About that F4…

An F4F, not an F4U The Legal Genealogist loves having a brother who served in the Marines. Among other things, I can ask him about all things Marine. On the other hand, he’s quick to point out when I should have asked him about all things Marine — and...

Memorial Day, 2019

Remembering the fallen It is Memorial Day here in the United States — the official holiday and the end of the three-day weekend during which we honor those who gave all for the cause of American freedom. It was added to the federal holiday calendar in 1888 as...

Finding Margaret’s mother, part 3

Setting up the research tool So The Legal Genealogist is off to put paid to one particular genealogical question this year: who was the mother of Margaret (Battles) Shew? Margaret is my 3rd great grandmother. My line comes down from Margaret’s daughter Martha Louise,...

Happy mtDNA Day!

Mother’s Day 2019 It is and will forever remain one of The Legal Genealogist’s favorite photographs. Six women — a mother and five daughters — who all share my mitochondrial line. From left to right, my aunt Marianne, my aunt Trisha, my...

An uncrossable divide

The story behind the record In the ordinary course of things, in a genealogist’s life, getting a copy of a vital record is a cause for rejoicing. But sometimes there’s a story behind the record… And so it was for The Legal Genealogist late yesterday...

Signs of the times

Signatures, that is They are, for The Legal Genealogist, the very best signs of the times. Signs, as in signatures. Among the very few that exist for two people very important to me and all my living family and yet unknown to any of us. In fact, only one of my...

An Easter tale

An unexpected Easter bunny Yes, it’s the Sunday before National DNA Day. Yes, there are DNA sales going on. And no, The Legal Genealogist isn’t going to write about DNA even though DNA is usually the topic here on Sundays. Nope, no DNA today. Well, except...

That birth in Texas

An April birth 121 years ago today You can’t help but wonder just what his mama thought the day that he was born. Martha H. “Mattie” (Johnson) Cottrell had already birthed nine babies and buried two of them by that April day in 1898. Sammie, born in 1887, was...

A place called home

The call of those ancestral lands It hits like a ton of bricks. No matter how many times The Legal Genealogist has been there. When you see that places that was home to one who came before you, it hits you. It grabs you by the heart and it doesn’t let you go....