Must Reads – The Legal Genealogist

Filed in On The Hunt, Reading List, Reviews by on 16 August 2012 1 Comment

Working with legal documents is a daunting task. First, there’s the Latin. Phrases such as corpus delicti, de jure (hint, it’s not the soup of the day) and non compos mentis are terms you may encounter in your family research. Second, Latin isn’t the only language the law draws on for its terms. And third, even words we think of as common have very specific meanings in law. My favorites: Trespass and Backward. So who can you turn to for help?

The Legal Genealogist.

I first became acquainted with Judy G. Russell of The Legal Genealogist in April. The Association of Professional Genealogists hosted a webinar with Judy: “Facts, Photos & Fair Use – Copyright law for genealogists”. It was an eye-opening presentation on Public Domain, Fair Use and Copyright ownership. She is an engaging speaker and writer with obvious knowledge of, and passion for, her area of expertise. I’ve been reading her blog ever since.

Copyright, Statutes, Legal Definitions and so much more.

Judy has a variety of blog categories of interest to any genealogical researcher. Copyright is near and dear to my heart as I have a few publishing projects scheduled in the near future. Anyone blogging their family history or hosting their family tree on the internet should educate themselves on this important topic. In Statutes, Court Cases and Legal Definitions you’ll find interesting, informative articles written with wit and flare. I don’t know about you but when I see a post titled How crazy is too crazy to make a will?, I have to read it.

But I’m not working with legal documents.

Haven’t come across anything more than the occasional will in your research? You still need The Legal Genealogist. Judy’s series on state constitutions is not to be missed. Interested in Genealogical DNA? It may not seem the most obvious fit for a legal blog but it’s a field Judy is clearly excited about. However, the topic I find most essential to all readers is her series on Terms of Use. You know – that annoyingly long and legalistic message you were supposed to have read – prior to clicking the Accept Terms button – on that great new subscription service you signed up for. You might be surprised what you agreed to and how you are violating those terms; thereby jeopardizing your access.

Well worth your time.

I hope you’ll consider adding The Legal Genealogist to your daily feed. But the first time you visit – clear your schedule and fill up your coffee cup. Once you start reading, you’ll find it hard to stop!

Copyright (c) 15 Aug 2012, Rorey Cathcart

Logo used with permission from Judy G. Russell, The Legal Genealogist

About the Author ()

Professional genealogist and lecturer. Located in Charleston County, SC. Special research interests in South Carolina, Southern States, Irish Heritage and Migratory Patterns. Researcher for Genealogy Roadshow on PBS seasons two and three.

Comments (1)

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  1. Cop says:

    Michael Lavenz From what I have found, Patrick and David were from [Fennagh?] Parish, Limerick. Patrick’s spouse was born in a nebray parish. David married a Kate Cleary (or O’Leary) possibly in Pennsylvania. I am finding a lot of information on descendants, but not much luck on ancestors yet. I am up to five family members (Michael, John, Patrick, David, and Johanna) and might have also found a possible cousin in the area. Patrick’s daughter Sarah married someone whose family lived next door to another Patrick Connell born in 1918. All families generally used the same given names for the children, which would make sense if naming after godparents or such. I suspect that I will find other related O’Connells in Pennsylvania, since that is where the first children of Dave and Patrick were born. The first born sons of both Patrick and David were named Maurice possibly the given name of their father. David’s obituary stated that he emigrated at the age of 18 and he was born in 1827. This pushes his family’s emigration back to 1845. I am hoping to find them in the 1850 Census, but have not had luck so far. He appears to have been missed in the 1870 census as well.

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