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The road less traveled by

All the difference “I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” — Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken (1916) Thick as thieves....

Giving thanks, 2020 style

From one to 76 It is Thanksgiving Day here in the United States. A special day of thanks has been part of the national tradition here since the first President, George Washington, responded to a call by Congress and designated Thursday, November 26, 1789 as a “day of...

And where were they then?

Just keep trying… It was 176 years ago yesterday that William Baker and his wife Mary Jane, called Jennie, welcomed their second-born child and first-born son. Thomas A. Baker, born 20 November 1844, was The Legal Genealogist’s first cousin three times...

2020’s hardest decision

Hunkering down for the holidays It’s not quite two weeks to Thanksgiving here in the United States (November 26 this year). And just six weeks — exactly — to Christmas Day. Times when The Legal Genealogist traditionally gets together in joy with as...

Veteran’s Day 2020

Honoring those who served In the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918 — one hundred and two years ago today — the guns fell silent. On the battlefields of Europe, where war had raged for more than four years, and throughout the...

The other Judy

The truth of a family story It’s a story The Legal Genealogist heard often. One my mother loved to tell. It’s about the day we moved into the house in New Jersey where I grew up. The lot our house was on faced one street. The lot to the right as you stood...

To honor them

… in their footsteps There are so many of them. The youngest, The Legal Genealogist’s grandmother, Opal (Robertson) Cottrell, born in Texas in 1898.1 The oldest, a first cousin four times removed, Susannah C. (Young) Blalock, born in North Carolina, in...

Nope, not me…

But maybe you…? The Legal Genealogist is not a Mayflower descendant. In fact, as far as I can tell, I have no ancestors — none — not even a single one — even born north of the Mason-Dixon line, much less linked to New England. My German-born...

Apologies to the cousins…

And a pension file to be ordered The Legal Genealogist owes an apology to cousins Lydia and Jacob. For years, I’ve been saying that my mother’s family was so deeply embedded in the American south that I had to go out to a second cousin, five times removed,...

Oh, to be …

… en route to family history Warning: The Legal Genealogist is whining. On an ordinary day, I’m managing the discombobulation of this pandemic reasonably well. I’m Zooming along with family, friends and colleagues. My housemate, Clancy, has fangs and...