Category Archives: Primary Law

A walk through early law Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. The Legal Genealogist knows already yet. You’re tired of hearing it. Sounds like a broken record. To understand the records, we must understand the law, in the time and at the … Continue reading

Posted in Constitutions, Primary Law, Resources | 8 Comments

Federal rulemaking So yesterday The Legal Genealogist mentioned some of the major resources for federal legal research that genealogists might need to know. Little minor details, y’know, like the Constitution and the statutes.1 And, almost immediately, reader Dick Belz lamented … Continue reading

Posted in Primary Law, Resources | 6 Comments

What the law was and is: federal (Note: Updated from an earlier version of this post that originally ran in June 2012.) One thing The Legal Genealogist preaches (to the point where some people are tired of it for pete’s … Continue reading

Posted in Primary Law, Statutes | 5 Comments

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

Posted in Constitutions, Legal definitions, Statutes | 2 Comments

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

Posted in Constitutions, Primary Law | 1 Comment