Do a labor of love

A Labor Day research plan The Legal Genealogist isn’t working today. Even though it’s a Monday. Ordinarily a work day. But not today. Not here in the United States. This day, this first Monday in September,1 is a holiday here in the United States: Be it...

The law and the island

Bloody Island, Illinois The Legal Genealogist has made the point before: by looking at the early laws of an area, we can understand an awful lot about our ancestors who lived then — what mattered to them enough to pass a law about it. So… looking at early...

The peculiar institution

A little more peculiar in Georgia Reader Harriet Peterson noticed something unusual about The Legal Genealogist‘s choice of early Georgia laws to highlight in the blog on Wednesday. “I found it interesting that none of the laws you listed had anything to do with...

What’s important to the law

… or, what was important to our ancestors! The Legal Genealogist makes no bones about one simple fact. I’m a law geek. A total unmitigated nerd when it comes to the law and legal history. I love the way the law teaches us about the history of our country,...

Justice in Georgia

Parsing the jury lists There are 75 names on page 1. Another 76 on page 2. And another 20 on page 3. John T. Callaway was 30 years old, a farmer, married, with two small children. Reuben Kendall was a 54-year-old farmer, married for what looks like the third time,...

Going once, going twice

The land sale that wasn’t Reader Denny Mellott’s ancestors ran into some hard times in Michigan. Financial problems landed those ancestors — John and Elizabeth Schaub of Leelanau County — in the legal notices columns of the Leelanau Enterprise...

An end to hope

Saying no to freedom in 1838 You can hear the father’s hope and his anguish in the words he sent to the South Carolina Legislature. Not on his own behalf was he asking, in words that must have been written for him since he himself could not even sign his name....

Divorce, Palmetto-style

The “missing” law of South Carolina It’s a one-liner in the report of the United States Census Bureau on marriage and divorce laws and statistics between 1867 and 1906. “South Carolina,” the entry reads. “All laws permitting divorce were repealed in 1878.”1 Oh...

Laws of the Prairie State

One-stop shopping for Illinois laws If you’re going to research in Illinois, you need to know that the Territory of Illinois came into being in 1809. It had been part of the Northwest Territory created in 1787, then part of the Territory of Indiana created in...

Play ball!

Baseball via the National Archives It is, The Legal Genealogist contends, always a good day when the New York Yankees are atop the American League East. Oh, it could be better for sure — sharing the top spot with the loathed adversaries from Beantown is hard...