Category Archives: Legal definitions

Why not a statute? So reader John D. of Louisiana tossed an email to The Legal Genealogist yesterday after reading about the creation of land offices in the Northwest Territory and the requirement that federal officials involved in those land … Continue reading

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What’s that called? Reader and friend Larry Head was doing what The Legal Genealogist so often recommends — poking around the statute books — when he realized that he wasn’t entirely sure what to call something he was coming across … Continue reading

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The language of the law. Part Latin, part Anglo-Saxon, all confusing. So The Legal Genealogist had an absolute ball doing that webinar Tuesday for the Friends of the National Archives-Southeast Region on patents, and almost immediately had a question by … Continue reading

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When the testate estate isn’t Genealogists worth their salt know that an estate can be testate or intestate. Testate, meaning an estate where the person who has died “has made a will; one who dies leaving a will.”1 Intestate, meaning … Continue reading

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What exactly is a marriage bond? Time and again, whenever a marriage bond is referenced, the question comes up. What happens if the two people named in the marriage bond don’t get married? Isn’t there some kind of court action … Continue reading

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How old was he…? So many times, in genealogy, our ability to construct an argument that this person is related to that person in just this way depends on figuring out just how old somebody was at the time of … Continue reading

Posted in Constitutions, Legal definitions, Statutes | 2 Comments

Benefit of clergy, wager of “battle,” and petit treason (Note: In honor of, and to get ready for, The Legal Genealogist‘s trip to the Genealogical Forum of Oregon this weekend, here’s a reprise of this 2012 post about Oregon’s criminal … Continue reading

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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 | 11 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

Posted in Legal definitions | 11 Comments