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Glossary of Genealogy Terms

Account [Administration Account]
  • A record of debit and credit entries to cover transactions involving a [deceased] person. Acre
  • A unit of land in the U.S. and England equal to 43,560 square feet (4047 square meters). Administration [Letters of Administration]
  • A letter evidencing the right of an administrator to administer the goods or estate of a deceased person. Administrator
  • A person legally vested with the right of administration of an estate. Administratrix
  • A woman administrator especially of an estate. aka
  • also known as Approve
  • To testify, bear witness or affirm to be true, genuine or authentic. Banns [after banns]
  • An official formal public announcement, especially in church, of a proposed marriage. Branch
  • A body of water which extends from or enters into a main body or source,
        such as a stream that flows into another usually larger stream, creek or tributary. Cattle Marks
  • Marked cattle (possibly by cropping or branding).
  • Registered cattle. Chattel
  • Item(s) or property (including a person held in servitude as the chattel of another),
        except for real estate and things such as buildings connected with real property. Consort
  • Spouse. Convey
  • To transfer or deliver to another especially by a sealed writing.
  • To cause to pass from one place or person to another. Creditor
  • One to whom a debt is owed; a person to whom money or goods are due. Deponent
  • One who gives evidence. Deposition
  • A declaration, statement or testimony taken down in writing under oath.
  • Testifying before a court. Devise
  • The act of giving or disposing of real property by will or clause of a will. dtl
  • departed this life Esquire [Esq.]
  • A landed proprietor.
  • A member of the English gentry ranking below a knight.
  • A candidate for knighthood serving as shield bearer and attendant to a knight.
  • Used as a title of courtesy usually placed in its abbreviated form after the surname (i.e. Philemon Horney, Esq.) Folio
  • A leaf or page number of a manuscript or book [Liber]. Friend
  • A member of the "Society of Friends", also known as "Quakers". Hundred
  • A subdivision of some English and American counties. Indenture
  • A document stating the terms under which a security (as a bond) is issued.
  • A formal certificate (as an inventory or voucher) prepared for purposes of control.
  • A contract binding one person to work for another for a given period of time. Indentured
  • To bind (as an apprentice) by or as if by indentures. Indentured Servant
  • A person who signs and is bound by indentures to work for another for a specified time
        especially in return for payment of travel expenses and maintenance. Instant
  • The present or current month. Instrument [Instrument of Writing]
  • A formal legal document (as a deed, bond, or agreement). Inventory
  • An itemized list of current assets of an individual or estate, (which may include Additional Inventories). Liber
  • Manuscript or Book. Majority
  • The age at which a persons full civil rights are accorded. Minority
  • The period before a persons attainment of majority [Legal minor.] Moiety
  • One of two equal parts or approximately equal parts (Half.)
  • One of the portions into which something is divided (Part.)
  • One of two basic subdivisions. Mulatto
  • The first-generation offspring of a black person and a white person. Naturalization
  • To be admitted to citizenship. nok
  • next of kin Orphan's Court
  • A probate court which in some states (or provinces) has jurisdiction over the affairs of minors and the administration of estates. Perch
  • A measure of length, equal to 5 1/2 yards; a rod. Personalty
  • Personal property other than real estate consisting of things temporary or movable [Chattels]. Pillory
  • A device formerly used for publicly punishing offenders consisting of a
        wooden frame with holes in which the head and hands can be locked. Planter
  • One who settles or founds a place and especially a new colony.
  • One who owns or operates a plantation.
  • One who cultivates land or crops or raises animals or fish. Probate
  • The action or process of proving before a competent judicial authority that a document
        offered as the last will and testament of a deceased person is genuine and valid. Probate Court
  • A court that has jurisdiction chiefly over the probate of wills and administration of deceased persons' estates. Proprietor
  • One granted ownership of a colony (as one of the original American colonies)
        and full prerogatives of establishing a government and distributing land.
  • One who has the legal right or exclusive title to something (owner). Prove [Proved; Proven]
  • To test the truth, validity, or genuineness of [Prove a will at probate]. Relict
  • A widow; a woman who has lost her husband by death. Surety
  • One who has become legally liable for the debt, default, or failure in duty of another. Surety Bond
  • A bond guaranteeing performance of a contract or obligation. Temporal
  • Relating to earthly time as opposed to eternity, Temporal Estate
  • Earthly or worldly estate. Testator
  • A person who dies leaving a will or testament in force. Testatrix
  • A female testator. Tract
  • An area of land. Ultimate
  • The previous month. Viz [Videlicit]
  • To wit; to know; that is to say; namely. Widow
  • Relict; a woman who has lost her husband by death. Widower
  • A man who has lost his wife by death. Will
  • A legal declaration of a person's wishes [orally or by written instrument]
        regarding the disposal of his or her property or estate after death.

    As I began to research old wills, administration accounts, inventories and other early North American
    colonial and post colonial records, I began to compile a glossary of terms.

    Most of the terms in this glossary were gleaned from:

    Dee Horney - Gabler
    October 22, 2005

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