Such books as may be necessary

Happy birthday, LOC! It is, to a genealogist, about the happiest provision ever to be encountered in a statute book. It’s in section 5 of a law signed by President John Adams 219 years ago today — and that section read: And be it further enacted, That for...

Landing those decisions

And in the latest “it never fails” category… It never fails. Inevitably, The Legal Genealogist will finish a post referencing in passing a resource that wasn’t exactly central to that particular post, and somebody will pop up within minutes to ask about...

A daily dose of documents

When the internees fought back It remains one of the most shameful episodes in American history. That time when the United States rounded up tens of thousands of people, the vast majority of them American citizens, and locked them up in camps far from their...

When the earth shakes

One hundred and thirteen years ago today It was just a few minutes after 5 a.m. on the west coast of the United States. And the earth began to shake in San Francisco. The earliest tremor hit the city at 5:12 a.m., and what has been called the Great Earthquake —...

Spreading genealogy’s wings

On the local level Like most Americans of a certain age, the day came when The Legal Genealogist got that letter in the mail. You know the one. The one that welcomed us all into the fraternity of the elders known for short as AARP. The American Associated of Retired...

In Record Group 21

The records of a life-changing event Her name was Lucy Ridsdale. She lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and 107 years ago today she lost a gold English watch, a silver tea pot, Spanish lace scarves and more, amounting to more than $3,000 in value. His name was Emilio...

The public options

Check those public law school libraries It will come as no surprise to the readers of this blog that The Legal Genealogist is … well … um … a law geek. And thinks that every genealogist should make reading the law, learning about the law, even loving...

Indexing the differences

Two Social Security indexes They’re not the same, those two indexes on Ancestry.com. And the differences can be a bit confusing. One is titled “U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014.” The other: “U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index,...

All Tuckered out with Virginia law

Getting it on with the common law He was, the Colonial Williamsburg website says, “a man of parts.” That’s a pretty good description of a man who was, in his lifetime, a “lawyer, trader, inventor, scholar, professor, judge, essayist, poet, gardener, (and)...