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To the hosts and more of 2020

It’s hard to know just how to feel as this crazy crazy year of 2020 draws finally to a close.

On one hand, The Legal Genealogist can’t help but glance at the calendar with the usual reaction: It isn’t really already…?

How can it be…?


Can it really be the last day of 2020?

On the other hand, it seems like it’s been literally forever that this year has dragged on. My traveling life came to a scfreeching halt on March 8, when I did my last in-person presentation. After that day, between the unending news of the pandemic and what seems like the unending news of the election, 2020 has lasted about 8,462 times longer than it needed to. And I almost feel like what we all are saying is, oh please tell us this year is really finally truly coming to an end.

Goodbye 2020

There’s a whole lot of “goodbye–good riddance–don’t let the door hit you on the way out” here at the end of this year.

But you know what? With all that, there are still so many people who made a difference this year. Who helped keep me afloat. Who kept my spirits up. Who taught me. Who challenged me. Who gave me a chance to be heard. Who were there.

So the traditional year-end thanks is even more heartfelt than usual here at the end of 2020. First to the hosts, in person early on and then pivoting quickly — and with enormous difficulty for which they deserve enormous credit — to a virtual environment:

Bucks County Genealogical Society
Genealogical Society of Palm Beach County
South Bend Area Genealogical Society
Family Tree webinars, and hosts Geoff Rasmussen and Marian Pierre-Louis who make things easy
Georgia Genealogical Society
Connecticut Society of Genealogists
RootsTech 2020
Minnesota Genealogical Society
DNA Genealogy Group of Long Island
Monmouth County Genealogy Society
African American Genealogy Group, Philadelphia
St. Louis Genealogical Society
Ancestry ProGenealogists
National Genealogical Society, LIVE!
Association of Professional Genealogists
Association of Professional Genealogists, NJ Chapter
Federation of Genealogical Societies LIVE!
San Diego Genealogical Society
Let’s Talk NC Genealogy
Board for Certification of Genealogists Reisinger Lectures
Minnesota North Star Conference
Mid-Atlantic Germanic Society
Tennessee Genealogical Society
Genealogical Society of Bergen County
North Carolina Genealogical Society
Texas State Genealogical Society
Sussex County Genealogical Society
New York Genealogical & Biographical Society
German Genealogy Group
Delaware Genealogical Society
Hudson County Genealogical & Historical Society
Board for Certification of Genealogists

And a huge thank-you also goes to the institutes where I was privileged to teach in 2020, and to the students I was privileged to teach and to learn from. At the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) in January — the last in-person institute we’ll see for some time — I coordinated the “Corpus Juris: Advanced Law for Genealogists” course. By the time we got to the summer, we were all virtual at the Institute for Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) where I served as coordinator of the “Advanced Methodology & Evidence Analysis” course, and at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) where I coordinated the course on “Women and Children First: Research Methods for the Hidden Members of the Family.” And thanks to the other coordinators who let me come play in their classes at these institutes and at the New Jersey Family History Institute, the Midwest African American Genealogy Institute and the “Researching Family in Pennsylvania” program at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

To all those cancelled or rescheduled in 2020 or even 2021, let’s just plan on 2021 or even 2022, shall we?

To all of you, to all who’ve made this year survivable, my thanks.

To those of you who kept me SAFE this year — and you know who you are — my very special thanks.

And to you, the readers of this blog… what can I say? You’ve challenged me, taught me, laughed with me, cried with me. And here, at year’s end, we can finally say we made it through this crazy year.

The bottom line, as always, is that any year with good friends — old and new — is a good year here at The Legal Genealogist.


Onward… to what we all can hope will be a better, safer, happier, healthier, fully vaccinated 2021.

Cite/link to this post: Judy G. Russell, “The Official TLG 2020 Thank You List,” The Legal Genealogist ( : posted 31 Dec 2020).

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