Category Archives: Primary Law

Historical laws in one place In anticipation of tomorrow’s Genealogy and the Law day — the annual seminar of the Genealogical Society of Bergen County in Mahwah — The Legal Genealogist has been poking around the old law books again. … Continue reading

Posted in Constitutions, Court Cases, Resources, Statutes | 2 Comments

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

The Beaver State (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 constitution!) It was 1848 when it became … Continue reading

Posted in Constitutions, Primary Law | 4 Comments

It really is our common heritage So… The Legal Genealogist knows it sounds like a broken record sometimes. To understand the records, we have to understand the laws at the time and in the place where the records were created. … Continue reading

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Constitution Day 2014 It is The Legal Genealogist‘s mantra: To understand the records, we have to understand the law that created them. But somehow that seems awfully far removed from a lofty document like the Constitution of the United States, … Continue reading

Posted in Constitutions, Resources | 6 Comments

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

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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