Memorial Day, 2019

Remembering the fallen It is Memorial Day here in the United States — the official holiday and the end of the three-day weekend during which we honor those who gave all for the cause of American freedom. It was added to the federal holiday calendar in 1888 as...

That other DNA

Something else the letters stand for Everyone who reads The Legal Genealogist on a regular basis knows what DNA stands for. It’s deoxyribonucleic acid. One of two types of molecules that encode genetic information.1 But from now on, around here and everywhere...

Finding Margaret’s mother, part 3

Setting up the research tool So The Legal Genealogist is off to put paid to one particular genealogical question this year: who was the mother of Margaret (Battles) Shew? Margaret is my 3rd great grandmother. My line comes down from Margaret’s daughter Martha Louise,...

Happy birthday, FamilySearch.org!

And thank you for a GREAT 20 years online The genealogical community needs to throw a birthday party today. FamilySearch is turning 20. Well, not exactly FamilySearch, of course… it’s certainly been around longer. But its online arm, FamilySearch.org, is...

The choice that really isn’t

GEDmatch opt out is an illusion Dealing with privacy issues when it comes to DNA databases created for genealogical purposes is like trying to nail jello to a tree. Sometimes, just when The Legal Genealogist thinks one thing has been nailed down, something we...

Fifty years of Jamboree

One more day for pre-registration pricing The deadline is tomorrow, May 22, 2019. That’s it for pre-registration pricing for what probably wins the title as the most-fun-genealogical-conference-around. It’s the Southern California Genealogical Society...

Happy birthday, Homestead Act!

Signed into law 157 years ago today He was a Union soldier home on furlough, so the story goes. And he was determined not to lose his chance under a new law due to take effect on the first of January 1863. Due to report back to his unit in St. Louis, he prevailed on...

GEDmatch reverses course

Law enforcement matching now opt-in only Informed consent is the essential underpinning of ethical DNA testing and results-sharing. All persons who test have the right to make their own individual choices about testing and about the uses to which their DNA results...