October, 2007

The Elusive Sarah Gilbert

I’ve blogged quite a lot about Sarah Gilbert Johnson, wife of Ezekiel Johnson, and my great-great-grandmother. She appears in the marriage records of Clay County, Missouri, at the time of her marriage to Grandpa Zeke and in the 1880 census for Kansas City, Missouri. Then she appears of record no more. I’ve been over and over the available materials. Indeed, …Continue reading →


Can DNA Solve "The Lumbee Problem"?

How does a group of people who have American Indian ancestry but no records of treaties, reservations, Native language, or peculiarly “Indian” customs come to be accepted–socially and legally–as Indians? That question is asked on the jacket of the 2001 printing of The Lumbee Problem–The Making of an American Indian People by anthropologist Karen I. Blu (University of Nebraska Press, …Continue reading →


Southern California Fires: Genealogical Events

Our fellow genea-blogger, Randy Seaver, was as close to the recent California fires as anyone we know and he reported and “mused’ about them last week. It was a reminder that “all history is personal.” [An Air Force general I know told me that once–he doesn’t claim to have originated it]. Randy and his family are safe, but as we …Continue reading →


Genealogy Law Quiz Answers

The fall semester will be over soon at Pacific McGeorge School of Law, so I thought I’d practice for the grading season with the quiz that appeared here a couple of days ago. BTW, every one who tried it got a passing grade. Here’s the “model answer”: Copyright Infringement The first claim against Delia is Al and Bert’s action for …Continue reading →


Interviews with TGN CEO

Earlier this week, Kimberly Powell snagged an important interview with Tim Sullivan, CEO of The Generations Network, parent company of Ancestry.com. The interview came on the heels of the acquisition of TGN by a private equity firm. But yesterday, Chris Dunham got the real scoop. See his ground-breaking interview here.


Law and Genealogy–A Quiz

One afternoon, Delia, a family historian, decided to rummage around her uncle Al’s attic. She came across a locked trunk that she recognized as having belonged to her grandmother. Delia asked Al if she could see what was in the trunk. Al, knowing of his favorite niece’s obsession with genealogy, said, “Sure. Help yourself to anything in it.” Al, the …Continue reading →


More Genealogical Law: Invasion of Privacy

We’ve talked about defamation, but a far more serious issue for genealogists is “invasion of privacy.” The law generally recognizes four distinct “wrongs” that may constitute “invasion of privacy:” (1) intrusion into private matters; (2) public disclosure of private facts; (3) publicity placing a person in a false light; (4) misappropriation of a person’s name or likeness. Each of these …Continue reading →


Avoid Defamation

Defamation in genealogical publishing is not a tremendous problem for several reasons. First, the law does not recognize defamation of dead people. This fact is combined with the practice of most genealogists not publish information about living people without permission of those people. The third fact is that things thought defamatory in the past are, for cultural reasons, no longer …Continue reading →


Another Law Lesson: A Most Excellent Question

I had intended Thursday’s post to focus on avoiding defamation in genealogy. But then I saw this comment from Chris Dunham: What are your thoughts on that John Dillinger story I blogged about a few months ago? Which uses of Dillinger’s name can be controlled by his relatives, and which fall under the “dead people cannot be defamed” rule? A …Continue reading →


Obituary: Victoria Ann Rogers

Victoria Ann Rogers, born on July 3, 1946, in Santiago, Chile, passed away at her home in Sacramento on October 12, 2007. Vicky is survived by her daughter Cynthia Thompson and husband Jeff, son Ian Rogers, grandchildren Dana, Celina and Nicholas Thompson, siblings Jim Pisano and Vivian Pisano, and a large extended family. A graveside funeral service will be held …Continue reading →

October 2007
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