Baby Names

Genealogical Terms

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Glossary of Genealogical Terms
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.

Alien - Foreigner.

American Revolution - U.S. War for Independence from Great Britain 1775 -1783. 

Ancestor - A Person From Whom You are Descended; A Forefather. 

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. 

Archives - Records of a Government, Organization, Institution; The Place where Records Are Stored.

Attest - To Affirm; To Certify By Signature Or Oath.

Glossary of Genealogical Terms

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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

Glossary of Genealogical Terms

Daughter-In-Law - Wife of One's Son. 

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. 

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 

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. 

Free Hold - An Estate In Fee Simple, In Fee Tail, Or For Life. 

Friend - Member Of The Religious Society Of Friends; A Quaker. 

Gazetteer - A Geographical Dictionary; A Book Giving Names And Descriptions Of Places 

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. 

Guardian - Person Appointed To Care For and Manage Property Of a Minor Orphan Or an Adult Incompetent Of Managing His Own Affairs. 

Glossary of Genealogical Terms

Half Brother/Half Sister - Child By Another

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. 

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. 

Intestate - One Who Dies Without a Will Or Dying Without a Will. 

Inventory - An Account, Catalogue 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. 

Late - Recently Deceased. 

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. 

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.


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. 

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 Yards Or 16 1/2 Feet (Also Called A Perch Or Pole)
Rood - From 5 1/2 Yards To 8 Yards, Depending on 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'. 

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; A Citizen Army, Apart From The Regular Military Forces. 

Minor - One Who Is Under Legal Age; Not Yet A Legal Adult. 

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. 

Necrology - Listing Or Record Of Persons Who Have Died Recently 

Nee - Used To Identify A Woman's Maiden Name; Born With The Surname Of. 

Noncupative Will - One Declared Or Dictated By The Testator, usually for Persons In Last Sickness, Sudden Illness, or Military. 

Orphan's Court - Orphans Being Recognized as Wards of The States. Provisions were made for them in Special Courts.

Patent - Grant of Land from a Government to an Individual. 

Pension - Money Paid Regularly to an Individual, especially By A Government as Reward for Military Service During Wartime or Upon Retirement from Government Service. 

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 on 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. 

Quitclaim - A Deed Conveying the Interest of the Party at that Time.

Rector - A Clergyman; The Ruler or Governor of a Country. 

Relict - Widow; Surviving Spouse When One Has Died, Husband or Wife. 

Sic - Latin Meaning Thus; Copied Exactly as the Original Reads. Often Suggests A Mistake or Surprise in the Original. 

Sponsor - A Bondsman; Surety.

Statute - Law.

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. 

Ultimo - In the Month Before this One.

Verbatim - Word for Word; In the Same Words, Verbally. 

Vital Records - Records of Birth, Death, Marriage or Divorce. 

Vital Statistics - Data Dealing With Birth, Death, Marriage or Divorce. 

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. 

Yeoman - A Servant, an Attendant or Subordinate Official in a Royal Household; A Subordinate of a Sheriff; An Independent Farmer.

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