Author Archives: Chris Staats

Spring Forward to the 2015 Ohio Genealogical Society Conference!

conf2015It’s a frigid Thursday in late February here in Ohio, which will be followed by an even more frigid Friday. “Thinking spring” can be a little challenging. However, looking through the 2015 OGS Conference registration booklet is a great way to get those warm-weather thoughts working!

Exactly seven weeks from today, Thursday April 9, the first full day of the 2015 conference’s sessions and special events will be upon us! Pick up your copy of the registration booklet and start planning. Don’t have a copy? Download one by clicking here, or visit the conference homepage.

Judy G. Russell, CG, CGL, JD kicks Thursday off with her keynote, “The Territorial State: Ohio Law From the Northwest Ordinance.” After the keynote, choose from 30 different presentations in six different tracks. In addition, Thursday features two special events.

At 12:30, Michael Lacopo will be the speaker at a casual luncheon, sharing with attendees his “Top Ten Things I Have Learned In Over Three Decades of Genealogical Research.” Join Michael for good food and good fun! Details can be found on page 4 of the registration booklet.

After a full day of learning, kick back and relax while still keeping your genealogy on at “SocialSource: A Brickwall Busting Good Time.” This a great opportunity to share your problem ancestors with other attendees, gather research ideas, and re-energize those stalled searches. Of course, there will be food, too. Choose from a fabulous fajita station or amazing antipasto display.  Music and a cash bar round out the evening. Details on page 5 of the registration booklet.

So get out that registration booklet, make your plans, and dream of spring!

19 Feb 2015

Exhibitor Opportunities at the 2015 Ohio Genealogical Society Conference

conf2015Are you considering being an exhibitor or vendor at the 2015 Ohio Genealogical Society Conference? The exhibitor information booklet is available on the OGS website (, or click the link to access it directly.

If you are unable to be there in person this April, Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL, this year’s Conference Exhibitor Chair, advises, “… consider taking out an ad in the conference syllabus or donating a door prize. Information on these opportunities are also in the exhibit booklet. Both are good ways to get your name and information in front of the attendees.”

The 2015 OGS Conference, Ohio: Your Genealogical Cornerstone will be held April 9-11 at the Sheraton Columbus Hotel at Capitol Square in Columbus, Ohio. Exhibit areas are open to the public free of charge and a great way to get your product, service, or organization in front of attendees.

12 Jan 2015

Time to Start Planning For the 2015 Ohio Genealogical Society Conference!

The 2015 Conference registration booklet is out, registration is open, and man, oh man are there some tough choices to make!

Wednesday features a number of workshops, special research opportunities at the Ohio Historical Society and Columbus Metropolitan Library, as well as tours of the Ohio Statehouse.

Thursday through Saturday feature a number of different tracks and a bevy of top-notch speakers.Tracks include

  • Organizing & Productivity
  • Problem-Solving Strategies
  • Records & Resources
  • Across the Ocean
  • Sharing Family History
  • Forensic Genealogy
  • Skillbuilding
  • Technology Tools
  • German Ancestors
  • Methods for Success
  • Military Research
  • African American & Southern
  • Getting Started
  • Records & Resources
  • DNA/Genetic Genealogy
  • Ohio Ancestors
  • Research Challenges
  • Preserving Your Heritage

Which tracks will you follow? Which speakers are on your “can’t miss” list? What workshops, luncheons, and other events are on your radar? So many choices, and we think that’s a good thing!
To download the complete conference registration booklet, register online, and book your hotel room, simply visit We hope to see you there!

26 Dec 2014

2015 Ohio Genealogical Society Conference: A Chance to Experience Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL

JGRWhat’s a great way to ensure an award-winning genealogy conference? By kicking things off with a keynote presentation by the 2014 Gold-Medal winning Genealogy Rockstar1, Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL, of course!

Judy is one of the most sought-after speakers in the genealogy world, and with good reason. She has a background in law, a passion for genealogy, and a gift for helping people understand how those two fields interact– not to mention a captivating presentation style. Like a true rock star, Judy’s presentations will leave you standing on your feet, waving your lighter in the air, and screaming for an encore.2


The 2015 Ohio Genealogical Society Conference will be held in Columbus, Ohio on April 9-11, and features five opportunities to see the Judy G. Russell Experience3 live and in-person:

KEYNOTE: The Territorial State: Ohio Law from the Northwest Ordinance
Ohio history is American legal history, from the Northwest Ordinance to modern statutes. Understanding the laws that applied as Ohio was settled and grew helps us understand our ancestors—and track them down!

Building a Family Through Circumstantial Evidence
No vital records? No problem! It’s a rare family where direct evidence supplies all the proof needed to connect family members. Learn more about how to build the case for family relationships from pieces, hints and clues gathered from a variety of sources.

FRIDAY, APRIL 10, 2015
Finding the Law
Time and time again, we’re told as genealogists that we need to look at records in the context of the law at the time and in the place where the records were created. Easier said than done! With 50 states and the federal government all passing laws, how do we find the laws we need?

The ABCs of DNA
New to the idea that DNA can help with genealogy? Learn about the three major test types—YDNA, mitochondria (mtDNA) and autosomal—and see what each type offers to the genealogist.

After the Courthouse Burns: Rekindling Family History Through DNA
It’s really possible: we can overcome catastrophic record losses and rekindle our ancestral roots with DNA evidence. Learn how, using all major DNA test types.

Judy G. Russell’s Bio:

A genealogist with a law degree, Judy G. Russell is a lecturer, educator and writer who enjoys helping others understand a wide variety of genealogical issues, including the interplay between genealogy and the law. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in political science from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and a law degree from Rutgers School of Law-Newark, and holds Certified Genealogist and Certified Genealogical Lecturer credentials from the Board for Certification of Genealogists where she serves as a member of the Board of Trustees. She has worked as a newspaper reporter, trade association writer, legal investigator, defense attorney, federal prosecutor, law editor and, for more than 20 years, Judy has been an adjunct member of the faculty at Rutgers Law School. Visit her website at


1    John D. Reid, “Rockstar Genealogists: Gold Medalists,” Canada’s Anglo-Celtic Connections, posted 16 Sep 2014, ( accessed 25 Oct 2014)

2    For a history of proper concert etiquette, see Wikipedia contributors, “Concert Etiquette,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, ( : accessed October 25, 2014).

3   Shout out to Jimi Hendrix. Sadly, he didn’t get to experience Judy Russell, but you will. 


25 Oct 2014

The 2015 OGS Conference Provides A Cure for NGSS: Non-Genealogical Spouse Syndrome

NGSS is a terrible thing. You’re an avid genealogist. Your significant other isn’t. Just the mention of genealogy causes their eyes to glass over, rapid breathing, hives…  What’s worse? The guilt. How can you justify heading off for a three-day genealogy getaway and leave your poor, afflicted spouse behind?

Fortunately, the 2015 Ohio Genealogical Society Conference provides a cure. While you’re off attending all of the great presentations that the conference has to offer (more about that in later posts), your significant other can relax in the comfort of your room at the Sheraton Columbus Hotel at Capitol Square or use the free CBUS service to explore some of Columbus’ terrific downtown areas: German Village, the Brewery District, Short North, Italian Village and more.

Once the day is done, you can hop back on the CBUS together to enjoy a great dinner while you try and get your spouse interested in all the great things you learned that day.

Stay tuned in the upcoming weeks and months for other great things the 2015 OGS Conference offers genealogists, and yes, their non-genealogical spouses.

16 Sep 2014

Call For Papers Deadline Coming Up Soon!

conf2015Just a reminder to speakers: the July 1 deadline for Call For Papers for the 2015 OGS Conference  is a little over two weeks away. If you have not yet submitted your proposals, we hope to hear from you soon. The cornerstone of a great conference is a great programming, and we can’t wait to see the terrific presentation ideas you have to offer for the 2015 “Ohio: Your Genealogical Cornerstone” conference!



Complete information can be found at



14 Jun 2014