Craig Manson

Expert Author

Craig Manson is an expert in law and public policy currently employed as general counsel to a public agency in California. He describes himself as having a "checkered past," as to both his work career and his genealogy. Previously, he was professor of law and public policy at a leading California law school. Over the last forty years, he's been a Top Forty DJ at a couple of radio stations, both AM & FM; a broadcast journalist; a cable television sportscaster; a radio sportscaster; a newspaper stringer; a lobbyist in a state legislature; a military officer, a college professor, a lawyer, a judge, and has served at the highest levels of both state and federal government. Craig's ancestors include Africans enslaved in America, as well as slave-owners; Native Americans, and some very prominent 17th century British and French emigres. He has ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary War and on both sides of the Civil War. Craig writes and speaks about legal topics of interest to genealogists and on military records, the Civil War, and African-American history. He also tells family stories at his blog called GeneaBlogie. Craig is a member of the Board of Directors of the California Genealogical Society and a member of the Southern California Genealogical Society. He is also a member of the UK-based Guild of One-Name Studies.

Favorite Genealogy Quote

There are no easy cases in genealogy.

What are your specific genealogical interests?

In addition to the research aspect of genealogy, I'm interested in what might called "meta-genealogy." For example, I'm fascinated by questions like "Can anything really be proven?" or "How does genealogy translate in different, especially non-Western, cultures?"

What got you into genealogy?

I set out to be an astrophysicist to find out the origins of life in the universe, but I couldn't do the math. So I became a political scientist and lawyer to understand life on Earth. That turned into an interest in where I fit in.

Most surprising genealogical find:

That my paternal second great-grandfather was probably the son of a prominent slave-owner and that he absconded from Georgia to Texas with my second great-grandmother in 1884. It cost him his Georgia state Confederate pension and he died sick and broke.

If you could find the family history of any historical great, who would it be?

I cannot think of a single "historical great" who could possibly interest me more than my fellow "ordinary persons."

Sign up for a free trial account and begin tracing your family history today.

Start 7-Day Free Trial »