She said what?!
Judy G. Russell didn’t stutter. Daniel Boone, frontiersman extraordinaire, was an “assee”. Frankly, I didn’t see what the fuss was about — frontiersmen weren’t known for minding their Ps and Qs. But then she showed us the legal document that read (more or less) plainly: “assee”. Supposedly [rolls eyes], this was an abbreviation of “assignee”. Um, okay. That clears it up.
Earlier today, at the 2015 NGS conference, I attended a session on legal lingo with the incomparable Judy G. Russell, The Legal Genealogist. I was able to wrap my non-legal (illegal?) mind around maybe half of what she said. Legal and property research are weaknesses of mine, and I’m sure it will take many more such sessions before I see any improvement.
Judy provided a number of resources that we can use when bumfuzzled by legal balderdash.
- Jacob, Giles. A New Law Dictionary: containing the Interpretation and Definition of Words and terms Used in the Law; . . ., Published to this Time. London, England: p.p., 1729. Available in digital format through several online outlets.
- Bouvier, John. A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States of America and of the Several States of the American Union. 2 volumes. Philadelphia: Johnson Law Booksellers, 1839. Subsequent editions through 2012. Available in digital format through several online outlets.
- Black, Henry Campbell. A Dictionary of Law: Containing Definitions of the Terms and Phrases of American and English Jurisprudence, Ancient and Modern. 1st edition. St. Paul, Minnesota: West Publishing Co., 1891. The 1910 edition is available online, including through an app of The Law Dictionary. The 1968 edition — the last modern edition recommended because subsequent editions omit the obsolete terms that genealogist need most — is available in print form but not yet digitized.
According to FamilyTreeDNA, we’re cousins. She, apparently, received the legal genes.
Perhaps I should just hit the road and follow Judy around the country to attend each of her seminars. That’s not creepy at all, is it?