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No girls allowed

Women on juries in NY and elsewhere So The Legal Genealogist did her civic duty on Monday and sat around for most of a day waiting to be excused from jury service. It isn’t that I wouldn’t like to serve on a jury. It’s the fact that I’m not the...

The price of citizenship

Being (sigh) a good citizen So The Legal Genealogist is off this morning — at the obscenely early hour of oh-dark-thirty — to perform her civic duty. In my case, that’s going to consist of sitting around for hours in a cold, drafty room on barely-cushioned chairs, for...

The marshals’ returns

Great records from the War of 1812 Reader Pam McDonald sent in a great question to The Legal Genealogist: While researching a family line on ancestry.com, I came across an entry for one ancestor in the Marshals’ Returns of Enemy Aliens and POWs 1812-1815. I...

Those damn dams

The language of the law. Part Latin, part Greek, part law French, even part Anglo-Saxon. And all confusing. Did you ever stop and think about the situation our ancestors faced when they wanted to build a mill and needed to dam a watercourse to provide the water power...

Hiring a navy

And-a privateering we shall go… It was 242 years ago today when the Continental Congress first took the critical action needed to try to balance out the enormous naval power of the British empire. It had to do it. After all, the colonies were at war. The other...

The women of Orange County

Those wonderful California records It was the eighth of August 1889, and Alice Wright, wife of Silas Wright, a resident of the County of Orange, State of California, came into the office of the County Recorder at three minutes past 11 a.m. There and then, to the...

Florida in the laws

Federal, that is It’s a word you don’t tend to see each and every day. Maybe not each and every year. Maybe not even each and every decade. The word is “synoptic.” It means “affording a general view of a whole or manifesting” or “characterized by...

Wherefrom Pinellas

One county’s history The Legal Genealogist begins the 2018 lecture season on Saturday, February 24, at the Pinellas Genealogy Society’s 2018 Seminar in Largo, Florida. Oh, my. Florida. In February. For someone who lives in the mid-Atlantic states where we...