Research tool allows genealogists to access U.S. court decisions online

Credit: Special

Credit: Special

The website case.law could prove useful for many genealogists.

The research tool — built by the Library Innovation Lab at Harvard Law School, as part of the Caselaw Access Project — allows genealogists to easily access Supreme Court cases and other high level court cases from every state in the nation. Searches are free. The best part is that it guides you to people mentioned within the case, not just the parties in the title. The names of people within the case could be a goldmine.

If you have a very unusual surname, you can check the entire nation in one search. But it is better to narrow your search to a state. As with any digitized record, errors will occur, such as garbled names. Still, it’s well worth checking out to see what turns up. If you find a case important to you, you may need to contact a particular state archives for access to the original court papers. if they exist, or a local law school to get a better copy of the published abstract. These records could be especially useful in cases in which a county courthouse burned, as these files resided at the state or national level.

Marietta’s Lady of Firsts

The Georgia Archives Lunch and Learn Lecture for October 14 will feature Christa McCay, Museum Collection manager at the Marietta History Center Museum. She’ll speak about “Regina Rambo Benson, Marietta’s Lady of Firsts.” The event starts at noon and is free. For more information, check GeorgiaArchives.org, or call 678-364-3710. For more on the Marietta History Center, located just off the Marietta Square, see mariettahistory.org.

CCC research article online

Search for “Family Tree Magazine, Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) worker employment records” to find a great article. It contains many great links to help you find who you are looking for.

Contact Kenneth H. Thomas Jr., P.O. Box 901, Decatur, Ga., 30031 or kenthomasongenealogy.org.