Dating history

When we get it wrong It is a stunning piece of American history. The first known written protest against slavery in what was to become the United States. Just about every website that reports on things that happened on this day, February 18th, in history will tell you...

Linking father and son

That reasonably exhaustive research thing again… There’s one question The Legal Genealogist asks with respect to any genealogical database. How do I know? And if there’s one genealogical database where that question has to be asked most frequently,...

Dead-letter clues

Because the law said so Maybe you descend from J.B. Arnold or Miss S.S. Berry or Georgia Dennise or William Murphy or James Parker. Perhaps you’re researching Seth Cockerilie or Emma Johnson or Josiah Price or Rose Anne Regan or Cole Watkins. They all had one...

Beyond the named parties

Not just the story of Aaron Burr The Grand Jury in and for the U.S. Circuit Court for the District of Kentucky, Frankfort Term, was convinced. The man had committed treason against the United States of America. “He did willfully and unlawfully, and from evil...

Mapping San Diego

Revisiting county boundaries The Legal Genealogist is heading off to Carlsbad, California, tomorrow on the last long-distance road trip of the year, for a a day of fun with a return visit to the North San Diego County Genealogical Society and its 2019 Fall Seminar at...

When it’s not online

That pesky GPS thing again There is one essential truism in genealogy that every single genealogist — The Legal Genealogist included — has encountered at one point or another to our dismay: It’s not all online. As a matter of fact, it’s...

In gold or silver coin

About those lawbooks… What exactly did Elizabeth Wright do for a living around 1867? You won’t find the answer in the 1850 census, even though you can find her in the 1850 census of St. Louis, Missouri. She was recorded as 38 years old, born in Scotland,...

Mapping San Mateo

Just where would that ancestor have lived? So… an ancestor died in San Mateo County, California, on 1 January 1886. His obituary kindly informs us that he had lived in the same house for exactly 40 years, having moved in on 1 January 1846. Here’s the...

Taking notice

A lesson from Arkansas law It is one of the most basic elements of the law. You can’t do something about an issue if you don’t know about it. And so the law makes people who want you to have to do something — or who want to do something to you...