Federal land in general

Happy birthday to the BLM GLO If there’s one thing that’s for certain in The Legal Genealogist’s world, it’s that the statutes of the United States and the states provide unlimited fodder for comment and — very often — a mass of...

Such books as may be necessary

Happy birthday, LOC! It is, to a genealogist, about the happiest provision ever to be encountered in a statute book. It’s in section 5 of a law signed by President John Adams 219 years ago today — and that section read: And be it further enacted, That for...

Landing those decisions

And in the latest “it never fails” category… It never fails. Inevitably, The Legal Genealogist will finish a post referencing in passing a resource that wasn’t exactly central to that particular post, and somebody will pop up within minutes to ask about...

Documenting the land rush

When the Boomers met the Sooners Two million acres west of the Mississippi. Land that had been promised to Native Americans “…as long as grass grows or water runs…”1 Land that — 130 years ago today — was opened for settlement as part of the public lands of...

Read the law books

Yes, read them, really The Legal Genealogist loves it when this happens. A fabulous question just came in minutes ago in a comment to Wednesday’s post about private laws,1 and I absolutely can’t wait to answer it. Reader Sylvia Anne Nash had reviewed that...

Down the legal rabbit holes

Go ahead… read those laws So… The Legal Genealogist is poking around some late 18th century and early 19th century Massachusetts statutes to try to get an answer to a reader question. The answer is taking more time than expected… and it isn’t...

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...