Category Archives: Legal definitions

Civil law meanings You can see it, right there. It’s the very last section of the law. And there, Louisiana’s law says, “When the substantive law of this state would be applicable to the merits of an action brought in … Continue reading

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Precursor to the Magistrate On the fifth day of June, 1891, J.D. Shaw appeared in front of a judicial officer in the Western District of Arkansas and swore out a complaint. “I do solemnly swear and believe from reliable information … Continue reading

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The prothonotary The story is told of President Harry Truman being introduced to a prothonotary in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and, in typical Trumanesque fashion, asking the question. “What the hell is a prothonotary?”1 A somewhat less elegant form of the question … Continue reading

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A wagon for Democrats? When the estate of Charles Cheever of Plyumouth County, Massachusetts, was inventories in 1916, his belongings included a lot of small deposits in different banks, shares in a couple of copper companies, some household furniture, a … Continue reading

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Digitizing law dictionaries The Legal Genealogist‘s absolute all-time favorite law-related blog is In Custodia Legis, the blog of the Law Library of Congress. Its content is an eclectic mix, with reports on upcoming legal presentations or conferences, a regular pictures … Continue reading

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The soldier scholar So The Legal Genealogist was back poking around the statute books yesterday and came across a Joint Resolution of the United States Congress, passed in January 1912. Now many joint resolutions are things like allowing the Grand … Continue reading

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How different can the law be? So… within minutes of each other two comments arrived in The Legal Genealogist‘s email box yesterday that underscore a critical point when using the law in genealogy. Both focused on yesterday’s post about Virginia’s … Continue reading

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Estate administration Reader Erick Montgomery recalled once found a newspaper article that explained that there was a legal order to who would be appointed administrator for an intestate estate in early Virginia. “I kept the clipping for a long time, … Continue reading

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No answer to the answer In the fall of 1937 and on into 1938 … and 1939 … and even 1940, an Alabama couple found themselves locked in a dispute in the Sumter County, Alabama, Circuit Court. They had experienced … Continue reading

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The language of the law. Part Latin, part Anglo-Saxon, all confusing. Today’s word is EXIT. Now The Legal Genealogist knows we all think we know what it means. We’re all thinking of exit as a noun as “a way out … Continue reading

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