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RIP Ciara

Ending a chapter in my family history She came into my life on a Saturday afternoon in September 2007. The exact date: September 29, 2007. Early that spring, I had lost the second of my last pair of cats — sibling deaf white cats from a litter born in 1990 on my...

Estate planning for DNA

Designate a beneficiary “Test the oldest generation first” is the standard advice everyone — The Legal Genealogist included — gives when it comes to DNA testing. It only makes sense, particularly in the context of autosomal DNA testing, when every...

The pets who’ve owned us

Masters and staff The old saw is that dogs have masters and cats have staff. The Legal Genealogist has only ever had two dogs, in long-ago childhood days, so can’t really speak to the former. But I have been owned by cats essentially all of my life, and can...

Changing the rules

Can companies change their terms of use? Reader Cheryl Brownstein isn’t happy about changes in the terms of use of genealogy websites — AncestryDNA, in particular — that occur long after a user begins using the website. “Can the company simply change...

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...

Such a deal…

The Legacy Family Tree Webinars sale Every so often, a sale comes along that’s just too good to pass up. And right now, that’s the sale at Legacy Family Tree Webinars, with a year’s subscription on sale right now at 50% off — or just $24.98 for...

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...

Turning the calendar’s page

The losses in the calendar We call them, today as in the past, the dog days of August. And most of us today, The Legal Genealogist included, use that phrase to mean the days of summer that are so hot that even the dogs just lie there panting. That isn’t, of...