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The 31st state

Recording California The Preamble was short and sweet: Whereas the people of California have presented a constitution and asked admission into the Union, which constitution was submitted to Congress by the President of the United States, by message dated February...

Labor Day 2021

First Monday in September No matter how fast or slow any particular summer seems to be, it always seems to catch The Legal Genealogist by surprise. It’s the first Monday in September. Here in the United States, today is the first holiday of the fall: Be it...

Snippets 2021 v.3

About those guardians… It’s institute season here at The Legal Genealogist — which means busy times! When I’m not teaching genealogy courses in one institute, I’m doing it at another, or at a conference, like today and tomorrow in...

The third part

A third leg to the consent tripod The age of consent has been an issue the last couple of days. Yesterday, The Legal Genealogist responded to a discussion on Facebook, and explained the difference between the age of consent (in criminal law) and the age of consent (in...

Connecticut opens OBCs

Adoptees to get original birth certificates In just a few weeks, on 1 July 2021, adult adoptees born in Connecticut will have the unrestricted right to get what everyone else takes for granted. A new law, signed into law on 7 June by Governor Ned Lamont, will give all...

That long switchover

From pounds and pence to dollars and cents Reader David Watson poses a terrific question: “The US government established the U.S. dollar as the unit of currency in 1792,” he writes. “Nevertheless, I’ve seen marriage bonds where the bond is expressed in ‘pounds’ well...

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...

The name game

About that spelling… It was created by statute in December 1833, effective in 1834, carved out of lands that — before then — had been part of Burke and Buncombe Counties. The 65th of North Carolina’s counties, it sat all the way over on the...

Doubts about dower

Not everywhere at all times On the 10th of December 1874, a couple with whom The Legal Genealogist has more than just a passing acquaintance sold off 39 and 2/3 acres of land in Parker County, Texas. G.W. and Martha L. “Cotrell,” as their names appear in the document,...