Monday, November 3, 2014

Motivation Monday - The Legal Genealogist

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Sandra Gardner-Benward

A Day in Court with

Judy G Russell, JD, CG, CGL
1 November 2014
.....presented by the San Mateo County Genealogical Society

I have referred to Judy and her writings from The Legal Genealogist Blog in many posts in the past. Nothing has changed, Judy continues to look out for all of us and tries to educate us in law - knowing that the laws of the day make it possible for family history researchers to better understand the lives of their ancestors and the records they created. So go to the blog and register, keep yourself updated and learn in the process.

I am attending the SMCGS 2014Fall Seminar in Menlo Park to listen to what Judy Russell has to say. I am looking for purls (knitting term) of wisdom. When we arrived and checked in, there was a silent auction and book sales,. Yes I checked through all the books. AND I carefully looked over the silent auction items. Tempted!!

The topics today were -
 "Where There Is - OR Isn't - A Will"
"The Fair Court - Records of Chancery Courts"
"Polls, Personalty and Property- Making Sense of Tax Lists"
"From Blackstone to the Statutes at Large - How Knowing the Law Makes Us Better Genealogists"

 A couple of things I learned today (things that I might actually remember)
-Last Will and Testament.........  the will has to do with real property and testament has to do with personal property
-So when was, how to, what did, where was ??????  it depends!! it all depends on the place and the time.... every state has its own laws, but it also depends on what is the year. Nothing is exact and straight forward.
-Up through the mid 1800's Guardianship is about property (of the minor) not child protection or child care.
-Beware of the Crown Copyright - In the United Kingdom you can not republish...... check place/time
-Items to look for through the courts.....  Dockets (index of minutes case by case), Minutes - events described in details, Loose Papers or case files.......  always ask

Just a couple of REFERENCES I will be trying out:
*Google Books
*Black's Dictionary of Law: Containing Definitions of the Terms and Phrases of American and English Jurisprudence, Ancient, and Modern
*Blackstone's Commentaries of the Laws of England

I did spend a little time in the Family History Center- it is in this sweet little house on the property but not physically connected to the church property..............   I didn't have a lot of time to spend so I went right for the OHIO books and materials.......  there was a really nice binder that has a lot of facts, information and maps ALL of Ohio. I noticed that each state had the same binder, some with more information than others. (Yes it was a little wet today- but good to see it come)

This is a lot roomier than the inside of the house looks in this picture below. AND there are several smaller rooms off of this main room, with lots of computers, and microfilm reader room. Lots of good stuff tucked away in this small little house. They were geared up and staffed for the crowded that visited them during the lunch break and for an hour after the seminar ended. Great job.........

Yes, you can find this information in a lot of different places but it is still good to see it is available in paper form for reference........ I was checking on Stark County Ohio. Thanks. 

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