Category Archives: Legal definitions

The rest of the marriage story Tomorrow marks the 98th anniversary of the day when a pair of 18-year-olds stood before a Texas judge and exchanged their wedding vows. And a year ago, The Legal Genealogist told the tale of … Continue reading

Posted in Legal definitions, My family, Statutes | 10 Comments

Plaintiffs and defendants in error It’s right there, in the very name of the case. “Dred Scott,” the title of the document begins. “Plaintiff in error.” It’s the opinion of the United States Supreme Court in one of the most … Continue reading

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The language of the law. Part Latin, part Anglo-Saxon, all confusing. Flush, our ancestors generally weren’t. Well, okay, maybe yours were. After watching the Anderson Cooper segment of Finding Your Roots this week1, The Legal Genealogist is reminded that there … Continue reading

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The language of the law. Part Latin, part Anglo-Saxon, all confusing. It’s one of those words even The Legal Genealogist can look at… and be led astray by. The term apostille just plain flat out looks like it ought to … Continue reading

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Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? He was, the record shows, some 74 or 75 years old, living with his son Jeremiah. He had some money coming to him from a mortgage on some property in New York, and had a few … Continue reading

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Ick! The -ix! Whistling girls and crowing hens Always come to some bad end.1 They are decidedly odd to the modern eye, these words from an older time. Administratrix. Executrix. They are even odder to the modern ear, if you … Continue reading

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Go directly to judgment On Saturday, the 13th of October 1877, a Chicago newspaper reported on a number of court cases, including a couple that caught the eye of reader Linda Vert when she came across the notice. The first … Continue reading

Posted in Court Cases, Legal definitions, Resources | 2 Comments

Pennsylvania’s colonial inmates So earlier this week The Legal Genealogist set off to explore the use of the term “inmate” in U.S. census records. The blog post began: “When is an inmate not an inmate? Or, more accurately, when is … Continue reading

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A matter of definition When is an inmate not an inmate? Or, more accurately, when is an inmate not the kind of inmate we might expect? Not, that is, a prisoner. And the answer is: much of the time. In … Continue reading

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Chaining things together It was spelled out in the law: “the territory ceded by individual States to the United States, which has been purchased of the Indian inhabitants,” was to be divided into “townships of six miles square, by lines … Continue reading

Posted in Legal definitions | 13 Comments