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Tuesday, Sep 30, 2014
Lifestyle Stories

Make time to learn from ‘Legal Genealogist’


Published:

No matter how limited your finances might be, if you are a genealogist, you should be willing to part with $45 for the experience of learning from one of nation’s most acclaimed genealogists.

I confess to being one of Judy Russell’s biggest fans; she won me over with her knowledge, her sense of humor and the sincerity with which she greets everyone.

Judy, best known as “The Legal Genealogist,” will be the featured lecturer at the Imperial Polk Genealogical Society Annual Spring Conference on April 12. She will give four presentations:

“Dowered or Bound Out: Records of Widows and Orphans”

“Staying Out of Trouble — Rights and Responsibilities of Today’s Genealogists”

“Where There Is — or Isn’t — a Will”

“No Vitals? No Problem! Building a Family through Circumstantial Evidence”

The program will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Highland Park Church of the Nazarene, 4477 Lakeland Highlands Road, Lakeland.

The $45 fee ($40 for society members) will include a continental breakfast and a box lunch. The conference will allow walk-ins for a $50 fee. A registration form is on the society website at www .ipgs.org. Questions can be directed to John Randle at randlejar@tampabay.rr.com or (863) 646-5333.

Those who aren’t familiar with Judy should check her out at www.legalgene alogist.com. You’re likely to become an instant fan. Judy is a board-certified genealogist and has a law degree. This is a dynamite combination of credentials. It doesn’t take a genealogical researcher long to learn that most records of value to family history are rooted in the law.

Judy’s approach to the law isn’t high-handed or intellectual. She isn’t one of those lawyers who lords her education and knowledge over less-educated individuals. One of her roles in genealogy is to educate, and she does that with grace and humility — and, did I say before, a keen sense of humor.

So save your money, rob the piggy, filch from the grocery fund or whatever you have to do (legally) for the $45 fee. I promise you will not be disappointed.

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If you have ancestors or family members in the American Legion Tampa Post 5 Cemetery, three local groups have a way for you to honor them during the upcoming holidays.

These groups — the Tampa Woman’s Club, the Edmund Sheffield Chapter National Society of Colonial Dames and the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 5 — are working toward putting a wreath on each grave in the cemetery.

Each individual wreath costs $15. The wreaths will be placed on Dec. 14. Contributions to the project must be made by Nov. 30

The Post 5 Lodge is at 3810 W. Kennedy Blvd, Tampa. The two-acre cemetery is adjacent to the lodge. It holds the graves of more than 730 service men and women who served, from the Spanish-American War to Vietnam.

The post, led by O.N. Bie, bought land for the cemetery in the 1920s to keep homeless World War I veterans from being buried in pauper’s graves.

If you don’t have a loved one in this cemetery, you can still participate by purchasing a wreath to be placed on an undesignated grave.

Readers can learn more about the national wreath program and sponsor a wreath by going to http://tinyurl.com/llnjmrj.

Sharon Tate Moody is a board-certified genealogist. Send your genealogical methodology questions and event announcements to her at stmoody0720@mac.com. She regrets she is unable to assist with personal research and cannot respond to requests for locating or researching individuals. Past Heritage Hunting columns are available online at tbo .com, search words “Sharon Tate Moody.

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