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When Worlds Collide: Resolving Conflicts in Genealogical Records by Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL - Digital Download

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When one record says she was born in Texas, and another says she was born in Mississippi, the evidence is conflicting. Now what? The Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) requires that we resolve conflicts among evidence items, since we can't reach a credible conclusion otherwise. Sounds good ... but it's easier said than done. What exactly are we supposed to do with conflicting evidence? What standards do we follow? In other words, how do we do what the GPS tells us to do?

This was presented live at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and sponsored by the Board for Certification of Genealogists on October 7, 2016. 1 hour. For more information about the Board for Certification of Genealogists and genealogy standards, visit

The recording is also included as part of the monthly or annual membership.

Viewers' comments:
  • Any presentation by Judy Russell is superb! She is truly a ROCK STAR! Thanks so much.
  • 87 year old lady with genealogy zeal still burning brightly even tho I am no longer doing research. Love to keep my intellect sharp Never can tell when expertise might be called into action. Great webinar.
  • absolutely fantastic day. Worth every minute at the computer. My head is so full of ideas, can't wait to start looking again!
  • Absolutely Fantastic. Judy always presents a QUALITY program.
  • absolutely THE BEST. Concise, clearly presented. Always awesome
  • All of the webinars today were excellent. Thank you Geoff and BCG for putting these six fine lecturers together. Inspiring.
  • Always enjoy Judy Russell. So enthusiastic and informative. Funny sometimes, too. I have family who are also in the huge genealogy family of "Don't Know!"
  • Always fascinating! Thank you for sharing your talents and insights with us!
  • Amazing speaker and great topic!
  • An excellent guide for my research
  • As always, Judy can hold a person spell bound waiting to see how she solves a genealogical problem.
  • As always, Judy makes the concepts of the GPS so very clear. Great examples and plenty of them! :)
  • As always, Judy was at her best giving another outstanding and most interesting presentation! Thanks to all! Loved all the presentations today. Thanks to all!
  • As always, Judy was fantastic!!! What a WONDERFUL day! Thank you, LEGACY! Thank you, BCG! Thank you, Geoff!
  • Best one of the day by far. Concise, practical and easily applicable from the start.
  • Captivating! And very informative. I plan to review more of her presentations.
  • Case studies you can relate to your own research with truly sound questions and their resolving answers. Thank you for the opportunity to experience these classes.
  • Excellent and wonderful. Not only did she give us the tools and explain them to perfection. She gave us examples that we could follow and understand. I am so excited to apply this in my research.
  • Excellent explanation with easily followed instructions. It is up to us to do the work. The possibilities were explained. Thank you!
  • Excellent presentation. Thank you to BCG and Legacy Family Tree Webinars !
  • Excellent presentation. Kept my attention the whole time. Provided much food for thought. Thank you.
  • Excellent presentation. Lots of concrete suggestions for the thinking process regarding validity.
  • Excellent! What a great webinar! I actually clapped at the end.
  • Excellent. Judy has a way of breaking down the standards manual into a great lesson. I'll echo the sentiments of the others in the chat that the presentations have been such a joy to participate in all day long. Thanks again for the quality education as we all strive to improve our genealogy skills.
  • Fabulous! Thanks to BCG, Judy, and Legacy Family Tree Webinars for a very compelling and motivating day (although it 'is' going to be a tough one for me now, this all started at 1am, and it is not 9am...I think I am off to bed for a while!).
  • Fascinating!
  • Good insight into the gps. Thanks for the guidelines.
  • Gotta go do some good work! It's also good to hear that I'm not the only one dealing with conflicting evidence and sometimes it's hard to come to a conclusion,
  • Great day of webinars! Enjoyed them all, bit my favorites were Elizabeth Shown Mills' and Judy G. Russell's. Thank you very much for this day of Genealogy!
  • Great examples!!! Thoroughly enjoyed the webinar. Thanks.
  • Great info! Thanks for this webinar! :)
  • I am grateful that these classes were available online so that I could participate.
  • I keep writing Excellent! Thank you for all these webinars today!! I am inspired!
  • I learned a lot today BUT this is where I learned the most. The simple way of understanding, the multiple examples and reiteration of process helped to cement the process for me. I know that I actually do this process most of the time, but never thought about it nor formalized it for myself. Thank you!
  • I liked the slow, logical research you did. I liked that majority does not always rule. I liked corroboration practicality with firm documentation. I liked DIG,DIG,DIG!
  • I loved all six webinars. They were all so good cannot pick a favorite. They all get gold stars and Triple A report cards.
  • I loved the personal examples of conflicted evidence and how the problems were solved. Thank you for your time and expertise.
  • I really enjoyed the step-by-step presentation, which made absorbing the information very easy. Ms. Russell's examples were also very illuminating and showed how and when to expand one's research.
  • I've heard Judy speak many times, but each time I come away with a new awareness of how to be a better genealogist.
  • Judy always does an excellent presentation and keeps us on the edge of our seat to the end!
  • Judy always has us by the first word of her lecture! I enjoyed it very much, as I do all of her lectures for she bring her subjects to life, while explanting the subject clearly so that we can understand it from beginner to experienced genealogists. Great lecture, Judy.
  • Judy is always great. She can keep your interest on topics you would expect to be on the boring or dry. An enthusiastic speaker.
  • Judy is just amazing! Not only is she an expert genealogist,she's an expert storyteller ! Kept my attention at the highest level...and this before I've eaten dinner !!
  • Judy Russell always makes her point in a such an entertaining fashion that it remains memorable long afterwards. Great presentation.
  • Judy Russell ALWAYS presents the best webinars. I have learned so much from her. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity !
  • Judy Russell is an amazing teacher. I love how she explains concepts and takes you through them step by step. Simply wonderful.
  • Judy Russell's presentation was a fabulous ending to a most informative and educational day. Thanks for sharing these sessions and making access possible for those of us in remote locations.
  • Judy Russell's presentation was excellent. She presented a process that should challenge all of us researching our family histories. The graphics were fun and engaging to make her points.
  • Judy was fantastic, as always! Many many thanks to all the presenters, BCG, Geoff & Legacy for a great day! It's inspired me to make sure I do a quality job with my research & that I write it up!
  • Judy's passion is contagious, as usual!
  • Judy's webinars are always spectacular and this one was no exception! The lecture was beautifully paced (as always). What a great way to end a fabulous day of presentations.
  • Loved, loved, loved the story of Eliza Gentry! Plus; it is a profound example of research with good examples of what to look for and where. Thank you so much.
  • New stuff for me, and demonstrated with a spell binding case study.
  • Only Judy Russell would go to the 1828 Laws of Mississippi to resolve the full name of Miss Gentry. I love it! Thank you so much for this presentation.
  • Really appreciate the use of the case studies to help reinforce the principals each speaker was presenting throughout this day of worth while webinars.
  • She never disappoints. This is one of her best.
  • Superb! Absolutely marvelous. This is the first time I've heard Judy speak and I am eager to hear her again. What an absolutely marvelous explanation of conflicting evidence and what to do about it!
  • Thank you for sharing with those of us who could not be there in person.
  • Thank you so much for making these webinars available!
  • THE Best presenter - well, right up there beside Elizabeth S. Mills! Judy is a fabulous teacher, and if we can't list the GPS by now, we haven't listened to her enough times! Cheers to everyone involved.
  • This has been a most memorable day and topped off with Judy Russell - Thank you to all involved in enabling those of us unable to attend in person to take part.
  • This has been one of the best informative days I have had since beginning my genealogy quest. Cudos to all the presenters as well as all involved with the organization of this wonderful day!!
  • Wow! It never dawned on me that I do actually have a conflict in my research. My mom told me my great grandmother constantly boasted that she was DAR and ridiculed her son for marrying an Irish immigrant. All great grandmother's kids have mother's birth listed as Illinois. But early census shows her born in Canada of Irish Immigrant parents. This is a 'simple' case ... but should be written up logically to 'prove' the point. Now I understand how.
  • WOW...WOW...WOW!!!! This webinar was as good as the previous 5! The presenters hit home runs every time they came up to bat...what a record!! Thank you for allowing us to join in via webinar. I have learned so much and am reinspired to get started and pick up where I left off a couple of months ago. If I had to rank it by stars, 0-5, 5 being the best, I give ya'll a 20!!!
  • Thank you and all the presenters for one of the best days I've had in genealogy research and I've been doing this for 30 years. And Geoff, you are much loved for your enthusiasm and warmth.

About the author:
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 political science and journalism 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, until recently Judy was an adjunct member of the faculty at Rutgers Law School. Judy is a Colorado native with roots deep in the American south on her mother's side and entirely in Germany on her father's side. Visit her website at

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