The Legal Genealogist (Judy G Russell) today proposes that we as a genealogy community create a primary law resources library [do read the full article for a definition of what this means and more about the planned project]! An understanding of the “law” is so critical to our understanding records whether it’s what is the age when one is liable for taxes, inheritance law, service to the militia or so much more, we HAVE to understand the law to understand the documentary trail of our ancestors!
... Now we’re not going to do this in any particular order (sorry, Alabama, you’re not going to come first here!) and it’ll be an occasional cataloguing that may be as often as once a week at times and less frequently when other topics — and particularly reader questions — are backlogged the way they are now.
But by the time we’re through, let’s see if, working together, we can’t come up with a comprehensive answer to the common question: what was the law then and there? If you’d like to help, please send your favorite primary law resources for your favorite states — online or brick and mortar — by email.
And just to be contrary, let’s start with
you’d think it’d be easy, right? Not even admitted as a state until 1890. But
at one time or another, parts of Wyoming
were governed by no fewer than seven different territorial governments, and a
bunch of different countries. Wyoming
As a warm up, post a comment about what are your primary law resources for your favorite states?
For example, for
some online references (I’d have to hit the NC Archives for the on-the-ground
volumes that I frequently reference before posting print resources) to primary
law resources can be found at the following: North Carolina
· Constitution of North Carolina: December 18, 1776 [transcript]
· Carolina Charter of 1663 &1715  Revisal [of laws in force in NC] [original documents]
· [General Assembly] Session Laws of North Carolina, 1817-2009 or you can “search” on these as a group. Here is an overview of this collection.
· What have I missed for NC?
And, I stumbled across this general reference – “Hand-list of legislative sessions and session laws: statutory revisions, compilations, codes, etc., and constitutional conventions of the United States and its possessions and of the several states to May, 1912” by Charles Jacob Babbitt, Charles Francis Dorr Beldon
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