Category Archives: Statutes

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

Posted in Court Cases, Legal definitions, 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

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

Posted in Legal definitions, Statutes | 6 Comments

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

Posted in Legal definitions, Statutes | 7 Comments

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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How different can the law be? So… within minutes of each other two comments arrived in The Legal Genealogist‘s email box yesterday that underscore a critical point when using the law in genealogy. Both focused on yesterday’s post about Virginia’s … Continue reading

Posted in Legal definitions, Methodology, Statutes | 8 Comments

Estate administration Reader Erick Montgomery recalled once found a newspaper article that explained that there was a legal order to who would be appointed administrator for an intestate estate in early Virginia. “I kept the clipping for a long time, … Continue reading

Posted in Legal definitions, Methodology, Statutes | 6 Comments