January 1995

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Genealogical Terms


Elwyn R. Van Etten

A course in Genealogy—101, 201, 301, 401, 501, 601 by Elwyn R. Van Etten
Terms and abbreviations commonly encountered in genealogy research

A.D. anno domini — the year of our Lord

a.d. ante diem — after date

admin. — administrator (of an estate)

ae. — at the age of; aged

affiant — a person making an affidavit

a.k.a. — also known as

appellant — a person who appeals

appellate — jurisdiction reviewing inferior courts

appellee — the party against whom an appeal is made

banns — notice of a proposed marriage

bona fide — good faith, without deceit or fraud

c., ca., circa — about the date

canon — a law or a body of laws of a church

chattel — any item of property except real estate

codicil — a supplement or addition to a will

cog., cogn., cognatus — cognate ( related by blood)

collation — appointment by a bishop

coparcenary — joint inheritance, partnership

consort — sharer, wife or husband

corporeal hereditaments — inheritable material things

counterpart — one part of a two-part indenture; the other part being the original part

covenant — an agreement

cum testo annex — with the will annexed

de facto — of fact, founded on fact

denization — an adopted or naturalized citizen; a stranger admitted to reside in a foreign country

demise — general term for the transfer of property

deponent — one who gives evidence, especially in writing

desc. — descendant

D.S. dal signo — document signed

D.S.P. decessit sine prole — died without issue

devise — a gift by will taking effect at donor's death

devisee — person who received property by will

devisor, testator — one who wills land to another

docket — a list of causes or parties in court for trial

dower — the part of a deceased husband's property a widow inherits for her life

dowager — a widow with property derived from her husband

D.V.M. desait vito matria — died in mother's lifetime

D.V.P. decessit vito patria — died in father's lifetime

ead. eadem — the same

eoden die — same place and day (in court records)

erron. — erroneous, erroneously

et al. et alibi — and elsewhere; et alii — and others

et ux. et uxor — and wife

ex., exec. — executor

ex lib. — from the library (of)

f.; fol.; folio — page following, page folded once

fee simple — an absolute inheritance, without condition or restriction

Gdn. — guardian

glebe — land belonging to a parish or assigned to a minister as part of his salary

h.a. hoc anno — in this year

H.J. hic jacet — here lies

H.J.S. hic jacet sepultus — here lies buried

holograph — a letter, document in the handwriting of the person under whose name it appears

ibid. ibidem — in the same place, book, chapter, passage, etc.

imp. imprimus — in the first place, among first things

in loc. cit. in loco citato — in the place cited

intestate — without a testament or will of record

jointure — a settlement upon a woman of an estate, in lieu of dower, in consideration of marriage

lib. liber — book

lin. — lineal

M.G. — Minister of the Gospel

M.M. — monthly meetings of the Society of Friends

mss. — manuscripts

n. natus — born

n.d. — no date

n.f.i. — no further information

n.f.k. — nothing further known

n.p. — no place

non compos mentis — not of sound mind

N.S. — new style (referring to a Gregorian calendar date)

nunc. — nuncupative will, an oral will later written

ob. — he (she) died

op. cit. opere citato — in work cited

ordinary — (law) in some states, a judge of probate; (in early America) a tavern

O.S. — old style (referring to a Julian calendar date)

P.A., P.P.A. — power of attorney; per power of attorney

per se — by itself; in itself

primogeniture — the right or custom of the eldest to inherit to the exclusion of the younger issue

prob., prov. — probated or proved

relict — a widow

R.I.P, requiscat in pace — rest in peace

sic — thus, so used

surrogate — the style or title of a judicial officer charged with probate of wills, the administration of estates

A course in Genealogy—101, 201, 301, 401, 501, 601 by Elwyn R. Van Etten
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