A matter of rank

The brevet rank in military law Reader GR Gordon is struggling to understand the use of “Brevet” military ranks by several men from a maternal grandfather’s home town in upstate New York, who were members of the Company H, 5th New York Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, in...

Happy birthday, Homestead Act!

Signed into law 157 years ago today He was a Union soldier home on furlough, so the story goes. And he was determined not to lose his chance under a new law due to take effect on the first of January 1863. Due to report back to his unit in St. Louis, he prevailed on...

Referencing legal Wisconsin

Badger State laws It has a long and rich history. Originally part of the original Northwest Territory, between 1788 and 1800, and then part of Indiana Territory from 1800 to 1809, Illinois Territory from 1809 to 1818, Michigan Territory from 1818 to 1836 before...

Federal land in general

Happy birthday to the BLM GLO If there’s one thing that’s for certain in The Legal Genealogist’s world, it’s that the statutes of the United States and the states provide unlimited fodder for comment and — very often — a mass of...

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...

Documenting the land rush

When the Boomers met the Sooners Two million acres west of the Mississippi. Land that had been promised to Native Americans “…as long as grass grows or water runs…”1 Land that — 130 years ago today — was opened for settlement as part of the public lands of...

Read the law books

Yes, read them, really The Legal Genealogist loves it when this happens. A fabulous question just came in minutes ago in a comment to Wednesday’s post about private laws,1 and I absolutely can’t wait to answer it. Reader Sylvia Anne Nash had reviewed that...