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Finding Iowa laws

The laws of the Hawkeye State It’s the mantra of The Legal Genealogist. Repeated over and over until long-time readers and conference goers can chant it along with me. To understand the records, we have to understand the law. And not just the law in general, but...

Those Iowa place names

Saying them right The Legal Genealogist is headed to Iowa later this week for the Iowa Genealogical Society‘s Annual Fall Conference. On Friday and Saturday, October 20-21, at the Toad Valley Golf Course in Pleasant Hill, we’re going to talk about...

Gone to California?

Finding those wayward westerners It’s a surname that’s fairly uncommon, even today. In 1850, fewer than 3,100 people were enumerated in the United States census with the surname of Battles — or any spelling variant of the name. By 1940, there were...

The business of California

Reading the ads In just about every county, in most cities and many small towns, there is one source a genealogist can count on at least for background information about the time and the place. It’s the newspapers. Published once a week or once a day, sometimes...

Mapping California

Part of America’s treasures in an American treasure They range from 1680 to 2012. They are 230 in number. They originated with the United States War Department. With the National Park Service. With the State Mining Bureau. And with a wide variety of private...

Finding Maryland law

One-stop-shopping for the law of the Old Line State The Legal Genealogist is off today, heading south for the Fall Seminar of the Maryland Genealogical Society… but not — for once — to an airport. No, this afternoon I’ll be behind the wheel,...

An early Maryland resource

Colonial records online free It is one of the most compelling pieces of Maryland history. And one that many researchers have no idea exists… or where to find it. It’s the Maryland Census of 1776 — and in some counties it goes beyond mere heads of...

Beyond the city limits

Directories for the rest of us The Legal Genealogist had no sooner pushed the “publish” button on last week’s blog post about city directories than the laments began. “I wish my people had lived in cities,” one wailed. “Mine were all farmers,” another...

Seeking direction

Using city directories The Legal Genealogist is off to California this morning, en route to tomorrow’s Fall seminar of the San Diego Genealogical Society. Yesterday was the last day to register online, but you can always check with the society about walk-in...

A key vital workaround

Yet another data source All of us who research family history — The Legal Genealogist included — tend to get a little … um … irreverent in describing certain events and record types that are near and dear to our hearts. As in the records of...