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Name that court

Finding the records means knowing the court A rose by any other name might smell as sweet, but having forty-'leven names -- depending on the jurisdiction -- for one key court creating one key set of records isn't a sweet thing for genealogists to deal with. The record...

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The flight of time

Don't delay in that research “Tempus fugit,” the Latin saying goes, whether we want it to or not. Time flies. And when it has flown its full course, all of us -- The Legal Genealogist included -- will suffer losses from which there may be no real recovery. One of my...

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No excuses!

Test that DNA! Once again the DNA testing companies are giving us -- and our cousins -- no excuse for not getting that DNA test done. Yes, it's sale time again, with some brief sales for the American Thanksgiving holiday to start with, and with the more general...

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Chasing George

Kentucky to Tennessee to Texas? Genealogists, truth be told, have favorite ancestors. We don't always admit it -- we feel somehow we should love and honor them all equally, the way a parent is supposed to love the children all equally. But we all really do have those...

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The price of access

Logging in is on its way Like any good red-blooded American genealogist, The Legal Genealogist is a big fan of free. Free records! Free online services! Free! And nobody, but nobody, does free better than FamilySearch. The mega-database research website...

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What our ancestors feared

The bounty laws of Tennessee What were our ancestors scared of? Or, put another way, what threatened them, their children, their livelihoods? It's a story we don't often tell in our genealogical research... but it's one where the evidence can be found. Right there in...

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The changing times

From freeholder to householder It changed, there in Tennesee, in 1809. You can -- if you're like The Legal Genealogist and a bit of a law geek and like to read the laws -- see the change right there in the laws. It's always fun for me, when I'm getting ready for a...

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To serve… or not

Tennessee's militia laws Reader Kenna couldn't understand it. The research target she was closing in on lived in Tennessee in the 1840s and, she was sure, should have been on a militia list she found. But his name wasn't there. He'd been in the census in 1840, and a...

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What’s not in our genes

Celebrating the human condition The message came through loud and clear. Dr. Michael Hammer of the University of Arizona was matter-of-fact in what he said. He didn't shout. He didn't even raise his voice. But the message sang out in the conference room at the 13th...

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