Drawing the lines

When county borders get fuzzy As genealogists we all know how counties are created, right? The legislature of the appropriate jurisdiction — colony, territory or state — passes a law creating the new county and setting out its borders. Kind of like what...

Legally speaking in Alabama

One-stop shopping for state laws So The Legal Genealogist is doing the usual poking around in old laws, getting ready for this weekend’s 2019 Spring Seminar of the Alabama Genealogical Society, to be held at Samford University. And it’s really easy to do...

Biddy’s bookends

From slavery to major landowner Hers is an amazing story. No matter how you look at it, the life of Bridget “Biddy” Mason is simply astonishing. The bookends of her life set the stage: she was born into slavery in the Deep South in 1818; she died as a prominent...

Mushrooms in law books

From a typo to a challenge It’s a lesson every writer will learn sooner or later. Leave a typo anywhere and it will be noticed. The Legal Genealogist is resigned to that fact, but is turning the tables on readers with one today. Yesterday, when I posted a link...

Naming names in Arizona

In the statute books too Today is the day The Legal Genealogist toughens up and does that terribly hard thing that’s been looming in the schedule this week. After all, I’m speaking Saturday at the 2019 Seminar of the West Valley Genealogical Society, and...

A different question

A special guardian for what child? Reader Bridget Wanderer was baffled. The court record she’d come across just didn’t make sense. She knew that her grandmother Gladys was enumerated living with her father, stepmother and grandfather Forrest H. Mitchell in...

The laws of Christmas: 2018 reprise

It wasn’t always a holiday In keeping with The Legal Genealogist’s holiday tradition of keeping the blog going while scrambling to handle holiday duties, this post (a reprise from years past), has a question for you: Are you planning for a good rest in...

The advent of numbers

Social Security numbers, that is… Reader Lori Jansen was looking for a little more background on the advent of numbers. Social Security numbers, to be precise, in the hopes that she might find some information about some of her family members. The question came...