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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...

Becoming unAmerican

When the law said “no you don’t” One hundred and five (corrected) years ago tomorrow, a young couple married in Tarrant County, Texas. The bride: Maud Lillian Cottrell. Born 26 January 1890 to Martin Gilbert and Martha (Johnson) Cottrell and, thus, older sister...

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,...

Garden State laws of yore

Finding New Jersey law Reader Bonnie Brown is in luck. Reading a great post by my friend and colleague Amy Johnson Crow (here), she has a lead on connecting her line to a Revolutionary War patriot. One hitch: she needs to know the laws of descent at the time and in...

The laws Down East

Look elsewhere for the answer Reader Noel Ferre found himself perplexed. “I found a court record, Maine 1695,which states only ‘Abraham Preble, married contrary to law,’” he wrote. “What would the law have been at that time?” A great question, because it reminds us...