Category Archives: Statutes

Setting the boundaries There was no question just what the law was intended to do. Although initially settled by a combination of Protestants and Catholics under the control of a Catholic lord,1 the Province of Maryland was headed in a … Continue reading

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An act of grace It was the summer of 1776, and all was not well in the heated politics of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania’s voting restrictions had kept the reins of the local government in the hands of a conservative few, and … 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

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Missouri’s manslaughter law So… did you watch Who Do You Think You Are? last night? The Legal Genealogist did. In a room with most of the 200 genealogists attending the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh. Where else is a place … Continue reading

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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

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Civil law meanings You can see it, right there. It’s the very last section of the law. And there, Louisiana’s law says, “When the substantive law of this state would be applicable to the merits of an action brought in … Continue reading

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Precursor to the Magistrate On the fifth day of June, 1891, J.D. Shaw appeared in front of a judicial officer in the Western District of Arkansas and swore out a complaint. “I do solemnly swear and believe from reliable information … Continue reading

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The prothonotary The story is told of President Harry Truman being introduced to a prothonotary in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and, in typical Trumanesque fashion, asking the question. “What the hell is a prothonotary?”1 A somewhat less elegant form of the question … Continue reading

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Go and sin no more On the 7th of February, 1856, the New Mexico Territorial Legislature took a stand. No more living in sin. That sort of depraved conduct just wouldn’t be tolerated. From that day forward, it said: Any … Continue reading

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The soldier scholar So The Legal Genealogist was back poking around the statute books yesterday and came across a Joint Resolution of the United States Congress, passed in January 1912. Now many joint resolutions are things like allowing the Grand … Continue reading

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