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Time travel with NARA

1950 census site is no joke The Legal Genealogist freely admits it. I was a skeptic. I really truly didn’t expect the 1950 census release by the U.S. National Archives (NARA) to go smoothly. In fact, at 10:22 p.m. EDT yesterday, I posted a snarky “let’s...

Thanks for the mtDNA

A gift from Mom… Raised by the women who are stronger than you know A patchwork quilt of memory only women could have sewn The threads were stitched by family hands, protected from the moth By your mother and her mother, the weavers of your cloth. — Mary Chapin...

The sweet and the bittersweet

Those in the 1950 census There is a level of excitement generally among the genealogical community about an event that’s been 72 years in the making. On 1 April, for the first time in 72 years, Americans will be able to see the enumerations from the 1950 census....

The whys and what-ifs

Why we ask the unanswerable questions After The Legal Genealogist’s weekend lament about not knowing why a relative chose to remain in Germany in the 1930s rather than emigrate to the United States as her siblings had, Dutch genealogist John Boeren weighed in on...

What kept her there?

The push-pull questions of family history It’s yet another of those questions that The Legal Genealogist has no answer for. You know the kind: the questions that you wish someone was alive to answer. The questions there will never be an answer to. What I know is...

Why they’re only clues

… and not carved in stone So in The Legal Genealogist’s abundant spare time this weekend (koff koff), the focus has been on Dorothy (Wiseman) Baker. There are three reasons for this: • First, she was born exactly 257 years ago yesterday, on 5 February...

Remembering when…

… this was really easy… The Legal Genealogist is really on a grump this week. Today’s “my-family” post is going to reflect that. You have been warned. So here’s my rant. Do you remember when buying lightbulbs was easy? I mean, really easy? You...

A DNA whyne

No, that’s not exactly misspelled… So last week The Legal Genealogist set DNA research goals for 2022: to identify the four closest yet-unidentified autosomal DNA matches, one at each of the four major testing companies. Clocking in at 125 centiMorgans...

Diese verdammte deutsche Schrift

In other words… So for the last week The Legal Genealogist has been whimpering on a daily basis. Is that a capital L or a capital B? A lower case e or n or u? Yep, since — like about one-sixth of all Americans — I have German ancestry, I have been...

Gerhard’s baptism

Record missing in action Johnny George, you and The Legal Genealogist may hafta have words. You, Johann Jürgen Nuckel, just might have some ‘splainin’ to do. Yes, I know that — among my 24 identified German fourth great grandparents —...