One-stop shopping for state laws

So The Legal Genealogist is doing the usual poking around in old laws, getting ready for this weekend’s 2019 Spring Seminar of the Alabama Genealogical Society, to be held at Samford University.

And it’s really easy to do that in Alabama, since all of the Alabama statutes — from the first session of the first General Assembly, of the Alabama Territory through to the end of the 20th century — are readily available online.

Starting with an act that dealt with printing the laws themselves, approved on “the 3d day of February, 1818, ”1 the collection of Alabama Legislative Acts, Journals, and Constitutions in the Digitial Collections of the Alabama Department of Archives & History is a wonder.

Here’s what you’ll find there:

• Legislative acts
• 19th century (1818-1901)
• 20th century (1903-1999)

• Legislative journals
• House (1818-1901)
• Senate (1818-1901)

• 1819 Constitution
• Constitution
• Delegates to the 1819 convention
• Journal of the 1819 convention

• 1861 Constitution
• Constitution
• Records of the 1861 convention
• Journals of the 1861 convention
• Ordinances of the 1861 convention
• Ordinance of Secession
• History and Debates of the Convention by William R. Smith

• 1865 Constitution
• Constitution
• Records of the 1865 convention
• Ordinances of the 1865 convention

• 1868 Constitution
• Constitution
• Draft
• Records of the 1867 convention
• Journal of the 1867 convention

• 1875 Constitution
• Constitution
• Journal of the 1875 convention

• 1901 Constitution
• Constitution
• Journal of the 1901 convention
• Proceedings of the 1901 convention2

Now… guess how I found this wondrous resource?

And I’ll save you a lot of time thinking about search engines and hidden legal links and extrasensory perception and the like — and simply give you the answer.

It’s on Cyndi’s List.

Yep.

Cyndi’s List.

Alabama in Cyndi's List

There are, as of this morning, 3399 links to Alabama research resources all in one place there at Cyndi’s List. From Birth, Marriage, and Death vital records-type links to Wills & Probate, in 31 different categories, just about every link a researcher might want can be found right there in one place. The Encylopedia of Alabama — the resource highlighted yesterday3 — is there in the History & Culture category. And today’s link in the Laws & Statutes category.

Right below one of my favorite quotes ever: “To understand the records, we have to understand the laws of the time and the place where the records were created. The laws dictated what records were kept, what information was recorded in the records and the legal purpose of the records helps determine what information is reliable as evidence.”

Signed… Yours Truly.

We forget sometimes just what a great resource Cyndi’s List can be. And we absolutely forget that — while Cyndi’s List is absolutely free for us to use — it’s not at all free in terms of blood, sweat, tears and money for the one-woman force of nature who’s behind the curtain there: Cyndi Ingle first put the first links online for Cyndi’s List 23 years ago yesterday.

The amount of effort that takes is staggering. So if we like links like the one to the collection of Alabama Legislative Acts, Journals, and Constitutions in the Digitial Collections of the Alabama Department of Archives & History, there’s one more link we need to pay attention to.

Just to the upper right on every page at Cyndi’s List is a Donate button. It’s a way for us in the genealogical community to say thank you, and to make sure that the website stays available and stays current.

I donated yesterday — the online birthday of Cyndi’s List.

Join me today.

And while you’re there — check out the Alabama links, or those from any state or nation where you’re researching.

You never know what wonderful resources you just might find…


Cite/link to this post: Judy G. Russell, “Legally speaking in Alabama,” The Legal Genealogist (https://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog : posted 5 Mar 2019).

SOURCES

  1. “AN ACT To amend the laws concerning Public Printing,” in Acts … of the First General Assembly of the Alabama Territory… (St. Stephens : Thomas Eastin, 1818), reprint edition (Washington DC : T.L. Cole, 1912), 3-4; digital images, Alabama Legislative Acts, Journals, and Constitutions, Alabama Departmnent of Archives and History (http://digital.archives.alabama.gov/cdm/ : accessed 5 Mar 2019).
  2. Collection description, Alabama Legislative Acts, Journals, and Constitutions, Alabama Departmnent of Archives and History (http://digital.archives.alabama.gov/cdm/ : accessed 5 Mar 2019).
  3. Judy G. Russell, “Researching the Yellowhammer State,” The Legal Genealogist, posted 4 Mar 2019 (https://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog : accessed 5 Mar 2019).
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