When conducting genealogy research, most researchers gravitate to the usual sources, such as census records, wills and probate records, marriage records, military records, and immigration records. Another potential source for genealogical information that may not be apparent is legal opinions. Legal opinions are issued by courts in resolving lawsuits. The opinion will generally describe the parties, lay out the legal issues and the facts (as determined by either the judge or the jury), apply the law to the facts, and resolve the parties’ dispute(s). Legal opinions are usually issued by appellate courts, but may be issued by trial courts as well. Situations that may result in a lawsuit, and potentially a published legal opinion, include disputes over land, contracts or business dealings, crimes, or personal injuries. Our ancestors can show up in a legal opinion in a variety or capacities – as a named party to the lawsuit, as a witness, as a litigating attorney, or as the judge. Legal opinions can provide a great deal of information and can also provide a look into the everyday lives of our ancestors.