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Time and place

Repeating the mantra Those who’ve heard The Legal Genealogist speak about the law and genealogy have heard the mantra. Those who’ve followed this blog for any length of time have read the mantra. Feel free to chant along with me out loud: If we want to...

The source of the source

Always go for the original In yesterday’s blog post, The Legal Genealogist focused on analyzing the contextual clues in a probate record to determine whether the particular item — in this case, a last will and testament — was the original or a...

Original or not

Why context matters The cousins simply could not agree. The story — told by one of the cousins, Cherie Mello — is compelling: William Bedford, a Missouri merchant, took his family from St. Joseph, Missouri, to head west on the Oregon Trail in April of...

About those annual reports

Remember the rule: no assumptions It is, The Legal Genealogist suggests, a reasonable assumption to make. Those annual reports from guardians in probate cases are really dull reading. So many of these guardianship accounts are little more than line entries with...

Snippet: write it down

Oh, the pain of that lie! There’s a “funny” meme going around on social media. You know the one. The one that says: “The biggest lie I tell myself is, I don’t need to write that down, I’ll remember it.” For some people, that might actually be funny....

An adage for DNA too

Think basics, not exotics The Legal Genealogist emphasized this basic concept for every-day genealogical research in a post last year. It’s one of the most basic tenets of medicine. When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras. Often ascribed to Dr. Theodore...

Mapping the ancestors

No matter where they lived One of the very first lessons The Legal Genealogist learned as a baby genealogist just starting out was, genealogy is as much a matter of geography as it is of history. Take, for example, my Baker family, who pulled up stakes from Virginia...

A change of plans

Tonight’s BCG webinar “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley.” So said Robert Burns in his poem “To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest With the Plough, November, 1785.” And so echoes The Legal Genealogist here at the close of...