Wednesday, May 19, 2010

George R. Ryskamp -- Locating and Using the Law in Family History Research

For my next Wednesday April 28 session I attended "Locating and Using the Law in Family History Research" taught by George R. Ryskamp.
His speaker biography states "George Ryskamp, JD, AG, Associate Professor of History, BYU has more than 40 years experience in legal, historical and genealogical research worldwide."
He gave us advice about visiting law libraries to research genealogy. He told us a brief history of the laws in the United States and how they originated from English Common Law except in Louisiana and parts of the Southwest where the laws are based on French or Spanish law. It was interesting to learn that many law codes are online at Google Books.
This session was jam packed with ideas for searching for family history in legal history. For example he suggested that Black's Law Dictionary 1910 edition online at Google Books would be more helpful in our research than a more modern law dictionary.Click here. All of this information was new to me and I was overwhelmed with the possibilities for research.
I learned that BYU Independent Study has a course for this subject The Family and the Law in American History. While searching for this link I realized that BYU Independent Study also offers free online courses and that many of them are family history courses.

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