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 www.legalgenealogist.com.


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

2    For a history of proper concert etiquette, see Wikipedia contributors, “Concert Etiquette,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Concert_etiquette&oldid=618149186 : 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

OGS Wants You to Serve as a Trustee!

Ohio Genealogical Society’s members, who are in good standings and have been a member for at least one year, are permitted to run for a position on the OGS board as a trustee. Six positions will be filled by ballots in 2015.

The duties of a trustee are:

  1. Honor the fiscal responsibilities as outlined in sections 7.1 and 7.2 of the By-Laws.
  2. Serve as a liaison between the Chapters, the membership and the Board.
  3. Encourage membership in The Society.
  4. Encourage and assist in the growth of Chapters.
  5. If assigned to a district or out-of-state chapter, maintain written and personal contact with Chapters, working toward the following objectives:
    1. Staying informed on changes in Chapter By-laws and Constitutions.
    2. Working with Chapters to find solutions to internal problems.
    3. Collecting information from Chapters for inclusion in Board reports or OGS projects.
    4. Encouraging Chapter understanding and use of the benefits of OGS affiliation.
    5. Encouraging Chapter attendance at all OGS sponsored activities.
    6. Encouraging Chapters to exchange information.
  6. Submit (electronically) a written summary of activities to the Secretary for inclusion in the Board packet.
  7. Attend regularly scheduled Board meetings, express viewpoints and vote on issues brought to The Board.

Eighteen trustees serve on the OGS board for a three-year term. One-third of the trustees are elected each year. To receive an application form, please contact the Nominations and Elections Committee, nominations@ogs.org. All forms must be received by October 1, 2014. Please include a digital photograph with your application.

29 Jun 2014

OGS will once again conduct on-line voting for next year’s election

The Ohio Genealogical Society will conduct on-line voting this coming year for six trustees’ positions. A ballot and a candidate information sheet will be sent to each member’s e-mail address which has been recorded by the OGS office. Contact the OGS office if your e-mail address has been changed or you have not had the e-mail address previously recorded with the office. The office telephone number is 419-886-1903 and the e-mail address is ogs@ogs.org.
Rules for family membership permit two ballots per household. Two ballots will be permitted under one e-mail address if there are not two e-mail addresses recorded for that household. For those members without e-mail addresses, contact the office for a paper ballot and candidate information sheet in December 2014.
Ballots will be e-mailed by January 1, 2015 and all ballots must be received by March 1, 2015. Election results will be announced at the General Meeting held during the 2015 Conference.

29 Jun 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 http://www.ogs.org/conference2015/index.php.



14 Jun 2014

OGS Announces Fall Seminar

The OGS Fall Semjoshtaylorinar is scheduled for 4 October 2014 at the Quality Inn & Suites Conference Center. The featured speaker will be D. Joshua Taylor, well-known author, speaker, researcher, President of FGS, Data Strategy Manager for DC Thompson Family History, and featured genealogist on Genealogy Roadshow and Who Do You Think You Are?

For more information, visit http://www.ogs.org/fallseminar2014.php.

13 Apr 2014

Call for Papers: Ohio Genealogical Society 2015 Conference

The Ohio Genealogical Society is accepting proposals for the 2015 annual conference, Ohio: Your Genealogical Cornerstone, to be held April 9-11, 2015, in Columbus. We are looking for interesting one-hour lectures and engaging two-hour workshops geared to a variety of audience levels. The deadline for submissions is July 1, 2014.

Topics of interest

We invite proposals on a wide range of topics, particularly:

  • Effective research, analysis, and problem-solving strategies
  • Using DNA/genetic genealogy
  • Ohio-specific topics (land, migration, history, laws, records, etc.)
  • Methodology and skill-building
  • Technology, tools, and trends in genealogy
  • Ethnic research (German, Irish, Welsh, European, African-American, etc.)
  • Military and land research
  • Preserving and sharing family history
  • Topical research (photo identification, orphans, individual regions and states, etc.)
  • Organization and project/time management

We also plan to offer a four-hour Getting Started with Genealogy seminar for beginners on Saturday. Proposals for a coordinated, educational-style program are welcome.

Submission guidelines

Please submit proposals in PDF or Microsoft Word format. Each should include:

  • Speaker’s name, address, phone number, and email address
  • Lecture title and a brief but comprehensive outline (single page maximum)
  • Lecture summary for conference brochure (25 words or less)
  • Suggested audience level: B, B/I, I, I/A, A, or All
  • Brief speaker biography for brochure (50 words or less)
  • Resume of prior speaking experience

Please use your last name and shortened title as a file name. For workshops, indicate if participants will need tables or computers. Speakers may submit up to six proposals for consideration. Submit each proposal via email to 2015program@ogs.org no later than July 1, 2014. Selected speakers will be notified in August. Further information will be provided at that time. Camera-ready syllabus materials must be received by February 1, 2015.

Sponsored lectures

Societies and businesses are encouraged to submit proposals for sponsored talks. The sponsoring organization will cover its speaker’s costs to present the lecture. Sponsored speakers will abide by all deadlines and syllabus requirements.


Selected speakers receive an honorarium, travel compensation, conference registration, electronic syllabus, hotel stay, and meal per Diem based on the number of lectures presented.

About the Ohio Genealogical Society

The Ohio Genealogical Society, founded in 1959, is the premier Ohio family heritage resource and the largest state genealogical society in the United States. Its mission is to meet the educational needs of its members and the general public through the acquisition, preservation, and dissemination of genealogical and historical information. Visit us at www.ogs.org.

08 Apr 2014

OGS Writing Contest Winners

The Ohio Genealogical Society announces the winners of its 2014 Writing Contest. Entrants submitted articles for either the Ohio Genealogy News (OGN) or the Ohio Genealogical Society Quarterly (OSGQ). The Society would like to congratulate the following authors for their excellent writing. We thank each author who chose to share their expertise and family lines with others by entering the contest. At the discretion of the OGN and OGSQ editors, all entries may be published.

The Over All Winner is Deb Root Shell, M.A., M.L.S. for her OGSQ article Far from Home: John Moss of Athens County, Ohio, and the Battle of Perryville. Deb will receive the top prize of $50.

Winners in the OGN category are First Place to William R. Hill for his article Discovering my American and Ohio roots; how I found my revolutionary war ancestor. He will receive $25. Second Place goes to Corinne Konecny for her article Francy (SIPES) and Jacob George Rediscovered: Leaving no stone unturned. She will receive the $15 prize.

Winners in the OGSQ category are First Place to Jeremiah Edwards for his article The ties that bind. Jeremiah will receive $25. Second place ended in a three-way tie. Receiving $15 each for their winning article are Pamela Guye Holland for A broken man: the life of Birney Jay Pratt of Huron, Ohio, Timothy and Renee Kettering for Dreams of a better life: the story of Heinrich J. Willenburg, and Jeremiah Edwards for Unsung Heroes of the Underground Railroad.

30 Mar 2014

OGSQ Winter issue now available

The Winter issue of OGSQ has been posted on the website. OGS members may log in and access the latest issue as well as all back issues.

This is just one of the great benefits of being a member of OGS. Click here to become a member!

08 Jan 2014

OGS Car Raffle

And the winner is…John E. Cook of North Fairfield, Huron County, Ohio.

The lucky winner of the OGS Ohio Built Car Raffle claimed his prize on May 2, 2013, winner at the Ohio Genealogical Society Library on State Route 97 West, Bellville. He chose to receive the $24,000 check, since his wife had recently purchased a 2013 Chevy Malibu Eco. After he pays the taxes on his prize, he says he will pay off the loan on his wife Kathleen’s car.

John is a life member of OGS and he purchased the winning ticket by mail just to support the society. He wishes he could find more time to research at the OGS Library. He is active in the Marine Corps League, serving as Jr. Vice Commandant of the Department of Ohio. He belongs to the Marine of the Year Society and is the Paymaster for his detachment. He enjoys genealogy and gardening.

The Cooks, who will celebrate their 39th wedding anniversary on May 18, have 4 children, 7 grandchildren, and 10 great grandchildren, with another great grandchild on the way.

John’s favorite ancestor is the lady called “Widow Sample.” About 1815, Nancy Sample came to Ohio. She did not own land, but was a “squatter,” and she is considered to be the first settler in Fairfield Township, Huron County, Ohio. She built a house or lean-to and, amazingly, survived the winter. She raised 7 children, all of whom did later own land.

John says, “You can’t win if you don’t play. I was just giving a donation. I didn’t expect to win. But, it sure is nice! We’ll take it.”

Congratulations, John and Kathleen!

11 May 2013