Ann Weisberger tell about finding conflicting court records and tracing the story of “When Leopold Met Lena: Marriage, Divorce, and Deception at the Turn of the Century,” in S402 at 8 a.m. Or go hear my friend Michael Hait at 8 a.m. in S407, “African American Genealogy: Tearing Down the Brickwalls.”

And don’t forget to stop by the Exhibition Hall booth of the Board for Certification of Genealogists between, oh, 10:30 and noon or so on Saturday, and I’ll be happy to help answer your questions about going ahead and trying your hand at getting certified as a genealogist. (And loads of others will be staffing the booth throughout the whole conference — ask any of us!)

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