Mapping San Mateo

Just where would that ancestor have lived? So… an ancestor died in San Mateo County, California, on 1 January 1886. His obituary kindly informs us that he had lived in the same house for exactly 40 years, having moved in on 1 January 1846. Here’s the...

Centennial State laws

Colorado statutes from 1861 It was part of Spain, France — no, Spain — no, France — both Spain and France, the United States and Mexico and Texas, and then just the United States. At least some part of its land at one time or another had been in the Louisiana,...

Keystone statutes

A source for early Pennsylvania laws What does it tell us about the kinds of things our earliest ancestors in colonial Pennsylvania were concerned about when the first 10 laws enacted by the Province of Pennsylvania in 1682 were: • Concerning liberty of conscience •...

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...