Monthly Archives: March 2012

The end of an era Today, for the first time in more than half a century, the Farm belongs to someone else. That name — with the capital letter — is what generations of Cottrells called a plot of land … Continue reading

Posted in My family | 15 Comments

Civil life or death in 1920s Alabama Two young men from St. Clair County, Alabama, were sent to state prison in Alabama in the 1920s. Quitman Battles was 31 when he became convict no. 11953 in the Alabama Prison System, … Continue reading

Posted in General, Legal definitions | 4 Comments

NARA’s Constance Potter on the 1940 Census Imagine the scene: it’s the Celeste Bartos Forum of the New York Public Library. This room is cavernous, with a 30-foot-high glass saucer dome ceiling, and a seating capacity of 500. Every genealogist … Continue reading

Posted in General | 5 Comments

A natural father’s love for a natural son Reader Cyndy Bray writes that the will of her third great grandfather, David Coons, filed in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1842, identified one beneficiary as “my natural son George Washington Coons or … Continue reading

Posted in General, Legal definitions | 8 Comments

Closing in on 1940 One week from today, we’ll all be sitting at our breakfast tables, bleary eyed from lack of sleep and from staring at line after line of census data from 1940. Countdown time! So how are we … Continue reading

Posted in General, Resources | 1 Comment

Next in an occasional series on copyright — the news reprint One hundred and one years ago today, the pages of the New York Times were filled with the story of the terrible deaths of dozens and dozens of workers … Continue reading

Posted in Copyright | 6 Comments

An open letter to my genetic cousins Dear Genetic Cousin, I’m resigned to the fact that, no matter how long I live, there are going to be things in this world that I just don’t “get.” I don’t “get” heavy … Continue reading

Posted in DNA | 11 Comments

The faces of family Raised by the women who are stronger than you know A patchwork quilt of memory only women could have sewn The threads were stitched by family hands, protected from the moth By your mother and her … Continue reading

Posted in My family | 6 Comments

The language of the law. Part Latin, part Anglo-Saxon, all confusing. So the very first legislature of the Territory of Iowa sat down in Zion Church in Burlington, Iowa, in November 1838,1 and started passing laws. They provided for a … Continue reading

Posted in General, Legal definitions | 4 Comments

Name that county! Here are your clues:      • It was created in the early years of the United States.      • It continued to exist as a functioning county for 70 years.      • This county was never part of a state, but it always … Continue reading

Posted in General, Resources | 2 Comments