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The law and you … and me … and MGC!

There was a time when Massachusetts banned Christmas. When parents could haul a disrespectful son up in front of the court — and the kid could face the death penalty. When the very laws of the jurisdiction made it dangerous — even deadly — to be a Baptist or a Quaker or a Jesuit.

mgc 2013 seminarThe law — and the records created because of the law — are at the heart of the Massachusetts Genealogical Council’s 2013 Seminar, to be held Saturday, July 20th, at Holy Cross College, Hogan Center, Worcester, Massachusetts, and The Legal Genealogist invites you to come on out for a romp through the laws and how to use them as part of your genealogy.

I have the privilege of presenting three topics:

     • Breaking Through the 20th Century Brickwall––Building a Family Through Circumstantial Evidence

Follow the clues left by one set of German immigrants using the “law” of genealogy — the Genealogical Proof Standard — and learn how to build a family through circumstantial evidence.

     • From Blackstone to the Statutes at Large: How Knowing the Law Makes Us Better Genealogists

Why did our ancestors do what they did? What was behind that no-Christmas law in Massachusetts? Why did the War of 1812 veteran lose his pension? To really make use of legal records, we need to understand the law as it existed at the time and in the place it was created.

     • “No Person Shall… Gallop Horses in the Streets”: Using Court Records to Tell the Story of our Ancestors’ Lives

Court records help us establish the family relationships that build our genealogy, but there is so much more in those records to help us flesh out our family history – telling us not so much who our early forebears were, but rather how our early forebears lived.

And the big bonus for attendees: Leaders in the field of genealogy both in Massachusetts and nationally, Melinde Lutz Byrne, Polly FitzGerald Kimmitt, Barbara Matthews, Mary Ellen Grogan, and Sharon Sergeant will present an in-depth examination of how legislation at the federal and state levels directly impacts your access to genealogical records!

It’s going to be a great day, so come on out and join MGC and me. More information is available here on the MGC website.

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