Plus Some Other Helpful Information
a. - about, age, acre, ante, aunt, ante
a.a.r. - against all risks
a.a.s. - died in the year of his/her age (56 years died in 1856)
a.c. - attested copy; account current
a.k.a. - also known as
a.l.s. - autographed letter signed
a.w.c. - admon. (letters of administration) with will and codicil annexed
AASP - American Antiquarian Society Proceedings
ab. - about; abbey
abbr. - abbreviation
abd. - abdicated
Abp. - Archbishop
abr. - abridged; abridgment
abs. or abstr. - abstract
abt. - about
AC - Ante Christum; ancestor chart
acad. - academy
acc. - according to; account; accompanied
acco. - account
accu. - accurate
ackd. - acknowledged
actg. - acting
AD - [Latin] Anno Domin
Ad - adopted; AdCl - adopted child; AdD - adopted daughter, etc.
adj. - adjoining; adjutant; adjourned
adm. - admission; admitted
admin. - administration; administrator
Admon. - letters of administration
admr. - administration
ae - age
af. or afft. - affidavit
aft. - after
aka - also known as
AL - American Legion
ald. - alderman
alleg. - allegiance
als - alias
anc. - ancestry; ancestor; ancient
annot. - annotated
ano. - another
anon. - anonymous
ant. - antiquary; antonym
antiq. - antiquary; antiquities; antiquity; antiquarian
AOP - American Order of Pioneers
Ap - apprentice
APG - Association of Professional Genealogists
APJI - Association for Protection of Jewish Immigrants
app. - apprentice; aprpoximately; appendix; appointed
App. Div. - Appelate division
appr. - appraisment
apprd. - apprised; appeared
approx. - approximately
apptd. - appointed
appx. - appendix
ar. co. - artillery company
arr. - arrived
ascert. - ascertain(ed)
ASG - American Society of Genealogists
asgd. - assigned
asr. - assessor
assgn. - assign
assn. or assoc. - association
asso. - associated; associate
Asst - assistant
At - Attendant
atba - able to bear arms
atty. - attorney
au. - gold
aud. - auditor
AWOL - absent without leave
b. - born; bondsman; banns; book; birth; bachelor; brother
B.B. - Bail Bond
b.d. or bdt. - birth date
b.i.l. or Bl - brother-in-law
B.M. - Bench Mark; British Museum
b.o.t.p. - both of this parish
B.S. - in court records
B.T. - Bishop's Transcripts
b/o - brother of
ba. - bachelor; baptized
bach. or batch. - bachelor
bap or bapt. - baptized; baptism
bapt. - baptized
BBoy - bound boy
bcer - birth certificat
BCG - Board for Certification of Genealogists
bd. - bound; buried
bec. - because; became
bef. - before
beh. - beheaded
beq. - bequest
bet. - between
BGirl - bound girl
BIA - Bureau of Indian Affairs
b-i-l - brother-in-law
biog. - biography
bish. - bishop
bks. - books; barracks
bl. - bibliography
BLM - Bureau of Land Management
BLW - Bount Land Warrant
bndsmn. - bondsman
Bo - boarder
bo or bot. - bought; bottom
bo. - boarder
bp. - baptized; birthplace
bpl. - birthplace
bpt. - baptized
Br. - British
br. - brought
br. or bro. - brother
bro-i-l - brother-in-law
btwn. - between
bur. or bu - buried
C of A - Coat of Arms
c. - cousin; circa; codicil
c. - circa (about)
c.r. - church report
c.s. - copy signed
ca. - circa (about)
Cap or capt. - captain; captured; captivity br>
capt. - captured
CAR - National Society Children of the American Revolution
catal. - catalogue
cath. - cathedral
CC - County Clerk; county court
CCP - Court of Common Pleas
CDA - Colonial Dames of America
CDIB - Certified Degree of Indian Blood
cem. - cemetery
cen. or cens. - census
cent. - century
cer. or cert. - certificate
cert. - certificate
cf. - confer
cf. - compare
CG - Certified Genealogist
CH - Court House
ch. - child; children; church; chief, chaplain
ch/o - child of
Cha - chamber maid
chan. - chancery
chh. - church
chldn. or chn. - children
chr. or chris.- christened
cir. - circa
cit. - citato (the work cited)
civ. - civil
CJ - County Judge
Cl - child
CL - Continental Line
clk. - clerk
CO - commanding officer; Colonial Office
co. - county; company
cod. - codicil
coh. - co-heir
col. - colony
Col. - Colonel
coll. - college; collections
com. - commissioner; commander; commentary; committee; common; commoner; communicate, companion
comm. - commissioners, commissioner; company commander
comp. - company
confer. - conferred
conject. - conjecture
cont. - continued
contr. - contract
corp. - corporal
couns. - counsellor
cous. - cousin
coven. - covenant
CRA - Church Records Archives
crspd. - correspond; correspondence
CS - Civil Service
CSA - Confederate States of America
csn. - cousin; cousins
ct. - court; citation; county
Ct. - Court
CW - Civil War; church warden
d. - died; death; daughter
d. & coh. - daughter and coheiress
d. & h. - daughter and heiress
d.c.e. - Writ of diem clausit extremum (he has closed his last day)
d.s. - document signed; died single
d.s.p. - [Latin] descessit sine parole; died without issue
d.s.p. - legit died without legitimate issue
d.s.p.m. - [Latin] descessit sine parole mascula; died without male issue
d.v.p. - decessit vitae patre (died in father's lifetime)
d.y. - died young
d/o - daughter of
DA - District Attorney
da. - daughter; day
DAB - Dictionary of American Biography
DAC - National Society of the Daughters of the American Colonists
DAR - Daughters of the American Revolution
dau. or daugr - daughter
dau-i-l - daughter-in-law
daus. - daughters
DAV - Disabled American Veterans
DB - Domesday Book
DC - District of Columbia; Deputy Clerk; Deputy County Clerk
DCG - Descendants of Colonial Governors
d'd. - deceased
dea or deac. - deacon
Dea. - Deacon
dec. or dec'd - deceased
decd. - deceased
decis. - decision
degr. - degree
dep. - deputy; depot
depos. - deposed
dept. - department
desc. - descendant
devis. - devised
DFPA - Daughters of Founders and Patriots of America
dil. - daughter-in-law
dio. - diocese
dis. - discharge
discip. - discipline
dist. - district
div. - division; divided; divorced; divinity
do. - ditto
doc or docum. - document
dom. - domestic
dpl. - death place
DR - Daughter of the Revolution; Diocesan Registry
DR - Death Record
dr. - doctor; dram
ds. - deaths; daughters
dsct. - descendant
d.s.p.l. - died without legitimate issue
d.s.p.m.s. - died without surviving male issue
d.s.p.s - died without surviving issue
dto. - ditto
dtr. - daughter
dt's. - delirium tremens
dum. or d. um. - died unmarried
d.unm - died unmarried
d.v.m. - died in the lifetime of his mother
d.v.p. - died in the lifetime of his father
DVR - Society of the Descendants of Washington's Army at Valley Forge
E. - East or eastern
E.D. - Enumeration District
e.g. - exempli gratia (for example)
easi. - easily
ecux. - executrix; a female executor
ed. - edited; edition; editor
educ. - education; educated
Emp - employee
En - engineer
Eng. - England
Engl. - England
enl. - enlisted
eno. - enough
ens. - ensign
Ens. - Ensign
ensu. - ensuing
est. - estate;established
establ. - establishment
estd. - estimated
Et al - and others
et. vir. - and husband
etc. - [Latin] etcetera; and so forth
exc. - except; excellency; excepted; exchange
exec. - executor
exec. or exor. or exr. - executor
exox. - executrix
exs. - executors
exx. - executrix
f. - father; female; folio; feast; feet; farm; following
F.A. - Field Artillery
F.B. - Family Bible
f.e. - for example
f.m. - free mulatto
f.n. - free negro
f/o - father of
fa. - father
FaH - farm hand; FaW - farm worker
fam. - family; families
FARC - Federal Archives and Records Centers (branches of the National Archives)
FASG - Fellow American Society of Genealogists
father-in-l - father-in-law
ff. - following (pages)
FF's - First Families
FFV - First Families of Virginia
FGRA - Family Group Record Archives
FGS - Federation of Genealogical Societies
FGS - Family Group Sheets
FHC - Family History Center
FHL - Family History Library
Fi - fireman
fidel. - fidelity
f-i-l - father-in-law
fil. or f.inl or FL - father-in-law
F.L.T. - friendship, love and truth
FM - foster mother
foll. - following; followed
FR - Family Registry
freem. - freeman; freemen
freem. - oath of freeman
frm. - oath of freeman
ft. - foot; fort
g. - grand; great
G.B. - Great Britain
g.r. - grave record
g.s. - grave stone
GA - great aunt
GAR - Grand Army of the Republic
gch. or gcl - grandchildren
GD - granddaughter
gdn. - guardian
GEDCOM - GEnealogical Data COMmunication
Gen. - General (military)
gen. - generation
Gent. - Gentleman (a title)
GF - grandfather
GGF - great-grandfather; GGGF - great-great-grandfather
GGM - great-grandmother; GGGM -great-great-grandmother
GH - Genelaogical Helper
GLC - Genealogical Library Catalog
GLO - General Land Office
gm. - grandmother
Go - governess
godf. - godfather
godm. - godmother
Gov. - Governor
Govt. - Government
gp. - grandparents
GPAI - Genealogical Periodical Annual Index
GR - Grave
gr. - grand; great; grant; graduate
gr. - grant (as in land)
grf. - grandfather
grmo. - grandmother
grs. or GS - grandson
GS - gravestone
GSW 1812 - General Society of the War of 1812
Gt. Br. - Great Britain
gt. gr. - great grand
GTT - Gone to Texas
GU - great uncle
Gua - guardian
h. - husband; heir; heiress
H.C. - Harvard College
h/o - husband of
hdgrs. - headquarters
HEIC - Honourable East India Comapny
her. - heraldry
hers. - herself
Hh - hired hand
hims. - himself
hist. - historian
Hist. - History
Hk - housekeeper
HM - His or Her Majesty
HMS - Her (or His) Majesty's Service or Ship
hon. - honorable
hon. dis. - honorably discharged
Hon. - Honorable (title)
honor. - honorary
honora. - honorably
HSA - Huguenot Society of America
hund. - hundred
hus. - husband
I - inmate
i.e. - id est (that is)
i.p.m. - Inquisition post mortem
ibid. - [Latin] ibidem; same (reference)
IGI - International Genealogical Index
ign. - ignorant
illus. - illustrated
imp. - importation
inc. - incorporated; incomplete
incl. - included; inclusiv
Ind. - Indians Indian land
Ind. T. or Ind. Ter.- Indian Territory
Ind. W.C. - Indian Widow's Certificate
IND.S.C. - Indian Survivors' Certificates
inf. - infant; infantry; informed
info. - information
inh. - inherited
inhab. - inhabitant
inq. - inquiry
ins. - insert
inst. - institute; institution
inst. instant (last)
int. - intentions; interested; interred
int. marriage intention
inv. or invt. - inventory
J.P. - Justice of the Peace
j.u. - jure uxoris (right of wife)
JA - Judge Advocate
JNH - Journal of Negro History
JP - Justice of the Peace
Jr. - Junior
jud or judic. - judicial; judicious
jun. - junior (younger of two)
junr. - junior
jur. - [Latin] jurat; certification that a document was written by the person who signed it
k. - killed; king
K.B. - Knight of the Bat
K.G. - Knight of the Garter
K.T. - Knight of the Thistle (Scotland)
kn. - known
knt. - knight
knt. or kt. - knight
kt. - knight
l. - license; law
l.e. - local elder in a church
L.I. - Long Island
l.p. - local preacher
la or labr. - laborer
Lat. - Latin
Lau - launderer
lb. - pound
LBC - Letter Book Copy
LC - Library of Congress
ld. - land
ldr. - leader
LDS - Chuch of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
li. or liv. - lived; living
lib. - library
Liber - book or volume
lic. - license
Lieut. - Lieutenant
liv. abt. - lived about
liv. - living (alive)livery
ll. - lines
lnd. - land
loc. cit. - loco citato (in the place cited)
Lt. - Lieutenant
ltd. - limited
m. - month; male; mother; married; marriage
m.bn. - marriage banns
M.G. - Minister of the Gospel
m.h. - meeting house
m.i. - monument inscription
m.o. - mustered out
M.P. - Member of Parliament
m/1m/2 - married first
mag. - magistrate
Maj. - Major
mak. - making
mat. - maternal
matric. - matriculated (entered and recorded at college or university)
MCA - Microfilm Corporation of America
MCC - Microfilm Card Catalog
MCD - Municipal Civil District
MD - Doctor of Medicine; Middle Dutch
md. - married
mem. - member; membership; memorials; memoir
ment. - mentioned
Messrs. - plural of mister
Mex. S.C. - Mexican Survivors' Certificates
Mex. S.O. - Mexcian Survivor's Originals
Mex. W.C. - Mexican Widows' Certificate
MG - Minister of the Gospel
MGH - Middle High German
mi. - mile; miles
MIA - Missing in Action
Mich. - Michaelmas
m-i-l - mother-in-law
mil or milit. - military
min. - minister
m-in-l or ML - mother-in-law
MLG - Middle Low German
MLW - Military Land Warrant
MM - abbreviation for Monthly Meeting of Society of Friends (Quakers)
mo. - mother; month
mors. - death; corpse
mov. - moved
MQ - Mayflower Quarterly
MR marriage record
Mr. - Mister
Mrs. - Mistress
ms. - manuscript
mss. - manuscripts
mtg. - meeting; mortgage
mus. - musician
mvd. - moved
my/d - my daughte
N. - Negro; North
n. - nephew; name
N.A. - Native American
n.d. - no date N.E. - New England; North Eeast
N.E. - New England
N.N. - not named (name unknown)
n.p. - no place
N.S. - New Style date (Gregorian calendar)
N.W. - North West
n.x.n. - no Christian name
NA - National Archives in Washington.; Native American
nam. - named
NARA - National Archives and Records Administration
NARS - National Archives and Record Service
nat. - [Latin] natus; birth; son; offspring
nd - no date(s)
NEH - National Endowment for the Humanities
NEHGR - New England Historic Genealogical Register [publication of NEHGS]
NEHGS - New England Historic Genealogical Society
neph. - nephew
neph-i-l - nephew-in-law
Nepos - grandson
nfi - no further information
nfk - nothing further known
NGS - National Genealogical Society
NHPRC - National Historical Publications and Records Commission
Ni - niece
nm. - name
nmed. - named
not. - noted
NP - Notary Public
nr. - none recorded; not recorded; naturalized
nr. - near
NS - New Style calendar; Nova Scotia
NSCDA - National Society of the Colonial Dames of America
NSDAR - National Society
Nu - nurse
NUCMC - National Union Catalog of Manuscript Colletions
nunc. - nuncupative (oral)
Nunc Nun - an oral will, written by a witness
NW. Terr. - North West Territory
NWC - Navy Widow's Certificate
o. - oath
O.B. - Order Book
o.c. - only child
O.E. - Old England; Old English
o.p. - out of print
O.S. - Old Style date (Julian calendar)
o.t.p. - of this parish
ob. - obit
ob. - died
occ. - occupation
offor offic. - official
oft. - often
OM - Organized Militia
op. cit. - opere citato (the work cited above)
ord. - ordained; ordinance; order; ordinary
org. - organization
orig. - origin; original
OS - Old Style calendar
p. - page; per; populus; parentage; parents; pence patient
p. - post (after)
p.a. - power of attorney
P.C. - Privy Council
P.M. - Post Meridiem; afternoon; Post Mortem; after death; Police magistrate
P.O. - Post Office
p.r. - parish record
Pa - partner
pam. - pamphlet
par. - parish; parent; parents
pat. - patent; patented; paternal
pat. - patriot (Revolutionary War service)
pchd. - purchased
PE - Presiding Elder
peo. - people
perh. - perhaps
petitn. or petn. - petition
petr. - petitioner
pg. - page
ph. - parish physician
PI - Preliminary Inventories
pion. - pioneer
PJP - Probate Judge of the Peace
PLB - Poor Law Board
plt. - plantiff
POA - Power of Attorney
POE - Port of Entry
Por - porter
poss. - possibly
pp. - pages
PPA - per power of Attorney
pr. - proved; probated
preced. - preceding
pres. - presumed
PRO - Public Record Office
pro. - probated or proved (as in a will)
prob. - probable; probably
prop. - property
propr. - proprietor (land owner)
provis. - provision
PS - Patriotic Service
pt. - point; port; petition; pint
ptf. - plaintiff
Pu - pupil
pub. - public; published; publisher; publication
pub. published (intent to marry made public)
pvt. - private
pymt. - payment
q. - [Latin] quarto; oversize book
q.y. - query
R. - Range; Rabbi; River; Road
r. - rector; rex; rejected; river; road
R.C. - Roman Catholic
rat. - rated
rcdr. - recorder
rcpt. - receipt
RD - release of dower rights
re. - regarding
rec. - record
ref. - refer
reg. - register
Reg. Gen. - Registrar General
regt. - regiment
rel. - relative
Rel. or Relict - widow or widower
reld. - relieved
rel-i-l - relative-in-law
rem. - removed (moved left the area)
ren. - renunciation
rep. - report; representative; reprint; reprinted
rep. - representative (political sense)
repl. - replaced; replacement
repud. - repudiated
res. - research; residence; resides
respectiv. - respectively
ret. - retired
ret. - returned
Rev. - Reverend; Revolutionary War
Rev. War - Revolutionary War
RG - Registered Genealogist
rgstr. - registrar
Res. or Residue - widow or widower
rinq. - relinquished
RIP - [Latin] requiescat in pace; rest in peace
Rom. - Roman
Rot. - rotalus (Roll)
RR - railroad
s. - son(s)/ soldier; survivor; spinster; successor; shilling
s. and h. - son and heir
s.a. sine anno - (without year) used with a date indicating a great degree of uncertainty
s.d. sine die - (without date)
S.E. - southeast
s.p. - [Latin] sine prole; without offspring
s.p.l. - [Latin] sine prole legitima; without legitimate offspring
s.p.m. - [Latin] sine prole mascula; without male offspring
s.s. - step-son
s/o - son of
Sa - sailor
Sal - saleslady
SAR - Sons of the American Revolution
SASE - self-addressed stamped envelope
Sb - stepbrother
scatt. - scattering; scattered
Scl - step child
SCV - Sons of Confederate Veterans
s'd - said [found in legal documents]
SDA - Seventh Day Adventists
Se - servant
sec. - second; secretary; section; sector; security
Sen. - senior (elder of two)
serg. - sergeant
serv. - service; servant
sett. - settlers; settler; settled
sev. - several
Sf - stepfather
Sgt. - Sergeant
sh. - share; ship
sh. - shortly
Si - sister
sib. - sibling
Sic - exact copy as written
sil or Sl - son-in-law
sin. - [Latin] sine; without
sis. - sister
Sm - stepmother
sn. - [Latin] sine; without
SO - Survivors' Originals
soc. - society; societies
spell. - spelling; spelled
spr. - sponsor
sr. - senior
src. - source
srnms. - surnames
Ss - stepson
st. - saint; street
suc. - succeeded (followed)
succ. - successively
summ. - summoned
suo juris - in his (her) right
sup. - supply; superior
supt. or Su - superintendant
surg. - surgeon
surv. - survived
SUV - Sons of Union Veterans
sw. - swear; sworn
syl. - syllable
T. - Township
t.p. - title page
t.p.m. - title page mutilated
t.p.w. - title page wanting
tak. - taken
Ten - tenant
terr. - territory
test. - testament
Testes - witnesses
tho. - though
thot. - thought
thro. - through
TIB - Temple (Records) Index Bureau
tn. - town; township
top. - topographical
Tp. - Township
tr. - troop; translated; translation
transcr. - transcribed
transl. - translation
treas. - treasurer
TRIB - Temple Records Index Bureau
TVA - Tennessee Valley Authority
twn. - town
twp. - township
ty. - territory
U - uncle
U.K. - United Kingdom
UDC - United Daughters of the Confederacy
Ult - late
ult. - ultimo (last month)
unasgd. - unassigned
unc. - uncle
unit. - uniting; united
unk. - unknown
unkn. - unknown
unm. - unmarried
unorg. - unorganized
USCG - United States Coast Guard
USCT - United States Colored Troops
USMC - United States Marine Corps
USN - United States Navy
USWPA - United States Works Progress Administration
ux. - uxor or uxoris
Ux or vs - wife
v.a. - [Latin] vixit annos; (s)he lived (a certain number) years
V.L. - Vulgar Latin
v.r. - vital records
v.s. - vital statistics
var. - various; variation; variant
VFW - Veterans of Foreign Wars
Vi - visitor
VIP - Very Important Person
Vis. or Visc. - Viscount; Viscountess
vit. - vital
viz. - [Latin] videlicet; namely
vol. - volume volunteer (military)
vols. - volunteers; volumes
VR - vital record
vs. - versus
w. - wife; will; west; widow
W.B. - Will Book
W.D. - War Department
w.d. - will dated
W.O. - Warrant Officer
W.O. - Widow's Originals
w.p. - will probated; will proved
W.S. - Writer to the Signet
w/o - wife of
Wa - warden
wag. - wagoner
Wai - waitress
wd. - widow; ward
wf. - wife
wf/o - wife of
wh. - who; which
wid. - widow
wit. - witness
wk(s). - week(s)
Wkm - workman
wnt. - wants
WPA - Works Progress Administration
WRHS - Western Reserve Historical Society
Wt - waiter
wtn. - witness
ww. - widow
ww/o - widow of
wwr. - widower
X - a mark made by a person instead of a signature; Christ; Christian
x ch. - exchange
Xn. - Christian
Xnty. - Christianity
Xped. - Christened
Xr. - Christian
Xt. - Christ
Xtian. - Christian
Xty. - Christianity
y. - year
y. - young
yd. - graveyard
yr. - year; younger; your
yr. - year
Barber - Bowl (for bleeding) & Razor
Butcher - an axe, steel knife and cleaver
Farmer - Coulter (type of hoe), flail (threshing implement), swingletree rod (for beating flax), stalk of corn
Gardener - rake & spade
Mason - wedge & level
Mariner - anchor, sextant
Merchant - scales, sign
Minister - Bible
Shoemaker - awl, knife, nippers
Smith - crown, hammer & anvil
Teacher - open book
Weaver - loom, shuttle & stretchers
Wood Wright - wooden objects they made
3 Books - Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants
3 Rings - the Oddfellows, friendship, love and truth, spiruality
Anchor, Ships - hope or a Mariner
Arches - victory in death
Arrows - mortality
Bible - Christian
Book open - teacher
Bible open - clergy
Broken Column - (on a tombstone) loss of the head of the family
Candle being snuffed - time, mortality
Chalice - Sacraments
Cherub - innocence, Angelic
Crescent - Goddess, Muslim religion
Cross - Christian, resurrection
Crossed swords - high ranking military
Crown - glory of life after death
Darts or Coffin - Father Time
Flame / Light - to be immortal
Garland / Wreath - glory, Saintliness, (on a tombstone) victory in death
Hands shaking - farewell
Hand of God chopping - sudden death
Harp - Praise to the God
Heart - Catholic, love, suffering of Christ
Hearts (2) - marriage
Horns - wisdom, rebirth, the ressurection
Hourglass with wings - time flying, shorth life
Imps - mortality
Menorah - Judaism
Palm Branches - victory, rejoiceing
Picks and shovels - mortality
Portals - passageway to eternal life
Ring (broken) - family circle has been severed
Rod / Staff - comfort
Shells - pilgrimiage of life
Star - spirit that shines
Star of David - Judaism
Stars and strips on Eagle - eternal viligence, liberty
Sun - renewed life
Swords Crossed - high Military rank
Tombs - mortality
Torch inverted - life extinct
Trumpeters, Bugles - Harbingers of the Resurrection
Urn - immortality, remembrance
Urn with blaze - undying friendship
Urn with wreath, crepe - mourning
Winged effigies - flight of the soul
Bird - eternal life
Bird flying - resurrection, flight of the soul
Butterfly - short life
Dog - good master
Dove - peace and eternal life, innocence, gentleness, affection, purity
Lamb - innocence
Lion - courage
Rooster - awakening, resurrection
Bouquets, flowers - condonlences, grief sorrow
Corn - ripe old age
Fruits - plenty, fruits of life
Garlands or Wreath - glory, Saintliness, (on a tombstone) victory in death
Ivy - friendship, immortality
Laurel - accomplishment, heroism
Lily - innocence, purity
Morning Glory - beginning of life
Oak, Leaves and Acorn - power, victory, maturity, ripe old age
Palm Branch - victory, rejoicing
Poppy - eternal sleep
Roses - completion and the brevity of earthly existence
Rose (full bloom) - prime of life
Rose bud - morning of life
Rosemary - remembrance
Thistles - remembrance, Scottish descent
Tree - life
Tree Trunk - short life
Tree Sapling - life everlasting
Tree stump with ivy - head of family, imortality
Tree Stump stone in Cemetery - Woodmen of the World
Wheat - divine harvest, time
Weeping Willow - grief, sorrow
Ab - In the Jewish calendar: The eleventh month of the civil year or
the fifth month of the ecclesiastical year (July and part of August);
In the Syrian calendar: The twelfth or last summer month (August)
abatement - 1) The difference between the amount of the estate an heir
is to receive as specified in a will and the amount actually received,
due to property devaluation between the time the will was made and when
the death occurred; the entry of a stranger into the estate after the
death of the possessor but before the heir can take control. 2) In
heraldry, a mark of dishonour in a coat of arms. The most common was
the point and gore, which cut off an angle on the shield and was
awarded for lying, boasting, drunkenness, killing a prisoner who had
surrendered, rape, and sloth in war.
abavia (Latin term) - Great-great-grandmother.
abavus (Latin term) - Great-great-grandfather on male side
abdominal typhus - A type of typhus fever identified by bluish spots
appearing on the abdomen a few days after the disease is contracted.
abeyance - The condition of an estate which has either
1) been claimed
but not taken possession of, or
2) of which is liable to be claimed by
abeyd - abide (England before colonization of America; colonial New England)
ab nepos (Latin term) - great-great-grandson
ab neptis (Latin term) - great-great-granddaughter
Abraham Man - (originally) A lunatic of Abraham Ward, Bethlehem
Hospital, London, England, who was allowed to beg in the streets; (16th
and 17th century England) A vagabond beggar, usually feigning lunacy,
who wandered the countryside-especially after the dissolution of the
abruptio (Latin term) - "breaking off"; a divorce, most often found in church records, parish books and legal documents.
abstract book - A land record containing condensed information, usually
listing the names of land purchasers chronologically, and is kept in
the district land offices or with the Bureau of Land Management.
Acadian - (1) An inhabitant of Acadia (Nova Scotia); (2) A descendant
of French settlers of Acadia who live in Louisiana (i.e. Cajuns)
acre-dale - A common field in which several proprietors held interest, not always on an equal basis
acre-man - (Middle English) A man who ploughed or cultivated the land.
acteremia - blood poisoning
ad exhaeredationem (Latin term) - to disinherit
Adminstrator/administratrix (Legal term) - A person appointed by the court to settle the estate of someone who died intestate.
Admit (Legal term) - see Copyhold
adoption by hair - A ceremony performed to show adoption by cutting off a piece of hair and giving it to the adoptive father.
adventurer - One who bought shares in the Virginia Land Company, at 12
pounds 10 shillings each, and received 100 acres in Virginia. (See
Virginia Company of London)
Adverse Possession (Legal term) - Gaining title to another's land by
exercising the rights of ownership of that land unchallenged for a
period of time, typically on the order of five to ten years, and
meeting other requirements. See seizin.
aetas or aetatis (Latin term) - age / aged
agistment tithe - The tithe of cattle or other produce of grasslands paid to a vicar or rector.
Alien (Legal term) - To transfer (lands, title) to another.
Alienation (Legal term) - A transfer of title or property to another.
Allodial (Legal term) - see alodium
Alodium (Legal term) - Land owned independently, without rent or other
obligation to another. See Freehold Estate. The alodial (also
'allodial') system is opposed to the feudal system.
almsman - (Victorian England) Someone supported by charity or one who lived on alms
ahnentafel - (1) German for "the genealogical table"; (2) a list or table of ancestors
amita (Latin term) - aunt
amita magna (Latin term) - grandfather's sister (grandaunt)
amita maior (Latin term) - great-grand-aunt
amita maxima (Latin term) - great-great-grand-aunt
anno (Latin term) - in the year of
annus (Latin term) - year
anonymus or anonyma (Latin term) - stillborn son / stillborn daughter
Appurentances (Legal term) - Easements, rights of way, or agreements attached to land.
Assigns (Legal term) - Anyone acting on behalf of or in place of the
nominal owner. The owner may have transferred his rights to someone
else or appointed an attorney to act on his behalf.
At will (Legal term) - Terminable by the lord of the manor at any time.
atavia (Latin term) - great-great-great-grandmother.
atavus (Latin term) - great-great-great-grandfather.
avia (Latin term) - grandmother
avunculus (Latin term) - mother's brother (uncle)
avunculus magnus (Latin term) - grand-uncle on female side.
avunculus major (Latin term) - grandmother's brother (granduncle)
avunculus maximus (Latin term) - great-great-grand-uncle on female side.
avus (Latin term) - grandfather
bagman - a traveling salesman
baiting-place - (Colonial America) a place to stop for rest and food
bank-rag - paper money
bar mitzvah - A Jewish celebration for a boy when he becomes 13 years old and is accepted into the congregation.
barber-chirurgeon - a barber who practiced surgery; a low practitioner of surgery
Bargain (Legal term) - Mutual agreement among two or more people to exchange or purchase goods.
Bargain and Sale Deed (Legal term)- A type of deed in which title is
transferred but in which there is usually no guarantee as to the
validity of title.
baptisatus or baptisata (Latin term) - baptized
barrel fever - sickness from heavy drinking
barrel weight - A measure of weight equal to 196 pounds.
bearing cloth - a child's christening robe or blanket
bedehouse - a hospital; an alms house
bene quiescat (Latin term) - may he rest well
bene visit (Latin term) - he lived a good life
bettering house - A reformatory or charitable organization for the sick and poor; a workhouse for wayward people.
black rent - Rent paid in corn and meat instead of money.
bona notabilia - considerable goods
boot-catcher - A person at an inn whose business was to pull off boots.
bovate - A measure of land known as an oxgang (or as much land as one
ox could plough in a year) varying in amount from 10 to 18 acres.
buffalo soldier - A Negro soldier in the American west.
buttery book - A book containing names of members of a college, and the account of their commons.
CChattel (Legal term) - A tangible, movable article of personal property, as opposed to real property.
Claim (Legal term) - see Entry.
Collateral (Legal term) - Property put up by someone getting a loan. If
they fail to repay the loan, the property goes to the person granting
Colour of Title (Legal term) - A deed appearing to convey title but in
fact not conveying title, either because the grantor did not have title
to convey or because the conveyance was flawed in some way.
Condemn (Legal term) - The taking of privately owned land for public use by eminent domain.
Consideration (Legal term) - The money (or other property) used to purchase land.
Copyhold (Legal term) - A tenancy at will that was recorded in a
manorial court ownership roll. The lord of the manor maintained the
list. Copyholds were not, strictly speaking, inheritable, but were
customarily so. The land reverted to the landowner who would then
"admit" the heir to the lands of the decedent.
Customary Estate (Legal term) - see copyhold
Cable Act - A revision of naturalization laws in 1922, in which wives
were not allowed to become citizens upon marriage, the residency
requirement was reduced to one year, and the Declaration of Intention
could be waived.
caclebs or coclebs (Latin term) - unmarried / single
cadastre - (1) A register kept for taxation, containing the amount,
value, and ownership of land; (2) A pool (head) tax record of persons
qualified to vote; (3) A Domesday Book.
Cadastral Map (Legal term) - Land ownership map. Generally used for tax purposes.
Cajun - (a corruption of the word "Acadian") persons of French ancestry living in Louisiana
calends - The first day of any month in the Roman calendar
Cambellites - A religious group named for its founders, Thomas and Alexander Campbell.
Canuck - A French-Canadian.
carucate - A measure of land. It was as much as could be tilled with a team of eight oxen in one year.
cashmarie - A person who takes fish from the coast to inland markets.
cense - a tax or tribute
charnel house - A vault or house under or near a church where bones of the dead are kept.
chevalier - In heraldry, a horseman armed at all points.
childbed fever - (1) An infection following childbirth; (2) puerperal fever
Chinese Exclusion Act - An act passed in 1882 to withhold citizenship
from the many Chinese immigrants who had come to work on the railroad.
circa (Latin term) - about
codicil - A supplement or addition to a will.
companion - A wife or husband, spouse, mate, consort
comitatus (Latin term) - county
conjunx or conjux (Latin term) - wife
consanguinity - The relationship or connection of persons descended from a common ancestor; a blood relationship
consobrina (Latin term) - female cousin on female side.
consobrinus or consobrina (Latin term) - cousin
consort - A wife or husband, spouse, mate, companion
co-parcenary - An estate held in common by joint heirs.
coverture - The legal condition of a married woman which allows her to keep and control her personal property and wealth.
cow-common - (also "cow-walk") A community pasture; land common to all for grazing animals
creole - (1) A person of European descent (French or Spanish) born in
Louisiana. (2) A Negro born in the western hemisphere, rather than
cum onere (Latin term) - subject to a lien or obligation of which the buyer is aware of
cum testamento annexo (Latin term) - (1) Literally, "with the will annexed".
(2) An administration of an estate where the will was made where either
the executor was not named, did not qualify, or refused to serve.
danegeld - A tax levied annually to maintain forces to oppose the Danes, or buy them off.
dark-house - A madhouse, or insane asylum
de anno in annum (Latin term) - from year to year
de bonis non (Latin term) - (1) Literally "of the goods not administered";
(2) The distribution of property not completed by the first
decessit sine parole (Latin term) - died without issue
Decedent (Legal term) - one who has died
Deed (Legal term) - A document giving the holder the title to property.
More generally, any document sealing an agreement, contract, etc. The
most common types of deeds Bargain and Sale, Quitclaim, and Warranty.
deed of agreement - A deed concerned with the sale of personal
property, deeds land to someone who agrees to take care of the grantor
for the remainder of his / her life.
Deed of trust (Legal term) - A transfer of property to someone to be
held in trust for another. See trust. More specifically, however, deeds
of trust are used in a number of states instead of a mortgage to secure
a loan. The deed of trust names the trustees in whom title is placed as
security against failure to meet the terms of the loan.
Deed poll (Legal term) - A deed not indented, that is, a deed made by one party only. See indenture.
demense - Land possessed by a lord and used by him instead of rented out to tenants.
die or dies (Latin term) - day
Domesday Book - (also called a Doomesday Book) An ancient record of the Grand or Great
Inquest of Survey of lands in England, by the order of William the
Conqueror. It gave a census-like description of the realm, with the
names of the proprietors and the nature, extent, value, liabilities,
etc. of their roperties.
domina (Latin term) - The mistress of the family; lady; wife
domine (Latin term) - Lord or master; used as a form of address when speaking to clergy or educated professionals.
Dower (Legal term) - A wife's interest in her husband's property,
inheritable at his death. English probate law set this at 1/3. "Her
thirds" was a phrase used for this.
doxy - An unmarried mistress of a beggar or rogue.
dry bellyache - (also "dry dripes") lead poisoning
dry dripes - (also "dry bellyache") lead poisoning
Eearth-bath - A medical treatment in which the patient was buried up to their shoulders in the ground.
Easement (Legal term) - Use of a portion of property for some stated
purpose without remuneration. Easements are not estates in that they do
not convey ownership, but rather the use of the property in so far as
needed for the stated purpose.
eld father - A grandfather
eld mother - a grandmother
eleven-penny bit - (also "York Shilling"; "Spanish Real") A coin commonly used in colonial New York and Pennsylvania.
Enfeoff (Legal term) - To invest with an estate held in fee.
Enfeoffment (Legal term) - Giving ownership in fee. A deed or legal document giving ownership in fee.
enteric fever - typhoid fever
Entry (Legal term) - Filing of the intention to get a land grant or
patent. This was the first step of a multi-step process of getting
land, the other steps generally being Survey, and Grant.
Escheat (Legal term) - Land ownership reverting to the Crown, government, or estate owner because of a lack of heirs.
essence peddler - A person who sold medicines, flavorings, elixirs, etc.
Estate (Legal term) - A property right held by someone. There can be
many estates held on a single piece of property, for example, relating
to specific uses of the property. Mineral rights, water rights, and so
on are examples. Estates can be subordinate (lower in rank) to other
ex assensu patris (Latin term) - by assent of the father
ex donationes regis (Latin term) - by gift of the king
Executor/executrix (Legal term) - The person named in a will to carry out the terms of the will. See administrator.
ex parte paterna - Latin for by the father's side.
Ffailure of issue - (1) In a will or deed, this indicates that in the
event of there being no children born to or surviving the deceased
person, the property will go to a third party; (2) In common law, the
condition continues with the children of the first taker.
famulary (Latin term) - of or belonging to servants
farthing - (1) a fourth of a British penny; (2) an English measure of land equaling thirty acres.
fealty - Loyalty or fidelity owed to a feudal lord by his tenant
feme sole trader - A free trader; A married woman who holds property
independently of her husband and is empowered by court action to buy,
sell, or trade property on her own.
femina (Latin term) - woman
fen-duty - a land tax
filia (Latin term) - daughter child
filius sororis (Latin term) - sister's son (nephew)
filia fratris (Latin term) - brother's daughter (niece)
filius fratris (Latin term) - brother's son (nephew)
Fee (Legal term) - Heritable land held in return for service to a lord.
Fee simple (Legal term) - Ownership of land that can be inherited by any heirs. To hold in fee means to possess.
Fee tail (Legal term) - Ownership of land restricted to a specified class of heirs, generally direct descendants.
Feoff (Legal term) - See fee
Feoffment (Legal term) - Transfer of inheritable real property.
Feoffee (Legal term) - One who benefits from a fief.
Feud (Legal term) - See fee.
Feudal system (Legal term) - The system of land holding in exchange for
service, ultimately to the king. This is opposed to the alodial system.
Fief (Legal term) - See fee.
fogger - (1) a peddlar who carries small wares from village to village;
(2) a low-class lawyer; (3) a middleman in the nail and chain trade;
(4) an agricultural labourer who feeds cattle.
Forbes Road - A route to the West built ca. 1780, which opened passage between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
frankpledge - A medieval English system under which each male member of
a tithing, twelve years old or older, was responsible for the good
conduct of other members.
frater (Latin term) - brother
frater consanguineus (Latin term) - step-brother on male side.
frater uterinus (Latin term) - step-brother on female side.
fratris filius (Latin term) - nephew on male side.
fratris filia (Latin term) - niece on male side.
Freehold (Legal term) - see fee simple An estate held outright with no
other claims on it. It could be transferred to heirs or others
fruiterer - (1) A person who buys and sells fruit; (2) A ship that transfers fruit
Ggener (Latin term) - son-in-law
germana (Latin term) - sister
germanus (Latin term) - brother
Grant (Legal term) - Transfer of title from the government to the first
titleholder of a piece of property. This term is generally used by
states and the federal government. See also patent.
Grantee (Legal term) - The person receiving a grant, or buying property.
Grantor (Legal term) - The person issuing the grant, or selling property.
habendum et tenendum (Latin term) - (Latin) (1) Literally, "to have and to hold to
the grantee (buyer or donee) his heirs and asigns"; (2) A clause in a
deed that specifies the type of property or estate that the buyer will
Hereditament (Legal term) - Anything that can be inherited. A corporeal
hereditament is tangible real or personal property that can be
inherited. An incorporeal hereditament includes intangible
appurtenances, rents, and the like.
homo (Latin term) - man
honour - A large estate with several manor houses ruled over by one lord.
IImportation right (Legal term) - See headright.
Improve (Legal term) - To make land more valuable by clearing and
planting. Land that was not improved by the owner might revert to the
Indenture (Legal term) - A written agreement. (Originally, the document
was written in duplicate, and the two copies placed side by side and
'indented', or cut, with a wavy line so they fit together perfectly.)
See also deed poll.
infans (Latin term) - infant
Intestate (Legal term) - Having no will. If someone dies intestate, the court appoints an administrator to settle the estate.
Instrument (Legal term) - Legal document.
inuptus or inupta (Latin term) - unmarried
Investiture (Legal term) - See livery of seizin.
tenancy (Legal term) - Ownership by two or more people, with rights of
survivorship. Tenants can act individually to partition or sell their
interest in the property, but such actions create a tenancy in common.
See also tenancy by the entirety.
LLivery (Legal term) - Delivery of ownership.
Livery of Seizin (Legal term) - An open and 'notorious' public ceremony conferring ownership of a freehold estate.
Mmajores (Latin term) - ancestors
marita (Latin term) - wife
maritus (Latin term) - husband
mater (Latin term) - mother
matertera (Latin term) - mother's sister (aunt)
matertera magna (Latin term) - grandmother's sister (grandaunt)
matertera maior (Latin term) - great-grand-aunt.
matertera maxima (Latin term) - great-great-grand-aunt on female side.
maritus (Latin term) - husband
maximus natu (Latin term) - eldest firstborn
mensis (Latin term) - month
Messuage (Legal term) - A dwelling house with its adjacent buildings and lands appropriated to the use of the household.
minimus natu or minima natu (Latin term) - youngest
Moiety (Legal term) - One half. One of two equal parts. A share or portion.
More or less (Legal term) - This term is frequently used in deeds to
qualify acreage, e.g. "50 acres, being the same more or less". Even
accurate surveys have some error in the calculation of area and this
phrase recognizes that fact.
Mortgage (Legal term) - Currently this is considered to be a secured loan (for
example, a loan with a house as collateral). In the past, it was
often written as a regular deed of sale with a condition attached such
that the sale was void if certain payments are made by a certain date.
With a mortgage, if the borrower fails to pay the mortgage note off,
the mortgagor must successfully sue in order to sell the property and
recover the loan. See deed of trust for a different way of establishing
security for a loan.
Nnatus or nata (Latin term) - born
nepos (Latin term) - grandson; sometimes nephew
neptis (Latin term) - granddaughter
nuptus or nupta (Latin term) - married
nepos (Latin term) - grand-son.
neptis (Latin term) - grand-daughter.
noverca (Latin term) - step-mother.
nurus (Latin term) - daughter-in-law.
Oobiit (Latin term) - died
obiit sine prole (Latin term) - died without issue / childless
Pparentes (Latin term) - parents
parochia (Latin term) - parish
Patent (Legal term) - Transfer of title from the government to the first titleholder of a piece of
property. This term was generally used by the Crown or itsrepresentative. See also grant.
pater (Latin term) - father
patres ancestors (Latin term) - forefathers
patria (Latin term) - country
patruelis (Latin term) - cousin on male side.
patruus (Latin term) - father's brother (uncle)
patruus magnus (Latin term) - grand-uncle.
patruus major (Latin term) - grandfather's brother (granduncle)
patruus maximus (Latin term) - great-great-grand-uncle.
Possessory (Legal term) - Relating to ownership.
Premises (Legal term) - A somewhat fluid term meaning land and its appurtenances, or land and its buildings and structures.
priores (Latin term) - ancestors
privigna (Latin term) - step-daughter.
privignus (Latin term) - step-son.
proavia (Latin term) - great-grandmother
provincia (Latin term) - province/county
proavus (Latin term) - great-grandfather
Probate (Legal term) - The process of proving a decedent's will and
settling the estate. The signing of a will was typically witnessed by
neighbours, who would later swear in court that they saw the decedent
sign the will prior to death. This "proved" that the will was actually
that of the decedent.
progener (Latin term) - grand-son-in-law
pronepos (Latin term) - great-grandson
proneptis (Latin term) -great-granddaughter
pronurus(Latin term) - grand-daughter-in-law.
Property (Legal term) - Any kind of thing which has a value and which
one can exercise the rights of ownership upon, including possession,
use, and disposal
prosocer (Latin term) - grandfather-in-law.
prosocrus (Latin term) - grandmother-in-law.
Prove Up (Legal term) - See Improve
puella (Latin term) - girl
puer (Latin term) - boy
QQuitclaim Deed (Legal term) - A common type of deed in which the seller
relinquishes claim to whatever rights were held on the property, but
does not guarantee that the property is actually free of claims by
Quitrent (Legal term) - A rent paid in lieu of required feudal
services. See fee and socage. The quitrent can be considered a real
Real property (Legal term) - Land. See also chattel.
Remainder (Legal term) - Transfer of ownership to someone on the death
of another. For example, land may be sold to person A for use during
their lifetime, but then remaindered to person B at the death of A.
Revert (Legal term) - Return of ownership to a former owner (or heirs).
sepultus or sepulta (Latin term) - buried
Seizin (Legal term) - Ownership or 'in fact' possession of a freehold
estate. Inferred here is an increasing degree of ownership with the
passage of time, as the possessor makes productive use of the land.
Seizin was originally not an estate, but a way to gain one, as by
adverse possession. This is rooted in the Roman concept that whoever
worked the land should be its owner.
Sergeantry (Legal term)- Non-military service to a lord in exchange for land.
Socage (Legal term) - Holding of land by a tenant in return for fixed
payment or for non-military service to the lord. This system was
eventually replaced by our system of taxation. See quitrent.
socor (Latin term) - father-in-law.
socrus (Latin term) - mother-in-law.
Soke (Legal term) - The jurisdiction of a court.
soror (Latin term) - sister
soror consanguinea (Latin term) - step-sister on male side.
soror uterina (Latin term) - step-sister on female side.
sororis filius (Latin term) - nephew on female side.
sororis filia (Latin term) - niece on female side.
Spanish Real - see "eleven-penny bit"
spurius or spuria (Latin term) - illegitimate son/illeg.daughter
stavus (Latin term) - great-great- great-grandfather
Straw Deed, Strawman Deed (Legal term) - Two deeds filed in succession,
the first from party A to party B, second from B back to A. This was
used to sidestep legal restrictions of sales between spouses or joint
owners, or to incorporate a new survey description. Party B is a
trusted intermediary, either a close friend or attorney.
stenuna (Latin term) - gentile pedigree
by the entirety (Legal term) - A form of joint tenancy held by husband
and wife. Title automatically transfers to the survivor upon the death
of one party. Neither party can sell or divide the property without the
consent of the other.
Tenancy in common (Legal term) - Title held by two or more people where
each person can sell their interest without the consent of the other
owners. There are no rights of survivorship.
Tenement (Legal term) - Permanent property, whether concrete or not,
such as land, buildings, cars, or the stock represented by a stock
certificate. In most common usage it means a house or building.
testamentum (Latin term) - will / testament
Teste (Legal term) - Witness.
Testate (Legal term) - Having a will.
Thirds (Legal term) - see dower
Title (Legal term) - Legal ownership as evidenced by a deed or other instrument.
tithe - Associated with the payment of offerings (in kind or money) to a church, or to the government, as a tax.
tritavia (Latin term) - great-great-great-great-grandmother.
tritavus (Latin term) - great-great-great-great-grandfather
Trust (Legal term) - Confidence placed in someone by giving them
property to be held or used for another's benefit. The property held in
Trustee (Legal term) - An individual to whom another's property is entrusted.
Uurbs (Latin term) - city / town
uxor (Latin term) -wife
uxoris frater (Latin term) - brother-in-law.
uxoris soror (Latin term) - sister-in-law.
vidua (Latin term) - widow
viduus (Latin term) - widower
vir (Latin term) - man
Virginia Company of London - A group whose members were Sir Thomas Dale
and associates, incorporated as the Virginia Company of London. They
were granted a charter in 1606 by King James I, which entitled them to
settle lands in the New World.
virgo (Latin term) - girl / virgin
vitricus (Latin term) - step-father.
(Legal term) - A governmental order authorizing some action. An arrest
warrant instructs a sheriff to arrest someone. A land warrant instructs
a state to issue land to someone.
Warranty Deed (Legal term) - A deed in which the seller warrants having
a valid title and that the property is clear of any liens.
Waste Land (Legal term) - Land that has not been claimed, or which has escheated .