San Mateo County Genealogical Society's Blog featuring society events, projects, meeting notes and other items of relevance to genealogists.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

California Statute Abstracts by Sheri Fenley

Cath Madden Trindle

Over the years I've been fortunate enough to meet some really wonderful genealogists.  Sheri Fenley of Stockton is one.  Her blog, The Educated Genealogist, is a reflection of her effervescent personality, always fun and interesting.

Recently she has been abstracting the early California Statute books.  These are the books that contain all of the laws passed in each session of the California Legislature. While many laws were passed to govern the "masses" the volumes are sprinkled with laws passed for the benefit of individuals and specific neighborhoods. 

In my California genealogy classes I always mentioned these session books. They can provide fascinating details of the lives of family members.  But access was cumbersome, so few delved into the records.

Sheri's abstracts provide a new means of access.  To date she has abstracted records from a variety of years between 1850 and 1913, and it looks like she will continue.  Each year includes a link to the Statute volume, where you can read the entire proceedings.  Be sure to read the posts where she lets the stories unfold, using newspapers and other records to fill in the details not included in the Statute books, and following it forward through the years.

Sheri attributes her interest in the Statute books to  The Legal Genealogist, Judy Russell.  Judy had posted about them on her blog prior to a visit to California, so thank you Judy as well as Sheri for this magnificent addition to our California research resources. 

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