Glossary Of Terms

A

ABSTRACT
Summary of important points of a given text, especially deeds and wills.

ACRE
See measurements.

ADMINISTRATION (of estate)
The collection, management and distribution of an estate by proper legal process.

ADMINISTRATOR (of estate)
Person appointed to manage or divide the estate of a deceased person.

ADMINISTRATRIX
A female administrator.

AFFIDAVIT
A statement in writing, sworn to before proper authority.

AHNENTAFEL CHART
An ancestor table that list the name, date and place of and individuals birth, marriage, death and specified number of his/her ancestors.

ALIEN
Foreigner.

AMERICAN REVOLUTION
U.S. war for independence from Great Britain 1775 -1783.

ANCESTOR
A person from whom you are descended; a forefather.

ANCESTRAL FILE
A computer database file located at FamilySearch.org.

ANTE
Latin prefix meaning before, such as in ante-bellum South, "The South before the war"

APPRENTICE
One who is bound by indentures or by legal agreement or by any means to serve another person for a certain time, with a view of learning an art or trade.

APPURTENANCE
That which belongs to something else such as a building,orchard, right of way, etc.

ARCHIVE
Record of a government, organization, institution; the placewhere records are stored.

ATTEST
To affirm; to certify by signature or oath.

B

BANNS
Public announcement of intended marriage.

BENEFICIARY
One who receives benefit of trust or property.

BEQUEATH
To give personal property to a person in a will. Noun - bequest.

BOND
Written, signed, witnessed agreement requiring payment of a specified amount of money on or before a given date.

BOUNTY LAND WARRANT
A right to obtain land, specific number of acres of unallocated public land, granted for military service.

C

CASCADING FAMILY GROUP RECORD
An option that allows you to print family group records for a specified number of generations in a family.

CASCADING PEDIGREE
An option that allows you to print pedigree charts for a specified number of generations in a family.

CENSUS
Official enumeration, listing or counting of citizens.

CERTIFIED COPY
A copy made and attested to by officers having charge of the original and authorized to give copies.

CHAIN
See measurements.

CHATTEL
Personal property which can include animate as well as inanimate properties.

CHRISTEN
To receive or initiate into the visible church by baptism; to name at baptism; to give a name to.

CIRCA
About, near, or approximate -- usually referring to a date.

CIVIL WAR
War between the States; war between North and South, 1861-65.

CODICIL
Addition to a will.

COLLATERAL ANCESTOR
Belong to the same ancestral stock but not in direct line of descent; opposed to lineal such as aunts, uncles & cousins.

COMMON ANCESTOR
Ancestor shared by any two people.

CONFEDERATE
Pertaining to the Southern states which seceded from theU.S. in 1860 -1861, their government and their citizens.

CONSANGUINITY
Blood relationship.

CONSORT
Usually, a wife whose husband is living.

CONVEYANCE
See deed.

COUSIN
Relative descended from a common ancestor, but not a brother or sister.

D

DAUGHTER-IN-LAW - Wife of one''s son.

DECEASED
Dead.

DECEDENT
A deceased person.

DECLARATION OF INTENTION
First paper, sworn to and filed in court, by an alien stating that he wants to become a citizen.

DEED
A document by which title in real property is transferred from one party to another.

DEPOSITION
A testifying or testimony taken down in writing under oath of affirmation in reply to interrogatories, before a competent officer to replace the oral testimony of a witness.

DEVISE
Gift of real property by will.

DEVISEE
One to whom real property (land) is given in a will.

DEVISOR
One who gives real property in a will.

DISSENTER
One who did not belong to the established church, especially the Church of England in the American colonies.

DISTRICT LAND OFFICE PLAT BOOK
Books or rather maps which show the location of the land patentee.

DISTRICT LAND OFFICE TRACT BOOK
Books which list individual entries by range and township.

DOUBLE DATING
A system of double dating used in England and America from 1582-1752, because it was not clear as to whether the year commenced January 1 or March 25

DOWER
Legal right or share which a wife acquired by marriage in the real estate of her husband, allotted to her after his death for her lifetime.

E

EMIGRANT
One leaving a country and moving to another.

ENUMERATION
Listing or counting , such as a census.

EPITAPH
An inscription on or at a tomb or grave in memory of the one buried there.

ESCHEAT
The reversion of property to the state when there are no qualified heirs.

ESTATE
All property and debts belonging to a person.

ET AL
Latin for "and others".

ET UX
Latin for "and wife".

ET UXOR
And his wife. Sometimes written simply Et Ux.

EXECUTOR
One appointed in a will to carry out its provisions. Female =Executrix

F

FAMILY HISTORY LIBRARY
The main library in Salt Lake City, Utah used by genealogical researchers worldwide. It is the world''s largest collection of genealogical holdings and has both printed sources and microfilmed records.

FAMILYSEARCH.ORG
A genealogy website sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

FATHER-IN-LAW
Father of one''s spouse.

FEE
An estate of inheritance in land, being either fee simple or fee tail. An estate in land held of a feudal lord on condition of the performing of certain services.

FEE SIMPLE
An absolute ownership without restriction.

FEE TAIL
An estate of inheritance limited to lineal descendant heirs of a person to whom it was granted.

FRANKLIN, STATE OF
An area once known but never officially recognized and was under consideration from 1784 - 1788 from the western part of North Carolina.

FRATERNITY
Group of men (or women) sharing a common purpose orinterest.

FREE HOLD
An estate in fee simple, in fee tail, or for life.

FRIEND
Member of the Religious Society of Friends; a Quaker.

FURLONG
See measurements.

G

GAZETTEER
A geographical dictionary; a book giving names and descriptions of places usually in alphabetical order.

GEDCOM
An acronym for GEnealogical Data COMmunication, is a specification for exchanging genealogical data between different genealogy software.

GENEALOGY
Study of family history and descent.

GENTLEMAN
A man well born.

GIVEN NAME
Name given to a person at birth or baptism, one''s first and middle names.

GLEBE
Land belonging to a parish church.

GRANTEE
One who buys property or receives a grant.

GRANTOR
One who sells property or makes a grant.

GREAT-AUNT
Sister of one''s grandparent.

GREAT-UNCLE
Brother of one''s grandparent.

GUARDIAN
Person appointed to care for and manage property of a minor orphan or an adult incompetent of managing his own affairs.

H

HALF BROTHER/HALF SISTER
Child by another marriage of one''s mother or father; the relationship of two people who have only one parent in common.

HEIRS
Those entitled by law or by the terms of a will to inherit property from another.

HOLOGRAPHIC WILL
One written entirely in the testator''s own handwriting.

HOMESTEAD ACT
Law passed by Congress in 1862 allowing a head of a family to obtain title to 160 acres of public land after clearing and improving it for 5 years.

HUGUENOT
A French Protestant in the 16th and 17th centuries. One of the reformed or calvinistic communion who were driven by the thousands into exile in England, Holland, Germany and America.

I

IGI
International Genealogical Institute

ILLEGITIMATE
Born to a mother who was not married to the child''s father.

IMMIGRANT
One moving into a country from another.

INDENTURE
Today it means a contract in 2 or more copies. Originally made in 2 parts by cutting or tearing a single sheet across the middle in a jagged line so the two parts may later be matched.

INDENTURED SERVANT
One who bound himself into service of another person for a specified number of years, often in return for transportation to this country.

INFANT
Any person not of full age; a minor.

INSTANT
Of or pertaining to the current month. (Abbreviated inst.)

INTESTATE
One who dies without a will or dying without a will.

INVENTORY
An account, catalog or schedule, made by an executor or administrator of all the goods and chattels and sometimes of the real estate of a deceased person.

ISSUE
Offspring; children; lineal descendants of a common ancestor.

J

K

L

LATE
Recently deceased.

LDS
Latter-Day Saints (The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-day Saints)

LEASE
An agreement which creates a landlord - tenant situation.

LEGACY
Property or money left to someone in a will.

LEGISLATURE
Lawmaking branch of state or national government; elected group of lawmakers.

LIEN
A claim against property as security for payment of a debt.

LINEAGE
Ancestry; direct descent from a specific ancestor.

LINEAL
Consisting of or being in a direct line of ancestry or descendants; descended in a direct line.

LINK
See measurements.

LIS PENDENS
Pending court action; usually applies to land title claims.

LODGE
A chapter or meeting hall of a fraternal organization.

LOYALIST
Tory, an American colonist who supported the British side during the American Revolution.

M

MAIDEN NAME
A girl''s last name or surname before she marries

MANUSCRIPT
A composition written with the hand as an ancient book or a non-printed modern book or music.

MARRIAGE BOND
A financial guarantee that no impediment to the marriage existed, furnished by the intended bridegroom or by his friends.

MATCH/MERGE
A feature on the Tools menu in some family history programs that allows you to find duplicate fecords in a file and combine them into one record.

MATERNAL
Related through one''s mother, such as a Maternal grandmother being the mother''s mother.

MEASUREMENTS
Link - 7.92 inches
Chain - 100 Links or 66 feet
Furlong - 1000 Links or 660 feet
Rod - 5 1/2 yds or 16 1/2 ft (also called a perch or pole)
Rood - From 5 1/2 yards to 8 yards, dependingon locality
Acre - 43,560 square ft or 160 square rods

MESSUAGE
A dwelling house.

METES & BOUNDS
Property described by natural boundaries, such as 3 notches in a white oak tree, etc.

MICROFICHE
Sheet of microfilm with greatly reduced images of pages of documents.

MICROFILM
Reproduction of documents on film at reduced size.

MIGRANT
Person who moves from place to place, usually in search of work

MIGRATE
To move from one country or state or region to another. (Noun : migration)

MILITIA
Citizens of a state who are not part of the national military forces but who can be called into military service in an emergency; acitizen army, apart from the regular military forces.

MINOR
One who is under legal age; not yet a legal adult.

MISTER
In early times, a title of respect given only to those who held important civil officer or who were of gentle blood.

MOIETY
A half; an indefinite portion.

MORTALITY
Death; death rate.

MORTALITY SCHEDULES
Enumeration of persons who died during the year prior to June 1 of 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 in each state of the United States, conducted by the bureau of census.

MORTGAGE
A conditional transfer of title to real property as security for payment of a debt.

MOTHER-IN-LAW
Mother of one''s spouse.

N

NAMESAKE
Person named after another person.

NECROLOGY
Listing or record of persons who have died recently.

NEE
Used to identify a woman''s maiden name; born with the surname of.

NEPHEW
Son of one''s brother or sister.

NIECE
Daughter of one''s brother or sister.

NONCUPATIVE WILL
One declared or dictated by the testator, usually for persons in last sickness, sudden illness, or military.

O

ORPHAN
Child whose parents are dead; sometimes, a child who has lost one parent by death.

ORPHAN''S COURT
Orphans being recognized as wards of the states, provisions were made for them in special courts.

P

PASSENGER LIST
A ships list of passengers, usually referring to those ships arriving in the US or Canada, from Europe.

PATENT
Grant of land from a government to an individual.

PATERNAL
Related to one''s father. Paternal grandmother is the father''s mother.

PATRIOT
One who loves his country and supports its interests.

PEDIGREE
Family tree; ancestry.

PENSION
Money paid regularly to an individual, especially by a government as reward for military service during wartime or upon retirement from government service.

PENSIONER
One who receives a pension.

PERCH
See measurements.

POLE
See measurements.

POLL
List or record of persons, especially for taxing or voting.

POST
Prefix meaning after, as in post-war economy.

POSTERITY
Descendants; those who come after.

POWER OF ATTORNEY
When a person is unable to act for himself, he appoints another to act in his behalf.

PRE
Prefix meaning before, as in pre-war military build-up.

PRE-EMOTION RIGHTS
Right given by the federal government to citizens, to buy a quarter section of land or less.

PROBATE
Having to do with wills and the administration of estates.

PROGENITOR
A direct ancestor.

PROGENY
Descendants of a common ancestor; issue.

PROVED WILL
A will established as genuine by probate court.

PROVOST
A person appointed to superintend, or preside over something.

PROXIMO
In the following month, in the month after the present one.

PUBLIC DOMAIN
Land owned by the government.

Q

QUAKER
Member of the Religious Society of Friends.

QUITCLAIM
A deed conveying the interest of the party at that time.

R

RECTOR
A clergyman; the ruler or governor of a country.

RELICT
Widow; surviving spouse when one has died, husband or wife.

REPUBLIC
Government in which supreme authority lies with the people or their elected representatives.

REVOLUTIONARY WAR
U.S. war for independence from Great Britain 1775 -1783.

ROD
See measurements.

ROOD
See measurements.

S

SHAKER
Member of a religious group formed in 1747 which practiced communal living and celibacy.

SIBLING
Person having one or both parents in common with another; a brother or sister.

SIC
Latin meaning thus; copied exactly as the original reads. Often suggests a mistake or surprise in the original.

SON-IN-LAW
Husband of one''s daughter.

SPINSTER
A woman still unmarried; or one who spins.

SPONSOR
A bondsman; surety.

SPOUSE
Husband or wife.

STATUTE
Law.

STEP-BROTHER / STEP-SISTER
Child of one''s step-father or step-mother.

STEP-CHILD
Child of one''s husband or wife from a previous marriage.

STEP-FATHER
Husband of one''s mother by a later marriage.

STEP-MOTHER
Wife of one''s father by a later marriage.

SURNAME - Family name or last name.

T
TERRITORY
Area of land owned by a country, not a state or province,but having its own legislature and governor.

TESTAMENTARY
Pertaining to a will.

TESTATE
A person who dies leaving a valid will.

TESTATOR
A person who makes a valid will before his death.

TITHABLE
Taxable.

TITHE
Formerly, money due as a tax for support of the clergy or church.

TORY
Loyalist; one who supported the British side in the American Revolution.

TOWNSHIP
A division of U.S. public land that contained 36 sections, or 36 square miles. Also a subdivision of the county in many Northeastern and Midwestern states of the U.S.

TRADITION
The handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs, genealogies, etc. from generation to generation, especially by word of mouth.

TRANSCRIBE
To make a copy in writing.


U

ULTIMO
In the month before this one.

UNION
The United States; also the North during the Civil War, the states which did not secede.

V

VERBATIM
Word for word; in the same words, verbally.

VTAL RECORDS
Records of birth, death, marriage or divorce.

VITAL STATISTICS
Data dealing with birth, death, marriage or divorce.

W

WAR BETWEEN THE STATES
U.S. Civil War, 1861 - 1865.

WARD
Chiefly the division of a city for election purposes.

WILL
Document declaring how a person wants his property divided after his death.

WITNESS
One who is present at a transaction, such as a sale of land or signing of a will, who can testify or affirm that it actually took place.

WPA HISTORICAL RECORDS SURVEY
A program undertaken by the US Government from 1935 - 1936, in which inventories were compiled of historical material.

X

Y

YEOMAN
A servant, an attendant or subordinate official in a royal household; a subordinate of a sheriff; an independent farmer.

Z