Empty chairs

…at the Mother’s Day table It’s only fitting, this Saturday before Mother’s Day, to focus on one of the women in The Legal Genealogist’s family. And to wonder how anyone survives giving birth to — we think — eight children...

But not forgotten…

Little boy lost His full name was Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Nuckel. But you know they didn’t call him that. He was probably called Freddy or Friedl or Fritz, or possibly Willy, or something not even remotely like any one of his names. He may even, for the...

Yet another anniversary

How can it be 21 years already? It was exactly 21 years ago today. The phone rang at 5 a.m. to pass along the news. Hazel Irene (Cottrell) Geissler — known to the family as Totsy — was gone. The Legal Genealogist’s mother. It wasn’t unexpected....

Putting a face to the name

With help from a cousin He was for so long a name without a face. Dying young — at only 41 years old — he left behind four children, the oldest of whom was not even 14 at the time. And because of various moves and financial squeezes and more, there were no...

A sibling loved… and lost

128 years ago today Yesterday, we are told, was National Siblings Day. Not a formal official holiday in any sense, but a day when we can all celebrate our siblings. A day The Legal Genealogist always has fun with … with seven siblings, I can be mad at half of...

That Johnson child

Even that “contemporaneous” record can be wrong… It’s one of the great joys of Kentucky research, those few short unexpected years of birth records in the 1850s. It’s also one of the great frustrations of Kentucky research. And an object lesson in...

The whatever birthday

94, 95, whatever She came into this world 94 years ago today. Or maybe it was 95 years ago today. There was, you see, a major dispute over that simple fact. There is no question but that she was the fifth-born child of Clay and Opal (Robertson) Cottrell, The Legal...

Expanding horizons

From isolation to broad vistas Feeling cramped? Confined? Isolated? There’s no need for that, y’know. The Legal Genealogist sure hasn’t been narrowing down. Instead, I’ve been expanding my horizons every single day, while still easily...

Because of what today is

The Legal Genealogist is staying home Those who follow this writer and this blog, and are Facebook friends, know the view from today’s office window. On any given Friday in the conference season that begins each spring, it’s almost always a photo of an...

Setting the clock

If we could choose the time Here on this day in March 2020 when the United States wreaks havoc with the circadian rhythms of its citizens by setting the clocks forward an hour, the question arose on Facebook: to what time would we set the clocks if we could set them...