Category Archives: Legal definitions

The language of the law. Part Latin, part Anglo-Saxon, all confusing. In the December 1865 term of the District Court for Poweshiek County, Iowa, Job Cushman sued George W. Chambers and Eliza Jane Chambers, his wife. The petition of the … Continue reading

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The records of renunciation It is a strong word, the word renounce. To the ordinary dictionary, it means “to give up, refuse, or resign usually by formal declaration (renounce his errors).”1 To the law, it means to “reject; cast off; … Continue reading

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Forbidden marriages The date, according to the records, was Thursday, the 25th of April 1799. The place: the village of Hollis, in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire. The celebrant: one Eli Smith, a clergyman. And the bride and groom? Well, they … Continue reading

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The language of the law. Part Latin, part Anglo-Saxon, all confusing. For someone trained in the common law — inherited from the British tradition, working in the records of the civil law is like working in a foreign country. And … Continue reading

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The language of the law It may come as a bit of a surprise that our ancestors couldn’t be convicted of the crime of assault in early Alabama. Assault, by definition, is an “unlawful attempt or offer, on the part … Continue reading

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Mississippi laws and lists There’s very little that’s as useful genealogically as a school census. Putting children together into a household, particularly in a non-regular-census year, can be the clue we’re looking for when we’re trying to establish relationships or … Continue reading

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What that meant, what it means By the time you read these words of The Legal Genealogist, it will be sometime Monday, February 8th, in my home country of the United States. But it will already be Tuesday, February 9th, … Continue reading

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Nuncupative wills in Mississippi It’s to a different kind of will that The Legal Genealogist calls attention this morning: not the usual written form that we hope to see with our ancestors carefully setting out spouses and children and grandchildren … Continue reading

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And the question of the children In the middle of the 18th century, a young man from Germany named Jacob Snyder (probably Schneider originally) came to America to make his fortune. Family researchers said he came over as an indentured … Continue reading

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No joke under English law Day three of the 2016 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy wrapped up yesterday at the Salt Lake Hilton, and for The Legal Genealogist it was a day of law, law and more law. In Corpus … Continue reading

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