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Buy some land!

Okay… buy and share some land records! What a week this has been! It’s the week of the 2021 Family History Conference of the National Genealogical Society — virtual, of course, and not the conference we all hoped for in Richmond this year. But NGS...

Proclaiming the war

175 years ago today It’s really only a couple of sentences, thanks to a whole bunch of commas and semicolons that probably should be periods. You can find it in the appendix to volume IX of the United States Statutes at Large. And despite the almost unanimous...

Legal Michigan

A one-stop shop for early Michigan statutes Michigan. The state whose territory — home to various Native American tribes — was first claimed by France as part of the New France colony, then by the British, then by the new United States.1 It was part of the...

A fair alternative

NARA offers webinar series The U.S. National Archives has delighted genealogists for years by offering a free event in the fall called the Virtual Genealogy Fair. Since 2013, NARA has held the event — generally in October — with educational presentations...

And how it began…

The bombardment of Fort Sumter There was no question but that war would come. The only question, really, was when. By the beginning of April of 1861, seven southern states had already passed ordinances of secession — South Carolina was first on 29 December 1860,...

Executive Order 6101

Launching the CCC It was on the fifth of April 1933 that Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed it. It was intended to implement, in part, the provisions of “An Act for the relief of unemployment through the performance of useful public work, and for other purposes,” which...

Just one day…

… in 1870 There are days in history when nothing much happens. Nothing that The Legal Genealogist would say is something that was likely to change lives or — more importantly for us as family historians — to create records. Perfectly ordinary days...

The beginning of the end

214 years ago today It was a baby step as steps go, but one by a Very Big Baby. One of the major players in the international trade finally called it quits as a matter of law. Exactly 214 years ago today, 25 March 1807, England said “enough” when it came to the slave...

Remember their names

Recording the data of the enslaved The Legal Genealogist is often asked the same question about researching the enslaved. “Where can I record the information I find about enslaved persons that I come across in my family research?” And — sigh — every time...

Dating a typo

Just when was that published anyway? Genealogists all know about publication dates. So many of the resources we use are published items where we need to carefully record the publication date. Just as one example, The Legal Genealogist’s favorite resource,...