Dead-letter clues

Because the law said so Maybe you descend from J.B. Arnold or Miss S.S. Berry or Georgia Dennise or William Murphy or James Parker. Perhaps you’re researching Seth Cockerilie or Emma Johnson or Josiah Price or Rose Anne Regan or Cole Watkins. They all had one...

A Down Under distraction

Convict datasets updated It’s been — and continues to be — a terrible terrible fire season Down Under, and our fellow genealogists need some relief. And while The Legal Genealogist can do nothing except watch in horror as the news from Australia...

An unusual record group

Off the beaten track at NARA It was, the history books tell us, 246 years ago today. The date: 16 December 1773. The place: Griffin’s Wharf, Boston, Massachusetts. The event: Angry over English imposition of “taxation without representation,” American colonists...

The records of freedom

Not from the proclamation It wasn’t the Emancipation Proclamation that freed the enslaved population of the United States. Oh, that helped, for sure, but it was effective only in the states then in rebellion — in other words, in the Confederacy. The exact...

Documenting that day…

November 22, 1963, at NARA It was a day seared into the memory cells of every person alive. A day in which so many of us — The Legal Genealogist included — saw our childhoods come to an end. It was 56 years ago today when a President of the United States...

Records, not revenue

Opposing the fee hike Nobody with a functioning brain expects genealogy to be free. Yeah, yeah, The Legal Genealogist knows there are those who think it should be free — that having to buy copies of birth, marriage and death certificates and court documents and...

When it’s not online

That pesky GPS thing again There is one essential truism in genealogy that every single genealogist — The Legal Genealogist included — has encountered at one point or another to our dismay: It’s not all online. As a matter of fact, it’s...

To legalize the acts of Robert Leffler

Private laws in Indiana Everything Robert Leffler voted for in the 1843 term as school commissioner of Harrison County, Indiana, was technically illegal. Oh, it’s not that he hadn’t been re-elected as a school commissioner on the first Monday of August...

More Silver threads

Expanding the Baker family story One of the very best things about being a genealogist is the community of friends we build. The Legal Genealogist has been the beneficiary of this community so many times, and there just aren’t enough ways to say thank you. A...