Oh, and by the way…

… the war is over It may be one of the things The Legal Genealogist loves best about genealogy. Learning all those things about history that we never learned in school. Our obligation as family historians, of course, is to put our families into the context of...

Changing gears

… legally speaking … Sometimes just knowing what the law is, isn’t enough. Sometime what we need to know is how and when the law changed. After yesterday’s blog post about expatriation and some of the records created by repatriation,1 a reader...

Oh, that Babe

A lesson from the records It’s a birth record from more than a century ago. A male child born 6 February 1895 in Baltimore, Maryland. It records a singular moment of American history — sports history, to be exact. And it offers a perfect example of what we...

Do as I say!

Not as I did… You’d think by then The Legal Genealogist would have learned. I mean, seriously, by the time I was entering that information in my genealogy database program, I’d have thought my experience with one particular part of working with...

Where is that place?

Here’s one way to find it… A genealogist across the country needed to know the physical proximity of two New Jersey cemeteries to try to understand how a burial in one cemetery got reported by a Find A Grave contributor as having been in the other —...

Turning the page

When the answer “isn’t there” The answer to the question wasn’t there. Not in those minutes of the May 1793 term of the Court of Common Pleas in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. Reader Pat Steinkerchner had carefully copied the entire set of minutes because...

Finding Aunt Samantha

Hiding in plain sight She appears on the 1850 census of Cherokee County, Alabama, as Samantha Battles. Second in a list of seven children in the household of William and Ann (Jacobs) Battles. Age 18. Born in Alabama.1 And then, it seemed, she disappeared. The working...

That nice neat package

And the risk it poses Any time a genealogist encounters a set of church records, it’s enough to bring a smile to our faces. Even a set that doesn’t include any of our own family members. They’re a treat because they often record things that...

Behind the numbers

The burning of Chelsea The story is hidden there, behind the numbers. The population of Chelsea, Massachusetts — a Boston suburb — rose steadily through nine straight censuses, from 642 residents in 1820 to 34,072 in 1900. And the rate of growth in some of...