LIVE WEBINAR ONLY on Tuesday, 17 September 2019, at 8 p.m., U.S. Eastern Daylight Time

Civil law—as opposed to common law—is a legal system that governs private relationships and interactions in most non-English speaking countries. Rooted in principles derived from ancient Roman law, it is the legal system that governs an estimated sixty percent of the world’s populations, including most European countries. Consequently, researchers tracing ancestral lines outside the United States frequently encounter records created in a civil law tradition. Proper interpretation of those records requires understanding the underlying civil law principles.

In the United States, only the state of Louisiana is today ruled by civil law, a legacy of the state’s unique colonial history under France and Spain. Colonial records created under civil law are also among the colonial records of California, parts of the Mississippi Valley, the Gulf Coast, and the American southwest. This presentation discusses major legal concepts that affect records and research in civil law societies.

The live webinar by Claire Bettag, CG®, FUGA, FNGS, presented by the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) in conjunction with Legacy Family Tree Webinars, is free to the public. It will be presented on Tuesday, 17 September 2019, at 8 p.m. U.S. Eastern Daylight Time.

Please note that this is a live webinar only; no recording will be available for future viewing.

Claire Bettag, CG®, FUGA, FNGS, is a professional genealogist in Washington, D.C., focusing on Louisiana French and Acadian families. She has lectured nationally and was a contributing author to Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers, and Librarians (Elizabeth Shown Mills, ed., 2001). She has published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly, and elsewhere. Currently she is writing a book about her paternal line for private publication. She has served as the director of the National Institute on Genealogical Research (now Gen-Fed), as a ProGen mentor, and on the boards of NGS, APG, and BCG. She is on the NGSQ editorial board and volunteers at the National Archives.

“Every month the Board for Certification of Genealogists offers a new webinar as part of an ongoing series that supports our mission to provide education for family historians,” said President Rick Sayre, CG®, CGL℠, FUGA. “These webinars are presented by certified associates and offer a quality genealogical educational experience. The board promotes excellence in research and working to standards in an ethical manner.”

Register for “Civil Law Concepts and Genealogy,” by Claire Bettag, CG®, FUGA, FNGS, before 17 September 2019. BCG receives a commission if you register by clicking our affiliate link: To see and register for the full list of BCG-sponsored webinars for 2019, visit the BCG blog SpringBoard at

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. For more information, contact

For access to all BCG webinars, see the BCG Library at Legacy Family Tree Webinars at Again, BCG receives a commission if you register by clicking via our affiliate link. For information on BCG’s education opportunities, visit

The words Certified Genealogist and letters CG are registered certification marks, and the designations CGL and Certified Genealogical Lecturer are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists®, used under license by board certificants after periodic evaluation.