The public options

Check those public law school libraries It will come as no surprise to the readers of this blog that The Legal Genealogist is … well … um … a law geek. And thinks that every genealogist should make reading the law, learning about the law, even loving...

Evidence, not proof

A marriage bond doesn’t prove a marriage And in the “it never fails” category, reader Dan Babish came up with the one thing The Legal Genealogist should have said in about marriage bonds… and didn’t. In a comment posted this morning to the blog...

When you’re not you

The joys of living on the DNA cutting edge It’s a bit disconcerting when your DNA tells you you’re … um … not you. At least, The Legal Genealogist found it to be so this morning. There’s a new Tier 1 utility, you see, at GEDmatch Genesis,...

How do we know?

Genealogy’s one constant question The Legal Genealogist doesn’t generally go ballistic while poking around on Ancestry.com. Particularly when reviewing somebody else’s family tree, I understand that what I’m looking at is generally at best a...

Indexing the differences

Two Social Security indexes They’re not the same, those two indexes on Ancestry.com. And the differences can be a bit confusing. One is titled “U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014.” The other: “U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index,...

Restoring the ancestors

Restoring the names Of all of the lasting — and devastating — effects of slavery in the United States, perhaps the worst from a genealogical perspective is severing generations of people from each other. Taking people away from their families. Taking even...

All Tuckered out with Virginia law

Getting it on with the common law He was, the Colonial Williamsburg website says, “a man of parts.” That’s a pretty good description of a man who was, in his lifetime, a “lawyer, trader, inventor, scholar, professor, judge, essayist, poet, gardener, (and)...

A question for today

NPR says it all Five years ago today, National Public Radio asked exactly the right question, one that is still a critical question in our country — indeed in the world — today. In a particularly timely post, it asked: Why Doesn’t America Read...