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Becoming unAmerican

When the law said “no you don’t” One hundred and five (corrected) years ago tomorrow, a young couple married in Tarrant County, Texas. The bride: Maud Lillian Cottrell. Born 26 January 1890 to Martin Gilbert and Martha (Johnson) Cottrell and, thus, older sister...

Finding Maryland law

One-stop-shopping for the law of the Old Line State The Legal Genealogist is off today, heading south for the Fall Seminar of the Maryland Genealogical Society… but not — for once — to an airport. No, this afternoon I’ll be behind the wheel,...

Garden State laws of yore

Finding New Jersey law Reader Bonnie Brown is in luck. Reading a great post by my friend and colleague Amy Johnson Crow (here), she has a lead on connecting her line to a Revolutionary War patriot. One hitch: she needs to know the laws of descent at the time and in...

The laws Down East

Look elsewhere for the answer Reader Noel Ferre found himself perplexed. “I found a court record, Maine 1695,which states only ‘Abraham Preble, married contrary to law,’” he wrote. “What would the law have been at that time?” A great question, because it reminds us...

A matter of consent

The consenting adults Reader Cathy Holcombe was puzzled by a marriage record. It looked like it might be a marriage bond. But it didn’t have the language of a typical marriage bond. Yet it had something most marriage bonds have: signatures of other people. So...

Family feuds, Kiwi-style

Dueling administrators Oh, the tales the court records tell… And it doesn’t really matters whose court records or where or why… there is always a story to be told. For some reason, The Legal Genealogist ended up poking around in records of the New...