A birthday in Mexico

Many happy returns of the day Seventeen members of The Legal Genealogist‘s family are gathered today in Puerto Penasco, Mexico. The youngest isn’t yet a year old. The oldest is in his 70s. Other than the wish and even the need to be together as often as we...

Reviewing those family stories…

Sometimes they’re true I remember being told at one time or another as I was growing up and then as I was getting into genealogy that my great grandfather Martin Gilbert Cottrell had been a farmer, a cattle rancher, a sheriff, a school board member, a traveling...

Remembering Daddy Clay

48 years after a grandfather’s death The calendar says 48 years. But that can’t be possible. It can’t be 48 years, plus one day, since the phone rang and a shaky voice said, “He’s gone.” The Legal Genealogist didn’t need to ask who. Just...

RIP David Baker 1749-1838

180 years ago today It was the 15th of September 1838 in Yancey County, North Carolina. And the old man drew his last breath. He was 89 years old that fall day in the hills and hollows of western North Carolina. Born in the then-brand-new county of Culpeper, Virginia,...

Swelling the rolls

Swelling the ranks The newly enfranchised She was just 21 that summer day, 98 years ago today. Born 21 August 1898 in Colorado County, Texas,1 Opal E. (Robertson) Cottrell was just shy of her 22nd birthday — just old enough to benefit from what happened some 600...

Perfect information

Imperfectly sourced There is nothing The Legal Genealogist loves more than a good source of family information. Even when it’s not perfect. Thanks to a family Bible, kept by my third great grand uncle Josiah Baker and passed down through his family, I can peg...

Filling the gaps in the tree

A “new” cousin and a hope for answers She was born in Bremen, Germany, on the fourth of December 1832, and given the name Anna Adelheid Lahrs. Her mother was 24-year-old Beta Lahrs, and she undoubtedly named this first-born child for her own mother Anna Adelheid...

Documenting ourselves

Our own records The advice for beginning genealogists is always the same: Begin with what we know. And so, dutifully, we open up that pedigree chart or that relational database and we enter ourselves in box 1… and, in so many cases, immediately move on. Our...

Mapping Sarah

Where oh where is the land… It’s an amazing set of records that The Legal Genealogist picked up at the South Carolina Archives last week. Amazing, first, because it’s a set of surviving land records from the 1760s. Amazing, second, because it’s...

Calling all (documented) Faures!

Need a documented male from Manakin Town The Legal Genealogist can’t resist trying this one more time. After all, I’m right here in South Carolina, just down the road from where my third great grandfather Jesse Fore enlisted in the South Carolina Militia...