Category Archives: Primary Law

Mason of Texas You never know what you’re going to find in a statute book. Really. The Legal Genealogist is the daughter, granddaughter, and great granddaughter of Texans, so it’s always fun to have time to poke around in old … Continue reading

Posted in Constitutions, Primary Law, Statutes | 2 Comments

The curious case of Jacob P. Dunn There’s no doubt about it: sometimes the law is just plain confusing. And there’s good reason why reader Patricia Taylor was a little bit puzzled by the language of a legal record she … Continue reading

Posted in Constitutions, Court Cases, Legal definitions, Statutes | 4 Comments

Going to federal court Genealogists love court records. They tell us all kinds of things about our families we couldn’t have found out in any other way. But with all the various courts and levels of courts that existed over … Continue reading

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Where oh where can the records be? Reader Chris from New Jersey was busily researching a family from the Garden State when up popped a question. A member of this family had been killed in an automobile accident in New … Continue reading

Posted in Constitutions, Legal definitions, Resources, Statutes | 17 Comments

Just fifty years ago today “Imagine,” a Library of Congress website suggests that schoolchildren ask themselves, “that you are finally old enough to vote in your first election. But, do you have enough money?”1 The fact is, it was just … Continue reading

Posted in Constitutions, Court Cases, Primary Law, Resources | 10 Comments

Genealogy and the Bill of Rights It is one of the defining legal documents, not just of our time, but of all time. It was ratified 222 years ago yesterday. And we are all — all — the better off … Continue reading

Posted in Constitutions, Primary Law | 6 Comments

The odd history of the 14th amendment Today is the 145th anniversary of the ratification of the 14th amendment. Unless maybe it wasn’t ratified until the 21st. Or maybe even the 28th. It depends on how you count, you see, … Continue reading

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Happy birthday, West Virginia! It was 150 years ago today that West Virginia became the 35th of the United States of America’s 50 states. And the only state ever admitted under such conditions — born in war, torn from secessionist … Continue reading

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Look to the law So yesterday the Roman Catholic Church elected a new Pope. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, is now Pope Francis I, Bishop of Rome. So… could anybody have been elected Pope? No. … Continue reading

Posted in General, Primary Law | 6 Comments

The Gem State It became a territory 150 years ago today — but it took another 27 years to win admission to the Union as the 43rd state. It is the Gem State, the “14th most expansive, the 39th most … Continue reading

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