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Genealogical Glossary


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A 
a. (abbreviation) ante or before when accompanying a date, age when accompanying a person's name (usually with on tombstone)
a.k.a. (abbreviation) also known as; alias
AAONMS (abbreviation) Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine
AASR (abbreviation) Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite (of Freemasons)
AASRFM (abbreviation) Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry
ab initio (Latin) "from the beginning". Used in reference to situations regarding the validity of a deed, marriage, estate, etc.
ab intestate (Latin) the condition of inheriting from one who died without making a will
abasia (medical) inability to walk or stand, caused by hysteria
abatement the difference between the amount of the estate of 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 or devisee can take control
abavia (Latin) second great grandmother, female ascendant in the fourth degree
abavus (Latin) second great grandfather, male ascendant in the fourth degree
abeyance the condition of an estate which either has been claimed but not taken possession of, or which is liable to be claimed by someone
ablepsy (medical) blindness, also Ablepsia, Abopsia
abnepos (Latin) second great grandson, male descendant in the fourth degree
abneptis (Latin) second great granddaughter, female descendant in the fourth degree
abscess (medical) an abscess forms when pus accumulates in a localized area of the body. An abscess is caused by infection from bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi. The infection becomes swollen, tender and inflamed and there may be associated fever and chills. An abscess can be the result of an injury, and it can be internal or external. Some abscesses are removed through surgery
abstract an abbreviated transcription or condensed summary of a particular record or document; usually contains only the most important information from the original document (e.g. the date of the record, every name appearing therein, the relationship (if stated) of each person named and their description (e.g., witness, executor, bondsman, son, widow, etc.), and if they signed with their signature or mark); may be used instead of original documents in genealogical research
abstract of title see abstract
abut to adjoin or border such as in land, estates, or farms
abuttal a boundary where one's land joins or meets another's land
abuttals the roads, streams, properties, etc. to which a piece of land is abutted. These items sometimes indicate the boundaries of a given property.
acadian inhabitant of Acadia (Nova Scotia). A descendant of French settlers of Acadia who live in Louisiana, i.e. Cajuns
acater (occupation) supplied food provisions, e.g. a ships chandler
accession number number assigned by a librarian or archivist denoting the time a book, manuscript, or artifact was placed within a collection
accipitrary (occupation) falconer
accommodation note a statement, draft, or paper drawn for the purpose of obtaining credit with no consideration
accommodation land allotted to families in a town or settlement
accompt see account
accomptant (occupation) accountant
accordant (with) agreeing
accoucheur/accoucheus (occupation) one who assisted women in childbirth
accoucheuse (occupation) midwife
accouchment (medical) childbirth, the period after childbirth
account the administrator of an estate or a guardian is sometimes required by statute to make a periodic (often once a year) report of his administration or guardianship. At the end of his trust he must make a final account. See also settlement. These accounts are a record of the activities associated with his specific fiduciary duty.
accoutrement maker/accoutre (occupation) supplier of military accessories
ackerman/acreman (occupation) ploughman, an oxherder
acknowledgement a formal statement at the end of an instrument, especially a deed, after the signature of the person(s) who executed the instrument -- the grantor(s) -- where an authorized official, such as a notary public, certifies that the person(s) who executed the instrument declared to him that he/they signed the instrument and that it was his/their own free act and deed. Sometimes called a certificate.
acre 43,560 square feet; 4,840 square yards; 160 square rods
actuary (occupation) kept public accounts of business
acute (medical) (adj.) disease of sudden onset, severe, not chronic
acute mania (medical) insanit
ad hoc (Latin) for this special reason. For a special purpose
ad litem legal term meaning "in this case only". Example, "George Thomas, duly appointed by the court, may administer ad litem the settlement of the estate of Joseph Thomas, deceased."
AD or A.D. (abbreviation) anno domini (Latin), in the year of the Lord
ad verbatim (Latin) "to the word". In full.
Addison's Disease (medical) a disease characterized by severe weakness, low blood pressure, and a bronzed coloration of the skin, due to decreased secretion of cortisol from the adrenal gland. Dr. Thomas Addison (1793-1860), born near Newcastle, England, described the disease in 1855. Also called Morbus addisonii, bronzed skin disease
adema (medical) see anasarca, see ascites, see drops
adm. (abbreviation) administrator, administration
admeasure to give each heir or claimant his or her rightful share of an estate, dower, or property
admeasurement of dower the readjustment of a dower when an heir becomes of age because a parent or guardian was receiving an unfair share to support the child
admeasurement the adjustment or apportionment of the shares of an estate, dower, pasture held in common, inheritance, etc.
admin. (abbreviation) administrator, administration
administration (of an estate) the collection, management and distribution of an estate by proper legal process
administration a court action used to manage or settle the estate of a person who died without leaving a will, or a person who left a will that the court disallowed, or where the executor appointed by the deceased refuses to serve in that capacity
administration bond a bond posted by the person selected as administrator of an estate to ensure that his administration will be satisfactorily accomplished. Such a bond requires sureties. See testamentary bond.
administration cum testamento annexo (C.T.A.) means with will annexed, it is an administration granted by the proper court when the decedent has left a valid will but has either failed to name an executor, or, has named someone incapable of being an executor, or, the executor refuses to act. Such an administration is carried out according to the terms of the will as if done by the executor.
administration cum testamento annexo see ADMINISTRATION WITH WILL ANNEXED
administration de bonis non (D.B.N.) means administration of the goods not administered, basically it is for administering goods by one administration that were not handled by a previous administrator
administration de bonis non cum testamento annexo administration granted by the court when the executor of a will has died leaving a portion of his estate still administered
administration de bonis non administration of a deceased person's property that was not completely distributed by the first administrator
administration pendite lite administration of an estate carried out while a suit is pending concerning the validity of the will
administration with will annexed administration granted by the court in instances where the person who makes a will has neglected to name an executor, or where the executor is unable or refuses to act. Also see administration cum testamento annexo.
administrator (of an estate) person appointed to manage or divide the estate of a deceased person
administrator an appointee of the court who is responsible for the welfare of the property of someone else (who usually has deceased or is no longer able to take care of the property themselves)
administratrix a female administrator
admitted freeman see INDENTURED SERVANT
admon. (abbreviation) letters of administration
adnepos (Latin) third great grandson, male descendant in the fifth degree
adopted a person or a couple bring someone else's child into their family by legal means and raise the child as if it were their own
adoption by baptism a spiritual affinity contracted between godfathers and godchildren in the baptism ceremony, and entitled the godchild to a share of the godfather's estate
adoption by matrimony the act of taking the children of a spouse's former marriage as one's own upon marriage
adoption by testament to appoint a perion heir if he follows the stipulations in the will to take the name, arms, etc. of the adopter
adoptive refers to the relationship between a person or couple and their adopted child
advancement a gift given to a child by a living parent in anticipation of an inheritance
adventurer one who purchased shares in the Virginia Land Company at 12 pounds, 10 shillings each, and received 100 acres in Virginia
adverse possession actual possession of real property obtained by aggressive or "notorious" actions, and gaining title to the property by keeping it for a statutory period of time
advertisement conveyancer (occupation) sandwich board man
advocate depute (occupation) Scottish law officer who could act a public prosecutor
advowee (occupation) normally a nobleman, who had the right to present a clergyman to a benefice
aegrotantem (medical) sickness, illness
aegrotat (medical) is sick from
AEOS (abbreviation) Ancient Egyptian Order of Sciots (Masons)
aeronaut (occupation) balloonist or a trapeze artist in the circus or music halls
aetas (Latin) lifetime, age, generation
aetatis suae (Latin) the condition of being in a specified year of one's life - aetatis suae 25 means in the twenty-fifth year of one's age, after a person's twenty-fourth birthday
AF (abbreviation) Ancestral File, database maintained by the LDS FHL
AFAM (abbreviation) Ancient Free and Accepted Mason
affeeror (occupation) official in the manorial courts who assessed the monetary penalty and also collected taxes and dues and were also called Assessor
affidavit a statement, usually written but sometimes oral, confirmed by oath, for use as evidence in court
affines (Latin) relatives by marriage, in-laws
affinitas (Latin) relationship by marriage
affinity see affinitas, also see consanguinity
affirmation a declaration made by a person having conscientious objections against swearing an oath
after-acquired property property that was acquired after the date of a will
AG (abbreviation) Accredited Genealogist, an LDS genealogists credential
AGBU (abbreviation) Accredited Genealogist (FHL credential); Armenian General Benevolent Union
age of consent age at which persons can marry without parental consent
age of majority age at which a person becomes able to handle his own affairs being usually 18 for girls and 21 for boys
aggregate (census) an enumeration in which no names are recorded, only the number of individuals within an age group, religious group, type of profession, national origin, etc.
agister (occupation) official of the Royal Forests or in the New Forest it is the title for the one in charge of the ponies
agnati (Latin) paternal relations
agnation relationships by blood on the male side
agnatus (Latin) related by blood on the male side
AGRA (abbreviation) Association of Genealogists and Record Agents
ague (medical) malarial or intermittent fever characterized by stages of chills, fever, and sweating at regularly recurring times and followed by an interval or intermission of varying duration. Also called fever and ague, chill fever, the shakes, and swamp fever
ague-cake (medical) a form of enlargement of the spleen, resulting from the action of malaria on the system
ahnentafel from the German Ahnen (ancestor) and Tafel (table or list); a numbering system used to identify all known ancestors of a given person. the formula states that an individual's father is twice that individual's number, and that an individual's mother is twice that individual's number plus one. If your ahnentafel number is 1, your father's is 2, and your mother's is 3. The word comes from the German "ahnen" meaning ancestor, and "tafel" meaning table or list. An ancestor table that tabulates the ancestry of one individual by generation in text rather than pedigree chart format. A comprehensive ahnentafel gives more than the individual's name, date and place of birth, christening, marriage, death and burial. It should give biographical and historical commentary for each person listed, as well as footnotes citing the source documents used to prove what is stated.
ahnentafel numbers numbering system used to identify each individual in a family tree. The numbers follow the format that an individual's father is twice that individual's number, and that an individual's mother is twice that individual's number plus one. Used in pedigree charts
AHOJB (abbreviation) Ancient and Honorable Order of the Jersey Blues
AISB (abbreviation) Ancient Illuminated Seers of Bavaria
alabasterer (occupation) worked with alabaster
alblastere (occupation) crossbow man
alchemist (occupation) medieval chemist who claimed to be able to turn base metals into gold
alderman (occupation) senior councillor one position down from Mayor in the local council
ale draper (occupation) seller of ale
ale taster (occupation) tested ale and beer for quality first recored in 1377 in London. Appointed by the Manor and forerunner of the Inspector for Weights and Measures
ale tunner (occupation) employed by the brewery to fill ale casks (tuns} with ale
ale-conner/ale founder (occupation) official who tested quality and measure of ale served in public houses
alewife (occupation) woman tavern-keeper
alien (1) To transfer property; as in a deed the seller "does grant, bargain, sell, alien, enfeoff, release, and confirm unto [the buyer]" certain property. (2) a foreigner or a citizen of another country
alimenta/o (Latin) provision made for made for younger sons or unmarried daughters
alius/a/ud (Latin) other
all spice (occupation) name for a grocer
allegation a document stating there was no impediment to the marriage (a) not close relatives, (b) not minors, (c) did not have a wife or husband living to whom they were already married.
allied families that are related by marriage only
almanac man (occupation) official appointed by the Court of Sewers who warned the inhabitants of the Trent River area of higher than normal tides
almoner giver of charity (alms) to the needy
almsman (occupation) received alms
alnager (occupation) official who examined the quality of woolen goods and stamped them with the town seal of approval
alter/era/erum (Latin) the other of two
altm (abbreviation) at liberty to marry (Quaker)
Am. Rev. (abbreviation) American Revolution, American War for Independence
amanuen(sis) secretary or stenographer
amanuensis (occupation) secretary or stenographer
amber and jet cutter (occupation) cut and polished amber for jewelry
amber cutter (occupation) cut ambergris
ambler (occupation) officer of the Royal Stable who broke in horses
ambo/ae/o (Latin) both
amen man (occupation) parish clerk
American Plague (medical) also called Yellow Fever, is a viral disease transmitted to man by a specific type of mosquito, Aedes aegypti. This mosquito type is commonly found in the tropical forests of South America and Africa. Both the Aedes mosquito and the yellow fever virus must be present together to spread the disease
American Revolution U.S. war for independence from Great Britain 1775-1783
amita (Latin) father's sister, aunt
amita magna (Latin) grandfather's sister, grandaunt
amita uxoris (Latin) wife's father's sister
AMORC (abbreviation) Ancient Mystic Order Rosae Crucis
AMOS (abbreviation) Ancient Mystic Order of Samaritans (Odd Fellows)
AMVETS (abbreviation) American Veterans
an. (abbreviation) ante or before
anasarca (medical) generalized massive dropsy, also called adema. It is the accumulation of fluid in the body. It may affect all parts of the body although it commonly occurs in the feet and ankles. The bloating and swelling causes muscle aches and pains. Edema may be caused by allergies or disorders of the kidney, bladder, heart, or liver
ancestor any of one's parents, grandparents, great grandparents, great great grandparents, etc., especially one earlier in a family line than a grandparent; forefather; forebear
ancestor chart report or chart that shows a person and all of their ancestors in a graphical format. As opposed to the Ahnentafel which is more of a narrative report
ancestral of or inherited from an ancestor or ancestors
ancestral file a database of names in linked genealogies on CD-ROM. Contains names and addresses of people that have submitted information. Maintained by the LDS FHL
ancestry family descent or lineage; ancestors collectively; estimates suggest that everyone has approximately 65,000 traceable ancestors, meaning ancestors whose existence can be documented in surviving records
anchor smith (occupation) made anchors
anchoress (occupation) female hermit or religious recluse
anchorite (occupation) male hermit or religious recluse
anchylosis/ankylosis (medical) abnormal stiffening and immobility of a joint by fusion of the bones
ancillary administration an administration of property located in a state other than the resident state of the deceased
anemia (medical) occurs when the blood's ability to carry oxygen is reduced. A low red blood cell count will manifest as weakness, dizziness, paleness, depression, instability, soreness of mouth, and amennorhea. The mineral iron is critical because iron makes hemoglobin, which is the oxygen-carrying component of blood. Without sufficient iron intake, the function of rbc's will be impaired. Anemia can be difficult to recognize but the first symptoms might include loss of appetite, headaches, constipation, irritability, and difficulty with concentration
angina (medical) pain in chest brought on by exertion; intense constricting pain especially of the throat, can lead to suffocation; quinsy
angle iron smith (occupation) made angle iron ie. flat iron bars bent at right angles lengthways
anilepman (occupation) smallholder (tenant of the manor)
anima (Latin) soul, spirit
ankle beater (occupation) young person who helped to drive the cattle to market
annatto maker (occupation) worked in the manufacture of dyes for paint or printing
anno (Latin) in the year
anno Domini (Latin) in the year of the Lord
annotation interpretation, explanation, clarification, definition, or supplement. Many types of genealogical presentations contain statements, record sources, documents, conclusions, or other historical information that require an annotation. Generally, annotations appear in footnotes, end-notes, or in the text itself. Genealogical software provides a field for documentation, comments, notes, and analysis. Genealogists use annotations to explain discrepancies between two or more documents, to add information from another source to support a statement or conclusion made in a different record, and other difficult to interpret situations.
annus (Latin) year
anon. (abbreviation) anonymous
ante (Latin) prefix meaning before, such as in ante-bellum South; The South before the war
antenuptial contract though an antenuptial contract or agreement is not a probate document, it does have substantial effect on the probate proceedings whenever it exists. It is a contract made between a man and the woman he is about to marry wherein certain property rights of one or both are secured and delineated. Such contracts have been made by persons who have been previously married and who want to preserve their properties and wealth for the issue of their previous unions in case of their own deaths, rather then to each other. Such contracts, in probate court, have precedence over laws of descent and distribution. They have been quite common, especially in states with community property laws and with the Dutch in New Netherlands (a.k.a. New York). Another name is marriage settlement. If the contract is made after the marriage then it is called a postnuptial contract.
antigropelos maker (occupation) made waterproof leggings
anvil smith (occupation) made anvils and hammers for blacksmiths
AOB (abbreviation) Air Order of Battle
AOD (abbreviation) Ancient Order of Druids
AODC (abbreviation) Ancient Order of Degree Coopermen
AOF (abbreviation) Ancient Order of Foresters
AOH (abbreviation) Ancient Order of Hibernians
AOUW (abbreviation) Ancient Order of United Workmen
APCWS (abbreviation) Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites
apd (abbreviation) attending places of diversion; appointed; appealed (Quaker)
APG (abbreviation) Association of Professional Genealogists
aphonia (medical) also called laryngitis, exists when a person has no voice or has lost their voice due to an inflammation of the larynx
aphtha/aphthae (medical) see thrush
aphthae (medical) a disease characterized by whitish spots and ulcers on the membranes of the mouth, tongue, and fauces caused by a parasitic fungus. Also called sore mouth, aphthous stomatitis, thrush
aphthous stomatitis (medical) these are painful mouth ulcerations that appear on the tongue, inside the cheeks, and on the lips and gums. They have white centers with a red border, and their size can be as large as a quarter. They usually appear and leave quickly (four to twenty days). Triggers include: stress, food allergies, poor dental hygiene, and fatigue. See canker
apiarian (occupation) beekeeper
apoplexy (medical) results in a sudden loss of consciousness followed by paralysis caused by hemorrhage into the brain, formation of an embolus or thrombus, that occludes an artery, or rupture of an extracerebral artery causing subarachnoid hemorrhage. Symptoms: onset is acute, unconsciousness, labored breathing due to paralysis of portion of the soft palate, expiration puffs out the cheeks and mouth. Pupils sometimes unequal, the larger one being on the side of the hemorrhage. Paralysis usually involves one side of the body, with eyeballs turned away from the affected side, skin covered with clay sweat, surface temperature of the skin is often subnormal, speech disturbances. Onset more gradual if caused by a thrombosis
apothecary (occupation) prepared and sold medicines or drugs; pharmacist
apparitor (occupation) official who summoned witnesses in the ecclesiastical courts
appr. (abbreviation) appraisal; appraisement
apprentice (occupation) one bound by indenture or by legal agreement or by any means to serve another for a prescribed period with a view to learning an art or trade; one who is learning by practical experience under skilled workers a trade, art, or calling
appurtenance that which belongs to something else such as a building, orchard, right of way, etc
appurtenances the rights, duties, and perquisites of one who held manorial land - usually, grazing rights, payment of fines, submission to the manorial court, and a pew in church
Aprilis (Latin) April
aproneer (occupation) term used in London for a shopkeeper
apronman (occupation) mechanic
apt (abbreviation) appointed
AQM (abbreviation) Assistant Quartermaster (US Civil War)
aquarius (ewar) (occupation) waterman
aquarius ewer; waterman
aquavita seller (occupation) sold alcohol
arbor consanguinitatis (Latin) family tree
archiator (occupation) physician
archil maker (occupation) made a violet dye from lichens, used in the textile industry
archive collection of public or corporate records; place where such records are kept
archives reference to the storage of older records
arkwright (occupation) skilled craftsman who produced "arks" (wooden chests or coffers)
armiger (occupation) squire who carried the armour of a knight
armourer (occupation) made suits of armour or plates of armour for buildings or ships etc.
ARSS (abbreviation) Antiquariorum Regiae Societatis Socius (Fellow of the Royal Society of Antiquaries)
artificer maker or fixer of intricate objects; soldier mechanic who does repairs
arty. (abbreviation) artillery
ascendant ancestor; lineal ancestors
ASCII American Standard Code for Information Interchange - type of file on a computer that is usually readable/writeable by most word processors
ascites (medical) another term for dropsy, also called adema. It is the accumulation of fluid in the body. It may affect all parts of the body although it commonly occurs in the feet and ankles. The bloating and swelling causes muscle aches and pains. Edema may be caused by allergies or disorders of the kidney, bladder, heart, or liver
ASFD (abbreviation) American Society of Freedmen's Descendants
ASG (abbreviation) American Society of Genealogists
ashman (occupation) dustman
ashmanshipman sailor
asphycsia/asphicsia (medical) cyanotic and lack of oxygen
assart land reclaimed from waste for agriculture
assay master (occupation) determined the amount of gold or silver to go in coins
assayer (occupation) determined the proportions of metal in ore
assessor the person whose responsibility is to decide on the value of property and the rate of tax to be paid, sometimes being the local sheriff or constable
assignee a person who has been assigned another's rights or personal property
assignment grant of property or a legal right, benefit, or privilege to another person
assignment of dower This is the document by which a widow's dower is assigned to her as part of the administration. It is also called a dower division, setting off of the dower, and, widow's dower.
assignor an individual who assigns his rights or interests in something to another person
assn (abbreviation) association
asthenia (medical) abnormal bodily weakness or feebleness, decay of strength. This was a term descriptive of a patient's condition and of no help in making a diagnosis. Also called asthenia and debility
atavus (Latin) third great grandfather, male ascendant in the fifth degree
atrophy (medical) wasting away or diminishing in size
att (abbreviation) attached to; attended (Quaker)
attest to affirm, to bear witness, to certify by signature or oath
auger maker (occupation) made the carpenters augers (used for boring holes in wood)
Augustus (Latin) Augus
aulnager (occupation) see Alnager
auncle an "invented" word, it can represent either an aunt or an uncle since there is no known "real" word that makes such as designation such as "parent" does for both mother or father or "child" does for son or daughter. Note that the first three letters of this new word are taken from "aunt" and the last three letters from "uncle". [apologies to Daniel Webster!]
aunt sister of either parent, or, the wife of either parent's brother. See also "uncle".
aurifaber goldsmith
authenticate prove a document is not a forgery
avenator (plantifene) (occupation) hay and forage merchant
avenator plantifene; hay and forage merchant
avi (pl.) (Latin) grandparents
avi relicta (Latin) grandfather's widow
avowry (occupation) term for the lord of the manor
avunculus (Latin) mother's brother, uncle
avus (Latin) grandfather
axel tree maker/axel tree turner (occupation) made axels for coaches and wagons
B 
B (abbreviation) black, Negro; indicating race
b-i-l (abbreviation) brother in law
b. (abbreviation) born
back washer (occupation) employed to clean the wool in the worsted manufacturing industry
back'us boy (occupation) kitchen servant (from "back of the house")
backmaker (occupation) made "backs", vats, tubs, a Cooper
backmann/backster/baxter/beck/becker (occupation) baker
bad blood (medical) an old term for syphilis, which is an infectious venereal disease. Untreated, it can ultimately lead to the degeneration of bones, heart, nerve tissue, etc. In earlier centuries syphilis commonly reached the third stage, which is rare today, and caused brain damage, hearing loss, heart disease, and/or blindness occur
badger (occupation) licensed pauper who wore a badge with the letter P on it and could only work in a defined area (the term "Badgering comes from this"). A corn miller or dealer or an itinerant food trader
badgy fiddler (occupation) boy trumpeter in the military
bagman (occupation) travelling salesman
bagniokeeper (occupation) n charge of a bath house or brothel
bailie bailiff
bailiff/bailie/baillie/baillee (occupation) officer of the sheriff, a land steward acting on behalf of the Landowner or Landlord and in Scotland a magistrate of the burgh, also looked after the fishing rights on certain rivers
bairman/bareman (occupation) pauper or beggar
bal maiden (occupation) female mine worker who worked on the surface (also a Pit Brow Lass)
baler (occupation) bales hay and in the mills one who bailed wool or cotton goods
balister (occupation) archer most commonly a crossbowman
ballard master (occupation) in charge of loading the ballast into the hold of empty ships
ballast heaver (occupation) loaded ballast into the hold of empty ships
baller/baller up (occupation) assisted the potter by measuring out the balls of clay
band filer (occupation) metal worker in the gun making industry
bandster (occupation) bound the wheat sheaves after harvest
bang beggar (occupation) officer of the parish who controlled the length of stay of any stranger to the parish
banker (occupation) dug trenches and ditches to allow drainage of the land, placing the surplus earth in banks around the edge
banksman (occupation) gives instruction or assistance to driver; overseer at a mine pit
banni (Latin) marriage banns
banns see "marriage banns"
bapt. (abbreviation) baptized, baptism
baptisatus/a (Latin) baptized
baptisatus/a est (Latin) he(or she) was baptized
baptisavit (Latin) he baptized
baptism usually a religious ceremony or sacrament to formally accept the person (usually a child) as a member of the religion. The ceremony may also represent some act of purification or cleansing often done by dipping the person in water or pouring or sprinkling water on them. See also "christening".
baptism name see "given name"
baptisma (Latin) baptism
baptismal certificate a formal document normally kept by a church of baptisms that occurred in their congregation. It typically contains the names of the individuals baptized, the date of baptism, where it took place, the clergyman's name, and possibly the names of sponsors and place of residence.
BAR (abbreviation) Brigade of the American Revolution
barber/barber surgeon (occupation) a barber also also a surgeon (an Act was passed that limited Barbers to hair-cutting, shaving, dentistry and blood letting in the 18th century)
bard (occupation) poet or minstral
BARE (abbreviation) Benefit Association of Railway Employees
bareman (occupation) beggar or pauper
barge mate (occupation) Naval officer
bargee/bargeman (occupation) worked on or owned and operated a barge
barilla manufacturer (occupation) made barilla, a substance obtained from burning saltworts, the resulting mixture of sodium salts being used in the glass and ceramics industry
barkeeper (occupation) another name for a tollkeeper
barker tanner
bartoner (occupation) in charge of the monastic farm, also known as a barton
barrister a lawyer
base-born see "illegitimate"
basil worker (occupation) worked with sheep and goat skins
basketman (occupation) made baskets and furniture from wicker, and also employed to empty the basket of coal being offloaded from the colliers into the barges
bass/bast dresser (occupation) employed in dressing fibre or matting
bastard see "illegitimate"
bathing machine proprietor (occupation) owned and hired the changing huts used at the seaside in the by bathers
batman (occupation) officers servant in the army
batt maker (occupation) made the wadding used in quilt and mattress making
batt. (abbreviation) battalion
battledore maker (occupation) made the beaters used on clothes carpets etc to remove the dust (later made the paddles used in washing machines)
bauer (occupation) farmer
baxter (occupation) baker
bayweaver (occupation) who wove bay (a fine woollen fabric also known as baize)
BC (abbreviation) (of a date) before Christ
BCG (abbreviation) Board for Certification of Genealogists
bead piercer (occupation) employed to drill the holes in beads
beadle/bedel/bedell (occupation) officer of the parish whose principle duty was to keep order, also was the town crier
beadman/beadsman/bedesman (occupation) employed to pray for his employer, inhabitant of an almshouse/poorhouse/hospital or tenant employed by the manor for a specific service
beamer (occupation) winds the warp on the roller before putting it on the loom in the textile industry
bearer (occupation) worked undergrpound carrying the coal to the bottom of the pit shaft and placed it in the containers for uplifting to the surface
beater (occupation) cleansed and thickened the cloth by treading it underwater with fullers earth (aka Fuller)
beaver (occupation) made felt used in hat making
bedman (occupation) sexton
bedral (occupation) in Scotland a minor church official
bedwevere (occupation) made the webbing for bed frames and also a one who wove quilts
beeskepmaker (occupation) made beehives
beetler (occupation) operated a beetling machine, used in the textile trade for embossing fabric
bef. (abbreviation) before
belhoste (occupation) tavern keeper
bell hanger (occupation) installed bells in churches
belleyetere (occupation) bellfounder
bellfounder/belter/billiter (occupation) made bells
bellman (occupation) employed as a watchman or town crier or who worked for the post office and collected letters for the mail coach by walking the streets and ringing a bell
bellowfarmer (occupation) responsible for the care and maintenance of the church organ
bellows maker (occupation) made bellows used for organs or blacksmiths fires
belly builder (occupation) built and fitted the interiors of pianos
bender (occupation) cut leather
beneficiary the person designated to receive the income of a trust estate
beq. (abbreviation) bequeath
bequeath term appearing in a will meaning to leave or give property as specified therein to another person or organization
bequeathed to give one's personal property to others via a will
bequest legacy; usually a gift of real estate by will
besom maker (occupation) made brooms
besswarden (occupation) appointed by the parish to look after its animals
bet. (abbreviation) between
bever (occupation) beverage maker
BG (abbreviation) burial grounds
bibliography list of writings relating to a specific subject, some of which are annotated. A bibliographic citation describes and identifies the author, edition, date of issue, publisher, and typography of a book or other written material. Generally, bibliographies appear at the end of a publication to indicate the sources used by the author or to suggest titles for additional reading. bibliographic citations appear in footnotes and end-notes to document the source of a statement made in the body of a writing.
biddy (occupation) female servant usually of Irish stock
BigR (abbreviation) British Isles Genealogical Register
bilious fever (medical) a term loosely applied to certain enteric (intestinal) and malarial fevers. Typhoid, malaria, hepatitis or elevated temperature and bile emesis fever due to a liver disorder, See typhus. An acute, infectious disease transmitted by lice and fleas. Symptoms include headache, arthralgia and myalgia, chills, high fever, falling blood pressure, stupor, delirium, rash that begins on chest and spreads to rest of trunk and extremities The early rash is faint and rose colored and fades with pressure. Later the lesions become dull red and do not fade. People with severe typhus may also develop petechiae. Also called typhus fever, malignant fever, jail fever, hospital fever, putrid fever, ship fever, brain fever, bilious fever, spotted fever, and camp fever. It is also a term loosely applied to other intestinal and malarial fevers
biliousness (medical) jaundice associated with liver disease; A complex of symptoms comprising nausea, abdominal discomfort, headache, and constipation; formerly attributed to excessive secretion of bile from the liver; A condition in which the bile (which is very bitter) is brought up to the mouth from the stomach
bill of sale a statement indicating a transfer of ownership by sale, and it is not ordinarily a land record. However, bills of sale, especially those involving the buying and selling of slaves, were frequently recorded in the land record books.
bill poster (occupation) put up notices, signs and advertisements
billier/billyman (occupation) operated a Billy Roller, a machine used in the cotton industry to prepare the cotton for spinning
binder (occupation) bound items, e.g., books, hats etc .
binding out see BOUND OUT
biographer the author of a biography
biography a book about the history of a person's life
bird boy (occupation) employed to scare away birds from crops
bird catcher (occupation) caught birds for selling
birds nest seller (occupation) sold bird nests collected from the wild complete with eggs which were then hatched by domestic birds and sold as pets
birlyman (occupation) in Scotland a ground officer or parish arbiter
birth certificate a formal document normally issued by a government body responsible for the registration of vital statistics within a particular jurisdiction
birth name see "given name"
birth order the chronological sequence in which the children of a person or couple are born. Example: the first or oldest child has a birth order number of 1. the next child has a birth order number of 2, and so on. Note that the number is usually assigned based on the children of the father. If the father remarries and has children by another wife, then the birth order for those children pick up where his prior marriage left off.
birth records a birth record contains information about the birth of an individual. A birth record usually contains the mother's full maiden name and the father's full name, the name of the baby, the date of the birth and the name of the place where the birth took place. Many birth records include other information, such as: the birthplaces of the baby's parents, the addresses of the parents, the number of children that the parents have, and the race of the parents, and the parents' occupations.
BK (abbreviation) Brother's Keeper (software)
BL (abbreviation) British Library
black borderer (occupation) made black edged stationery for funerals
Black Death (medical) another term used to indicate Bubonic plague, a disease that has had a major impact on the history of the world. Caused by the bacterium, Yersinia pestis, and transmitted by fleas often found on rats, bubonic plague has killed over fifty million people over the centuries. Burrowing rodent populations across the world keep the disease present in the world today. Outbreaks, though often small, still occur in many places. The use of antibiotics and increased scientific knowledge first gained in the 1890's have reduced the destruction of plague outbreaks. In Medieval times, with the unknowing help of humans, bubonic plague exploded into a pandemic. Known as the "Black Death", it decimated Europe in 1350, killing one-third of the population. It disrupted government, trade, and commerce. It reshaped people's perspectives on life and Christianity, and found expression in many works of art. Bubonic plague's influence and effects have shaped events of the past and part of our world today
Black Fever (medical) acute infection with high temperature and dark red skin lesions and high mortality rate
black plague/death (medical) bubonic plague
Black Pox (medical) black Small pox
black tray maker (occupation) made Japanned trays
black vomit (medical) vomiting old (black) blood due to ulcers or yellow fever
blacking maker (occupation) made polish for shoes
blacksmith one who shoes horses
blackwater fever (medical) dark urine associated with high temperature
bladder in throat (medical) diphtheria
bladesmith (occupation) swordmaker or knife maker
blaxter/bleacher (occupation) bleached cloth or paper pulp
blemmere (occupation) plumber
blentonist (occupation) water diviner
blindsman (occupation) employed by the Post Office to deal with incorrectly addressed letters and parcels
block maker (occupation) engraved the blocks used in the printin
block printer (occupation) printer who used wooden blocks for printing
blockcutter/blocker (occupation) made wooden blocks used in the hat trade or laid down the blocks on which a ships keel was laid
blood poisoning (medical) also called Septicemia is when toxins or disease-causing bacteria begin growing in the blood
bloodman/bloodletter (occupation) used leeches for letting blood, this was thought to be a cure for many ailments
bloody flux (medical) bloody stools; dysentery; see flu
bloody sweat (medical) sweating sickness
bloomer (occupation) produced iron from ore, a bloom smithy
blower (occupation) glass blower, one who operated a "blowing machine" used to clean and separate fibres in the textile trade, one who operated the bellows at a blacksmiths
blowfeeder (occupation) fed the fibres into a "blowing machine"
bluestocking (occupation) female writer
bluffer (occupation) innkeeper or landlord of a pub
BMD (abbreviation) births, marriages, & deaths
BNL (abbreviation) Brotherhood of the New Life
boarding officer (occupation) inspected ships before entering port
boardman (occupation) truant officer who checked school attendance. a tenant of manorial land who paid rent by maintaining the manor's table
boardwright (occupation) made tables and chairs aka carpenter
boatman (occupation) worked on a boat, predominately on rivers and canals also the name given to a boat repairer
boatswain (occupation) ship's officer in charge of riggings and sails
bobber (occupation) who polished metals one who helped to unload fishing boats
bobbin carrier (occupation) worked in spinning and weaving sections of the mills
bobbin turner (occupation) made the bobbins used in the spinning and weaving industry
bobby see INDENTURED SERVANT
bondager (occupation) female worker on a farm who was bonded
bonded passenger passengers convicted of various crimes
bondmaid a female slave, a bound servant not due wages
bondman (occupation) bonded to a master for the purpose of learning a skill or trade
bonds of marriage see "marriage banns"
bondsman (occupation) person acting as surety for a bond (often, but by no means ordinarily, a relative
bone button turner (occupation) made buttons using a lathe
bone lace maker (occupation) made pillow lace
bone mould turner (occupation) made the moulds for button manufacturers
bone picker (occupation) collected rags and bones aka Rag and Bone Man
bone shave (medical) sciatica
bonesetter (occupation) set broken bones
boniface (occupation) innkeeper
book gilder (occupation) decorated books with gold leaf
book keeper (occupation) looked after the accounts for businesses
bookholder (occupation) prompter in the theater
bookman (occupation) student
boonmaster (occupation) surveyor of roads with the responsibilities of maintaining and repairing the road
boot catcher (occupation) servant at inn who pulled off traveler's boots
boot closer (occupation) worked in the shoe trade stitching together all the parts of a shoe upper
bootbinder (occupation) employed to operate the machines which bound footware
boothman (occupation) corn merchant
borler (occupation) who made cheap coarse clothing
born in the covenant in LDS records, one born to a couple who has been sealed in marriage, and thus is sealed to the parents
borsholder (occupation) officer appointed by the manor or parish, constable. Bowyer - bowmaker
botcher (occupation) tailor or cobbler
bottiler/bottler (occupation) made leather containers for holding liquids eg wine flasks or water bottles
bottle boy (occupation) pharmacists assistant
bottom knocker (occupation) sagger makers assistant in the pottery industry
bottom maker (occupation) moulded the bottoms for saggers in the pottery industry
bottomer (occupation) worked down the pits moving the ore etc to the bottom of the shaft for removal
bound out the condition of apprenticed or indentured children. ALso see putting out.
bounds pertaining to measuring natural or man-made features on the land
bounty land land promised in lieu of payment or wages as an inducement for enlistment for military services. A central government did not exist when the revolutionary war began, nor did a treasury. Land, the greatest asset the new nation possessed, was used to induce enlistment and as payment for military services. Those authorized to bounty land received a bounty land warrant from the newly formed government after the war.
bounty land warrant a right to obtain bounty land, specific number of acres of an allocated public land
bowdler (occupation) worked with iron ore
bowker (occupation) bleached yarn. A local term in some parts of Lancashire for a butcher
bowler (occupation) made bowls and dishes and also a term used for those who made the rounded part of spoons before casting
bowlman/bowlwoman (occupation) dealer in crockery
bowlminder (occupation) in charge of the vats used for washing raw wool before processing
bowyer/bower (occupation) made bows used in archery
bozzler (occupation) parish constable
bp. (abbreviation) baptized
BPOE (abbreviation) Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks
bpt. (abbreviation) baptized
brabener (occupation) weaver
brachygrapher (occupation) shorthand writer
braider (occupation) made cord by twisting threads or strips of leather
brailler (occupation) made girdles
brain fever (medical) see meningitis and typhus, it is an infection of the three membranes, the meninges, that lie between the brain and the skull. The disease is contagious. It can be caused by poor nutrition and any number of viruses such as poliomyelitis and measles, fungi including yeast, or bacteria like meningococcus, pneumococcus, streptococcus, and tuberculosis. It may result from severe infection of the nose and throat or spread through the bloodstream. It is more common in children than adults. Early symptoms are sore throat, red or purple skin rash, and signs of a previous, recent respiratory disorder. Other classic symptoms include stiff neck, headache, high fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, delirium, and sensitivity to light. Change in temperament and sleepiness signal changes in the cerebral fluid and frequently precede coma and death. An acute, infectious disease transmitted by lice and fleas. The epidemic or classic form is louse borne. The endemic or murine is flea borne
brakeman/brakesman (occupation) operated the winch at the pit head or operated the braking mechanism on trains and trams
branch one family group on a family tree
brasiler (occupation) dyer
brazier (occupation) brass worker
breakbone (medical) dengue fever
brethren one's brother or sister, they have either one or two parents in common. See also "sibling"
brewster (occupation) brewer; beer maker
Bright's disease (medical) chronic inflammatory disease of kidneys; kidney disease; glomerulonephritis
brightsmith (occupation) metal worker
bro. (abbreviation) brother
bronchial asthma (medical) a paroxysmal, often allergic disorder of breathing, caused by the spasms in the smooth muscles surrounding the bronchi and bronchioles (small airways in the lungs), causing the passageways to partially close. The spasms are accompanied with increased mucus which clogs the bronchioles/bronchi and worsens the attack. It is triggered by an allergic response and the immune system produces histamine. Thus, any type of allergen can precipitate an asthma attack. It results in difficulty breathing (especially exhalation), coughing, wheezing, and a tight chest. This above condition is specifically known as bronchial asthma. Cardiac asthma is the result of a heart malfunction
bronze John (medical) yellow fever
broom squire (occupation) broom maker
broom-dasher (occupation) dealer in brooms
brother the male sibling of a person who has one or two parents in common
brotherer/browderer/broderer/broiderer (occupation) embroiderer
brow girl (occupation) female employed at the pit head
brownsmith (occupation) copper or brass smith
brucellosis (medical) bacterial disease, especially of cattle, causing undulant fever in humans
BTs (abbreviation) Bishops' Transcripts
bu. (abbreviation) buried
Bubonic Plague (medical) it has had a major impact on the history of the world. Caused by the bacterium, Yersinia pestis, and transmitted by fleas often found on rats, bubonic plague has killed over fifty million people over the centuries. Burrowing rodent populations across the world keep the disease present in the world today. Outbreaks, though often small, still occur in many places. The use of antibiotics and increased scientific knowledge first gained in the 1890's have reduced the destruction of plague outbreaks. In Medieval times, with the unknowing help of humans, bubonic plague exploded into a pandemic. Known as the "Black Death", it decimated Europe in 1350, killing one-third of the population. It disrupted government, trade, and commerce. It reshaped people's perspectives on life and Christianity, and found expression in many works of art. Bubonic plague's influence and effects have shaped events of the past and part of our world today
buck washer (occupation) laundress
buckle tongue maker (occupation) made the metal points that go in the holes of a belt
buckler/bucklesmith (occupation) made buckles
buckram maker (occupation) worked with buckram (used in stiffening materials) e.g. belts, lapels and collars
buddleboy (occupation) employed to use and maintain the vats used in the lead and tin mines for washing the ore
buddler (occupation) women and children who washed the ore at the copper mines in Allihies, Berehaven
buffalo soldier (occupation) soldier serving in a black regiment in the US Army in the West
bule (medical) boil, tumor or swelling
bullwhacker (occupation) oxen driver
bumboat man (occupation) met ships at anchor with goods for passengers and crew to purchase
bummaree (occupation) middle man between the wholesaler and the retailer at the fish markets
bummer (occupation) army deserter
bunter (occupation) female rag and bone collector
bur. (abbreviation) buried
burgess (occupation) represented a borough at official levels BURELER - made borel, a woollen cloth with a coarse feel
burgomaster (occupation) mayor
burial the placement of a dead body into a grave or tomb, often with an accompanying tombstone or headstone to indicate the name of the person being buried; see also "interment"
burial record a formal account normally kept by a church of burials that occurred in their congregation. Besides the names of the deceased, it may contain the age of the person at death, their birth date, cause of death, the clergyman's name, and possibly the place of residence at the time of death.
burl cup-bearer
burler (occupation) quality inspector for clothing
burmaiden (occupation) chambermaid or lady-in-waiting
burneman (occupation) carrier of barm or waters for brewers
burnisher metal polisher
burye man (occupation) grave digger
bushel maker (occupation) cooper
busheler (occupation) tailor's helper
busker (occupation) hair dresser
buss maker (occupation) maker of guns
butner (occupation) button maker
butter carver (occupation) made imprints in butter pats
button burnisher (occupation) button polisher
butty (occupation) negotiated mining contracts and supplied the labor
by these presents see presents
C 
C of E (abbreviation) Church of England
c., ca. (abbreviation) about or around, from the Latin word "circa"
C.R. (abbreviation) church records or registry
c/o (abbreviation) child of
cachexy (medical) malnutrition
cacogastric (medical) upset stomach
cacospysy (medical) irregular pulse
cadastra a public record, survey or map for tax purposes showing ownership and value of land
cadastre a register kept for taxation purposes containing amount, value, and ownership of land, a poll (head) tax record of those qualifying to vote, a Domesday book
caddie (occupation) messenger or errand boy
caddy butcher (occupation) butcher that dealt in horse meat
cadger (occupation) beggar
caduceus (medical) subject to falling sickness or epilepsy
caelebs (Latin) single, unmarried (man)
cafender (occupation) carpenter
caffler (occupation) rag and bone collector
CAILS (abbreviation) Certified American Indian Lineage Specialist (BCG credential)
cainer (occupation) made walking sticks
caird (occupation) another term for a tinker
calciner (occupation) burnt bones to make powdered lime
calender (occupation) one who listed documents
calenderer/calenderman/calender worker (occupation) operated a machine which pressed using two large rollers (calender) used to press and finish fabrics or paper
calico printer (occupation) dyed and colored calico
CALS (abbreviation) Certified American Lineage Specialist (BCG credential)
calv. (abbreviation) calvary
cambist (occupation) banker
cambric maker (occupation) made a fine linen or cotton fabric called cambric
camerist (occupation) lady's maid
camister (occupation) minister of the cloth
camlet merchant (occupation) seller of camlet, cloth used to make cloaks and petticoats
camp fever (medical) an acute, infectious disease transmitted by lice and fleas. The epidemic or classic form is louse borne. The endemic or murine is flea borne. Also called typhus fever, malignant fever (in the 1850's), jail fever, hospital fever, ship fever, putrid fever, brain fever, bilious fever, spotted fever, petechial fever, camp fever
campaner bell maker
cancellarius (occupation) chancellor
cancer (medical) a malignant and invasive growth or tumor (especially tissue that covers a surface or lines a cavity), tending to recur after excision and to spread to other sites. In the nineteenth century, physicians noted that cancerous tumors tended to ulcerate, grew constantly, and progressed to a fatal end and that there was scarcely a tissue they would not invade. Also called malignant growth, carcinoma
cancrum otis (medical) a severe, destructive, eroding ulcer of the cheek and lip, rapidly proceeding to sloughing. In the 19th century it was seen in delicate, ill-fed, ill-tended children between the ages of two and five. The disease was the result of poor hygiene. It was often fatal. The disease could, in a few days, lead to gangrene of the lips, cheeks, tonsils, palate, tongue, and even half the face. Teeth would fall from their sockets. Synonyms canker, water canker, noma, gangrenous stomatitis, gangrenous ulceration of the mouth
candle maker/candler (occupation) who made and sold candles
candy man (occupation) traveling candy salesman and also slang name for a baliff
caner/chair bottomer (occupation) one who made the seats for chairs out of woven cane
canine madness (medical) rabies, hydrophobia
canker (medical) an ulcerous sore of the mouth and lips, not considered fatal today; herpes simplex Also called aphthous stomatitis. See cancrum otis
cannaller (occupation) canal boat worker
canon law the body of officially established rules governing the faith and practice of the members of a church. A part of these rules determine how relationships are defined.
canter (occupation) religious speaker who uses cant
canting caller (occupation) auctioneer
canvaser (occupation) one who made canvas
capellanus (Latin) chaplain
caper (occupation) cap maker
capillaire maker (occupation) one who made orange flavored syrup
capitalist (occupation) investor
capper/cap maker (occupation) made caps usually worn by the working class
capt. (abbreviation) captain (military rank)
captain (occupation) in charge of a ship or a group of soldiers and also term for an overseer
carcinoma (medical) see cancer
card nailer/nailora (occupation) maintained the teeth (nails) on the carding machine used for preparing wool and cotton for weaving
carder (occupation) cards wool
carditis (medical) inflammation of the heart wal
cardmaker (occupation) maker of cards (instruments for combing wool)
cardroomer (occupation) term for anyone who worked in the carding room of the mills
caregiven a person or a couple that provide parental-type tasks for someone else (usually a child) though this someone else is not the child of the person or couple either by birth or adoption.
caretaker a person or a couple that provide parental-type tasks for someone else (usually a child) though this someone else is not the child of the person or couple either by birth or adoption.
carman/charman/carter/carrier (occupation) one who drove a vehicle used to transport goods
carner granary keeper
carnifex (occupation) butcher
carpentarius (occupation) carpenter
cart wheeler (occupation) one who made cart wheels
carter (occupation) maker or driver carts
cartographer (occupation) map maker
cartomancer (occupation) fortune teller who used cards
cartwright (occupation) maker of carts and wagons
cascading pedigree chart a series of pedigree charts that span multiple generations for an individual and then for each person in the last generation of the first chart
cashmarie (occupation) one who sold fish usually at inland markets
caster/castora (occupation) made small bottles used for sprinkling salt, pepper, sugar etc
castrator (occupation) who castrated farm animals aka gelder
catagman (occupation) cottager
catalepsy (medical) similar to a catatonic state, catalepsy occurs when a subject freezes in almost any abnormal posture in which he or she is placed (waxy flexibility). In earlier centuries observers thought they were seized or in a trance
catarrh (medical) inflammation of a mucous membrane, especially of the air passages of the head and throat, with a free discharge. It is characterized by cough, thirst, lassitude, fever, watery eyes, and increased secretions of mucus from the air passages. Bronchial catarrh was bronchitis; suffocative catarrh was croup; urethral catarrh was gleet; vaginal catarrh was leukorrhea; epidemic catarrh was the same as influenza. Also called cold, coryza. Nose and throat discharge from cold or allergy; influenza
catchpole/catchpolla (occupation) sheriff's assistance or bailiff
catechista (occupation) teacher of religion
cattle jobber (occupation) buys and sells cattle
caulker (occupation) filler of cracks (in ships of windows)
cd (abbreviation) contrary to the Discipline (Quaker)
CDA (abbreviation) Catholic Daughters of America
ceiler (occupation) puts up the ceilings in buildings
cellarman (occupation) looked after the beer, wines and spirits in public houses or the warehouse
cem. (abbreviation) cemetery
cemetery a plot of land where two or more persons are buried or interred. The land could belong to a church or town or county or be part of a family farm.
cemetery record cemetery caretakers usually keep records of the names and death dates of those buried, as well as maps of the grave sites. They may also keep more detailed records, including the names of the deceased's relatives. In addition to these paper records is tombstones. Tombstones can provide information such as birth and death dates and the names of other family members.
cemmer (occupation) hand combed the yarn before weaving
census official enumeration, listing or counting of citizens
census index alphabetical listing of names enumerated in a census
census record a government sponsored official enumeration of the population in a particular area. In addition to counting the inhabitants of an area, the census generally collects other vital information, such as names, ages, citizenship status, and ethnic background. The united states government began collecting census data in 1790, and has done so every 10 years since that date. Selected states have also conducted their own censuses over the years.
cerebritis (medical) inflammation of cerebrum or lead poisoning
cert. (abbreviation) certificate
certificate see acknowledgement
certified copy a copy made and attested to by officers having charge of the original and authorized to give copies
CG (abbreviation) Certified Genealogist (BCG credential)
CGI (abbreviation) Certified Genealogical Instructor (BCG credential)
CGL (abbreviation) Certified Genealogical Lecturer (BCG credential)
CGRS (abbreviation) Certified Genealogical Record Searcher (BCG credential)
ch (abbreviation) child, children; church
chaff cutter (occupation) made chaff by cutting straw
chafferer (occupation) dealer in chaff
chain 100 links; 66 feet
chair bodger (occupation) traveling chair repairman
chaise maker (occupation) made carts from wicker
chaisemaker carriage maker
chaloner (occupation) dealer in shalloon (a material made in Chalons)
chamber master (occupation) shoemaker that worked from home as an outworker or selling direct
chamberlain (occupation) steward to either royalty or nobility, in charge of the household
chambermaid (occupation) female servant attending to bedrooms in houses or inns
chandler (occupation) maker or seller of candles; retailer of groceries; dealer or trader
chanty man (occupation) sailor that led the singing of shanties on board ship
chapeler (occupation) made and sold hats CHAPMAN/COPEMAN/PETTY CHAPMAN/CEAPMAN - dealer or peddler of goods usually itinerant going from village to village.
chapman merchant
charcoal burner (occupation) made charcoal usually in the woods where the trees were cut
chartmaster (occupation) middleman that negotiated mining contracts and suppiled the labour
charwoman (occupation) cleaning woman
chatelaine (occupation) mistress of a castle or house
chattel any personal property other than freehold land, including tangible goods (chattels personal) and leasehold interested (chattels real)
chattels personal property, both animate and inanimate (usually livestock)
chaunter (occupation) street entertainer who sung ballads
cheese factor/cheeseman/cheese monger (occupation) dealer in cheeses
chesterman guard
chiffonier (occupation) wigmaker
chilblain (medical) swelling of extremities caused by exposure to cold and then heat; extremities turn black and itch unbearably
child son or daughter of two couple. aka: kids
child bed fever (medical) infection following birth of a child; puerperal fever
child of tender years a child under the age of fourteen, such a child is generally not considered capable of making choices involving his own custody or guardianship
childbed (medical) childbirth
childbed linen warehouse keeper/dealer (occupation) hired bedlinen for childbirth as most children were born at home
childbirth (medical) a cause given for many female deaths of the century. Almost all babies were born in homes and usually were delivered by a family member or a midwife; thus infection and lack of medical skill were often the actual causes of death
children plural form of "child"
chill fever (medical) see ague
chimney sweep (occupation) chimney cleaner
chimney viewer (???) some type of civil duty assigned to men during the days of the Pilgrims
chin cough (medical) whooping cough
chinglor (occupation) rooftiler who used wooden shingles
chip (occupation) shipwright or carpenter
chippers labourer (occupation) assistant to a shipwright or ships carpenter
chiropodist (occupation) treats diseases of the feet and hands
chirugion apothecary or surgeon
chirugion or chirurgeon (occupation) apothecary or surgeon (usually learned by apprenticeship)
chlorosis (medical) a form a anemia in which there is a serious iron deficiency. A condition of pale or greenish skin, weakness, & dyspepsia. The iron in blood helps carry oxygen to all the tissues in the body. Without this iron, the body can't use the oxygen you breathe. Iron is an important part of hemoglobin, a compound in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body and returns carbon dioxide, a waste product from the rest of the body, to the lungs where it is breathed out. When someone is anemic, they don't have enough red blood cells. The most common cause of anemia is not having enough iron to form a normal amount of hemoglobin
chlw (abbreviation) Cotton Loom Hand Worker
chm (abbreviation) condemned his/her misconduct (Quaker)
cholecystitis (medical) inflammation of the gall bladder
cholelithiasis (medical) stones of the gall bladder
cholera (medical) an acute gastro-intestinal infection caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. It has a short incubation period of one to five days and causes watery diarrhea leading to severe dehydration and death if treatment is not provided rapidly. Vomiting occurs in most cases. However, less than ten percent of the infected suffer moderate or severe dehydration and most never develop the full symptoms. Cholera is spread through contaminated water and food. Cholera is spread by feces-contaminated water and food. Major epidemics struck the United States in the years 1832, 1849, and 1866. In the 1830s the causes were generally thought to be intemperance in the use of ardent spirits or drinking bad water; uncleanness, poor living or crowded and ill-ventilated dwellings; and too much fatigue. By 1850 cholera was thought to be caused by putrid animal poison and miasma or pestilential vapor rising from swamps and marshes, or that it entered the body through the lungs or was transmitted through the medium of clothing. It was still believed that it attacked the poor, the dissolute, the diseased, and the fearful, while the healthy, well-clad, well-fed, and fearless man escaped the ravages of cholera
cholera infantum (medical) a common, non-contagious diarrhea of young children, occurring in summer or autumn. In the nineteenth century it was considered indigenous to the United States; was prevalent during the hot weather in most of the towns of the middle and southern states, as well as many western areas; and was characterized by gastric pain, vomiting, purgation, fever, and prostration. It was common among the poor and in hand-fed babies. Death frequently occurred in three to five days. Also called summer complaint, weaning brash, water gripes, choleric fever of children, cholera morbus
cholera morbus (medical) characterized by nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, elevated temperature, etc. Could be appendiciti
choleric fever of children (medical) see cholera infantum
chorea (medical) any of several diseases of the nervous system, characterized by jerky movements that appear to be well coordinated but are performed involuntarily, chiefly of the face and extremities; convulsions, contortions and dancing. Also called Saint Vitus' dance
chowder (occupation) fish monger
chr. (abbreviation) christened; charter
christen to receive or initiate into the christian church by baptism; to name at baptism; to give a name to
christening see "baptism"
christian name see "given name"
chronic (medical) persisting over a long period of time as opposed to acute or sudden. This word was often the only one entered under "cause of death" in the mortality schedules. The actual disease meant by the term is open to speculation
chronologist (occupation) recorded official events of historical importance
chu. (abbreviation) church
church records church records are the formal documents that churches have kept about their congregations through the years. Churches normally record information about christenings, baptisms, marriages, and burials. The type of information to be found in the records are: the name(s) of the individual(s) involved, the date of the event, the location of the event, and the clergyman's name. Additional information may include: parents' names (father's full name and mother's maiden name), the names of witnesses to an event, and the individual's (or family's) place of residence.
cinder wench (occupation) female who collected the cinders from gas works and sold them door to door
circa (Latin) about, around, approximately; usually used before approximate dates.
cissor tailor
citation page or section reference of a source
civ. (abbreviation) civil
civil law the body of law dealing with the civil or private rights and remedies of the citizens of a country, commonwealth, county or city (which is also known as municipal law), as contrasted with criminal law. These rights have their origin in roman law. A part of these rules determine how relationships are defined.
civil war war between the States; war between North and South, 1861-1865
claker (occupation) magician/astrologer
clan a Celtic group, especially in the Scottish highlands, comprising a number of households whose heads claim descent from a common ancestor
clapman (occupation) town crier
clark (occupation) clerk
clarke cleric or scribe
classman (occupation) unemployed laborer
claviger (occupation) servant
clay carrier (occupation) assistant to the shot firer in the pits
clayman/cleyman (occupation) worked in the clay pits usually preparing the clay for making bricks and also one who coated the outside of buildings with clay to make them water proof
clericus (occupation) clerk
clerk (occupation) clergyman, cleric
clicker (occupation) worked in the shoe trade cutting out the uppers made the shoelace holes and one in charge of the final stage of layout before printing in printing industry
clipper/clipper on/clipper off (occupation) attached the coal carts to the wire or rope which was used to drag the carts to and from the coal face
clk. (abbreviation) clerk
clod hopper (occupation) plowman
clogger (occupation) maker of wooden shoes
close (generally) small area of enclosed land
cloth lapper (occupation) took the cloth from the carding machine readied it for the next process
cloth linter/cloth picker (occupation) removed unwanted threads and lint from the finished material
clothier/clothesman/clothman (occupation) who made or sold clothes
clouter/clower (occupation) made nails also another term for a shoemaker for the former term
CMU (abbreviation) Concrete Masonry Unit
Co. (abbreviation) county or company; chosen overseer (Quaker)
coachman/coach driver (occupation) drove any coach
coal backer (occupation) carried the sacks of coal from the coal barge to the coal wagons
coal burner (occupation) made charcoal
coal drawer (occupation) worked in the mines pushing or dragging the coal carts the the bottom of the pit
coal heaver (occupation) unloaded coal COALMAN/COAL MERCHANT/COAL HIGGLER - sold coal usually from a horse and cart, house to house.
coal runner (occupation) attended the coal carts underground
coal whipper (occupation) unloaded coal from ships using baskets attached to a simple form of crane
coalmeter (occupation) measured the coal
coast surveyor/waiter (occupation) customs officer who watched over the ofloading off goods on the coast
coat of arms shield with certain distinctive symbols or emblems painted on it in definite fixed colors identifying one person and his direct descendants
cobbler (occupation) shoe maker/repairer
cobleman (occupation) used a flat bottomed boat for fishing
cocus (keu) cook
cocus (occupation) cook
cod placer (occupation) put fire proof containers which held the pottery for firing into the kiln
codicil an addition or supplement to an existing will to change, explain, revoke or add provisions which overrule the provisions in the original will. It is not intended to replace an entire will. This new section must be signed by the writer of the will plus the witnesses.
cognati (Latin) maternal relations
cognomen (Latin) surname
cohen (occupation) priest
coiner (occupation) worked at the mint stamping out coins
col. (abbreviation) Colonel (military rank); colored (Negro, mulatto, fpc)
cold (medical) the common cold, see catarrh, see gleet, see coryz
cold plague (medical) ague which is characterized by chills
colic (medical) paroxysmal pain in the abdomen or bowels. Infantile colic is benign paroxysmal abdominal pain during the first three months of life. Colic rarely caused death; but in the nineteenth century a study reported that in cases of death, intussusception (the prolapse of one part of the intestine into the lumen of an immediately adjoining part) occasionally occurred. Renal colic can occur from disease in the kidney, gallstone colic from a stone in the bile duct
collar maker (occupation) made horse collars and one who made shirt collars
collateral persons (e.g. cousins, aunts/uncles, or nephews/nieces) who determine their relationship by some shared common ancestor of two or more generations ago
collateral ancestor an ancestor not in the direct line of ascent, but of the same ancestral family
collateral families the case when the ancestral families of a person intermarry
collateral line line of descent connecting persons who share a common ancestor, but are related through an aunt, uncle, cousin, nephew, etc.
collier (occupation) coalminer
colonus (occupation) Latin for farmer or husbandman
colour man (occupation) mixed the dyes in the textile trade and also assistant to a house painter
colourator/coloratora (occupation) worked with dyes
colporteur (occupation) peddler of books
columbarium a place where cremation ashes, or cremains, are stored or buried
com/comp (abbreviation) complained (Quaker)
comb maker (occupation) made combs either for the textile industry for combing wool etc. or the maker of hair combs
comber or combere (occupation) combs wool
combere woolcomber
comm. (abbreviation) communion, communicant, committee
commater (Latin) godmother
common ancestor a person that is an ancestor to two or more persons.
common law a system of laws originally in England based on court decisions and, doctrine implicit in those decisions, customs and usage rather than on codified written laws. A part of these rules determine how relationships are defined.
common law marriage a marriage without ceremony, civil or ecclesiastical, which may or may not be recognized as a legal marriage
common area of land over which certain householders had defined rights of usage - in the 1965 Common Land Registration Act, people who thought they still held common rights had to register them
communicant person receiving communion in a religious ceremony or service
community property property owned in common by the marital community of husband and wife as a kind of marital partnership. This only applies in places where Spanish property law prevails.
comparere (Latin) to appear
comparuit pro me (Latin) he/she appeared before me
compater (Latin) godfather
compos mentis of sound mind
compositor (occupation) set the type ready for printing
con (abbreviation) condemned (Quaker)
concepta est (Latin) she was pregnant
conceptus/a/um (Latin) conceived
conder/conner (occupation) gave steering instructions to the steersman and also gave directions to inshore fisherman of fish movements on shoals (usually from the top of cliffs or rocks)
coney catcher (occupation) rabbit catcher
conf. (abbreviation) confirmed
confectioner (occupation) candy maker
confederacy Confederate States of America; group of southern states that seceded from the United States between 1860 and 1865
confederate (adj.) Pertaining to the Confederacy
congestion (medical) an excessive or abnormal accumulation of blood or other fluid in a body part or blood vessel or an organ such as the lungs. In congestive fever the internal organs become gorged with blood. Malaria with diarrhea
congestive chills (medical) malaria
congestive fever (medical) another term for malaria, which is an acute and sometimes chronic infectious disease due to the presence of protozoan parasites within red blood cells. These parasites are discharged through salivary ducts when the mosquito bites a person. The causative organism is transmitted through bites of infected female mosquitoes of the genus anopheles. Also may be transmitted by blood transfusion. The incubation period averages twelve days to thirty days. Symptoms Various derangements of the digestive and nervous systems characterized by periodicity, chills, fever, and sweats in the order mentioned, having pathological manifestations of progressive anemia, splenic enlargement, and deposition in various organs of a melanin, resulting from biological activity of the parasite
coniuges (pl.) (Latin) married couple
coniunx (coniux) (Latin) husband or wife
conjoint will see joint will
conner (occupation) inspector or tester
connubial of or relating to the married state; conjugal
consanguinitas (Latin) blood relationship (if too close, an impediment to marriage)
consanguinity the degree or closeness of the relationship or kinship between persons who descend from a common ancestor. A father and son are related by lineal consanguinity, uncle and nephew by collateral sanguinity
consideration the price or motive in any contract
consobrinus/a (Latin) cousin on the mother's side
consort wife, husband, spouse, mate or companion
consumption (medical) an old term for pulmonary tuberculosis, also called marasmus in the mid-nineteenth century, Tuberculosis is an infectious disease that is usually caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Infection may result from inhalation of minute droplets of infected sputum which are given off by coughing, talking, or sneezing. Tuberculosis most often affects the lungs and the plurae, however, bones and kidneys may also be affected and sometimes the intestines, spleen and liver. In most cases the infection involves the top of the lungs, where, if the infected person is not immune, the bacteria grow freely with in the body and spread from the lungs to other parts of the body. Eventually the patient develops immunity and the bacteria stop spreading. They become surrounded by scar tissue and do not cause further damage. At a later stage, the protective layer of scar tissue may break down. It is well established that poor nutrition is one of the primary causes of TB in conjunction with unsanitary living conditions, loss of sleep, overwork and a sedentary lifestyle which all contribute to a lowered immune system as well. SYMPTOMS Initially resemble influenza, which may include a cough. Mild symptoms include fatigue and appetite and weight loss. More severe symptoms include fever, increased perspiration or severe night sweats, chronic fatigue, continued weight loss, chest pain, shortness of breath and infected urine. In advanced cases, coughing up blood is initially seen. A wasting away of the body. formerly applied especially to pulmonary tuberculosis. The disorder is now known to be an infectious disease caused by the bacterial species Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Also called marasmus (in the mid 19th century), phthisis
contagious pyrexia fever (medical) see flu
contrahere (Latin) to contract, to draw together
convey transfer property or the title to property
conveyance legal document by which the title to property is transferred or conveyed; warrant; patent; deed
conveyor grantor or seller
convulsions (medical) severe contortion of the body caused by violent, involuntary muscular contractions of the extremities, trunk, and head. See epilepsy
cooper (occupation) maker or repairer of vessels made of staves & hoops e.g. barrels, casks and tubs
cooper or cuper (occupation) maker of barrels
coparcener (Latin) co-heir
copeman/coper (occupation) dealer in goods and also dishonest dealer in horses in the latter case
copperbeater/copperbeter (occupation) coppersmith
coppersmith (occupation) worked with copper
coppice keeper (occupation) one who takes care of small wood
copulatio (Latin) marriage
copulatus/a (Latin) married man/woman
copulatus/a est (Latin) he/she was married
coracle maker (occupation) made coracles, a small round boat used for fishing
coram (Latin) in the presence of
cordewanarius/cordwainer/corvisor (occupation) shoemaker, originally any leather worker using Cordovan leather (leather from Cordova/Cordoba, Spain)
cordiner/cordwainer/corviner/corvisor (occupation) originally term used for one who worked with Cordovan (a special leather from Spain) but later term used for shoemaker
coroners inquest a legal inquiry, or inquest by a coroner, to determine the cause of a sudden or violent death
corp. (abbreviation) corporal (military rank)
corporeal property any property which can be seen and handled (see incorporeal property)
corpus (Latin) body
correspondence communications, usually via mail, that the user has with other persons, companies and/or government agencies. [compare with letters]
corruption (medical) an old term for an infection. Infection occurs when disease-causing microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, or fungi) establish a colony in the body. They begin to reproduce and damage the other cells of the body either directly or indirectly through the toxins released from the microorganisms. Their presence usually elicits an immune response from the body. Sometimes, these microorganisms spread throughout the body causing a systemic infection. Other times, the infection remains localized
coryza (medical) an old term for the common cold, is an inflammation of a mucous membranes in the air passages of the head and throat Bronchial catarrh was bronchitis. Suffocative catarrh was croup. Urethral catarrh was gleet. Vaginal catarrh was leukorrhea. Epidemic catarrh was the same as influenza
coster wife (occupation) female fruit seller
costermonger (occupation) peddler of fruits and vegetables
costiveness (medical) another word for constipation, a condition resulting from slow moving wastes through the colon. Causes include: lack of fiber, lack of fluids, side effect of iron supplements, pain killers, and antidepressants, and pregnancy
cotenancy one of four types of joint ownership of land: (1) community property (see), (2) tenancy by the entirety (obsolete nowadays in most places): joint ownership by a husband and wife with rights of survivorship (3) joint tenancy: similar to tenancy by the entirety but is not limited to husbands and wives and can be terminated by any party (4) tenancy in common: concurrent ownership with separate titles of undivided portions of the same property
cotiler (occupation) cutler
couper (occupation) one who buys and sells
couple a man and woman, usually married and usually have children or descendants
couranteer (occupation) journalist
court baron a medieval English manorial court that any lord could hold for and among his tenants, by the 13th century the steward of the manor, a lawyer, usually presided, the manorial court usually met every three weeks, and considered personal actions between its suitors, much of the business of the court was to administer the "custom of the manor" and to admit copyhold tenants, the proceedings were recorded on the court roll
court of probate a court that has jurisdiction over all probate matters for its district. This included: wills, estate settlements, administration grants and supervision. A probate court can also be called: circuit court, district court, superior court, county court, court of the ordinary, orphan's court, and surrogate court
court of the ordinary see probate court
cousin descendant of one's aunt or uncle. Direct cousins are of the same generation level and include first cousins, second cousins, third cousins, etc. whereas "removed" cousins are the children, grandchildren, etc. Of any of one's direct cousins and are of another generation. Cousins usually share only a portion of their ancestors through one common set of grandparents, great grandparents, etc., depending on the distance of the relationship between the cousins. Cousins can also be double cousins [see]. A collateral relative more distant than a brother or sister, but descended from a common ancestor. In earlier times it meant a kinsman, close relative, or friend.
cousin German first cousin
cousin-in-law spouse of an individual's cousin, or the cousin of one's spouse.
cowherd (occupation) cow tender
cowkeeper (occupation) one who kept one or more cows (a common source of livelihood in cities) when a cow was kept in the back yard of a house, providing milk which was sold at the front door or window, forerunner of the local dairy
coxwain (occupation) ship or boat helmsman
cramp Colic (medical) an old term for appendicitis, which is an inflammation of the appendix, a small intestinal pouch that extends from the cecum, the first part of the large intestine. The appendix has no known function, but it can become diseased. Infection appears for unknown reasons, usually with bacteria from the intestinal tract. The appendix may become obstructed from contents moving through intestinal tract, or by a constricting band of tissue. When infected, it becomes swollen, inflamed and filled with pus. Death can result from possible complication, including a rupturing of the appendix, abscess formation and peritonitis. This is more common in older persons. A common cause of death in earlier centuries
cratch maker (occupation) made cratches (mangers, cribs, or frames) for hay
crayman driver of a cart carrying heavy loads
crier (occupation) law court officer, auctioneer, town announcer
crimper (occupation) member of navy press gang
crocker (occupation) potter; maker of crocks
crofter (occupation) tenant of a small piece of land
crop sickness (medical) overextended stomach
cropper (occupation) tenant who is paid with a share of the crop
CROs (abbreviation) (British) county record offices
croup (medical) any obstructive condition of the larynx (voice box) or trachea (windpipe), characterized by a hoarse, barking cough and difficult breathing occurring chiefly in infants and children under six. The obstruction could be caused by allergy, a foreign body, infection, or new growth (tumor). In the early 19th century it was called cynanche trachealis. The crouping noise was similar to the sound emitted by a chicken affected with the pip, which in some parts of Scotland was called roup; hence, probably, the term croup; Laryngitis, diphtheria, or strep throat; a childhood illness. Also called hives, choak, stuffing, rising of the lights
crowner (occupation) coroner
CSA (abbreviation) Confederate States of America
ct (abbreviation) certificate
cuhreur (cunreur) (occupation) currier
cuhreur/cunreur (occupation) currier
cui impositum est nomen (Latin) to whom was given the name
culler (occupation) gelder of male animals
cum (Latin) with
cuper (occupation) cooper
curer (occupation) cures tobacco
curretter (occupation) broker
currier (occupation) tanner of leather; user of curry comb on horses
curtesy the life estate to which a man is entitled un the common law such as upon the death of his wife
curtilage the enclosed space of ground and buildings immediately surrounding a house; the land habitually used for family and domestic purposes
customary acre or Saxon acre, was half a statute (normal) acre, i.e. 2,420 sq yards
customary tenant one who has a right to occupy property continuously at a reasonable rent
customer (occupation) customs tax collector
cutler (occupation) one who makes or sells knives etc.
CVA (abbreviation) Confederate Veterans of America
CW (abbreviation) Civil War, War of the Rebellion, War between the States, 1861-1865
CWSS (abbreviation) Civil War Soldiers and Sailors
cyanosis (medical) dark skin color; blueness of skin caused by lack of oxygen in blood
cynache trachealis (medical) see hive
cynanche (medical) diseases of throat
cystitis (medical) inflammation of the bladder
D 
d-i-l (abbreviation) daughter in law
d. (abbreviation) died, daughter
d.s.p. (abbreviation) decessit sine prole (Latin), died without issue, childless
d.v.p. (abbreviation) decessit vitae patre (Latin), died in father's lifetime
d.y. (abbreviation) died young
d/o (abbreviation) daughter of
DAC (abbreviation) Daughters of American Colonists
daguerreotype artist (occupation) early name for a photographer (from the Daguerreotype method)
daguerreotype photographic process invented by L. J. M. Daguerre (1789-1857), a French painter, in which pictures were reproduced on silver plates by sensitizing them with iodine and then developing them with mercury
dairyman (occupation) worker or owner of a dairy farm or seller of dairy products
damster (occupation) builder of dams for logging purposes
danegeld a tax levied annually to maintain forces to oppose the Danes or to buy them off
danter (occupation) female overseer in the winding rooms of a silk mill
DAR (abbreviation) Daughters of the American Revolution
dareman dairyman
date a designation of when a specific event occurred. It's usual format includes the month, the day of month and the year (including the century). Several formats are used by genealogists. Some examples are given below. Note that: dd represents the numeric day of the month (01-31), mm represents the numeric month number (01-12), yyyy represents the year (including century) and mmm represents the name (usually abbreviated) of the month:
   •  dd mmm yyyy (genealogical semi-standard) BR />   •  dd-mm-yyyy (Europe standard)
   •  mm-dd-yyyy (United States standard)
   •  mmm dd yyyy
   •  yyyy-mm-dd (Japan standard)
dateler/day man/daytaleman (occupation) casual worker, usually employed by the day
dau. (abbreviation) daughter
daughter the female offspring or child of a man and an woman
daughter-in-law wife of one's son; also used to mean "step-daughter."
daunsel gentleman in waiting; groom; squire
DAV (abbreviation) Disabled American Veterans
day fever (medical) fever lasting one day; sweating sickness
DBE (abbreviation) Daughters of the British Empire
DCLI (abbreviation) Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry
de anno in annum (Latin) from year to year
de bonis non (Latin) "of the goods not administered", the distribution of property not completed by the first administrator
de facto (Latin) "in fact", something accomplished and done but not necessarily legally sanctioned
de jure (Latin) "by right", an action or deed lawfully and legitimately accomplished as opposed to de facto
de ritu sanctae matris ecclesiae (Latin) according to the rite of the holy mother church
de (Latin) from, out of, about, at, for
dea. (abbreviation) deacon
death certificate documentation of one's death
deathsman (occupation) executioner
debility (medical) abnormal bodily weakness or feebleness; decay of strength. This was a term descriptive of a patient's condition and of no help in making a diagnosis. Lack of movement or staying in bed. Also called asthenia
dec'd (abbreviation) deceased, dead
dec. (abbreviation) deceased, dead
deceased commonly written "the deceased," meaning someone who has died
decedent a deceased person
decem decimus (Latin) number 1
December (X-ber) (Latin) December
decessit (Latin) he/she died
decessit sine prole (Latin) died without issue, childless
decessit vitae patre (d.v.p.) (Latin) died in father's lifetime
decessus (Latin) death
decimer/dozener (occupation) elected by the householders in a street to act as their representative at the borough's Court Leet
declaration of intention a document filed in a court by an alien who intended to become a United States citizen. It could also be a declaration filed by a couple in a local court indicating their intention to marry.
decoyman (occupation) employed to decoy the wild fowl, animals etc into a trap or within shooting range
decree of distribution the final instrument issued in the administration of an estate. By it the heirs receive actual title to the property of the deceased. In some localities this was sometimes called "a division".
decrepitude (medical) feebleness due to old age
decretist (occupation) knowledgeable in decrees, decretals
deed any written, signed and usually sealed document containing some legal bond, contract, transfer, bargain, etc., concerning the ownership and title of property, especially of real estate conveyance
deed in trust see trust deed
deed of acquittance a deed by which additional acreage is transferred or sold to the original patent owner when and if it was found that, by survey, the patented land had more acreage than was originally thought
deed of agreement a deed concerned with the sale of personal property, deeds land to persons who agree to take care of the grantor for the remainder of his life
deed of conveyance document showing the transfer of ownership of property and perhaps the ownership of a land warrant
deed of decree document showing property transferred usually as a result of a petition or court action
deed of division see partition
deed of gift see gift deed
deed of partition see partition
deed of release a document executed by a lien holder once the lien, mortgage (deed of trust in many states), or other encumbrances have been paid. It returns the complete title to its owner. This is sometimes called a release but is usually quite different from the document ordinarily referred to as a release.
deed of separation an instrument through the medium of a third party acting as trustee, in which provision is made by a husband for separation from his wife, and for her separate maintenance
deed of trust see trust deed
deed poll a deed made by one person, and only one person is obligated to fulfill the terms of the deed
deemer/deemster/demster/dempster (occupation) judge, usually in the Channel Isles or Isle of Man
defunctus/a/um (Latin) dead
degree of consanguinity degree of blood relationship used to determine right of inheritance
degree of relationship not the same as relationship (see) it defines the distance of relationship between two persons who share a common ancestor. Example: an uncle nephew relationship has a degree of relationship of two because there are two generations from the common ancestor. Siblings would have a degree of relationship of one.
delirium tremens (medical) aka DTs; hallucination due to alcoholism
delver (occupation) dug ditches
demesne the 'home farm' of the Lord of the Manor (i.e. not let out to tenants)
dengue (medical) infectious fever endemic to East Africa
dentition (medical) cutting of teeth, see teething
denunciatio (Latin) publication of the marriage banns
dep. (abbreviation) deputy
depater (occupation) precious metal refiner
deplumation (medical) tumor of the eyelids which causes hair loss
deposition a testifying or testimony taken down in writing under oath of affirmation in reply to interrogatories, before a competent officer to replace to oral testimony of a witness
deputy (occupation) safety officer for the pit crew in the mining industry
derrickman (occupation) worked on an oil well handling the tubes and rods used in drilling
desc. (abbreviation) descendant
descendant a person who was born to some couple or any of the couple's ancestors. See also "lineal descendant"
descendant chart report or chart that shows a person and all of their descendants in a graphical format. As opposed to the Modified Register which is more of a narrative report
descent lineage; ancestry
desponsus/a (Latin) betrothed
Deus (Latin) God
devil (occupation) printer's errand boy
deviller (occupation) operated the devil, a machine that tore rags used in the textile industry
devise gift of real property via the last will and testament of the donor
devisee person receiving land or real property via the last will and testament of the donor
devisor person giving land or real property via a last will and testament
dexter (occupation) dyer
dey wife (occupation) female dairy worker
diary fever (medical) a fever that lasts one day
didymus/a (Latin) twin male/female
die (Latin) day (a form used after certain prepositions)
died sine prole [d.s.p.] (abbreviation) Latin term meaning "died without issue". The person to whom this refers to died without ever producing offspring.
dies (Latin) day
dikeman/dykeman (occupation) hedger or ditcher
diphtheria (medical) an acute infectious disease caused by toxigenic strains of the bacillus Corynebacterium diphtheriae, acquired by contact with an infected person or a carrier of the disease. It was usually confined to the upper respiratory tract (throat) and characterized by the formation of a tough membrane (false membrane) attached firmly to the underlying tissue that would bleed if forcibly removed. In the nineteenth century the disease was occasionally confused with scarlet fever and croup
dipper (occupation) who worked in the pottery trade and was responsible for the glazing of items
direct line line of decent traced through persons who are related to one another as a child and parent
directories plural for "directory
directory a book that comes in various types: city, telephone, county, regional, professional, religious, post office, street, ethnic, and school. The directories to be searched depends on the type of information to find about some individual. The information in a directory depends on the type of directory. For example, city directories normally list names and addresses. Some city directories contain information such as: children's names, marriage dates, death dates, and birth dates. Other types of directories may provide even more interesting information about your ancestors. For instance, a church directory may tell about an individual's involvement in church activities and professional directories may give insight into the person's professional life, whereas club directories may contain information about a person's involvement in social activities.
dis. (abbreviation) disowned, disowned for (Quaker)
discessit (Latin) he/she died
discharge see release
dish turner (occupation) who made wooden bowls or dishes
disher/dish thrower (occupation) who made bowls and dishes
dissenter one who did not belong to the established church, (particularly the Church of England)
distemper (medical) usually animal disease with malaise, discharge from nose and throat, anorexia
distiller (occupation) maker of alcoholic beverages
distribution the payment or division to those entitled to benefit from the decedent's estate after the payment of debts and liabilities. It follows the settlement and is sometimes called a final distribution.
distributor (occupation) parish official attached to the workhouse/poorhouse who looked after the secular needs of the poor
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
div. (abbreviation) divorce, division
diverticulitis (medical) this condition is characterized by small, pouch-like formations of the large intestine formed when the mucous membranes of the colon become inflamed. These pouches, or diverticula, often form with constipation and they cause symptoms when the waste matter becomes trapped in the pouches, which then become infected and inflamed. Poor diet and stress are major contributors to diverticulitis. Symptoms include cramping, tenderness on the left side of the abdomen which is relieved with a bowel movement or with passing gas, constipation, diarrhea, and nausea
diviner/dowser one who finds water under the ground
division see decree of distribution. See also partition.
divorce a married couple has their marriage ended through legal means
DLI (abbreviation) Durham Light Infantry
DMWVI (abbreviation) Descendants of Mexican War Veterans
DNB (abbreviation) Dictionary of National Biography
do. (abbreviation) ditto, the same as the previous entry
dock fever (medical) yellow fever
dock master (occupation) in charge of a dockyard
docker (occupation) stevedor; dock worker who loads and unloads cargo
docker/dock walloper (occupation) dock worker, longshoreman
dog leech (occupation) veterinarian
dog-whipper (occupation) one who drove dogs away in a village
DOK (abbreviation) Daughters Of the King
Domesday Book sometimes called just Domesday, it is a written record of a survey of England ordered by William the Conqueror in 1066. William was an attempting to register the landed wealth of the country in a systematic fashion and to determine the revenues due him. The survey was executed by groups of officers called "legati" who visited each county and conducted a public inquiry. The set of questions that these officers asked of the town and county representatives constituted the "inquisitio eliensis"; the answers supplied the information from which the Domesday Book was compiled. Domesday is a corruption of doomsday (the day of the final judgment); the work was so named because its judgments in terms of levies and assessments were irrevocable. The original manuscript was made in two volumes. The first and larger one, sometimes called the Great Domesday, included information on all England, with the exception of three eastern counties (Essex, Suffolk, and Norfolk), several northern counties, London, and some other towns. The surveys of the three eastern counties made up the second volume, which was known as the Little Domesday. These documents were frequently used in the medieval law courts, and in their published form they are occasionally used today in cases involving questions of topography or genealogy.
domesday book or doomesday book ancient record of the Grand or Great Inquest or Survey of lands in England by the order of William the Conqueror, giving a census-like description of the realm, with the names of the proprietors and the nature, extent, value, liabilities, etc. of their properties
domesman (occupation) judge
domestic (occupation) household servant
domicile a person's permanent place of residence or home
dominus (Latin) lord
domus (Latin) home
donee a person to whom lands are given in tail (see)
donkey boy/donkey man (occupation) driver of a carriage for passengers
donor the person who conveys lands or tenements to another in tail (see)
door keeper (occupation) guard, janitor, or porter
dos (Latin) dowry
double ancestor an ancestor who appears on two different branches of one's family tree. This occurs when two of the ancestor's descendants marry each other and produce offspring.
double cousins the offspring produced by two couples when siblings of one family marry siblings of another family. The offspring of both couples inherit from the same gene pool as if they were siblings. The offspring of both couples also share the same ancestors.
double date a double date appears on some documents as a result of two changes introduced by the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar, introduced by pope Gregory XIII in 1582 to resolve the error caused by the Julian calendar in use up to that time. Scientists resolved that a year was slightly longer than the 365 1/4 specified by the Julian calendar, which resulted in the loss of 10 days. The new calendar also changed the first day of the year from March 25th on the Julian calendar to January 1st. Different countries adopted the new calendar at different times and the practice of providing a double date was common. The British Commonwealth and the United States adopted the new calendar in 1752. By this time, the calendar was behind by 11 days. So, the day following September 2, 1752 was decreed to be September 14, 1752.
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 2
doubler (occupation) who operated a machine used to twist together strands of fibre (cotton, wool etc)
dowager widow holding property or a title received from her deceased husband; title given in England to widows of princes, dukes, earls, and other noblemen
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 (laws regulating dower rights are dependant upon the year and place: under common law it was 1/3). Also see assignment of dower
dower release see release of dower
dower right the right of a wife to one-third of the land which her husband had at the time of their marriage or acquired during the marriage, after his death
dowery or dowry any land, money, goods, or personal property brought by a bride to her husband in marriage
dowry [also dowery] land, money, goods, or personal property brought by a bride to her husband in marriage
dowser finder of water (or other items) using dowsing rods or witching stick
dowser/diviner (occupation) water finder
dp (abbreviation) dropped plain dress (Quaker)
dr (abbreviation) drinking to excess (Quaker)
dragman (occupation) fisher man who fished by dragging a net along the bottom of the water
dragoman (occupation) who acted as interpreter or guide in Turkish or Arabic
dragoon (occupation) mounted infantryman
dragsman (occupation) driver of a small stage coach or carriage used for public transport or private hire
drainer (occupation) who made drains
draper (occupation) dealer in cloth and dry goods
drawboy (occupation) weavers assistant in the shawl making mills , they sat atop the looms and lifted the heavy warps.
drayman (occupation) driver of the dray: a long strong cart without fixed sides for carrying heavy loads (later a brewery delivery team e.g. the Budweiser Clydesdales)
dredgerman (occupation) one who in a boat to collect the bits and pieces that had fallen overboard from other vessels which then were sold (London occupation)
dresser (occupation) surgeon's assistant in a hospital
dressing machine maker (occupation) who made sewing machines
drift makera (occupation) who made drift nets, used in the fishing industry
dripping man (occupation) dealer in dripping (the fat collected during the cooking of meats)
driver (occupation) slave overseer
dropsy (medical) a contraction for hydropsy. Also called adema or edema. It is the presence of abnormally large amounts of fluid in intercellular tissue spaces or body cavities. Abdominal dropsy is ascites; brain dropsy is hydrocephalus; and chest dropsy is hydrothorax. Cardiac dropsy is a symptom of disease of the heart and arises from obstruction to the current of blood through the heart, lungs, or liver. Anasarca is general fluid accumulation throughout the body. Edema (swelling), often caused by kidney or heart disease
dropsy of the brain (medical) encephalitis
drover (occupation) driver of animals to market; dealer in cattle
drpd (abbreviation) dropped (Quaker)
DRT (abbreviation) Daughters of the Republic of Texas
drugger (occupation) pharmacist
drummer (occupation) traveling salesman
dry bellyache (medical) lead poisoning
dry salter (occupation) dealer in pickles, dried meats, and sauces or a dealer in dyes and colors used in the dying trade
dry stone waller (dry stane dyker in scottish) (occupation) built stone walls usually using the stones removed from the fields as building materials. The art was in not using any cement or mortar and generally not cutting the stone, but being able to see where variuos stones would fit together
dt (abbreviation) date, daughter, daughters
dtd (abbreviation) dated
dubbere (occupation) cloth dubber e.g. one who raises the nap of cloth
dudder probably a maker of coarse cloaks
duffer (occupation) peddler
duo,duae,duo secundus/a/um (Latin) number
duodecim duodecimus (Latin) number 1
duodeviginti duodevice(n)simus (Latin) number 1
DUP (abbreviation) Daughters of Utah Pioneers
dustman/dustbin man (occupation) collected domestic refuse
DVA (abbreviation) Department of Veterans Affairs
dwelling house the house where a person lives including the curtilage (see)
dyer (occupation) one who dyes cloth
dyker (occupation) Scottish term for a stonemason
dyscrasy (medical) an abnormal body condition
dysentery (medical) a term given to a number of disorders marked by inflammation of the intestines (especially of the colon) and attended by pain in the abdomen, by tenesmus (straining to defecate without the ability to do so), and by frequent stools containing blood and mucus. The causative agent may be chemical irritants, bacteria, protozoa, or parasitic worms. There are two specific varieties: (1) amebic dysentery caused by the protozoan Entamoeba histolytica; (2) bacillary dysentery caused by bacteria of the genus Shigella. Dysentery was one of the most severe scourges of armies in the nineteenth century. The several forms of dysentery and diarrhea accounted for more than one-fourth of all the cases of disease reported during the first two years of the Civil War. Also called flux, bloody flux, contagious pyrexia (fever), frequent griping stools
dysorexy (medical) reduced appetite
dyspepsia or dysepsia (medical) acid indigestion and heartburn. Heart attack symptoms; bad digestion
dysshere probably a ditcher, or in some cases a disher
dysury (medical) difficulty in urination
E 
e, ex (Latin) from
ealdorman (occupation) n official of the shire courts who acted as the King's deputy taking payment from the profits of the court
earer (occupation) plowwman
earth stopper (occupation) one who plugs up animal holes
easement a non-possessory right which a real property owner has to the use of adjacent land such as water access or passage over a land
easement appurtenant an easement proper or one which passes with the dominant estate to all subsequent grantees and is inheritable
easement in gross a personal privilege to use another's land, which is not assignable and cannot be inherited
easement of necessity an easement necessary for the continued use of land when a large tract has been subdivided
ebonite turner (occupation) one who worked with ebonite or vulcanite, making combs or ornaments etc
ecclesia (Latin) church
eclampsy or eclampsie (medical) a form of toxemia (toxins, or poisons, in the blood) or seizures that are not attributed to another cause during pregnancy, characterized by albuminuria (protein in the urine), by hypertension (high blood pressure), and by convulsions. In the nineteenth century, the term was used for any form of convulsion
ecstasy (medical) a form of catalepsy characterized by loss of reason
edema (medical) nephrosis; swelling of tissues. see Dropsy
edema of lungs (medical) congestive heart failure, a form of dropsy
eel thing (medical) erysipelas
effects personal property
effluvia (medical) exhalations or emanations, applied especially to those of noxious character. In the mid-nineteenth century, they were called "vapours" and distinguished into the contagious effluvia, such as rubeolar (measles); marsh effluvia, such as miasmata; and those arising from animals or vegetables, such as odors
egg factor/eggler (occupation) egg or poultry dealer
ego (Latin) I
eiusdem (Latin) the same
elephantiasis (medical) gross enlargement of the body, especially the limbs, due to lymphatic obstruction by a nematode parasite transmitted by mosquitoes; a form of leprosy
elephants teeth dealer (occupation) who dealt in ivory ornaments etc
ellerman/elliman (occupation) who sold oil used for lamps and known as an oilman
elymaker (occupation) oilmaker
emancipated freed from slavery; freed from parents' control; of legal age
embosser (occupation) who moulded or carved designs that were raised above the surface of the material
emigrant a person leaving a country and moving (permanently) to another
emigrate to move from one country, or one section of a country, to settle into another
emigration the process of leaving one's home country to live in another country
emphysema, pulmonary (medical) a chronic, irreversible disease of the lungs, characterized by abnormal enlargement of air spaces in the lungs and accompanied by destruction of the tissue lining the walls of the air sacs. By 1900 the condition was recognized as a chronic disease of the lungs associated with marked dyspnea (shortness of breath), hacking cough, defective aeration (oxygenation) of the blood, cyanosis (blue color of facial skin), and a full and rounded or "barrel-shaped" chest. This disease is now most commonly associated with tobacco smoking
empresario (occupation) land broker, settlement scheme promoter, showman
encephalitis (medical) swelling of brain; aka sleeping sickness
enclosure (see Inclosure)
end (abbreviation) endorsed (Quaker)
endholdernn (occupation) inn keeper
endowment assigning or setting off the widow's dower
enfeoff to grant property in fee simple; as in a deed the seller "does grant, bargain, sell, alien, enfeoff, release, and confirm unto [the buyer]" certain property
engaged/engagement to betroth, a contract to give in marriage
engine tenter (occupation) who operated the machine which stretched the cloth whilst drying in a woolllen mill
engineman (occupation) employed at a mine to be in charge of the machinery used to crush the ore
ensign (occupation) commissioned officer in the navy
entail to restrict the inheritance of land to a specific group of heirs, such as an individual's sons
enteric fever (medical) also called typhoid fever, an infectious, often-fatal disease, usually occurring in the summer months--characterized by intestinal inflammation and ulceration. The name came from the disease's similarity to typhus. Also called typhoid fever
enteritis (medical) inflations of the bowels
enterocolitis (medical) inflammation of the intestines
enumeration listing or counting of persons, such as a census
enumerator (occupation) a census taker
eodem die (Latin) on the same day
epilepsy (medical) a disorder of the nervous system characterized by seizures, of which there are several types. Seizures are caused by electrical disturbances of nerve cells in one area of the brain. seventy five percent of seizures begin in childhood. The cause of epilepsy is often unknown. Some causes may include infection, meningitis, rickets, rabies, tetanus, malnutrition, hypoglycemia, sports injuries, head injuries, fevers, and allergies. A disorder of the nervous system, characterized either by mild, episodic loss of attention or sleepiness (petittnal) or by severe convulsions with loss of consciousness. Also called a grand mal seizure, falling sickness, fits
epitaph an inscription on or at a tomb or grave in memory of the one buried there
epitaxis (medical) nose bleed
equerry (occupation) officer of the royal household usually responsible for the royal horses
erat (Latin) he/she/it was
eremite (occupation) hermit
erite (occupation) heretic
erysipelas (medical) an acute, febrile, infectious disease, caused by a specific group of streptococcus bacterium and characterized by a diffusely spreading, deep-red inflammation of the skin or mucous membranes causing a rash with a well-defined margin; Contagious skin disease, due to infection of the blood with vesicular bulbous lesions. This condition causes systemic (whole body) symptoms including fever, chills, nausea, and vomiting. Also called Rose, Saint Anthony's Fire
escheat the reversion of property to the state when there are no qualified heirs
esquire (occupation) one who attended a knight, which later became a title for a man of standing in society
est (Latin) he/she/it is
est. (abbreviation) estate
estafette (occupation) mounted courier
estate assets and liabilities of a decedent, including land, personal belongings and debts
estate in tail see tail
et (Latin) and
et al (Latin) abbreviation for "et alii" meaning "and others"
et ux (Latin) for "and wife"
et uxor and his wife. Sometimes written simply Et Ux
etiam (Latin) also
event something that has occurred in the life of a given person. This can be such things as: birth, death, marriage, burial, jobs, photograph, censuses, taxes, land transaction, etc.
evidence any kind of proof, such as testimony, documents, records, certificates, material objects, etc.
ewe herd (occupation) shepherd
ex facto (Latin) from or by the deed
ex officio (Latin) by virtue of office
ex parte (Latin) judicial proceeding or judgment brought on behalf of one party without notifying the other party
ex post facto (Latin) after the act
ex- means "former". This usually applies when referring to the relationship between spouses that ended their marriage.
exchequer (occupation) revenue collector
exciseman (occupation) excise tax collector
exec. (abbreviation) executor, executrix
execution when a document has been sealed and delivered to the appropriate court, usually by the executor, executrix or administrator
executor individual (usually a male) appointed by a testator to carry out the terms, instructions and provisions of the will and to dispose of the property according to the testamentary provisions after the death of the testator
executress see executrix
executrix female appointed by a testator to carry out the directions and requests in his or her will, and to dispose of the property according to the testamentary provisions after the death writter of the will
exheres (Latin) disinherited
exox. (abbreviation) executor, executrix
expatriate one deported from one's native land, or one voluntarily absent from his homeland
expede to sign, seal, and deliver a document
expressman (occupation) person employed in the express business
extant in existence or not destroyed
extravasted blood (medical) rupture of a blood vessel
eyer (occupation) one who made eyes in needles used for sewing. Sometimes called a Holer
F 
F (abbreviation) female
f-i-l (abbreviation) father in law
FAAO (abbreviation) Fellow of the American Academy of Osteopathy
faber (occupation) smith
fabricator (occupation) maker
FACC (abbreviation) Fellow of the American College of Cardiology
FACCE (abbreviation) Fellow, American College of Childbirth Educators
FACD (abbreviation) Fellow of the American College of Dentists
FACE (abbreviation) Fellow, American College of Endocrinology
FACEP (abbreviation) Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians
FACFAS (abbreviation) Fellowship of American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons
FACP (abbreviation) Fellow of the American College of Physicians
FACS (abbreviation) Fellow American College of Surgeons
factis tribus denunciationibus (Latin) after three publications of the banns, three banns having been published
factor (occupation) an agent employed by merchants to transact business of buying and selling and a Scottish term for the steward of an estate responsible for collection of land rents
factor agent (occupation) merchant for commission (or factor); attorney (not in the modern US sense); one who transacts business for another (usually absent); Scottish steward or bailiff of an estate
faculty a person who did not own land and as a professional, and thus was taxed on income - faculty included lawyers, physicians, dentists, carpenters, merchants, bankers, etc.
fagetter (occupation) made up faggots into bundles, seller of firewood
failure of issue in a will or deed, 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, in common law, the condition continues with the children of the first taker
faker (occupation) photographic assistant who added color to photographs by hand before color film was available
falconer (occupation) breeds, trains, or hunts with hawks
falkner (occupation) keeper/trainer of falcons
falling Sickness (medical) an old term used for epilepsy. Epilepsy is characterized by seizures, of which there are several types. Seizures are caused by electrical disturbances of nerve cells in one area of the brain. seventy five percent of seizures begin in childhood. The cause of epilepsy is often unknown. Some causes may include infection, meningitis, rickets, rabies, tetanus, malnutrition, hypoglycemia, sports injuries, head injuries, fevers, and allergies. A disorder of the nervous system, characterized either by mild, episodic loss of attention or sleepiness (petittnal) or by severe convulsions with loss of consciousness. Also called a grand mal seizure, falling sickness, fits
FAM (abbreviation) Free and Accepted Masons
fam. (abbreviation) family
family persons related by blood and/or marriage. Several types exist: immediate or nuclear - parents and their children, and, extended - also includes other relatives such as grandparents, in-laws, aunts/uncles, etc.
family group two or more families who share a common ancestor
family group sheet a form which presents genealogical information about a nuclear family -- a husband, a wife, and their children. A family group sheet usually includes birth dates and places, death dates and places, and marriage dates and places.
family histories/genealogies books which detail the basic genealogical facts about one or more generations of a particular family
Family History Center (FHC) a smaller branch of the FHL, found nationwide
family history center (fhc) located in many towns throughout the United States and many cities throughout the world, these are local research centers where one may access the information of FHL through the use of microfilm, microfiche and computers
Family History Library (FHL) holds over 2 million rolls of microfilmed records, 400,000 microfiche, and 300,000 books. It also houses an extensive collection of written manuscripts including family histories, local histories, indexes, periodicals, and aids to help in genealogical research. It is located in Salt Lake City, Utah
family history library (fhl) of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) located in Salt Lake City has the world's largest collection of genealogical information
family pedigrees in general, family pedigrees refer to family group sheets that are linked in a computer system
family search cD-ROM available at Family History Center produced by the Mormon church. Contains the International Genealogical Index, Ancestral File, SSDI, Temple Ready and Military Death Index
family tree a genealogical diagram showing how persons related by blood and/or marriage
fancy man (occupation) pimp
fancy woman (occupation) prostitute
fancy-pearl worker (occupation) worked in mother-of-pearl making buttons or fancy goods
fanner (occupation) grain winnower
fanwright (occupation) maker and repairer of fans or winnowing baskets
farandman (occupation) traveling merchant
farmer (occupation) often descendant of the gentry and, ultimately, noble classes; usually having servants and farm workers, e.g., husbandmen, groomsmen, etc
farrier (occupation) horse doctor, one in charge of horses; blacksmith; shoddier of horses
farrier/ferrour (occupation) horse shoer or blacksmith
FAS (abbreviation) Fellow of the Antiquarian Society
FASG (abbreviation) Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists
fast estate see realty
fat. (abbreviation) father
father a man who has bore at least one child
father-in-law father of one's spouse
fatty liver (medical) another term for cirrhosis of the liver. Although cirrhosis is normally associated with alcohol abuse, the term cirrhosis refers to the replacement of liver cells by non-functioning, fibrous tissues and shrinking of the liver, all of which occur when liver cells cease functioning. Malnutrition, prolonged obstruction of the flow of bile, congestive heart failure and syphilis may also lead to cirrhosis
fawkner (occupation) trainer of falcons
FBG (abbreviation) Friends burial ground
fear-nothing maker (occupation) weaver of special kind of thick woollen cloth known as fear-nought, used for protective clothing and lining portholes, walls, and doors of powder magazines on board ships.
feather beater/feather driver (occupation) cleanser of feathers
feather-dresser (occupation) who cleaned and prepared feathers for sale
feather-wife (occupation) woman who prepared feathers for use
featherman (occupation) dealer in feathers and plumes
Februarius (Latin) February
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 inheritance having no limitations or conditions in its use; absolute ownership of land to sell or devise without restriction
fee tail an estate of inheritance limited to lineal descendant heirs of a person to whom it was granted. Also see tail.
feeder (occupation) herdsman
feet of fines documents, first kept during the reign of Richard I, that had the same function as deeds in transferring land, the bottom part of an indenture or deed kept by the recording office
fell monger one who removes hair or wool from hides in preparation for leather making
feller (occupation) woodcutter
felter (occupation) worker in the hatting industry
feme female, woman, or wife
feme covert (Latin) married woman
feme sole unmarried woman or a married woman with property independent of her husband
femina (Latin) woman
fence viewer (???) some type of civil duty assigned to men during the days of the Pilgrims
feodary one who holds land of an overlord on condition of homage
feroner (occupation) ironmonger
ferreter (occupation) dealer in or manufacturer of ferret, ie. silk tape
ferur/ferator (occupation) farrier or blacksmith
fettler (occupation) cleaned the machinery in woollen mills, removing accumulated fibres, grease, etc., sharpened the fustian cutters knives or needlemaker who filed the needle to a point
feudal system the soverign owns all of the land and grants rights to others as tenants in chief who in turn grant rights to others to work the land
fever (occupation) blacksmith
fever and agae (medical) see ague
fewster (occupation) maker of saddletrees
fewterer (occupation) keeper of hounds, for hunting or coursing
FFHS (abbreviation) Federation of Family History Societies
FGS (abbreviation) Family Group Sheet
FHC (abbreviation) Family History Center, branch of the FHL
FHL (abbreviation) Family History Library, genealogy library in Salt Lake City, Utah, maintained by LDS church
fiduciary a person who has taken upon himself a position of trust or confidence on behalf of another person such as an attorney, a guardian or a trustee
fief something over which one has rights or executes control
FIGRS (abbreviation) Fellow of the Irish Genealogical Research Society
file cutter (occupation) a maker of files, involved the cutting of grooves on the file surface
filia (Latin) daughter
filia fratris/sororis (Latin) niece, daughter of brother/sister
filia fratris (Latin) brother's daughter (niece)
filia sororis (Latin) sister's daughter (niece)
filibuster (occupation) American mercenaries in South America, gun runners
filii nobelium (Latin) sons of nobles
filiola (Latin) little daughter
filiolus (Latin) little son
filius (Latin) son
filius fratris/sororis (Latin) nephew, son of brother/sister
filius fratris (Latin) brother's son, nephew
filius nullius (Latin) an illegitimate person
filius populi (Latin) "a son of the people", a bastard
filius sororis (Latin) sister's son, nephew
filler (occupation) who filled bobbins in mills
final distribution see distribution
final settlement see settlement
fine drawer (occupation) employed in tailoring to repair tears in the cloth (invisible mending)
fine fee paid when conveying property - recorded in 'Fines Books', these form a means of tracing the changing ownership of houses and land over the years
finisher (occupation) operated machine giving final touches to a manufactured article in various trades
firebeater (occupation) tended the boilers that powered the machinery in a cotton mill
fireman (occupation) inspected for, and removed explosive gasses underground in mining or stoked the boilers on ships and locomotives
first hand (occupation) silk weaver who had his own loom (an outworker)
first name usually a single name, a portion of one's given name, that a person is normally referred to as. This can also be the person's nickname. Examples: John for John Henry Smith, or, Andy for Matthew Andrew Jones, or, Speedy for Joseph Samuel Williams. Abbreviated sometimes as 1N
fiscere (occupation) fisherman
fish fag (occupation) female fish monger
fisher (fishdryver) (occupation) victualler
fisher/fishdryver (occupation) victualler
fits (medical) sudden attack or seizure of muscle activity; see epilepsy
fitter (occupation) coal broker
fixture a chattel (see) attached to the land and usually becoming a part of the realty (see). Example: a house is an appurtenance (see) but the cupboards built into the house are fixtures
flasher (occupation) specialist process worker in the glass industry
flatman/floatman (occupation) navigated a flat, a broad flat-bottomed boat used for transport, especially in shallow waters
flauner (occupation) confectioner
flax dresser one who works with flax fibers
flaxdresser (occupation) prepared flax prior to spinning
fleshewer (occupation) butcher
fleshmonger/flesher (occupation) butcher or one who worked in a tannery
fletcher (occupation) maker of bows and arrows; arrowmaker
floater (occupation) vagrant or one who regulated the year-round workings of the watermeadows in winter by adjusting the hatches on the channels to flood or float the meadows with a shallow covering of water to protect them from frost and encourage the early growth of new grass mainly for early feed for sheep and other animals. The sheep were pastured on the new grass by day and driven up on to the downs to be folded by night to provide the manure needed for the coming season's grain crops
flusherman (occupation) who cleaned out water mains
flux (medical) a term given to a number of disorders marked by inflammation of the intestines (especially of the colon). An excessive flow or discharge of fluid like hemorrhage or diarrhea. There are two specific varieties: amebic dysentery and bacillary dysentery. Also called bloody flux, contagious pyrexia (fever), frequent griping stools
flux of humour (medical) circulation
flycoachman (occupation) driver of one-horse carriage hired by the day
flying stationer (occupation) street broadsheet seller
flyman (occupation) driver of a light vehicle hired out for carriage of passenger or Theatre stage hand
fmc (abbreviation) free man of color
FNGS (abbreviation) Fellow of the National Genealogical Society
FNHC (abbreviation) Founders of the New Haven Colony
fo (abbreviation) folio
FoE (abbreviation) Fraternal Order of Eagles
fogger (occupation) peddler or low class lawyer
foister/foisterer (occupation) joiner
folio a leaf, in old records it was customary to number leaves rather than pages, thus a folio would usually be both sides of a leaf, or two pages.
foolscap writing paper varying from 12 x 15 inches to 13 1/2 x 17 inches
foot maiden (occupation) female servant
foot man (occupation) servant who ran errands
foot pad (occupation) robber
foot straightener (occupation) one who assembled watch and clock dials in watchmaking
foot-post (occupation) letter carrier or messenger who travelled on foot
FOP (abbreviation) Fraternal Order of Police (USA)
forbid the banns public or formal objection to a marriage
forebearer an ancestor
forefather an ancestor
forestarius (occupation) forester
forester (occupation) game warden or forest ranger
forgeman (occupation) blacksmith or assistant (coachsmith 18th century Derbyshire)
forger (occupation) blacksmith, worker at a forge
form (abbreviation) formerly
fortnight two weeks
fossetmaker (occupation) who made faucets for ale-casks, etc
foster one who provides parental care to another though is not related by either blood or legal ties
fower (occupation) street cleaner, sweeper
fowler/fogler/fugler (occupation) keeper or catcher of birds (also see VOWLER)
fpc (abbreviation) free person of color, neither Caucasian nor enslaved
FR (abbreviation) family register
fr (abbreviation) from
FRACP (abbreviation) Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians
FRAM (abbreviation) Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music
framar (occupation) farmer
frame spinner (occupation) worker on a loom
framer (occupation) one who frames houses
frameworker knitter (occupation) operator of machine which made hosiery
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
franklin see STATE OF FRANKLIN
frater (Latin) brother
frater ex materno latere (Latin) half-brother common mother
frater ex paterno latere (Latin) half-brother common father
frater germanus (Latin) twin brother
frater naturalis (Latin) brother
fraternity group of men (or women) sharing a common purpose or interest
FRC (abbreviation) the Family Records Center
FRCP (abbreviation) Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians
FRCPE (abbreviation) Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
FRCSI (abbreviation) Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland
Frds (abbreviation) Friends (Quaker)
free man of color black man who was free from birth or later in life
free person of color (FPC) a person who was neither (100%) Caucasian nor a slave
freedman (occupation) male released from slavery; emancipated person
freehold an estate in fee simple, in fee tail, or for life
freehold estate an estate in land held for uncertain duration and for free tenure. Four types: fee simple absolute, defeasable fee, fee tail, and, life estate.
freeholder a person who owns property rather than rents it, one in possession of a freehold
freeman a person who is free; one who is not in bondage of any kind; one who has full political rights and privileges; male of legal age with the right to vote, own land and practice a trade
freemason (occupation) stonecutter
French Pox (medical) various forms of venereal disease; syphilis
frequent griping stools (medical) see flu
frereman servant of the Friars
freser (occupation) maker of frieze, a rough plaster
freshwater man (occupation) sailed boat on fresh water only or in the coastal trade
friend member of the Religious Society of Friends; a Quaker
fripperer (occupation) buyer and seller of old clothes
friseur (occupation) hair dresser
frm. (abbreviation) freeman
frobisher/furbisher (occupation) remover of rust, a polisher of metal, eg. armour
fruiterer (occupation) fruit seller
fruitestere (occupation) female fruit seller
FSG (abbreviation) Fellow of the Society of Genealogists
FTM (abbreviation) Family Tree maker (software)
FTW (abbreviation) Family Tree Maker for Windows (software)
fuerunt (Latin) they were
FUGA (abbreviation) Fellow of the Utah Genealogical Association
fuit (Latin) he/she/it was
fulker (occupation) pawnbroker
full age age of majority; legal age; adult (legal age varied according to place)
full name the given name plus the surname of a person. Sometimes it can also include: nickname, maiden name, titles (e.g. Dr., prof., etc.)
fuller (occupation) fuller of cloth; shrinker and thickener of woolen cloth by washing, heating and pressing; a felter; cleaner and thickener of cloth; one who trampled cloth, see also walker
funambulist (occupation) tightrope walker
furber/furbour (occupation) furbisher of armor
furbisher (occupation) armor polisher
furlong 1,000 links; 660 fee
furner (occupation) baker
furrier (occupation) seller or maker of furs
furuncle (medical) an abscess of skin or painful inflammation of the skin or a hair follicle usually caused by a staphylococcal infection. Also called a boil
fustian weaver (occupation) maker of corduroy
fwc (abbreviation) free woman of color
fwf (abbreviation) free white female
fwm (abbreviation) free white male
G 
G.R. (abbreviation) gravestone registration or gravestone records
g.s. (abbreviation) gravestone
gabeler (occupation) tax collector
gaffer (occupation) foreman of a work crew
gaffman (occupation) a bailiff
gager (occupation) tax collector of liquor taxes
galvaniser (occupation) iron worker who handled process of coating metal with zinc, to inhibit formation of rust
gamester (occupation) gambler or prostitute
ganger (occupation) overseer or foreman from 1850 onwards
gangrene (medical) the death of tissue leading to blackness of the skin over the affected area. There are two types of gangrene dry and wet. Dry gangrene results from low blood flow to a tissue. There is usually no bacterial infection and it does not spread to other tissues. Possible causes include arteriosclerosis, diabetes mellitus, thrombosis, embolism, poor circulation, and frostbite. Wet gangrene develops when a wound or dry gangrene become infected by bacteria. Careful hygiene is the best prevention for wet gangrene. Once diagnosed as wet gangrene, amputation of the area and antibiotics may be required. Also called mortification
gangsman (occupation) foreman
ganneker (occupation) tavern keeper
gaoler (occupation) jailer
GAOTU (abbreviation) Great Architect of the Universe (Freemason Word)
GAR (abbreviation) Grand Army of the Republic
garcifer/garcio groom; attendant
garlekmonger (occupation) garlicmonger; dealer in garlic
garthman (occupation) owner or worker of a fish trap
gas manager (occupation) forman position in charge of checking for poisonous gas in coal mine shafts
gater (occupation) watchman
gatherer (occupation) glassworker who inserted the blow iron into the molten glass ready for the blower
gatherers boy (occupation) held a shovel to shield the gatherer's face from the heat
gathering (medical) a collection of pus
gatward (occupation) goat keeper
gauger (occupation) customs official who measured the capacity of imported barrels of liquor in order to calculate the customs duty
gaunter (occupation) glover
gaveller (occupation) userer and in the Forest of Dean, an officer fo the Crown who granted gales or the right to work a mine and in Suffolk a harvest worker, usually female
gazetteer a descriptive geographical work, or section of work, alphabetically listing the geographical features (e.g. countries, cities, rivers, mountains, etc.) together with their location, size, etc. for a particular region
gc (abbreviation) granted certificate (Quaker)
gct (abbreviation) granted certificate to (Quaker)
GCVO (abbreviation) Grand Cross of the (Royal) Victorian Order (knight)
GD (abbreviation) granddaughter
gdau. (abbreviation) granddaughter
gdn. (abbreviation) guardian
GEDCOM an acronym for "GEnealogical Data COMmunication". A standard format created by the LDS Church that allows genealogical software programs to transfer data
gelder (occupation) castrator of animals, especially horses
gemellus/a (Latin) twin
geminus/a (Latin) twin
gen. (abbreviation) general (military rank)
gen. ct. (abbreviation) general court
genealogist a person who pursues the science or study of family descent. A professional genealogist is one who compiles family histories and genealogies for clients for a fee.
genealogy the science or study of family descent; a chart or recorded history of the descent of a person or family from an ancestor or ancestors; descent from an ancestor; pedigree; lineage
gener (Latin) son-in-law, cousin
general court a legislative body during the colonial period that had judicial functions. This was the official name of the legislatures for both Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
generation a group of people who were born and lived about the same time. This group represents a single step in a line of descent from a common ancestor. Also, the average time between the birth of a parent and their children.
generis (Latin) of the type, sex, etc.
genitum (Latin) begotten, born
gens (Latin) male line, clan
gentleman in the Colonial period it meant a man above a yeoman in the social rank
gentlewoman a woman of good family or breeding, a woman who has the occupation of waiting on or caring for a person of high rank
GENUKI (abbreviation) United Kingdom and Ireland Genealogical Information Service
genus (Latin) type, kind, birth, descent, sex, origin, class, race
geometer (occupation) skilled in geometry
germana (Latin) sister
germanus (Latin) brother
gerund grinder (occupation) Latin instructor
gfat. (abbreviation) grandfather
gift deed a deed whereby real property is transferred without normal consideration. Usually such deeds transfer real estate from a parent to its offspring but there is no rule about that.
gilder (occupation) applies gold leaf
gimler (occupation) machinist involved in making a gimp, a kind of card
ginerr (occupation) joiner
ginour (occupation) engineer
girdler (occupation) leather worker who made girdles and belts, chiefly for the Army
given name the first and middle names of a person. These names are usually given to a person at birth or baptism/christening. See also "baptism name" or "christian name". Abbreviated sometimes as: GNM or CNM.
gl (abbreviation) granted letter
glandular fever (medical) infected glands may also be mononucleosis, known as glandular fever. This is an acute viral infection which results in swollen lymph glands in the neck, armpits, and groin accompanied with a severe sore throat due to tonsillitis. Recovery with lots of rest occurs after four to six weeks
glass coachman (occupation) driver of two-horse carriage hired out for the day
glassewryght (occupation) glasswright; maker and mender of glassware
glazier (occupation) glazier; repairer of windows
glebe land belonging to a parish church
gleet (medical) an old term for the common cold. Colds are caused by a virus that has hundreds of different forms. The virus is always changing its shape, size and form. A cold takes place in the upper respiratory tract. Symptoms include: head congestion, difficulty breathing, coughing, headaches, fever, sneezing, watery eyes, aches and pains. Stress and poor diet weaken the immune system and contribute to the cold. Also called cold, coryza, catarrh
glimmer man (occupation) in Dublin, the man who would turn out (or down) the gas street-lights and also warn people turn out lights in their houses to ensure blackouts during bombing raids at War time
gloris (Latin) brother's wife
glos (Latin) husband's sister
glover (occupation) dealer or maker of gloves
GLRO (abbreviation) Greater London Record office
glt (abbreviation) granted letter to
gmot. (abbreviation) grandmother
goat carriage man (occupation) driver of small passenger carriage
gobar (occupation) jobber
goitre (medical) enlarged thyroid gland which affects body's metabolism
goldsmith (occupation) maker of gold articles, banker
good brother brother-in-law
good sister sister-in-law
good son son-in-law
goodman a man ranking below a gentleman but above a freeman
goods a term used to describe personal property but the definition can vary from place to place but usually does not include leaseholds, real property titles, or livestock
goods and chattels the most comprehensive description of personal property
goodwife the wife or mistress of a household
goody a woman or housewife, especially an old woman
GOONS (abbreviation) Guild Of One Name Studies
goose herd (occupation) tends geese
gorzeman (occupation) seller of gorse or broom
gout (medical) a hereditary chronic metabolic disease that is a form of acute arthritis and is marked by inflammation of the joints. Joints affected may be at any location but gout usually begins in the knee or foot. Often associated with hypertension, uric acid in the blood and kidney disease, often associated with a rich and fatty diet (and red wine). Excessive uric acid (hyperuricemia) in the blood and deposits of urates of sodium in and around the joints. Several different metabolic abnormalities this condition. Approximately ninety percent of gout patients are male. The peak age for onset of symptoms in men is between forty and fifty. Women rarely have gout before menopause. Gout is closely related to the diet, but may be brought on by stress. Obesity and an improper diet increase the tendency for gout. Also called the "disease of kings" and "rheumatism of the rich" because of the rich diets people consume. Symptoms Most cases are without symptoms. When an acute attack occurs it usually begins at night with moderate pain that increases in intensity to the point where no body position provides relief
govt. (abbreviation) government
gr dau. (abbreviation) granddaughter
gr s. (abbreviation) grandson
Gr.Yd. (abbreviation) grave yard
grace wife (occupation) midwife
graffer (occupation) notary or scrivener
grainer (occupation) painted wood to make it look like great and exotic woods
grand usually denotes related persons who are two generations apart
grand mal seizure (medical) see epilepsy, see falling sickness
grandfather clause an exception to a law, such as the right for blacks to vote, which gave only those blacks whose parents had voted before 1867 the right to vote
grandparent a parent of one's mother or father. Often referred to as any of the following: grandmother, grandfather, grandma, grandpa, grandmom, granddad, grandmommy, granddaddy, granny, gramps.
grange a farmhouse or small hamlet, a center of cultivation owned by a monastery, but too far away for the monks to work it
granger (occupation) farmer
grant see "land grant"
grantee person purchasing, buying or receiving property or grant
grantee index master index of persons purchasing, buying or receiving property
grantor person selling, granting, transferring or conveying property or grant
grantor index master index of persons selling, granting, transferring or conveying property
grass widow an unmarried woman with a child, a divorced or separated woman, a discarded mistress
Grave's disease (medical) thryotoxicosis
gravel (medical) a disease characterized by multiple small calculi (stones or concretions of mineral salts) which are formed in the kidneys, passed along the ureters to the bladder, and expelled with the urine. Also called kidney stone
graver (occupation) carver or sculptor, engraver of images or dockside worker who cleaned ship bottoms by burning and tarring
gravida (Latin) pregnant
grazier (occupation) pastures and raises cattle
GRD (abbreviation) Genealogical Research Directory
grdn. (abbreviation) guardian
great usually denotes related persons who are three or more generations apart. The word "great" is repeated once for each generation starting with the third generation. Example: Chris is the great great great grandparent of Terry means that Chris and Terry are five generations apart.
Great Pox (medical) syphilis
great-aunt sister of one's grandparent (also grand-aunt
great-uncle brother of one's grandparent (also grand-uncle
greave/grieve (occupation) bailiff, foreman, sheriff
grecher (occupation) grocer
green grocer (occupation) fruit and vegetable seller
green Sickness (medical) an old term used to describe anemia, occurs when the blood's ability to carry oxygen is reduced. A low red blood cell count will manifest as weakness, dizziness, paleness, depression, instability, soreness of mouth, and amennorhea. The mineral iron is critical because iron makes hemoglobin, which is the oxygen-carrying component of blood. Without sufficient iron intake, the function of rbc's will be impaired. Anemia can be difficult to recognize but the first symptoms might include loss of appetite, headaches, constipation, irritability, and difficulty with concentration
greensmith (occupation) worker in copper or latten
gregorian calendar named after Pope Gregory, but referred to as the "New Style" calendar which replaced the Julian calendar in 1582 in some countries. In Great Britain, her colonies (America) and other protestant countries, it was not adopted until 1752
grimbribber (occupation) lawyer
grippe (medical) an old term for influenza or flu, is a highly contagious respiratory viral infection. Spread easily by coughing, sneezing, and poor hygiene. Symptoms Early stages, similar to the common cold, are headache, weakness, and aching of back, arms, and legs. Dry throat and cough, tired quickly, loss of appetite, and sometimes nausea and vomiting. High fatality rates from influenza ended during the 20th century
GRO (abbreviation) the General Register Office
grocer's itch (medical) skin disease caused by mites in sugar or flour
groover (occupation) miner
groundsel and chickweed seller (occupation) streetseller of common weeds, used to feed pet songbirds
GRS(C) (abbreviation) Genealogical Record Searcher (Canada)
grt. (abbreviation) grant, granted
GS (abbreviation) grandson
GSSR (abbreviation) General Society, Sons of the Revolution
guardian person lawfully appointed to care for the person of a minor, invalid, incompetent and their interests, such as education, property management and investments
guardian ad litem a guardian appointed by the court to represent a minor or incompetent person in a particular law suit
guild a medieval association of merchants and craftsmen which regulated price, quality, and decided who could make and sell the merchandise under its supervision
guilderer (occupation) maker of gold or silver coins
guinea pig (occupation) an unattached, or roving person whose fee was usally a guinea
gummer (occupation) one who improved old saws by deepening the cuts
gynour (occupation) engineer
gyp (occupation) college servant especially one attending undergraduates
H 
h. (abbreviation) husband
h/o (abbreviation) husband of
habendum et tenendum (Latin) "to have and to hold to the grantee (buyer or donee) his heirs and assigns". A clause in a deed that specifies the type of property or estate that the buyer will receive
haberdasher (occupation) seller of men's clothing
habere (Latin) to have, to hold
habitans (Latin) resident (adj.)
habitantes (Latin) residents
habitare (Latin) to reside
hacker (occupation) hoe maker
hackler/hackman/heckler (occupation) one who separated the coarse part of flax or hemp with a hackle, an instrument with teeth in linen industry
hackney man (occupation) renter of horses and carriages
hair seating and curled hair merchant (occupation) dealer in horse-hair stuffing used in upholstery
hairweaver/hairman (occupation) weaver of cloth composed wholly or partly of horsehair
halbert carrier (occupation) soldier or halberdier, armed with a halberd, a combination spear and battleaxe (a ceremonial officer)
half a person who is related to another though only one of two parents. Usually this refers to the relationship between siblings.
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
half cousins the offspring produced by two people who are half siblings (ie. half brother or half sister) would be half cousins.
hamberghmaker/hamberow (occupation) horse collar maker
hammerman (occupation) hammerer, a smith
handseller (occupation) street vendor
handwoman (occupation) midwife or female attendant
hansard (occupation) weapon maker or seller
Hansen's Disease (medical) see leprosy
harlot (occupation) vagabond, beggar, rogue, 14th century male servant, attendant or menial, and 15th century, loose woman
harmer beck (occupation) constable
harper (occupation) musician
hatcheler (occupation) one who combed out flax
hatchler (occupation) combed out or carded flax
hatter (occupation) maker of or dealer in hats
hawker (occupation) peddler
hawker/huckster (occupation) peddler
haymonger (occupation) dealer in hay
hayward (occupation) keeper of fences
headborough (occupation) constable
headright system of land allocation in colonial Virginia
headsman (occupation) executioner
headswoman (occupation) midwife
heald knitter (occupation) operator of a machine which produced a jersey type of fabric as opposed to woven fabric
heart sickness (medical) condition caused by loss of salt from body
heat stroke (medical) body temperature elevates because of surrounding environment temperature and body does not perspire to reduce temperature. Coma and death result if not reversed
hebdomada (Latin) a week
heck maker (occupation) maker of a part of a spinning machine by which the yarn is guided to the reels
hectic fever (medical) a daily recurring fever with profound sweating, chills, and flushed appearance-- often associated with pulmonary tuberculosis or septic poisoning
hectical complaint (medical) a daily recurring fever with profound sweating, chills, and flushed Hectic Fever appearance, often associated with pulmonary tuberculosis or septic poisoning
hedge looker (occupation) supervised good repair of fence and enclosures
hedger (occupation) one who trims and tends hedgerows
heelmaker (occupation) made shoe heels
heir person who succeeds, by the rules of law, to an estate upon the death of an ancestor; one with rights to inherit an estate
heir apparent by law a person whose right of inheritance is established, provided he or she outlives the ancestor, see also "primogeniture"
heirs those entitled by law or by the terms of a will to inherit property from another
heirs and assigns words that were essential for conveyance which granted a fee simple title
heirs of the body included all lineal descendants of a decedent and excludes surviving spouses, adopted children and collateral relatives. See bodily heirs.
hellier/hillier (occupation) tiler or slater
helper-up (occupation) young boy employed in Durham pits to help other workers
hematemesis (medical) vomiting blood
hematuria (medical) bloody urine
hemiplegy (medical) paralysis of one side of body
hempheckler (occupation) flax worker
henchman/hensman (occupation) horseman or groom
henter (occupation) thief
heraldry the art or office of a herald, the art, practice, or science of recording genealogies and blazoning arms or ensigns armorial
hereditament anyting capable of being inherited including real and personal property along with corporeal and incorporeal property
heri (Latin) yesterday
heriot the best beast, given to the Lord of the Manor on the death of a tenant
hetheleder (occupation) provider of heather for fuel
hewer (occupation) miner who cut coal, stone, etc., a face worker in a mine
hic, haec, hoc (Latin) this
hide area of land on which a family was supposed to be able to exist - the actual area varied according to the locality or quality of the land, but was often considered to be 4 virgates (about 120 acres) - used as a measure for collecting taxes in the Domesday Book
higgler (occupation) itinerant peddler
highwayman (occupation) robber who preys on public roads
hillard/hiller/hillier (occupation) one who covers houses with slate; tiller
hillier (occupation) roof tiler
hind (occupation) farm laborer
hip gout (medical) osteomylitis
hired man (occupation) gardener, farmhand, or stableman
hives (medical) a skin eruption of weals (smooth, slightly elevated areas on the skin) which is redder or paler than the surrounding skin. Often attended by severe itching, it usually changes its size or shape or disappears within a few hours. It is the dermal evidence of allergy. See the discussion under croup; also called cynanche trachealis. In the mid-nineteenth century, hives was a commonly given cause of death of children three years and under. Because true hives does not kill, croup was probably the actual cause of death in those children
HLI (abbreviation) Highland Light Infantry, Herefordshire Light Infantry
hoarseness (medical) see membranous croup
hobbler (occupation) boat tower on a river or canal
hoc die/mense/anno (Latin) on this day/month/year
hodsman (occupation) mason's assistant
hoggard (occupation) pig drover
holographic will one written entirely in the testator's own handwriting
holograpphic will a will handwritten and signed by the individual that the will belongs to
homestead a home on land obtained from the United States government. Part of the agreement between the individual and the government was that the individual had to live on the land and make improvements to it, such as adding buildings and clearing fields.
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 five years
homo (Latin) man, human being
hon. (abbreviation) honorable
honey dipper (occupation) extracted raw sewage from catch basins and out-houses
hoofer (occupation) dancer
hooker (occupation) reaper
hooper (occupation) maker of hoops for casks, barrels, tubs etc.
horner (occupation) worker in horn making spoons, combs, or musical horns
horrors (medical) delirium tremens
horse courser (occupation) owner of race horses
horse knave (occupation) groom
horse leech (occupation) veterinarian, farrier
horse marine (occupation) man-handled barges on canals when horses could not be used
horse-capper (occupation) dealer in worthless horses
horse-hair curler (occupation) dressed horse hair which was used extensively in the upholstery trade
horsler (occupation) hostler (stableman or groom), horse servant at an inn
hosier (occupation) retailer of stockings, socks, gloves, nightcaps
HOSJG (abbreviation) Hospitaller Order of St. John of God
hospital fever (medical) another term used in place of typhus, which is an acute, infectious disease transmitted by lice and fleas. Symptoms include headache, arthralgia and myalgia, chills, high fever, falling blood pressure, stupor, delirium, rash that begins on chest and spreads to rest of trunk and extremities The early rash is faint and rose colored and fades with pressure. Later the lesions become dull red and do not fade. People with severe typhus may also develop petechiae. Also called typhus fever, malignant fever, jail fever, hospital fever, putrid fever, ship fever, brain fever, bilious fever, spotted fever, and camp fever
hosteler (occupation) innkeeper
hosteller (occupation) innkeeper
hostler/ostler (occupation) cares for horses, stableman, groom, repairer or railway engines
hotpresser (occupation) worker in paper or textile industries where product was pressed between glazed boards and hot metal plates to obtain a smooth and shiny surface
house joiner (occupation) house framer
house wright (occupation) house builder
howdy wife (occupation) midwife
hoyman (occupation) one who carries goods and passengers by water (Hoy - small coastal vessel or sloop)
huckster (occupation) seller of small articles/wares
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
huissher (occupation) usher or door attendant
huius (Latin) of this
humatio (Latin) burial
humatus/a (Latin) he/she was buried
hundred administrative unit deriving from 100 'tithings'
hurdleman/hurdler (occupation) hedge-maker, of wattled framework fencing
hurriers (occupation) term applied to the girls aged 5-18 who were employed as coal-drawers in the coal industry
hus. (abbreviation) husband
husb. (abbreviation) husband
husband a married man; a man in his relationship with his spouse
husbandman (occupation) one who tills the soil; animal husbandry; tenant farmer; (see also "yeoman")
hush shop keeper (occupation) brewed and sold beer without a license (usually as a side line)
hydrocephalus (medical) a contraction for hydropsy. The presence of abnormally large amounts of fluid, particularly on the brain. Congestive heart failure. See dropsy
hydropericardium (medical) heart dropsy
hydrophobia (medical) rabies; fear of water
hydrothorax (medical) a contraction for hydropsy. The presence of abnormally large amounts of fluid, particularly in the chest. Congestive heart failure. See dropsy
hypertrophic (medical) enlargement of organ, like the heart
hypertropy of heart (medical) enlarged heart
hysteria (medical) wild uncontrollable emotion, excitement, functional disturbance of the nervous system
I 
I.H.S. (Latin), Jesus hominum salvator, Jesus Saviour of men
ibid. (abbreviation) ibidem (Latin), in the same place
ibidem (ibid.) (Latin) in the same place
iceman (occupation) seller or deliverer of ice
icterus (medical) also called jaundice, is the build-up of bilirubin in the blood which causes a "yellowing" of the skin, urine, and whites of the eyes. Jaundice is an indicator of blood or liver disorders (such as cirrhosis, pernicious anemia, and hepatitis) or it may be a sign that there is an obstruction (such as a tumor, gallstone or inflammation) blocking the bile flow from the liver
idem, eadem, iden (Latin) the same
idleman (occupation) gentleman of leisure
IGI (abbreviation) International Genealogical Index, created and maintained by the LDS FHL
ignotus/a (Latin) unknown
IHGS (abbreviation) Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies
IIGS (abbreviation) International Internet Genealogical Society
ilius (Latin) of that
ille, illa illud (Latin) that
illegitimate born to a mother who was not married (the law generally recognizes the children of a married woman to be those of her husband)
illegitimus (Latin) illegitimate
immigrant one moving (permanently) into a country from another country
immigrate See also "emigrate"
immigration immigration is when an individual goes into a new country to live
imp. (abbreviation) imported
impedimentum (Latin) impediment or hindrance (as to a marriage)
impedimentum consanguinitas (Latin) impediment of too close a blood relationship (second cousin or closer)
impetigo (medical) contagious skin disease characterized by pustules
imponere (Latin) to place upon, to impose
impositus/a/um (Latin) imposed, placed upon, given
impressment the act of seizing people and forcing them into labor
in-law a relative by virtue of a marriage, usually referring to the spouse's parents or siblings
inanition (medical) exhaustion from lack of nourishment; starvation. A condition characterized by marked weakness, extreme weight loss, and a decrease in metabolism resulting from severe and prolonged (usually weeks to months) insufficiency of food
inclosure land enclosed from the 'waste' - typically by an Inclosure Act of Parliament
incorporeal property see corporeal property
indenture a contract between two or more parties, usually between a master and an apprentice for the purpose of the apprentice laboring for, and learning the trade of, the master for a given period of time
indentured servant person who is bound into the service of another person for a specified period (usually seven years) in the 18th and 19th centuries to pay for passage to another country
index in genealogical terms, an alphabetical list of names that were taken from a particular set of records. For example, a census record index lists the names of individuals that are found in a particular set of census records. Indexes mostly come in book form, but they can also be found on CD-Rom, microfilm, and microfiche.
indidem (Latin) from the same place or thing
indirect tax tax from sources other than property or income, such as businesses, professions, entertainment, and animals
inf. (abbreviation) infant; infantry
infans (Latin) infant
infant (in law) a person under legal age; a minor
infantile paralysis (medical) polio
infection (medical) the affection or contamination of a person, organ, or wound with invading, multiplying, disease-producing germs (such as bacteria, rickettsiae, viruses, molds, yeasts, and protozoa). In the early part of the nineteenth century, infections were thought to be the propagation of disease by effluvia (see) from patients crowded together. "Miasms" were believed to be substances which could not be seen in any form--emanations not apparent to the senses. Such miasms were understood to act by infection
infirmarian (occupation) in charge of an infirmary
inflammation (medical) redness, swelling, pain, tenderness, heat, and disturbed function of an area of the body, especially as a reaction of tissue to injurious agents. This mechanism serves as a localized and protective response to injury. The word ending -itis denotes inflammation on the part indicated by the word stem to which it is attached, as in: appendicitis, pleuritis, etc. Microscopically, it involves a complex series of events, including enlargement of the sizes of blood vessels; discharge of fluids, including plasma proteins; and migration of leukocytes (white blood cells) into the inflammatory focus. In the nineteenth century, cause of death often was listed as inflammation of a body organ, such as brain or lung, but this was purely a descriptive term and is not helpful in identifying the actual underlying disease
influenza (medical) a flu is a highly contagious viral infection of the respiratory tract. It spreads easily through coughing and sneezing. The virus continually changes. Therefore, vaccinations are only partially successful. The earlier signs of the flu are those similar for a cold headache, weakness, achiness of muscles and bones, alternating fever with chills, and dry throat and cough. There may be fatigue, nausea, and vomiting. The flu makes the person more susceptible to other more serious conditions such as pneumonia
infra (Latin) below, later
infrascriptus (Latin) written below
inhab (abbreviation) inhabitant; inhabited
inheritance property or money received by someone as part of a will
inprimis (Latin) in the first place
inst. (abbreviation) instant (Latin), of the current month
instant of or pertaining to the current month. (Abbreviated inst.
instant, inst. (Latin) of the current month
instrument any formal legal document
int. (abbreviation) intentions, public notice of an upcoming marriage
intelligencer (occupation) spy
intendent (occupation) director of a public or government business
intentions public notification of an upcoming marriage, see banns
interfactor (occupation) murderer
intermarriage a term used to indicate that the marriage contract was a reciprocal and mutual engagement by which each of the parties was "married" to each other
interment see also "burial"
International Genealogical Index (IGI) an database created of names that have been extracted from various original records from all over the world and also entries submitted by LDS church members for temple ordinances. Created and maintained by the LDS FHL
intestate one not having made a valid will before one's death is said to "have died intestate"
intestinal colic (medical) abdominal pain due to bad or improper diet
intra (Latin) within
intussusception (medical) the slipping of one part within another, as the prolapse of one part of the intestine into the lumen of an immediately adjoining part. This leads to obstruction and often must be relieved by surgery. Also called introsusception
inuptus/a (Latin) unmarried
inv. (abbreviation) inventory
inventory a descriptive legal list of all property owned by a deceased person. This was usually done at the time of a person's death by the executor of the will so that the inventory could become a part of the court hearing in conjunction with the reading of the will of the deceased.
IOF (abbreviation) Independent Order of Foresters
IOGT (abbreviation) Independent Order of Good Templars
IOJD (abbreviation) International Order of Job's Daughters (freemason)
IOOF (abbreviation) Independent Order of Odd Fellows (fraternal organization)
IOR (abbreviation) Independent Order of Rechabites
IORG (abbreviation) International Order of the Rainbow for Girls (freemasonry)
IORM (abbreviation) Improved Order of Red Men
IOUAM (abbreviation) Improved Order of United American Mechanics
ipse/a/um (Latin) himself/herself/itself
IRCs (abbreviation) International Reply Coupons
iron founder (occupation) one who founds or iron
iron master (occupation) owner or manager of a foundry
iron monger (occupation) dealer in hardware made of iron (also known as a feroner)
ironmonger (occupation) dealer in iron goods
issue offspring; children; descendants; progeny
ita (Latin) thus, so
item (Latin) also, likewise
Iulius (Latin) Jul
iunior/junior (Latin) younger
Iunius (Latin) Jun
iurare/jurare (Latin) to swear, take an oath
iure/jure (Latin) legally
ius/jus, iures/jures (Latin) law, laws
iuvenis/juvenis (Latin) young person
ivory workers (occupation) included makers of combs, boxes, billard balls, buttons, and keys for pianofortes
J 
j. (abbreviation) joined (Quaker)
J.P. (abbreviation) Justice of the Peace
jack (occupation) young male assistant, sailor, or lumberjack
jack-frame tenter (occupation) cotton industry worker who operated a jack-frame, used for giving a twist to the thread
jack-smith (occupation) maker of lifting machinery and contrivances
jagger (occupation) carrier, carter, pedlar or hawker of fish; 19th century, young boy in charge of 'jags'or train of trucks in coal mine; man in charge of pack horse carrying iron ore to be smelted
jail fever (medical) another term used in place of typhus, which is an acute, infectious disease transmitted by lice and fleas. Symptoms include headache, arthralgia and myalgia, chills, high fever, falling blood pressure, stupor, delirium, rash that begins on chest and spreads to rest of trunk and extremities The early rash is faint and rose colored and fades with pressure. Later the lesions become dull red and do not fade. People with severe typhus may also develop petechiae. Also called typhus fever, malignant fever, jail fever, hospital fever, putrid fever, ship fever, brain fever, bilious fever, spotted fever, and camp fever
jakes-farmer (occupation) one who emptied cesspools
Januarius (Latin) January
japanner (occupation) one who covers with a hard brilliant coat of any of several varnishes
jas (abbreviation) joined another society (Quaker)
jaundice (medical) It is the build-up of bilirubin in the blood which causes a yellow discoloration of the skin, whites of the eyes, and mucous membranes due to an increase of bile pigments in the blood. Often symptomatic of certain diseases, such as hepatitis, obstruction of the bile duct, or cancer of the liver; Condition caused by blockage of intestines (common in newborn babies) Also called icterus
jd (abbreviation) jonge dochter/ young daughter (Dutch)
jerquer (occupation) custom house officer who searched ships
jersey comber (occupation) worker in woollen manufacture (Jersey - wool which has been combed but not spun into yarn)
jm (abbreviation) jonge man / young man (Dutch)
jno (abbreviation) John or Johannes
jobber (occupation) a buyer in quantity to sell to others, a pieceworker
jobling gardener (occupation) one employed on a casual basis
jobmaster (occupation) supplied carriages, horses and drivers for hire
joiner (occupation) carpenter who does finish work
joint tenancy see cotenancy
joint will a will made by two or more persons together and sign by them. Such wills are usually executed to make testamentary disposition of joint property or of separately owner property to be treated as a common fund. Joint wills are sometimes called conjoint wills. They were especially popular with the Dutch in New Netherlands (i.e. New York) because they protected their children from the orphan masters.
jongleur (occupation) traveling minstrel
jorman (occupation) journeyman
journeyman (occupation) craftsman who had served his apprentice, a master craftsman
jouster (occupation) fish monger
joyner or joiner (occupation) skilled carpenter
joyner/joiner (occupation) joiner; skilled carpenter
JP (abbreviation) Justice of the Peace
Jr. (abbreviation) junior
jud. (abbreviation) judicial
Julian Calendar calendar named for Julius Caesar and used from 45 B.C. to 1582, called the "old style" calendar; replaced by the Gregorian calendar
julian calendar a calendar named for Julius Caesar, it is referred to as the "Old Style" calendar, which was used from 45 BC until 1582, when it was replaced by the Gregorian calendar
junior, senior these terms did not necessarily indicate father and son. They were used within a small community to distinguish between two persons of the same name. Sometimes "the elder" and "the younger" were used in the same fashion
junr. (abbreviation) junior
jurat (Latin) certification that a document was written by the person who signed it
jure uxoris (Latin) in right of his wife
jurist person who is involved with the law in some professional capacity such as a lawyer, a judge or a barrister
juvenis juvenile; minor; under legal age
K 
KC (abbreviation) Knights of Columbus
kedger (occupation) fisherman
keeker (occupation) colliery official who checked quantity and quality of coal output or weighman
keeler/keelman (occupation) bargeman
keller (occupation) salt keeper
kellogg (occupation) slaughter man
Kelly's (abbreviation) (British) Kelly's Directories
kempster (occupation) wool comber
kepegest (occupation) innkeeper
Kew (abbreviation) (British) the Public Record Office's primary repository at Kew
KGE (abbreviation) Knights of the Golden Eagle
kiddier (occupation) skinner or dealer in young goats
kidney stone (medical) a disease characterized by small stones which are formed in the kidneys, passed along the ureters to the bladder, and expelled with the urine. Also called gravel
kilner (occupation) limeburner, in charge of a kiln
kindred persons who are related by blood instead of by marriage
kings evil (medical) tubercular infection of the lymph glands in the throat. Also called scrofula. The name originated in the time of Edward the Confessor, the king of England, when people believed that the disease could be cured by the king's touch
kisser (occupation) made cuishes and high armour
kith and kin friends and neighbors
KLH (abbreviation) Knight of the Legion of Honour; Knights and Ladies of Honor
knacker (occupation) harness maker, buyer of old horses and dead animals
knappers (occupation) dressed and shaped flints into required shape and size
knave servant boy
kneller/knuller (occupation) chimmney sweep who solicited custom by knocking on doors
knocker-up (occupation) man paid to wake up northern mill and factory workers on early shifts
knockknobbler (occupation) dog catcher
knoller (occupation) toller of bells
knt. (abbreviation) knight
KOSB (abbreviation) The King's Own Scottish Borderers
KOTM (abbreviation) Knights of the Maccabees
KOYLI (abbreviation) The King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
KP (abbreviation) Order of Knights of Pythias
kruchhusten (medical) whooping cough
KSLI (abbreviation) The King's Shropshire Light Infantry
KUV (abbreviation) Kranken Unterstuetzungs Verein
L 
la grippe (medical) see influenza
lace-drawer (occupation) child employed in lace work, drawing out threads
lace-master/mistress (occupation) employed workers in factories or in their homes for the production of lace
lace-runner (occupation) young worker who embroidered patterns on lace
laceman (occupation) dealer in lace, who collected it from the makers, usually only those who had bought his thread, and sold it in the lace markets
lacewoman (occupation) lady's maid
lagger (occupation) sailor
lagraetman (occupation) local constable (Law-Rightman)
land grant the transfer of title from a government to the first private owner or titleholder of a piece of property. Also known as a land patent.
land patent the transfer of title from a government to the first private owner or titleholder of a piece of property. Also known as a land grant.
land records deeds; proof that a piece of land is owned by a particular individual. The information received from the records will vary, but at minimum is: a name, the location of the property, and the period of ownership.
land warrant an order by a government authorizing some action; a land warrant usually orders the survey of a piece of land prior to the issuance of a land grant.
lands, tenements and hereditaments the most comprehensive description of realty (see)
landwaiter (occupation) customs officer whose duty was to wait or attend on landed goods
lardner (occupation) official in charge of pig food or keeper of the cupboard??
laryngitis (medical) see aphonia
laster (occupation) shoe maker
late denoting someone who is deceased, e.g., the late John Thomas
latouner (occupation) worker in latten (a metal resembling brass)
lattener (occupation) brass worker
launderer (occupation) washer
lautus/a est (Latin) he/she was baptized
lavare (Latin) to wash, to baptize
lavender (occupation) washer woman
layer (occupation) worker in paper mill responsible for a particular stage in paper-making process
LCBA (abbreviation) Loyal Christian Benefit Association
LDS (abbreviation) Church of Jesus of Latter Day Saints, Mormon Church
lease an agreement which creates a landlord-tenant situation
leasehold a estate in realty held under a lease, it us usually considered a chattel
leavelooker (occupation) examined food on sale at market
lederer (occupation) leather maker
leech (occupation) physician
leech or sawbones (occupation) physician
legacy property or money bequeathed to someone in a will
legatee one to whom was bequeathed something (usually property or money) from a person who left a will; a bequest
legator a person who makes a will and leaves legacies
legerdemainist (occupation) magician
legger (occupation) canal boatman
legislature lawmaking branch of state or national government; elected group of lawmakers
leightonward (occupation) gardener (leighton - a garden)
leprosy (medical) also called Hansen's disease. It is a chronic bacterial infection that damages the nerves (especially in the limbs and facial area) and can cause severe skin damage. If left untreated, very serious complications occur including blindness and disfigurement. Leprosy is spread through droplets of nasal mucus only in the first stages of the disease. Leprosy is not highly contagious as most people believe
lesions (medical) this is a broad term which refers to any abnormality of structure or function in any body part. Examples include wounds, infections, and tumors
lessee person leasing property from an owner
lessor owner leasing property to a tenant
letter of attorney see power of attorney
letters testamentary court document allowing the executor named in a will to carry out his or her duties
levantes (Latin) godparents
levir (Latin) husband's brother
LGAR (abbreviation) Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic
liber book of public records
liber baptizatorum (Latin) baptismal register
liber defunctorum (Latin) death register
liber matrimoniorm (Latin) marriage register
liber, libri (Latin) book, books
liberi (Latin) children, grandchildren
liberum animum testandi (Latin) free will in bequeathing
libro book or volume
lic. (abbreviation) license
lien a claim against property as security for payment of a debt
lieut. (abbreviation) lieutenant (military rank)
life estate use interest in property until death
liferent property which the owner can hold for a lifetime but cannot be passed on
ligatus/a est (Latin) he/she was joined or married
lighterman (occupation) worker on a flat-bottomed boat
limeburner (occupation) maker of lime
limner (occupation) draughtsman or artist
linage see "lineage
line similar to a branch in a family tree
lineage a direct line of descent from an ancestor or progenitor
lineal consisting of or being in as direct line of ancestry or descendants; descended in a direct line
lineal consanguinity being descended in a direct line from another such as son, father, and grandfather
lineal descendant a direct line of descendancy, such as grandparent to grand child
linener (occupation) linen draper, shirtmaker
liner/lyner (occupation) flax dresser
link length: 1/100th of a surveying chain; 7.92 inches
linkerboy/man (occupation) one who carried a link or torch to guide people through city streets at night for a small fee (had to be licensed to trade in early 19th century had and term later sometimes applied to general manservant )
lis pendens pending court action; usually applies to land title claims; notices of suits pending litigation, usually in matters concerning land
list official description of property assessed for the purpose of taxation
lister/litster (occupation) dyer
litigant person involved in a lawsuit
litigation a judicial contest or a law suit
litterman (occupation) groom (of horses)
liv (abbreviation) living, lived
loadsman (occupation) ship's pilot
loblolly boy (occupation) ship's doctor's assistant or errand boy
local history a book about a particular town or county. Local histories were quite popular in the late 19th century. While they often give the history of the development of the area, they usually also include information about the important families that lived there.
location a specific area or structure (e.g. house, building, hospital, church, school, etc.) within a geographical place. See also "site"
lock keeper (occupation) overseer of canal locks
lockjaw (medical) tetanus, an infectious disease affecting the muscles of the neck and jaw in which the jaw beomes firmlt locked. Untreated, it is fatal in 8 days. Also called trismus, tetanus
loco citato (Latin) in the place cited
loco parentis in place of the parent or parents
loco (Latin) to place, to let for hire
locus (Latin) place
locus sigilli (Latin) where a persons seal is placed (on a document)
lodge a chapter or meeting hall of a fraternal organization
LOI (abbreviation) The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland
lokeer locksmith
long song seller (occupation) street seller who sold popular songsheets printed on paper
longeavus (Latin) of great age, ancient
longshoreman (occupation) stevedor
LOOM (abbreviation) Loyal Order Of Moose
lorimer (occupation) maker of horse gear
lorimer/lormer bridlemaker
lotseller (occupation) street seller
lotter (occupation) one who bought odd lots of wool and consolidated them for sale
Loyalist Tory, an American colonist who supported the British side during the American Revolution
LS (abbreviation) locus sigilli (Latin), where a seal is placed
lt. (abbreviation) lieutenant (military rank)
ltd. (abbreviation) limited
ltm (abbreviation) liberated to marry
lues (medical) an old term for syphilis, which is an infectious venereal disease. Untreated, it can ultimately lead to the degeneration of bones, heart, nerve tissue, etc. In earlier centuries syphilis commonly reached the third stage, which is rare today, and caused brain damage, hearing loss, heart disease, and/or blindness occur
lues disease (medical) syphilis
lues venera (medical) venereal disease; sexually transmitted disease (STD)
lum swooper (occupation) chimney sweep
lumbago (medical) back pain. Painful inflammatory rheumatism of the muscles and tendons of the lumbar region, which is the part of the back and sides between the lowest ribs and the pelvis
lumper (occupation) dock laborer who discharged cargo of timber employed by a master lumper (not the Dock Company) or fine-grain saltmaker, from practice of moulding salt into lumps
lung fever (medical) another term for pneumonia, which is an inflammation in the lungs caused by different bacteria, viruses, and fungi. The tiny air sacs in the lung area become inflamed and fill with mucus and pus. It is unlikely to be contagious. Although symptoms can vary in intensity, they usually include fever, chills, cough, muscle aches, fatigue, sore throat, enlarged lymph glands in the neck, bluish nails, pains in the chest, and rapid, difficult respiration. Typical contributing factors to pneumonia are the common cold, influenza, seizure or stroke, aspiration under anesthesia, alcoholism, smoking, kidney failure, sickle cell disease, malnutrition, foreign bodies in the respiratory passages, bacteria, viruses, chemical irritants, and even allergies
lung Sickness (medical) an old term for pulmonary tuberculosis, also called marasmus in the mid-nineteenth century, Tuberculosis is an infectious disease that is usually caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Infection may result from inhalation of minute droplets of infected sputum which are given off by coughing, talking, or sneezing. Tuberculosis most often affects the lungs and the plurae, however, bones and kidneys may also be affected and sometimes the intestines, spleen and liver. In most cases the infection involves the top of the lungs, where, if the infected person is not immune, the bacteria grow freely with in the body and spread from the lungs to other parts of the body. Eventually the patient develops immunity and the bacteria stop spreading. They become surrounded by scar tissue and do not cause further damage. At a later stage, the protective layer of scar tissue may break down. It is well established that poor nutrition is one of the primary causes of TB in conjunction with unsanitary living conditions, loss of sleep, overwork and a sedentary lifestyle which all contribute to a lowered immune system as well. SYMPTOMS Initially resemble influenza, which may include a cough. Mild symptoms include fatigue and appetite and weight loss. More severe symptoms include fever, increased perspiration or severe night sweats, chronic fatigue, continued weight loss, chest pain, shortness of breath and infected urine. In advanced cases, coughing up blood is initially seen
lungs (occupation) alchemist's servant whose duty was to fan the fire
luthier (occupation) maker and repairer of stringed musical instruments
lvd (abbreviation) lived
lvg (abbreviation) living
lying in (medical) time of delivery of infant
M 
M (abbreviation) male
m-i-l (abbreviation) mother in law
m. (abbreviation) married; month
m1, m (1) (abbreviation) married first
m2, m (2) (abbreviation) married second
m3, m (3) (abbreviation) married third
m4, m (4) (abbreviation) married fourth
macon/macun/marson (occupation) mason
maderer (occupation) gathered and sold garlic
maid (occupation) female domestic servant
maiden name the surname of a woman prior to her marriage
mail guard (occupation) armed guard, frequently an ex-soldier, employed on the mail coach service
maise maker (occupation) one who made measures for weighing herring catch
Maius (Latin) Ma
maj. (abbreviation) major (military rank)
major person who has reached legal age
majorennis (Latin) of legal age
majores (Latin) ancestors
majority legal age
malaria (medical) an acute and sometimes chronic infectious disease due to the presence of protozoan parasites within red blood cells. These parasites are discharged through salivary ducts when the mosquito bites a person. The causative organism is transmitted through bites of infected female mosquitoes of the genus anopheles. Also may be transmitted by blood transfusion. The incubation period averages twelve days to thirty days. Symptoms: various derangements of the digestive and nervous systems characterized by periodicity, chills, fever, and sweats in the order mentioned, having pathological manifestations of progressive anemia, splenic enlargement, and deposition in various organs of a melanin, resulting from biological activity of the parasite
malemaker (occupation) maker of 'Males' or travelling bags
malender (occupation) farmer
malignant fever (medical) another term used in place of typhus, which is an acute, infectious disease transmitted by lice and fleas. Symptoms include headache, arthralgia and myalgia, chills, high fever, falling blood pressure, stupor, delirium, rash that begins on chest and spreads to rest of trunk and extremities The early rash is faint and rose colored and fades with pressure. Later the lesions become dull red and do not fade. People with severe typhus may also develop petechiae. Also called typhus fever, malignant fever, jail fever, hospital fever, putrid fever, ship fever, brain fever, bilious fever, spotted fever, and camp fever
malignant growth (medical) see cancer
malignant sore throat (medical) see Diphtheria
malster (occupation) brewer of malted beverages (beer)
manciple (occupation) steward
mane (Latin) in the morning
mangle keeper (occupation) woman who offered use of the mangle for a fee
mangler (occupation) works a mangle
mango (occupation) slave dealer
mania (medical) insanity
manor the district over which the court of a Lord of the Manor had authority
manse parsonage; enough land to support a family
mantuamaker (occupation) dressmaker
manu propria (Latin) (signed) in one's own hand
manumission the act of being released from slavery or servitude
manuscript unpublished family histories or collections of family papers. Depending on what the manuscript contains, much family information can be found, usually more than just names, birth dates, and death dates.
marasmus (medical) malnutrition occurring in infants and young children, caused by an insufficient intake of calories or protein and characterized by thinness, dry skin, poor muscle development, and irritability. In the mid-nineteenth century, specific causes were associated with specific ages: In infants under twelve months old, the causes were believed to be unsuitable food, chronic vomiting, chronic diarrhea, and inherited syphilis. Between one and three years, marasmus was associated with rickets or cancer. After the age of three years, caseous (cheeselike) enlargement of the mesenteric glands (located in the peritoneal fold attaching the small intestine to the body wall) became a given cause of wasting. (See tabes mesenterica.) After the sixth year, chronic pulmonary tuberculosis appeared to be the major cause. Marasmus is now considered to be related to kwashiorkor, a severe protein deficiency
marbler (occupation) one who stained paper or other material, veined in imitation of marble
marescallus marshall
marita (Latin) wife; woman
maritus (Latin) husband
marriage when a man and a woman become husband and wife through some legal means. They are also referred to as a couple.
marriage banns normally a religious tradition held in a church by which engaged couples had to announce their intention to marry. This announcement allowed anyone in the congregation to voice their protest. The marriage banns normally took place a few weeks before the actual marriage date. In many churches, the banns were read aloud on three successive Sundays.
marriage bond document obtained by an engaged couple prior to their marriage. It affirmed that there was no moral or legal reason why the couple could not be married. In addition, the man affirmed that he would be able to support himself and his new bride.
marriage contract legal agreement between prospective spouses made before marriage to determine their property rights and those of their children
marriage record a formal document normally kept by a church of marriages conducted within their congregation. Besides the names of the individuals being married it may also contain their ages, occupation, residence, the clergyman's name, and possibly the names of sponsors.
marriage settlement see antenuptial contract and postnuptial contract
marshall (occupation) horse servant, or groom
marshman (occupation) paid by various landowners to look after marshlands and tend the animals put to graze there for the season
Martius (Latin) Marc
mashmaker (occupation) maker of the mash-vats or mashels used for mixing malt
mason (occupation) stone carver
master (occupation) one of three grades of skill recognised by the Guild of Crafts
master lumper (occupation) contractor of laborers at cheap rate of pay
master mariner (occupation) ship's captain
matchet forger (occupation) knifemaker
mater (Latin) mother
mater meretrix (Latin) mother of illegitimate child
maternal belonging to one's mother's side of the family. Example: maternal grandmother.
maternal cousin denotes whether an individual is someones first cousin on the mother's side as opposed to the father's side. Also see Maternal Cousin.
maternal line line of descent traced through the mother's ancestry
matertera (Latin) maternal aunt
matriarch a woman holding the position corresponding to that of a patriarch in her family, usually the oldest person within the family
matrimonium (Latin) marriage
matrimonium contraxerunt (Latin) they contracted marriage
matron older married woman with children
mawer (occupation) mower
mayer (occupation) physician
mbr (abbreviation) member
mbrp (abbreviation) membership
MCD (abbreviation) minor civil division (Census Soundex)
mcd (abbreviation) married contrary to Discipline (Quaker)
md. (abbreviation) married
mealman (occupation) dealer in meal or flour
medicus (occupation) leech; doctor
melder (occupation) corn miller
mem. (abbreviation) member
membranous croup (medical) diphtheria, also called hoarseness, is a rough, croaking voice which usually results from interference with the vocal cords. Usually, the hoarseness clears up in a few days if the voice is rested. Some causes include overuse of voice, anxiety, hypothyroidism, smoking, alcohol, cancer of the larynx, mucus dripping on the larynx (as with nasal polyps, hay fever, sinusitis, and deviated nasal septum
meningitis (medical) an infection of the three membranes, the meninges, that lie between the brain and the skull. The disease is contagious. It can be caused by poor nutrition and any number of viruses such as poliomyelitis and measles, fungi including yeast, or bacteria like meningococcus, pneumococcus, streptococcus, and tuberculosis. It may result from severe infection of the nose and throat or spread through the bloodstream. It is more common in children than adults. Early symptoms: sore throat, red or purple skin rash, and signs of a previous, recent respiratory disorder. Other classic symptoms include stiff neck, headache, high fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, delirium, and sensitivity to light. Change in temperament and sleepiness signal changes in the cerebral fluid and frequently precede coma and death. Also called brain fever
mense (Latin) in the month (of)
mensis (Latin) month
mercator (occupation) merchant
mercer (occupation) cloth seller
meridies (Latin) noon
messuage a dwelling house
meterer (occupation) poet
metes measurements of distance in feet, rods, poles, chains, etc.; pertains to measuring direction and distance. Acre = 43,560 square feet or 160 square rods. Chain = 66 feet or 22 yards or 100 links. Furlong = 660 feet or 220 yards or 10 chains. Link = 7.92 inches. Perch = 5-1/2 yards or 16-1/2 feet also called a rod or pole. Pole = see perch. Rod = see perch. Rood = as a measurement of length this varies from a rod to eight yards, depending on locality, it was also used to describe an area equal to a quarter acre.
metes and bounds method of surveying property by using physical and topographical features (e.g. three white oaks and a locust tree) in conjunction with measurements
metritis (medical) inflammation of uterus or purulent vaginal discharge
meus/a/um (Latin) my, mine
MG (abbreviation) Minister of the Gospel
MH (abbreviation) meeting house
mi (abbreviation) miles
miasma (medical) poisonous vapors thought to infect the air
microfiche sheet of microfilm with greatly reduced images of pages of documents
microform reproduction of images, reduced in size, as either: microcard, microfiche or microfilm
midwife (occupation) experience woman who assists in child birth
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
migration the move from one area to another
mil. (abbreviation) military
military records the US government has always kept records on all military and civilian workers. Most of these files have very detailed information, such as the individual's name, their spouse's name, date of birth, place of residence, the wars in which the individual served in, their military organization (navy, marines, or army), when the individual's service began and ended, where and when the individual died, and where the individual was buried.
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
milk fever (medical) disease from drinking contaminated milk; fever which effects lactating women (mastitis?)
milk leg (medical) post partum thrombophlebitis
milk Sick (medical) poisoning resulting from the drinking of milk produced by a cow who had eaten a plant known as white snake root
miller (occupation) corn miller, cloth miller, saw miller
milleress (occupation) miller's wife
millers carman (occupation) drove carrier to deliver the flour or seed to the customers
millner (occupation) maker of womens' hats
millow (occupation) miller
millpeck (occupation) sharpener of mill stones
millwright (occupation) one who designs or builds mills
milstone inspector (occupation) vagrant, a gentleman of the road
minimus/a natu (Latin) youngest
minor a person under legal age; historically, the legal age differed from place to place and over time (check prevailing law to determine the legal age requirement at a specific time)
mintmaker or mintmaster (occupation) issuer of local currency
mintmaster issuer of local currency [mintner?]
MIs (abbreviation) Monumental Inscriptions
misnomer mistake in a person's name for identification purposes
mister in early times, a title of respect given only to those who held important civil officer or who were of gentle blood
mixer (occupation) bartender
MM (abbreviation) monthly meeting
mnth (abbreviation) month
mo. (abbreviation) month
mocado weaver (occupation) weaver of woollen cloth used for making clothes 16-17th century.
moiety a half; an indefinite portion
molendinarius/muner (occupation) miller
molitor (occupation) miller
MOLLUS (abbreviation) Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States
mondayman (occupation) one who worked for landowner on Mondays in lieu of rent
monger (occupation) seller (of goods e.g. ale, fish)
MOPH (abbreviation) Military Order of the Purple Heart
morbus (medical) Latin word for disease. In the 18th century, when applied to a particular disease, morbus was associated with some qualifying adjective or noun, indicating the nature or seat of such disease. Examples: morbus cordis, heart disease; morbus caducus, epilepsy or failing sickness
mormal (medical) old term for gangrene. Gangrene is the death of tissue leading to blackness of the skin over the affected area. There are two types of gangrene: dry and wet. Dry gangrene results from low blood flow to a tissue. There is usually no bacterial infection and it does not spread to other tissues. Possible causes include arteriosclerosis, diabetes mellitus, thrombosis, embolism, poor circulation, and frostbite. Wet gangrene develops when a wound or dry gangrene become infected by bacteria. Careful hygiene is the best prevention for wet gangrene. Once diagnosed as wet gangrene, amputation of the area and antibiotics may be required
morphew scurvy (medical) blisters on the body
mors (Latin) death
mortality death; death rate
mortality schedule an enumeration of persons in a section of the federal census listing information about persons who died before June 1 of the census year
mortality schedules schedules which counted the number of deaths that occurred in the year before the census was taken, and exist for the 1850 through 1880 censuses, listing the individual's name, age, sex, occupation, cause of death, date of death, and place of death by county
mortgage a conditional transfer of title to real property as security for payment of a debt
mortification (medical) gangrene of necrotic tissue
mortis (Latin) of death
mortis causa (Latin) in view of death
mortuus/a est (Latin) he/she died
mortuus/a/um (Latin) dead, deceased
mos. (abbreviation) months; married out of society (Quaker)
mot. (abbreviation) mother
mother a woman who have given birth to a child
mother-in-law mother of one's spouse
mou (abbreviation) married out of unity (Quaker)
moulder (occupation) maker of molds or castings, brickmaker
mountebank (occupation) seller if ineffectual patent medicines
mourning article funeral gift
mourning piece a pictorial representation of a tomb, intended as a memorial of the dead
movable estate personal estate or personalty (see)
movables not quite equivalent to movable estate, these are personal property items which are attendant upon the owner and can be carried about from place to place. They include such things as inanimate objects, vegetable produce and animals
moveables personal property such as furniture, animals, food, clothing, etc. which can be carried from place to place and is in the possession and use of the owner
MOWW (abbreviation) Military Order of World Wars
Mr. (abbreviation) Mister, a title of respect
mr. a title that could only precede the names of gentlemen, clergymen, or government officials. Identified in the records with the abbreviation "gent."
mrs. or mistress a feminine equivalent of Mr., it did not denote marital status, but social position. A young girl coming from a higher class family would also be called "Mrs.", even though unmarried
mt (abbreviation) married to
mtg (abbreviation) meeting
Mu (abbreviation) mulatto, person with one Caucasian and one Negro parent
mudlark (occupation) sewer cleaner, riverbank scavenger
muffin maker (occupation) maker who made muffins
muffin man (occupation) itinerant seller of muffins
muggler (occupation) pigman
mugseller (occupation) seller of cups, mugs
mulatto a person who is legally considered to be an individual with mixed black and white heritage. However, some individuals who were designated mulattos may have a slightly more mixed parentage, perhaps including Native American blood.
mule minder (occupation) minded the spinning mules in the cotton mills
muleskinner (occupation) teamster
muleteer (occupation) mule driver
mulier (Latin) woman, wife
multurer (occupation) miller
muniment of title all written evidence of title which can show proof of ownership
muniment documents showing that a person has legal rights to land, possessions, or other privileges
musicker (occupation) musician
mustarder/mustardman (occupation) made and dealt in mustard
muster to enlist in, or leave, the military service; to summon or assemble troops for service or roll call
muster out a discharge from military service
mutuo consensu (Latin) by mutual consent
mvd (abbreviation) moved
MWA (abbreviation) Modern Woodmen of America
myelitis (medical) inflammation of the spine
myocarditis (medical) inflammation of heart muscles
N 
n'th refers to a number or a degree of a number (e.g. first, second, third, etc.), this is normally applied to cousins or spouses
n.D. (abbreviation) no date; not dated
n.p. (abbreviation) no place listed; no publisher listed
n.pub. (abbreviation) no publisher given
na. (abbreviation) naturalized; not applicable; not attending meeting (Quaker)
namesake person named after another person
naperer (occupation) royal servant in charge of table linen
napier (occupation) naperer
narrow weaver (occupation) weaver of ribbons, tapes, etc
nascit (Latin) he/she is born
natalis (Latin) natal
natural affection affection which exists naturally between near relatives and usually regarded as good and legal consideration in conveyance
natural heirs heirs by blood as opposed to heirs by adoption or marriage
naturalization records documents the process by which an immigrant becomes a citizen. An individual must live in the United States for a specific period of time and file a series of forms with a court before he or she can become naturalized. Naturalization records provide the following information: place and date of birth, date of arrival into the United States, place of residence at the time of naturalization, a personal description, and sometimes the name of the ship that the individual arrived on and the individual's occupation.
naturalization the process of becoming a citizen of the U.S.
naturalize to grant full citizenship to one of foreign birth
natus/a (Latin) born (adj.), son/daughter (noun)
natus/a est (Latin) he/she was born
navigator (occupation) laborer building canals or railways
NCWA (abbreviation) National Civil War Association (USA)
nd (abbreviation) no date, not dated
neatherd (occupation) cowherder
neatherder cow herd
necessary woman (occupation) servant responsible for emptying and cleaning chamber pots
necker (occupation) worker responsible for the feeding of cardboard into the machine the makes boxes
necrology listing or record of persons who have died recently
necrosis (medical) mortification of bones or tissue
nedder needle-maker
nedeller (occupation) needle maker
nee born; used to denote a woman's maiden name, e.g., Anne Gibson nee West
neg att (abbreviation) neglecting attendance (Quaker)
NEHGS (abbreviation) New England Historic Genealogical Society
neph. (abbreviation) nephew
nephew son of one's brother or sister
nephrosis (medical) kidney degeneration
nepice a word "invented", it can represent either an nephew or an niece. There is no known "real" word that makes such as designation such as "parent" does for both mother or father or "child" does for son or daughter. Note that the first three letters of this new word are taken from "nephew" and the last three letters are taken from "niece". [apologies to Daniel Webster!]
nepos (Latin) grandson, nephew
nepos ex fil (Latin) grandson
nepos ex fratre (Latin) brother's son
nepos ex sorore (Latin) sister's son
nepritis (medical) inflammation of kidneys
neptis (Latin) granddaughter
nervous prostration (medical) extreme exhaustion from inability to control physical and mental activities
netter (occupation) net maker
nettir (occupation) knitter
neuralgia (medical) sharp and paroxysmal pain along the course of a sensory nerve. It is due to irritation of a nerve from a variety of causes. Exposure to dampness and cold with resultant infection, dental decay, lack of proper diet, eye strain, and infections around the nose are some of the causes. Pain is usually felt in the part of the body supplied by the irritated nerve. There may or may not be accompanying muscle weakness, paralysis, or areas of decreased sensation on the skin. One side of the face may be affected or there may be pain in the temples and the neck. There are many causes: anemia, diabetes, gout, malaria, syphilis. Many varieties of neuralgia are distinguished according to the part affected, such as face, arm, leg
neurasthenia (medical) a condition marked by fatigue, worry, inadequacy, and lack of zest and often by headache, undue sensitiveness to light and noise, and by disturbances of digestion and circulation
newspaper announcements normally, newspapers announce events of genealogical interest such as births, deaths, and marriages. The amount of information in these announcements varies but usually available is the names of the individuals involved in the event, the date of the event and where the event took place. Sometimes pictures are also available.
next of kin denotes descent and distribution to identify the closest blood relatives of the deceased and often used exclusively to identify those who shared in the estate under the relevant statutes
NFMP (abbreviation) National Fraternity of Military Pilots
nfr (abbreviation) no further record
NGS (abbreviation) National Genealogical Society (USA)
NGSQ (abbreviation) National Genealogical Society Quarterly
nickname a name, other than the given name, that a person can be called by family and friends. Sometimes it is a derivative of the given name, such as Bob for Robert. Abbreviated sometimes as: NNM.
niece daughter of one's brother or sister
night soilman/nightman (occupation) one who emptied cesspits, ashpits and backyard toilets
nightwalker (occupation) watchman or bellman
nimgimmer (occupation) doctor
nipper (occupation) lorry boy, a young person employed by the carter or wagoner to assist with the collection and delivery of goods
nm (abbreviation) never married
nmn (abbreviation) no middle name
NOB (abbreviation) Naval Order of Battle
nob thatcher (occupation) wig maker
nocte (Latin) at night
nomen (Latin) name
non compos mentis (Latin) incompetent, or not mentally capable of handling one's affairs
noncupative will usually spelled "nuncupative will", one declared or dictated by the testator, usually for persons in last sickness, sudden illness, or military
noon tender (occupation) guarded the goods on the quay while the officers were a lunch
nostalgia (medical) homesickness
noterer (occupation) notary
novem nonus/a/um (Latin) number
November (IX-ber) (Latin) November
noverca (Latin) stepmother
now wife exclusively found in wills, this term implied that there was a former wife
np (abbreviation) no page (or publisher) given
NR (abbreviation) not reported (Census Soundex)
NSDAR (abbreviation) National Society Daughters of the American Revolution
NSSDP (abbreviation) National Society Sons and Daughters of the Pilgrims
nuclear family a family group that consists only of father, mother, and children
nulloque detecto impedimento matrimonio (Latin) and no marital impediment having been uncovered
nullus/a/um (Latin) no, none
nunc. (abbreviation) nuncupative will, oral will
nuncupative will an oral will declared or dictated by the testator before a sufficient number of witnesses, it is later put in writing
nuptus/a (Latin) married
nurus/a (Latin) son's wife
nÉe born, usually refers to a woman's maiden name
O 
o.alle. (abbreviation) oath of allegiance
o.fid. (abbreviation) oath of fidelity
O.S. (abbreviation) old style calendar
o.S.p. (abbreviation) see obit sine prole
OA (abbreviation) Order of the Arrow (Boy Scouts)
oath of fidelity an important oath of loyalty to the British Crown during the Colonial period. The person taking this oath was to be at least 21 years of age and a male who was not an indentured servant or bonded man
OB (abbreviation) order book, as in court order book
ob. or obit. (abbreviation) obit, deceased
OBE (abbreviation) Order of the British Empire
obiit sine prole (Latin) died without issue
obiit. (abbreviation) he or she died
obiit (Latin) he/she died
obit sine prole [o.S.p.] (Latin) "died without issue". The person to whom this refers to died without ever producing offspring.
obit. (abbreviation) obituary
obituary published notice of a death, sometimes with a brief biography of the deceased
OBLI (abbreviation) Ox and Bucks Light Infantry
obstetrix (Latin) midwife
OC (abbreviation) Order of Canada
occupier (occupation) tradesman
octaroon a person with seven Caucasian and one Negro great grandparents; 1/8 blac
octo octavus/a/um (Latin) number
October (VIII-ber) (Latin) October
octoroon child of a quadroon; person having one-eighth black ancestry
OED (abbreviation) Oxford English Dictionary
OES (abbreviation) Order of the Eastern Star
of color black, Indian, persons of mixed blood
offspring one's children
OHC (abbreviation) Order of the Holy Cross
oilman (occupation) sold the oil for lamps
Old Dominion the state of Virginia
old style calendar Julian calendar, used before the Gregorian calendar
olitor (occupation) kitchen gardener (from Olitory-a kitchen garden)
olographic will a will that is handwritten and signed by the individual that the will belongs to
OM (abbreviation) Ordained Minister; Order of Merit
OMM (abbreviation) Order of Military Merit
omnis (Latin) all, every
onomastics the science or study of the origin and forms of proper names of persons or places
ONS (abbreviation) (British) Office for National Statistics
OP (abbreviation) Order of Preachers (Roman Catholicism; Dominican)
oral history a collection of family stories told by a member of the family or by a close family friend. Normally, an oral history is transcribed onto paper, or is recorded (video or audio tape). Oral histories can yield some of the best information about a family and can give the kinds of things not found written in records.
oral will nuncupative will oral will declared or dictated by the testator before a sufficient number of witnesses, it is later put in writing
orbus/a (Latin) orphan masc./fem
orderly (occupation) soldier who functioned as a servant for an officer
ordinance used in the 17th century to mean a tavern or inn
ordinary (occupation) (1) innkeeper; keeper of a fixed price Inn (2) a judicial officer in some states who have jurisdiction over wills and other probate matters
ordinary keeper (occupation) innkeeper
originis (Latin) of the birth
origo (Latin) birth
orphan a child whose mother or father or both have died
orphan assylum an orphanage
orphan's court orphans being recognized as wards of the states provisions were made for them in special courts
orrery maker (occupation) made a mechanical apparatus for showing the movements of the planets (named after the Earl of Orrery the inventor)
orrice weaver (occupation) designer of lace patterns to be woven with silk thread and silk
ortus (Latin) origin, birth
OS (abbreviation) Old Style (referring to dates)
OSA (abbreviation) Order of St. Anne; Ordinis Sancti Augustini (of the order of St. Augustine)
OSB (abbreviation) Order of St. Benedict
OSIA (abbreviation) Order of the Sons of Italy in America
osier peeler (occupation) removed bark from willow rods or osiers which were used in basket weaving, usually women and children (also known as withy peelers)
OSL (abbreviation) Order of St. Luke the Physician
osler bird-catcher
OSM (abbreviation) Order of Servants of Mary
osnard (occupation) herder of oxen
OSSB (abbreviation) Order of the Star Spangled Banner
ostiary (occupation) monastery door keeper
ou (abbreviation) out of unity (Quaker)
OUAM (abbreviation) Order of United American Mechanics
out crier (occupation) auctioneer
outrider (occupation) mounted attendant riding before or behind a carriage
outworker (occupation) worker who carried on their occupation at home, e.g., cotton or woollen weavers but it applies to many occupations
overlooker (occupation) superintendent or overseer, especially in the textile mills
overman (occupation) supervisor in a colliery who checked the miners work and the quality of the mined coal
owler (occupation) sheep or wool smuggler
owned the covenant an agreement among members of church to hold to points of doctrine, faith, etc.; to join a certain congregation
oyster dredger (occupation) member of the crew on board an oyster fishing boat
P 
p. (abbreviation) page; post or after
p.O.a. (abbreviation) power of attorney
p.R. (abbreviation) parish register or parish records
p.v. (abbreviation) prorare vexilla, patriotically
pack thread spinner (occupation) operator of the machine which made thread or twine
packer (occupation) packs goods such as pickles or herring
packman (occupation) itinerant peddler
pad maker (occupation) made small baskets used for measuring
PAF (abbreviation) Personal Ancestral File (software)
page (occupation) youth being trained for the medieval rank of knight and in the personal service of a knight or attendant upon someone of rank in the medieval period
paintress (occupation) woman employed in the pottery industry to hand paint the finished articles
Palatinate area in Germany known as "the pfalz", "Rheinland Pfalz" and "Bavarian Pfalz" from which thousands of families immigrated to Colonial America
paleography study of handwriting
paling man (occupation) seller of eels
palister (occupation) one who ensured the parks were safe and well kept
palmer (occupation) a pilgrim; one who had been, or pretended to have been, to the Holy Land
palsy (medical) paralysis or uncontrolled movement of controlled muscles; loss of muscle control
paneler (occupation) saddler
pannarius (occupation) clothier and draper
pannebeter (occupation) pan-hammerer, or perhaps clothdriver
pannier man (occupation) fish monger
pannifex (occupation) somebody who worked in the cloth trade
panter (occupation) keeper of the pantry
pantler (occupation) butler
paper-stainer (occupation) one who made wallpaper
paperer (occupation) inserted the needles into the paper ready for sale in the needlemaking trade
parcel a continuous stretch of land - typically given a reference number on 25 inch Ordnance Survey maps
parcheminer (occupation) parchment maker
pardoner (occupation) one licensed to sell Papal Indulgences
parent one's mother or father, can be a step-parent
parent county the county from which a new county is formed
parentes (Latin) parents
parfumier/perfumer (occupation) manufacturer and purveyor of scents such as perfumes, colognes and even incense
pargeter (occupation) applied ornamental plaster to buildings
parish ecclesiastical division or jurisdiction; the site of a church
paristhmitis (medical) also called quinsy, is a suppurative inflammation of the tonsils
paritor (occupation) church officer who attended the magistrates and justices at court for the pupose of executing their orders
parker (occupation) park caretaker
parochia (Latin) parish
parochus (Latin) parish priest
paroxysm (medical) convulsion
partition the dividing of real estate among all cotenants (see cotenancy) according to their respective rights
partus (Latin) childbirth
passage keeper (occupation) kept passages and alleys clean
passenger lists lists of the names and information about passengers that arrived on ships into the United States. These lists were submitted to customs collectors at every port by the ship's master. Passenger lists were not officially required by the United States government until 1820. Before that date, the information about each passenger varied widely, from names to number of bags.
pasteler (occupation) pastry chef
pastor (occupation) shepherd
patent a government grant of property in fee simple to public lands; land grant
patentee a person who receives a patent or a land grant
pater (Latin) father
paternal belonging to one's father's side of the family, e.g. paternal grandmother
paternal line line of descent traced through the father's ancestry
paternal cousin denotes whether an individual is someones first cousin on the father's side as opposed to the mother's side. Also see Maternal Cousin.
patres (Latin) forefathers, ancestors
patriarch the leader of a family, usually the oldest living male member
patrinus/a/i (Latin) godfather/godmother/godparents
patriot one who loves his country and supports its interests
patronymic in strict usage, a name formed by the addition of a prefix or suffix indicating sonship or other relationship to the name of one's father or paternal ancestors, as Johnson (son of John), MacDonald (son of Donald), etc.
patronymics the practice of creating last names from the name of one's father. For example, Robert, John's son, would become Robert Johnson. Robert Johnson's son Neil would become Neil Robertson
patruerlis (Latin) paternal nephew
patrui relicta (Latin) paternal uncle's widow
patruus (Latin) paternal uncle
patten maker (occupation) clog maker or the person who made wooden soles (pattens) to fit under normal shoes to protect from wet and muddy ground
patton/patten maker a maker of a clog shod with an iron ring; maker of iron-rimmed patterns for footware. A clog was a wooden pole with a pattern cut into the end
paver/paviour (occupation) laid paving stones
pavyler (occupation) put up pavilions or tents etc
PBA (abbreviation) Patrolman's Benevolent Association
Pbt. (abbreviation) probated
PCC (abbreviation) Prerogative Court of Canterbury (UK)
pedascule (occupation) schoolmaster
pedigree a line of ancestors; lineage; a list or table of descent and relationship; a record of ancestry; a family tree; descent; lineage; ancestry; a recorded or known line of descent
pedigree chart a report showing an individual along with parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, etc. for a specified number of generations; The chart does not include siblings, cousins, or other relatives
peeler (occupation) policeman, constable, bobby (from Sir Robert Peel founder of the police force)
peerage a book containing a list of peers with their genealogy, history, and titles
peever (occupation) pepper-seller
pelliparius/peltarius (occupation) skinner
pelterer (occupation) one who worked with animal skins
pemphigus (medical) skin disease of watery blisters
pension (military) a benefit paid regularly to a person for military service or a military service related disability, sometimes it was paid to the widows of the person that served in the military
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 person who receives pension benefits
per annum (Latin) by the year
per stirpes (Latin) by roots and stocks, a term used in the law of descent and distribution of estates, it indicates a metod of dividing an intestate estate so that a group of children (as opposed to individuals) take only the share to which their deceased ancestor would have been entitled had he been living. Later the appropriate term became "by representation"
perambulator (occupation) surveyor
perch 5 1/2 yards; a pole; a rod
perchemear (occupation) one who made parchment
peregrinator (occupation) itinerant wanderer
pericarditis (medical) inflammation of heart
peripneumonia (medical) inflammation of lungs
peritonotis (medical) inflammation of abdominal area
personal property see personalty
personalty any personal or movable property; goods and chattels (see)
peruker (occupation) wigmaker
peruker/perukmaker (occupation) wig maker
pessoner (occupation) fish monger
petechial fever (medical) another term used in place of typhus, which is an acute, infectious disease transmitted by lice and fleas. Symptoms include headache, arthralgia and myalgia, chills, high fever, falling blood pressure, stupor, delirium, rash that begins on chest and spreads to rest of trunk and extremities The early rash is faint and rose colored and fades with pressure. Later the lesions become dull red and do not fade. People with severe typhus may also develop petechiae. Also called typhus fever, malignant fever, jail fever, hospital fever, putrid fever, ship fever, brain fever, bilious fever, spotted fever, and camp fever
peterman (occupation) fisherman
petition an application, in writing, to the court for an exercise of judicial power in a matter which is not the subject of a suit. The would-be administrator or executor petitions the probate court to grant his letters of administration or letters testamentary.
pettifogger (occupation) shyster; lawyer
petty chapman (occupation) itinerant dealer in small goods, a pedlar
pg., pgs., pp. (abbreviation) page or pages
PH (abbreviation) The Order of Patrons Of Husbandry (Grange)
philosophical instrument maker (occupation) one who made scientific instruments
phrenologist (occupation) diviner of a person's character based on the bumps on a person's head
phthiriasis (medical) lice infestation
phthisis (medical) an old term for pulmonary tuberculosis, also called marasmus in the mid-nineteenth century, Tuberculosis is an infectious disease that is usually caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Infection may result from inhalation of minute droplets of infected sputum which are given off by coughing, talking, or sneezing. Tuberculosis most often affects the lungs and the plurae, however, bones and kidneys may also be affected and sometimes the intestines, spleen and liver. In most cases the infection involves the top of the lungs, where, if the infected person is not immune, the bacteria grow freely with in the body and spread from the lungs to other parts of the body. Eventually the patient develops immunity and the bacteria stop spreading. They become surrounded by scar tissue and do not cause further damage. At a later stage, the protective layer of scar tissue may break down. It is well established that poor nutrition is one of the primary causes of TB in conjunction with unsanitary living conditions, loss of sleep, overwork and a sedentary lifestyle which all contribute to a lowered immune system as well. SYMPTOMS Initially resemble influenza, which may include a cough. Mild symptoms include fatigue and appetite and weight loss. More severe symptoms include fever, increased perspiration or severe night sweats, chronic fatigue, continued weight loss, chest pain, shortness of breath and infected urine. In advanced cases, coughing up blood is initially seen. See consumption
picker (occupation) one who cast the shuttle on a loom
pictor (occupation) painter
pie (Latin) piously
piecener/piecer (occupation) one who worked in a spinning mill, employed to piece together any threads which broke (usually a child or woman)
pigman (occupation) crockery dealer
pikelet maker (occupation) baker who specialised in making pikelets (a small pancake or crumpet)
pikeman (occupation) miller's assistant
piker (occupation) tramp or vagrant
pilcher (occupation) maker of pilches
piller (occupation) robber
pilot (occupation) ship steersman
pinder (occupation) keeper of the pound or pinfold
piner (occupation) laborer
pinner (occupation) pin make
pinner up (occupation) dressmakers assistant or one who sold broadsheets or ballards in the streets
pinsetter (occupation) one who manually set up bowling pins before the advent of automated pinsetting machines
pipe roll the Great Roll of the Exchequer, containing yearly accounts of sheriffs, etc.
piper (occupation) innkeeper
piscarius (occupation) fishmonger
piscator (occupation) fisherman [Pescador (sp?) in Spanish]
pistor (occupation) miller or baker
pit brow lass (occupation) female worker who worked on the surface of the mines
pitman (occupation) coal miner
place or place name the name of a geographical place, such as a town, city, county, state or country. A place name can be a combination of a town in a county in a state.
placing out the placement of children outside the home as apprentices or servants to other people, usually in exchange for payment to the parents. Also see putting out.
plague (medical) an acute febrile highly infectious disease with a high fatality rate. The Bubonic Plague has had a major impact on the history of the world. Caused by the bacterium, Yersinia pestis, and transmitted by fleas often found on rats, bubonic plague has killed over fifty million people over the centuries. Burrowing rodent populations across the world keep the disease present in the world today. Outbreaks, though often small, still occur in many places. The use of antibiotics and increased scientific knowledge first gained in the 1890's have reduced the destruction of plague outbreaks. In Medieval times, with the unknowing help of humans, bubonic plague exploded into a pandemic. Known as the "Black Death", it decimated Europe in 1350, killing one-third of the population. It disrupted government, trade, and commerce. It reshaped people's perspectives on life and Christianity, and found expression in many works of art. Bubonic plague's influence and effects have shaped events of the past and part of our world today
plain worker (occupation) performed plain sewing or needlework as opposed to an embroiderer
plaiter (occupation) maker of straw plaits used in making hats etc
planker (occupation) one who planks or kneads the body of the hat during felting
plantifene see avernator
PLAV (abbreviation) Polish Legion of American Veterans
playderer (occupation) one who made plaid
pleacher/plaicher/platcher/plasher (occupation) hedge layer
pleadings the written statements of the parties to a legal suit or action in which each presents, alternately, either his allegations or claims for relief or his defense against the claims of others. The most common pleadings are the declaration, complaint, bill, or information of the plaintiff and the answer of the defendant
pleurisy (medical) inflammation of the pleura, the membranous sac lining of the chest cavity, with or without fluid collected in the pleural cavity. Symptoms are chills, fever, dry cough, and pain in the affected side (a stitch)
plomer (occupation) plumber
ploughwright one who makes or repairs ploughs/plows
plowman (occupation) farmer
plowwright (occupation) maker or repairer of plows
plumassier/plumer (occupation) made or sold plumes, ornamental feathers
plumber one who applied sheet lead for roofing and set lead frames for plain or stained glass windows
plumbum worker (occupation) plumber
PM (abbreviation) preparative meeting (Quaker)
pneumonia (medical) an inflammation of the lungs with congestion or consolidation caused by different bacteria, viruses, fungi, or physical and chemical agents. The tiny air sacs in the lung area become inflamed and fill with mucus and pus. It is unlikely to be contagious. Although symptoms can vary in intensity, they usually include fever, chills, cough, muscle aches, fatigue, sore throat, enlarged lymph glands in the neck, bluish nails, pains in the chest, and rapid, difficult respiration. Typical contributing factors to pneumonia are the common cold, influenza, seizure or stroke, aspiration under anesthesia, alcoholism, smoking, kidney failure, sickle cell disease, malnutrition, foreign bodies in the respiratory passages, bacteria, viruses, chemical irritants, and even allergies
po. (abbreviation) post or after
podagra (medical) another term for gout, which is the deposition of uric acid crystals in the joint(s) of the body. The crystals cause swelling, redness, pain, and sometimes fever. The pain may be so severe that the person can not tolerate clothing touching the affected area. Uric acid is a by-product of certain foods, especially foods containing purines. It is best to avoid purine-rich foods such as organ meats, mushrooms, legumes, and sardines. ninety percent of gout patients are male
pointer (occupation) sharpened needles or pins or lace maker
pointmaker/pointman (occupation) made the tips of laces
pointsman (occupation) railway worker who operated the points, used to change the line on which the train was travelling
poldave worker (occupation) made poldave, a coarse fabric
pole 5 1/2 yards; a perch; a rod
poleman (occupation) surveyor's assistant
polentier (occupation) poulterer
poliomyelitis (medical) polio
poll head or taxable person; list or record of persons, especially for taxing or voting; used in early tax records to denote a taxable person; person eligible to vote
poller/powler (occupation) barber
ponderator (occupation) inspector of weights and measures
porcher (occupation) pig-keeper
portable soup maker (occupation) converted soup into a dry form for transporting from place to place
porter (occupation) gate-keeper or door-keeper
pos. (abbreviation) possibly
POSA (abbreviation) Patriotic Sons of America
post (occupation) (Latin) after
post boy (occupation) carried mail from town to town, guard who travelled on the mail coach or outrider who travelled with the stagecoach as a postillion
post longum morbum (Latin) after a long illness
poster (occupation) one who worked in the quarries breaking rocks
posterity descendants; those who come after
posthumous born after the death of the father; published after the death of the author; following or occurring after death
posthumous child a child born after the death of the father
postillion (occupation) attacher of extra horses to wagons and coaches to help them up hills
postnuptial contract a written agreement made by a couple after their marriage concerning the inheritance of property of one or both. It takes precedence over statutes of descent and distribution. See also antenuptial contract.
postridie (Latin) on the day after
pot boy/man (occupation) one who worked in public houses washing and removing dirty pots also did other menial tasks
potato badger (occupation) seller of potatoes
potter (occupation) maker or seller of pottery
potter carrier (occupation) chemist or pharmacist
potter thrower (occupation) potter who used a wheel and therefore had to throw the clay
potter's asthma (medical) fibroid pthisis
Potts Disease (medical) degeneration of the vertebrae; tuberculosis of spine
poulter (occupation) seller of poultry
poulterer (occupation) dealer in poultry
power loom tuner (occupation) one who maintained the loom in mills
power of attorney written instrument where a person, as principal, appoints someone to acts as his or her agent, thereby authorizing that person to perform certain acts on behalf of the principal, such as buying or selling property, settling an estate, representing them in court, etc.
pp. (abbreviation) pages
pr. (abbreviation) proved; probated
prc (abbreviation) produced a certificate (Quaker)
pre (Latin) prefix meaning before, as in pre-war military build-up
pre-emption rights right given by the federal government to citizens to buy a quarter section of land or less
preceptress (occupation) school mistress
prefix (for a name) usually a title associated with a person's name, such as: doctor, professor, deacon, reverend, lieutenant, etc.
prentis (occupation) apprentice
prenuptial agreement legal document (usually involving property) made by a couple before marriage
preponderance of evidence evidence of greater weight or more convincing than the opposing evidence; evidence more credible and convincing, more reasonable and probable, it can be circumstantial in nature
presents term meaning "this document or instrument", in legal writing, "by these presents" designates the instrument in which the phrase itself occurs
prick louise (occupation) tailor
pricker (occupation) witch hunter, pattern maker or a horseman
pridie (Latin) on the day before
prig napper (occupation) horse thief
primary evidence original or first-hand evidence; the best evidence available that must be used before secondary evidence can be introduced as proof
primary record a record created at the time of the event (e.g. birth, marriage, death, etc.) as opposed to records written some years later
primary source records created at the time of an event. For example, a primary source for a birth date would be a birth certificate. While birth dates can be found on other documents, such as marriage certificates, they would not be primary sources for the birth date because they were not created at the time of the birth.
primogenitor ancestor; forefather
primogeniture the state of being the firstborn of the children of the same parents; an exclusive right of inheritance belonging to the eldest son to the exclusion of younger sons
priores (Latin) ancestors
privignus/a (Latin) stepson/stepdaughter of a father
pro (Latin) in behalf of, for
PRO (abbreviation) (British) the Public Record Office
proavus/a (Latin) great grandfather/great grandmother
prob. (abbreviation) probably; probated
probate legal process having to do with wills and the administration of estates
probate court see court of probate
probate records records disposing of the property of a deceased person. Probate records normally include an individual's last will and testament, if one was made. The information available from probate records varies, but usually includes the name of the deceased, either the deceased's age at the time of death or birth date, property, members of the family, and the last place of residence.
probate[d] the action or process of proving in a court of law that a document offered for official recognition and registration as the last will and testament of a deceased person is genuine; the officially authenticated copy of a probated will; legal process used to appoint an someone to administer the estate of someone who died without leaving a will
proclamatio (Latin) bann, decree
proclamation money where reference is made in early deeds or other conveyances to consideration being in "proclamation money" (or "proc. money"), it refers to uniform coin values which were established in the American Colonies by royal proclamation in 1704. Foreign coins were rated on the basis of their bullion content. The proclamation was not enforced and was effectively ignored.
proctor (occupation) official of a university
progenitor an ancestor or forebearer, usually the furthest back known ancestor of a given branch or line on a family tree
progeniture a direct ancestor
progeny one's children, descendants or offspring
proles (Latin) issue, child
proles spuria (Latin) illegitimate child
proneptus (Latin) grand niece
prop bobby (occupation) worked in mines checking the pit props
propinqui (Latin) relations, relatives
propr. (abbreviation) proprietor
proprietor someone who owned a business; someone in business for himself; a self-employed person
prorare vexilla (Latin) patriotic
prosocrus (Latin) wife's grandmother
prothonary (occupation) law clerk
prothonotary (occupation) the chief or principal clerk who officiates in some courts
prove see probate
proved (for wills) to establish the authenticity or validity of a will
proved will a will established as genuine by probate court
proved documents such as wills, deeds, bills of sale, etc., having their accuracy and honesty attested to through legal proceedings in a court of law
provincia (Latin) province
provost a person appointed to superintend, or preside over something
proximo, prox. (Latin) of the next month; in the following month, in the month after the present one
proximus consanguineus (Latin) nearest relation
prv. (abbreviation) proven, proved
public domain land owned by the government; creative works whose copyright has expired
publican (occupation) innkeeper
puddler (occupation) wrought iron worker
pudicus/a (Latin) chaste
puella (Latin) girl
puer (Latin) boy
puerperal exhaustion (medical) death due to child birth
puerperal fever (medical) elevated temperature after giving birth to an infant; septic poisoning associated with child birth
puerperium (Latin) childbirth
puggard (occupation) thief
pugger (occupation) produce clay paste by treading like grapes, usually women and children in brick manufacturing
puking fever (medical) milk sickness
punky (occupation) chimney sweep
purefinder (occupation) old women and young girls who went about the streets gathering dog droppings which were used for tanning leather
purgatus/a (Latin) cleansed, baptized
purpresture land that has been obtained by encroachment on either common land, waste land or woodland
purser (occupation) ship's officer in charge of provisions and accounts
pus (medical) a yellow-white, more or less viscid substance found in abscesses and sores, consisting of a liquid plasma in which white blood cells are formed and suspended by the process of inflammation
putrid fever (medical) an old term for diphtheria, which is an acute bacterial disease that usually affects the tonsils, throat, nose or skin. Diphtheria is transmitted to others through close contact with discharge from an infected person's nose, throat, skin, eyes and lesions. There are two types of diphtheria. One type involves the nose and throat, and the other involves the skin. Symptoms include sore throat, low-grade fever and enlarged lymph nodes located in the neck. Skin lesions may be painful, swollen and reddened. In earlier centuries, when diphtheria went untreated, serious complications such as paralysis, heart failure and blood disorders resulted. See typhus
putrid sore throat (medical) ulceration of an acute form, attacking the tonsils and rapidly running into sloughing of the fauces (the cavity at the back of the mouth, leading to the pharynx)
putter in (occupation) put things in to some form of mechanised process
pvt. (abbreviation) private (military rank)
pynner (occupation) pin-maker
pyrexia (medical) describes a group of infections characterized by inflammation of the small and large intestine with diarrhea often containing blood. The two main types are amoebic dysentery of the tropics and bacillary dysentery which occurs throughout the world. see dysentery
Q 
q.V.(abbreviation) (abbreviation) quod vide (see)
Qkr (abbreviation) Quaker
QM (abbreviation) quarter master (military); quarterly meeting (Quaker)
QOCH (abbreviation) Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders
quadraginta quadrage(n)simus (Latin) number 4
quadroon child of a mulatto and white parentage; a child with one black grandparent
quaker member of the Religious Society of Friends
quarrel picker (occupation) glazier
quarrier (occupation) quarry worker
quarrier/quarryman (occupation) quarry worker
quarryman (occupation) stonecutter
quasi (Latin) almost, as if
quattordecim quartus decimus (Latin) number 1
quattuor quartus/a/um (Latin) number
qui, quae, quod (Latin) who, which, what
quid pro quo (Latin) "value for value". That which is received in consideration for something that is requested, done, or given
quidam, quaedam (Latin) a certain person (masc./fem.)
quiller (occupation) one who operated a machine that wound yarn onto spools
quilter/quiltress (occupation) one who quilted material
Quinctilis (Latin) Jul
quindecim quintus decimus (Latin) number 1
quinquaginta quinquage(n)simus (Latin) number 5
quinque quintus/a/um (Latin) number
quinsy (medical) (streptococcal) Tonsillitis; A fever, or a febrile condition. An acute suppurative inflammation of the tonsils, often leading to an abscess; peritonsillar abscess. Also called suppurative tonsillitis, cynanche tonsillaris, paristhmitis, sore throat
quister (occupation) one who bleached things
quit rent fee in early Virginia, an annual fee (1 shilling for 50 acres of land) paid to the king in exchange for the right to live on and farm the property
quit rent roll in early Virginia, a list of those who paid the annual fee to the king in exchange for the right to live on and farm property
quit-claim deed a deed releasing claim to an estate or property by an individual to another person
quit-rent a fee paid to a feudal lord so that the tenant could farm the land without being obligated to serve the lord in other capacities
quitclaim a deed conveying the claim or title (usually to land) without guarantee of valid title
quitclaim deed transfer of land or claim without guaranteeing a clear title
quod vide directs the reader to look in another part of the book for further information
quoddam (Latin) a certain thing
quondam (Latin) formerly, sometime
quorum the legal number of persons required to be present to conduct business
R 
R.C. (abbreviation) Roman Catholic
R.I.P. (abbreviation) see requiescat in pace
rack maiden (occupation) girl employed in the tin mines of Cornwall to dress the ore
raff merchant (occupation) seller of fibre used to make raffia bags etc
raffman (occupation) one who dealt in raff (saleable rubbish)
rag and bone man (occupation) one who went from street to street with a cart and collected any old rubbish, usually in exchange for a small item, e.g. a block of soapstone
rag cutter (occupation) one who cut up rags into small pieces to be used for making paper etc
rag gatherers (occupation) employed to clear the rags from the machinery in the mills (usually children)
rag man (occupation) one who went from street to street collecting and selling old clothes and rags
rag picker (occupation) sorted through the left over rags to find re usable ones
ragman's-roll a register, compiled by a representative of the pope, of the beneficiaries in Scotland
raker (occupation) street sanitation worker
range the area between range lines (north-south running lines) as a part of the Rectangular Survey System - together with the township lines (east-west running lines) range lines form areas of six miles square or 36 square miles, called townships
ratoner (occupation) rat catcher
rattlewatch (occupation) town watchman
RCA (abbreviation) Railway Carmen of America
rcd (abbreviation) recorded; received
RCJ (abbreviation) Rogationists Cordis Jesu (formal name for Rogationists, Roman Catholic Order of Men)
re.g. (abbreviation) register
real property land and anything attached to it, such as houses, building, barns, growing timber, growing crops, etc. Also see realty.
realty relating to land, as distinguished from personalty. The term applies to lands, tenements and hereditaments. It encompasses both appurtenances and fixtures. Sometimes called fast estate.
rec (abbreviation) received
rec'd (abbreviation) received
receipt a written acknowledgement that goods or property have been received
receiver person appointed by court to hold property until a suit is settled
reconveyance property sold to another person is transferred back to the original owner
record agent a person specializing in the knowledge of records and sources
recrq (abbreviation) received by request (Quaker)
rectangular survey system a system of land survey adopted with the Northwest Ordinance of 1785 which provided that public lands be surveyed and described in terms of subdivision, section, township, and range before settlement. See metes and bounds.
rectifier (occupation) one who distilled alcoholic spirits
rector a clergyman; the ruler or governor of a country
redar (occupation) interpreter of dreams
redemption the regaining of property once lost to forfeiture or foreclosure
redemptioner an immigrant to the United States in the 18th and 19th centuries who obtained passage by becoming an indentured servant
redsmith (occupation) goldsmith
reeder (occupation) worked with reeds for hedging or thatching
reedmaker (occupation) made the pipe for a musical instrument or made a weavers implement (a reed) or reed cloth or the comb used in tapestry
reeler (occupation) operated the machine that wound the yarn onto the bobbin
reeve (occupation) churchwarden; early name for sheriff in England
reever (occupation) shriever
register of wills an officer in the counties of some states whose duties include: record all wills admitted to probate, issue letters of administration or letters testamentary, receive and file all accounts of executors and administrators, and, act generally as clerk of the court of probate
registrar (occupation) official who registers events such as land purchases or births
regt. (abbreviation) regiment
relationship the designation of how one person is related to another. These other people are related in such ways as:
   •  adoptive: adoptor, adoptee
   •  auncle: aunt, uncle
   •  brethren: brother, sister (a.k.a. Sibling)
   •  caregiver: male, female
   •  caretaker: male, female
   •  child: son, daughter
   •  cousin: (no distinction for gender)
   •  ex-: ex-spouse
   •  foster: male or female
   •  grandparent: grandfather, grandmother
   •  great: great grandparent, great aunt/uncle
   •  guardian: male or female
   •  half: half-sibling
   •  in-law: parent-in-law
   •  maternal: maternal grandparent
   •  nepice: nephew, niece
   •  other: male or female
   •  parent: father, mother
   § Note that there can be other alphabetic designators tied to many of the above, such as:
   •  paternal: paternal grandparent
   •  removed: cousins that are 'n' times removed
   •  spouse: husband, wife
   •  step: step-parent
   •  ward: male or female
   § Note also that there can be numeric designators tied to many of the above, such as:
   •  fourth child
   •  second marriage or second spouse
   •  third cousin
   § Existing methods that determine relationships:
   •  canon law
   •  civil law
   •  common law.
release two main types (1) accomplished when an heir releases his expectancy interest to the source of that interest (2) conveys one person's rights or interests to someone else who also has an interest in the same estate. An example is when a child of the deceased releases certain rights to the widow of the deceased. The document used is called a discharge.
release of dower when property is sold by a married couple the buyer would usually assure that the selling husband and wife both sign the deed that the wife signs a release of her dower rights. Otherwise, the selling wife can later legally claim her dower rights on the property.
release of mortgage see deed of release
relfc (abbreviation) released from care of (Quaker)
relict widow; surviving spouse when one has died, husband or wife
relicta widow
relictus widower
relictus/a (Latin) widower/ widow
relrq (abbreviation) released by request (Quaker)
rem. (abbreviation) remove, removed, moved to
remainder the part of the estate that is left after a prior interest ends
remitting fever (medical) an old term used to indicate the presence of malaria. Malaria is an acute and sometimes chronic infectious disease due to the presence of protozoan parasites within red blood cells. These parasites are discharged through salivary ducts when the mosquito bites a person. The causative organism is transmitted through bites of infected female mosquitoes of the genus anopheles. Also may be transmitted by blood transfusion. The incubation period averages twelve days to thirty days. Symptoms: various derangements of the digestive and nervous systems characterized by periodicity, chills, fever, and sweats in the order mentioned, having pathological manifestations of progressive anemia, splenic enlargement, and deposition in various organs of a melanin, resulting from biological activity of the parasite
removed separated in relationships by some degree of descent from some common ancestor. This usually refers to cousins, e.g. a child of a first cousin is one's first cousin once removed.
renatus/a (Latin) reborn, baptized
renovator (occupation) one who repaired clothing
renunciation sometimes called a disclainer, it is a refusal to accept a testamentary transfer or a transfer by will. Under the common law an heir (one who took property by inheritance froman intestate) could not renounce.
rep. (abbreviation) representative
repository the place where a source can be found. (i.e.: Library, FHC etc.
republic government in which supreme authority lies with the people or their elected representatives
repud. (abbreviation) repudiate
requiescat in pace [R.I.P.] (Latin) may he/she rest in peace
res. (abbreviation) residence; resident of, resided, research
research log some method of tracking what the researcher has thus far looked at plus other items that the user intends to look at
researcher the person who has gathered genealogical data
residuary bequest a bequest which consists of anything left over after the fees and debts have been paid in an estate
residuary clause a clause in a will which conveys any and everything left of a residuary legacy to the beneficiary
residuary devisee beneficiary in a will who is to take all real property remaining after other legacies have been satisfied
residuary estate all the rest and residue, everything that has not been disposed of other than what remains in the residuary clause
residue the surplus of a testator's estate when all other obligations have been legally taken care of
residuum (Latin) the remainder of an estate after all debts and legacies have been dispersed
ret mbrp (abbreviation) retained membership (Quaker)
ret. (abbreviation) retired; returned
Rev. (abbreviation) reverend; reversed
Rev. War (abbreviation) Revolutionary War
revenue stamp a stamp placed on goods and documents to show that the tax had been collected
revenuer (occupation) federal officer enforcing the law against illegal manufacturing of whisky
reverse index in probate, an index listing those involved in the probate process, not the deceased
Revolutionary War U.S. war for independence from Great Britain 1775-1783
RGLI (abbreviation) Royal Guernsey Light Infantry
rheumatism (medical) refers to any painful state of the supporting structures of the body (e.g. its bones, ligaments, joints, tendons, or muscles)
RHF (abbreviation) Royal Highland Fusiliers
rickets (medical) disease of skeletal system caused by vitamin D deficiency
rickmaster (occupation) Captain of Horse
riddler (occupation) wool stapler
riftere (occupation) reaper
rigger (occupation) hoist tackler worker
right of way set either by a law or a contract, it grants a right of passage over specific lands
ripper (occupation) fish monger
ripper/rippier (occupation) one who sold fresh water fish at the markets or maker and seller of baskets
ritus (Latin) rite
riverman (occupation) worker on a river boat
RJLI (abbreviation) Royal Jersey Light Infantry
rm(t) (abbreviation) reported married (to)
RMLI (abbreviation) Royal Marine Light Infantry
RNA (abbreviation) Royal Neighbors of America
roc (abbreviation) received on certificate (Quaker)
rocf (abbreviation) received on certificate from (Quaker)
rockgetter (occupation) rocksalt miner
rockman (occupation) worked in a quarry usually placing the charges on the rockface
rod 5 1/2 yards; 16 1/2 feet; a perch or square perch; a pole
rodman (occupation) surveyor's assistant
rol (abbreviation) received on letter (Quaker)
rolf (abbreviation) received on letter from (Quaker)
roll turner (occupation) carder of wool, cotton etc into rolls prior to spinning
roller coverer (occupation) one who covered the rollers for the spinning process
rolleyway man (occupation) maintained the underground road in the mines
roman cementer/plasterer (occupation) one who worked with roman cement used in stuccoing
rood 5 1/2 to 8 yards depending upon location; 1/4 of an acre
roper (occupation) ropemaker; maker of rope or nets
rose cold (medical) hay fever or nasal symptoms of an allergy
rotanny fever (medical) (Child's disease) ??
rotarius (occupation) wheelwright
rover (occupation) archer or operator of a machine used in cotton mills which prepared the carded fibre into rolls
rower builder of (small) wagon wheels
rpd (abbreviation) reported
rqc (abbreviation) requested certificate (Quaker)
rqct (abbreviation) requested certificate to (Quaker)
rqcuc (abbreviation) requested to come under care (Quaker)
RQM (abbreviation) Regimental Quartermaster (US Civil War)
rrq (abbreviation) request, requests, requested
RSF (abbreviation) The Royal Scots Fusiliers
RSOF (abbreviation) Religious Society Of Friends (Quakers)
rst (abbreviation) reinstate, reinstated (Quaker)
RTT (abbreviation) Royal Templars of Temperance
rubbisher/rubbler (occupation) sorted the small stones in the quarries
rubeola (medical) German measles
rugman (occupation) dealer in rugs
runner (occupation) smuggler, messenger and ironically one who worked for the magistrate best remembered as Bow Street Runners
rustica country girl
rusticus country boy
rustler (occupation) cattle thief
S 
s-i-l (abbreviation) sister in law
s. (abbreviation) son
s. and h. (abbreviation) son and heir
S.P. (abbreviation) see "sine prole"
s/o (abbreviation) son of
sacer, sacra, sacrum (Latin) sacred
sacerdos (Latin) priest
sacramentis totiis munitiis (Latin) fortified by all the last rites
saddle tree maker (occupation) one who made the frames for saddles that the saddler used
saddler (occupation) maker and repairer of saddles and bridles
safernman (occupation) grower of saffron
sagger maker (occupation) one who made the fireclay containers in which the stoneware was placed ready for firing
Saint Anthony's Fire (medical) also erysipelas, but named so because of affected skin areas are bright red in appearance
Saint Vitus Dance (medical) ceaseless occurrence of rapid complex jerking movements performed involuntarily. see chorea
sale bill a record made of the goods and properties sold at a public sale by the excecutor or administrator of the estate. The record is usually quite complete and detailed.
saloonist (occupation) saloon keeper
salt boiler (occupation) one who obtained salt by boiling water
salter/drysalter/saucer (occupation) one who made or dealt in salt
samitere/samite maker of a kind of heavy silk stuff
sanctus/a/um (Latin) holy, sacred
sand hog (occupation) those who dug the tunnel under the river
sandesman (occupation) ambassador or messenger
sandwichman (occupation) wears a sandwich billboard for advertising
sanguinous crust (medical) a scab
SAR (abbreviation) Sons of the American Revolution
sarcinet weaver (occupation) silk weaver
sauntere (occupation) probably salt maker
sausere (occupation) salter
savant (occupation) servant
sawbones (occupation) physician
sawyer (occupation) sawer of wood; carpenter
say weaver (occupation) one who made Say, material used for table cloths or bedding
scabbler person who uses a scabbler (pick) to trim the sides of a tunnel
scagiola maker (occupation) one who made imitation marble
scaleraker/scavenger (occupation) employed by the parish to clean the streets
scappler (occupation) one who roughly shaped the stone prior to being finished by the stonemason
scarlatina (medical) a relative of scarlet fever. A contagious febrile disease, caused by infection with the bacteria group. A beta-hemolytic streptococci (which elaborate a toxin with an affinity for red blood cells) and characterized by a scarlet eruption, tonsillitis, and pharyngitis
scarlet fever (medical) a disease characterized by red rash. see Scarlatina
scarlet rash (medical) roseola
scavelman (occupation) employed to keep the waterways and ditches clear
schrimpschonger (occupation) artisan who carves in bone, ivory, or wood
schumacker (occupation) shoemaker; cobbler
sciatica (medical) rheumatism in the hips
scirrhus (medical) cancerous tumors
scorta (Latin) unmarried mother, whore
scotch draper/scotchman (occupation) sold goods door to door with payment to be made by installments
scotomy (medical) dizziness, nausea and dimness of sight
screener (occupation) screened the ore at the mines surface
screws (medical) rheumatism
scribbler (occupation) minor or worthless author
scribe (occupation) clerk
scriber (occupation) employed at the docks to mark the cotton bales with the approximate weight ready for selling by the brokers
scribler (occupation) a minor or worthless author
scrimer (occupation) fencing master
scripture reader (occupation) employed by the local clergy to go from house to house reading parts of the bible to try and encourage people to attend church, also read scriptures during some services
scriptus/a/um (Latin) written
scrivener (occupation) scribe or clerk; professional or public copyist or writer; notary public
scrivener's palsy (medical) writer's cramp
scrofula (medical) primary tuberculosis of the lymphatic glands, especially those in the neck. A disease of children and young adults, it represents a direct extension of tuberculosis into the skin from underlying lymph nodes. It evolves into cold abscesses, multiple skin ulcers, and draining sinus tracts. Also called king's evil
scrumpox (medical) skin disease, impetigo
scrutineer (occupation) election judge
scrutiner (occupation) election judge
scullery maid (occupation) female servant who performed all the menial tasks
scullion (occupation) male servant who performed all the menial tasks
scurvy (medical) lack of vitamin C. Symptoms of weakness, spongy gums and hemorrhages under skin
scutcher (occupation) beat the flax to soften the straw in the bundles
SCV (abbreviation) Sons of Confederate Veterans
SDWA (abbreviation) Society of the Descendants of Washington's Army at Valley Forge
seal presser (occupation) employed in the glass industry to seal the bath against air intake which could spoil the finished surface
sealed and delivered these words, followed by the signatures of witnesses, are the usual means for attesting a conveyance. They indicate that the document is authenticated by the affixing of a seal and that the transaction is complete. This is sometimes written as "signed, sealed and delivered".
searcher (occupation) customs man
secondary evidence evidence that is inferior to primary evidence or the best evidence
secondary record a record created some time after the event
secondary source a record created a significant amount of time after an event occurred. For example, a marriage certificate would be a secondary source for a birth date, because the birth took place several years before the time of the marriage. However, that same marriage certificate would be a primary source for a marriage date because it was created at the time of the marriage.
secret springer (occupation) one made watch springs
section 640 acres; one of the 36 divisions of a township
sedecim sextus decimus (Latin) number 1
sedgeman (occupation) skilled workman who applied sedge (type of grass) which was used as an early roofing material
seedsman (occupation) sower of seeds
seinter (occupation) girdlemaker
seised or seized used to express the seisin (see) or owner's actual possession of a freehold or a fee simple title to property
seised/seized to be the legal fee simple possessor
seisen or seizen the possession of a freehold or of a fee simple estate in land as having a proper legal title thereto.
seisin/seizin a freehold (held in fee or for life) estate - at one time land could only be held in seisen, because all land was owned by the reigning sovereign
sele. (abbreviation) selectman
selectman in New England, one of the members of a board of town officers was elected annually to exercise executive authority in local affairs
seler/sellarius (occupation) sadder
self acting minder (occupation) one in charge of the automatic spinning mule in the mills
semi lorer (occupation) maker of leather thongs
semper (Latin) always, forever
sempster (occupation) seamstress
seneschal (occupation) A senior steward at the Manor
senior (Latin) older
sep. (abbreviation) separated
separate examinations the questioning of a married woman by a court official to acknowledge a deed or other instrument. This questioning is conducted out of the husband's hearing to determine if the wife acted upon her own free will and not under the husband's compulsion in making the instrument.
separatists those who withdrew from the Church of England in the sixteenth century. Also called Independents.
sepelire (Latin) to bury
septem septimus/a/um (Latin) number
September (VII-ber) (Latin) September
septendecim septimus decimus (Latin) number 1
septic (medical) infected, a condition of local or generalized invasion of the body by disease-causing microorganisms (germs) or their toxins
septicemia (medical) blood poisoning
sepulchre (sepulcher) a place of burial; tomb
sepultus/a/um (Latin) buried
sequens (Latin) following
sequentia (Latin) the following
serv. (abbreviation) servant
serviens sergeant
servus (occupation) servant
sevier (occupation) sieve-maker
sewer (occupation) tailor or shoemaker
sewer hunter (occupation) scavenger who concentrated on the sewers trying to find valuable objects
sewer rat (occupation) bricklayer who specialised in making and repairing sewers and tunnels
sewing clerk (occupation) collector of clothing piecework
sewster (occupation) seamstress
sex sextus/a/um (Latin) number
sexton (occupation) employee or officer of a church who cared and upkept church property and sometimes rang bells and dug graves
SEYM (abbreviation) South Eastern Yearly Meeting (Quaker)
sgt. (abbreviation) sergeant (military rank)
shagreen case maker (occupation) one who worked with shagreen leather
Shaker member of a religious group formed in 1747 which practiced communal living and celibacy
shakes (medical) delirium tremens; see ague
shaking (medical) chills, ague
shanty man (occupation) lumberman
sharecropper (occupation) tenant farmer who would be paid with part of the crop
sharman/sherman/shearman one who raised the surface of woolen cloth and then sheared it to a smooth surface; cutter of woolen cloth
shearer (occupation) removed the fleece from sheep
sheargrinder (occupation) sharpened shears, scissors
shearman or sherman (occupation) shearer of cloth, metal
sheath maker (occupation) one who made scabbards for swords
sheepman (occupation) sheep herder
shepster (occupation) dressmaker
shether see vaginarius
shilling an English coin equivalent to twelve pennies or one twentieth of a pound
shingler (occupation) A roof tiler who used wooden tiles (shingles)
shingles (medical) viral disease caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox. In fact, a person cannot get shingles unless previously affected by chickenpox. Shingles affects the nerve endings in the skin. It is characterized by skin blisters and is often brought on by stress. Shingles usually occurs on the skin of the abdomen under the ribs leading toward the naval, but can appear anywhere on the body. An attack of shingles is often preceded by three of four days of intense pain in the affected area. Then numerous and excruciatingly painful and itchy blisters develop, normally lasting between seven and fourteen days. These blisters eventually form crusty scabs and drop off. After an attack of shingles, the pain may continue even after the blisters have disappeared, especially in the elderly. The pain can sometimes last for months or years. This post-herpetic syndrome can be even more painful than the original infection
ship fever (medical) another term used in place of typhus, which is an acute, infectious disease transmitted by lice and fleas. Symptoms include headache, arthralgia and myalgia, chills, high fever, falling blood pressure, stupor, delirium, rash that begins on chest and spreads to rest of trunk and extremities The early rash is faint and rose colored and fades with pressure. Later the lesions become dull red and do not fade. People with severe typhus may also develop petechiae. Also called typhus fever, malignant fever, jail fever, hospital fever, putrid fever, brain fever, bilious fever, spotted fever, petechial fever, camp fever
ship husband (occupation) repairer of ships while in harbor
ship master (occupation) owner or captain of a ship
shipwright (occupation) constructor or repairer or ships
shire a county in Great Britain
shoe finder (occupation) seller of shoe maker's tools
shoe wiper (occupation) servant who polished shoes
shoesmith (occupation) cobbler, one who shoed horses
shot firer (occupation) one in charge of blasting in mines or quarries
shrager (occupation) one who trimmed and pruned trees
shrieve (occupation) sheriff
shuffler (occupation) yardman on the farms
shunter (occupation) one who moved rolling stock around the railway yards
shuttle maker (occupation) made the shuttles for the weaving mills
SI (abbreviation) sister
sibling one of two or more persons having one or both parents in common, either a brother or a sister. See also "brethren"
sic (Latin) term signifying a copy reads exactly as the original; indicates a possible mistake in the original
sickleman (occupation) reaper
sidesman (occupation) one who assisted the churchwarden
sidings see abuttals
sifker (occupation) sievemaker
signed, sealed and delivered see sealed and delivered
signum (Latin) mark
signum fecit (Latin) he/she made a mark, signed
silk dresser (occupation) prepared the silk for weaving
silk engine turner (occupation) turned the wheel on automatic silk weaving looms
silk mercer (occupation) sold silk cloth and items made from silk
silk thrower (occupation) worker in the silk industry
silk twister (occupation) silk spinner
silker (occupation) sewed the ends of the fabric to prvent the layers from separating
silversmith (occupation) worked with silver
simpler (occupation) agriculturist that we would call herbalist today
sine (Latin) without
sine die (Latin) "without a day". Dismissing a proceeding, such as a court term, without determining a day for it to begin again
sine loco (Latin) without place
sine prole without offspring, sometimes seen as d.s.p. meaning "died sine prole"
sine prole supersite (Latin) without surviving issue (children)
siriasis (medical) inflammation of the brain due to sun exposure
sis, siss (abbreviation) sister, sisters
sissor or cissor (occupation) tailor
sissor/cissor (occupation) tailor
sister one's female sibling; a person who has one or two parents in common
site see "location"
sizer (occupation) one who applies size to textiles
skepper/skelper (occupation) one who made and sold beehives
skinker (occupation) tapster in an ale house
skinner (occupation) dealer in hides, mule driver
skipmaker (occupation) one who made the skips used in mining and quarrying for moving men or materials to the surface
skipper (occupation) master of a ship
SKS (abbreviation) Some Kind Soul
slapper/slaper (occupation) one who worked in a pottery preparing the clay for the potter
slater (occupation) roofer; tiller
slatter (occupation) slater (same as hillard)
slaymaker/sleymaker maker of reeds or slays (instruments to part threads in weaving) for looms
sloes (medical) milk sickness
slopseller (occupation) seller of ready-made clothes in a slop shop
slubber (occupation) operated the machine used to prepare cotton for spinning
slubber doffer (occupation) removed the bobbins from the spindles in the mills
smackman (occupation) worked on a sailing ship (as a sloop or cutter) used chiefly in coasting and fishing
small pox (medical) contagious disease characterized by fever and blisters
smallware maker (occupation) who made smallware, e.g. tapes, braids etc
smelter (occupation) worker in a metal smelter, smelt fisherman
smiddy (occupation) smith
smith (occupation) metal worker
smugsmith (occupation) smuggler
snobscat (occupation) one who repair shoes
snobscat/snob (occupation) shoe repairer; cobbler
snuffer maker (occupation) made the candle snuffer
soap boiler (soper) (occupation) soap maker
soc. (abbreviation) society
socer (Latin) father-in-law
Social Security Death Index (SSDI) index of Social Security Death Benefit records which document how much the government has paid to an individual (spouse, child, etc.) as a result of a relative's death. An individual may appear in the Social Security Death Benefits Index if he or she died after 1967, had applied for Social Security during their lifetime, and if someone applied for their Social Security death benefits at the time of death. It is not a complete listing of death
social security death index an index of records containing names of deceased Social Security recipients whose relatives applied for Social Security Death Benefits after their passing which includes the individual's name and Soundex code, birth date, death date, Social Security number and state where it was issued
socrus (Latin) mother-in-law
socrus magna (Latin) maternal grandmother
softening of the brain (medical) result of stroke or hemorrhage in the brain, with an end result of the tissue softening in that area; apoplexy
SoG (abbreviation) Society of Genealogists
sojourner clothier (occupation) travelling clothes salesman
solemnicatio (Latin) marriage
solicitor (occupation) lawyer
solutus/a/um (Latin) unmarried (also free from debt)
son the male offspring or child of a man and woman (that are usually a married couple)
son-in-law husband of one's daughter
soper (occupation) soapmaker
sore mouth (medical) see aphtha
sore throat distemper (medical) diphtheria or quinsy
soror (Latin) sister
sororius (Latin) brother-in-law (wife's brother)
sorter (occupation) tailor
sortor (occupation) tailor
soundex a phonetic indexing and filing system developed in the 1930's, usually for recording surnames, using one letter followed by three numbers. The soundex system keeps together names of the same and/or similar sounds, but of variant spellings. The codes or values assigned to the letters after the first letter are: 0=A,E,H,I,O,U,W,Y; 1=B,F,P,V; 2=C,G,J,K,Q,S,X,Z; 3=D,T; 4=L; 5=M,N; 6=
source a document, record, publication, manuscript, book, etc. Used to prove a fact
source documents the various papers, articles, photographs, government documents, books and other bits of information that the researcher has gathered
souter (occupation) shoe maker
SOWD (abbreviation) Special Order War Department (US Civil War)
soyor (occupation) sawyer
spallier (occupation) tin worker who performs chiefly menial tasks
spanish influenza (medical) an epidemic influenza
spasms (medical) sudden involuntary contraction of muscle or group of muscles, like a convulsion
sperviter (occupation) keeper of sparrows
spicer (occupation) grocer
spina bifida (medical) deformity of spine
spinner (occupation) spins yarn
spinster unmarried woman; woman acting in her own right;; spinner (female)
spittleman hospital attendant
splitter (occupation) operated a splitting machine or one who split things by hand, e.g. stone, timber etc
sponsalia (Latin) marriage banns
sponsalis (Latin) betrothed (adj.)
sponsor a person who presents a candidate for baptism or confirmation and undertakes responsibility for the person's religious education or spiritual welfare. Sponsors are usually present at a child's baptism. Sponsors are often referred to as godparents.; a bondsman; surety
sponsus/a (Latin) groom/bride. spouse, betrothed
spooner (occupation) made spoons
spotted fever (medical) typhus or meningitis; cerebrospinal meningitis fever; an acute, infectious disease transmitted by lice and fleas. Also called typhus fever, malignant fever, jail fever, hospital fever, ship fever, putrid fever, brain fever, bilious fever, spotted fever, petechial fever, camp fever
spouse a person whom one has married, either a husband or a wife; a partner in marriage
spragger person who inserts a piece of wood (sprag) between the wheels of a lorry (truck) to bring it to a standstill
sprue (medical) tropical disease characterized by intestinal disorders and sore throat
spurius/a (Latin) illegitimate
spurrer or spurrier (occupation) maker of spurs
spurrer/spurrier (occupation) spurmaker
squarewright (occupation) carpenter, specifically a furniture maker
squire (occupation) country gentleman; farm owner; justice of peace
Sr. (abbreviation) Senior
srnm. (abbreviation) surname; last name
SSDI (abbreviation) Social Security Death Index (USA)
St. (abbreviation) saint; street
stabler (occupation) ostler
stallman (occupation) keeper of a market stall
stampman (occupation) worker of an ore crushing machine
stasyon/stawsun (occupation) probably a stationer
state of franklin a state reorganized in 1784 in the western part of North Carolina and which ceased to exist in 1788, now a part of eastern Tennessee
stationer (occupation) bookseller, seller of paper and writing implements
statist (occupation) politician
statute a law
stay maker (occupation) corset maker
steeple jacker (occupation) painted flag poles etc.
steerage a section in a passenger ship for those paying the lowest fare
steersman (occupation) ship's helmsman
stemma (gentile) (Latin) pedigree
stenterer (occupation) operated the cloth finishing machine
step (occupation) used in conjunction with a degree of kinship, it indicates relationship through the previous marriage of a spouse or, through the re-marriage of a parent rather than relationship through blood. This usually refers to relationship between the new spouse and the children of the natural/biological parent.
step boy (occupation) employed to help passengers to enter or leave the coach
step-brother a person's stepparent's son by a former marriage
step-brother/step-sister child of one's step-father or step-mother
step-child child of one of the spouses by a former marriage who has not been adopted by the step-parent
step-cousin child that is either a step-child of an individual's aunt or uncle, or a child of one's step-aunt or step-uncle
step-daughter a person's stepparent's daughter by a former marriage
step-father husband of a child's mother by a later marriage
step-mother wife of a child's father by a later marriage
step-parent the person who has married one's parent after the death or divorce of the other parent is a stepmother or stepfather
stevedore (occupation) laborer who unloads and loads ships' cargoes
steward (occupation) manager of property, purveyor of supplies or someone who attended passengers on conveyance
sticher (occupation) one who does decorative stitching
stirpes the person from whom a family is descended
stockinger (occupation) knitter, weaver, or dealer in stockings
stoker (occupation) tends the fire of an engine boiler
stokiner (occupation) maker or weaver of stockings
stomatitis (medical) inflammation of the mouth
stone picker (occupation) employed to remove the stones from the farmers fields before planting
stone workers (occupation) worked with stone eg masons, quarriers etc
stoneman/stonewarden (occupation) a surveyor of highways
storeman (occupation) one responsible for stored goods
stowyer (occupation) one who stowed the nets away on fishing boats
stranger's fever (medical) yellow fever
strangery (medical) rupture; herniate
stravaiger (occupation) vagrant
straw joiner (occupation) one who thatched roofs
straw plaiter (occupation) one who made straw braids for the hat industry
streaker (occupation) one who prepared the body for burial
street orderly/boy (occupation) street cleaner
striker (occupation) blacksmiths helper or harpooned the whale
stringer (occupation) made the strings for bows
stripper (occupation) employed in the woollen trade to remove the rubbish from the carding machines
stuff gown/gownsman (occupation) junior barrister
stuff gowsman (occupation) junior barrister
stuff weaver (occupation) wove stuff (the coarse part of flax)
stuprata (Latin) pregnant out of wedlock
stuprator (Latin) father of illegitimate child
sub tutela (Latin) under guardianship
subscripsit (Latin) he/she signed
subsignavit (Latin) he/she signed with a mark
succession (1) Legal term in the transfer of property to legal heirs of an intestate estate, (2) probate; process of determining a will's validity, identifying heirs, etc
sucksmith (occupation) one who made ploughshares
sudor anglicus (medical) sweating sickness
suffix (for a name) usually a method of distinguishing related persons who otherwise have the same name. Examples: Sr., Jr., II, III, etc.
suffocation (medical) the stoppage of respiration. In the nineteenth century, suffocation was reported as being accidental or homicidal. The accidents could be by the impaction of pieces of food or other obstacles in the pharynx or by the entry of foreign bodies into the larynx (as a seed, coin, or food). Suffocation of newborn children by smothering under bedclothes may have happened from carelessness as well as from intent. However, the deaths also could have been due to SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), wherein the sudden and unexpected death of an apparently healthy infant, while asleep, typically occurs between the ages of three weeks and five months and is not explained by careful postmortem studies. Synonyms of SIDS: crib death and cot death. It was felt that victims of homicidal suffocation were chiefly infants or feeble and infirm persons
sugarer dealer in sugar (grocer?)
sum (Latin) I am
summer complaint (medical) a common, noncontagious diarrhea usually in infants or young children caused by spoiled milk, occurring in summer or autumn. It was common among the poor and in hand-fed babies. Death frequently occurred in three to five days. Also called infantum cholerum, weaning brash, water gripes, choleric fever of children, cholera morbus
sumner (occupation) summoner or apparitor
sumpter (occupation) porter
sunstroke (medical) uncontrolled elevation of body temperature due to environment heat. Lack of sodium in the body is a predisposing cause
sunt (Latin) they were
supercargo officer on merchant ship who is in charge of cargo and the commercial concerns of the ship
suppuration (medical) the production of pus
supra (Latin) above
supra scriptum (Latin) as written above
surety a person who gives security to make himself liable for another person's debts or obligations should the first person default
surg. (abbreviation) surgeon
surname the last name, or family name, of a person, usually this designates one family. Abbreviated sometimes as SNM. There is often an associated meaning to a surname as well as a history of how and when the surname was first used. This is also known as the surname history.
surrender a surrender as a land record is similar to a deed in its form and involved the yielding or giving up of a lease (an estate for years) before its term has expired. It is not a unilateral abandonment of the lease but is made with the mutual consent of both parties.
surrogate a judicial officer in some states that has jurisdiction over probate matters, guardianships, etc.
surv. (abbreviation) survived
susceptores (Latin) godparents
sutler (occupation) one who supplies an army with provisions
suus/a/um (Latin) his/her/its/their own
SUVCW (abbreviation) Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (USA)
swailer (occupation) miller or dealer in grain
swain (occupation) herdsman
swamp fever (medical) see ague
swamp sickness (medical) could be malaria, typhoid or encephalitis
sweating sickness (medical) infectious and fatal disease common to UK in 15th century
sweep (occupation) chimneysweep
swell maker (occupation) one who made shallow baskets
swineyard/swineherder (occupation) pig keeper
swingler (occupation) one who beats flax to remove woody parts
sword cutler (occupation) sword maker
T 
T. (abbreviation) township
tabernarius (occupation) taverner; innkeeper
tabes mesenterica (medical) tuberculosis of the mesenteric glands in children, resulting in digestive derangement and wasting of the body
tabler (occupation) boarding house operator
tackler (occupation) an overlooker of power loom weavers
TAG (abbreviation) The American Genealogist (quarterly journal published since 1922)
tail, estate in an estate which does not descend to heirs generally but rather to the heirs of the donee's body (i.e. his lawful issue) in a direct line as ling as the posterity continues in regular order. Upon the death of the first owner without issue the estate is terminated.
tail an estate which does not descend to heirs generally, but to the heirs of the donee's body in a direct line if the posterity continues in a regular order and upon the death of the first owner without issue the estate is terminated
tailor (occupation) one who made or repaired clothes
tallow chandler (occupation) made or sold candles
tally clerk (occupation) kept count of goods arriving or departing from warehouses, docks etc
tallyman/tallyfellow (occupation) one who sold goods that were paid for in installments
tan bark stripper (occupation) collected the bark that was used in the tanning process
tannator (occupation) tanner; curer of animal hide into leather
tanner (occupation) leather maker
taper (occupation) candlewick maker or seller
taper weaver (occupation) one who made the wicks for candles
tapiter/tapicer (occupation) one who wove worsted cloth
tapley (occupation) one who puts the tap in an ale cask
tapster (occupation) bartender or barmaid
tar boy (occupation) applied tar (as antiseptic) to sheep when they were nicked by shearers
tasker (occupation) reaper
tasseler (occupation) one who made tassels used in furnishings or nobleman
taverner (occupation) innkeeper
tawer (occupation) one who taws (makes hide into leather without the use of tanning)
tawer/tawyer (occupation) white leather maker
tax records often used to replace census records that were lost or destroyed. They can often be used to solve pedigree problems.
teamer/teamer man/teamster (occupation) person in charge of a team of horses
teamster one who drives a team (horses or oxen) for hauling
teemer (occupation) person who emptied grain from the cart or who poured the molten steel into the moulds
teething (medical) the entire process which results in the eruption of the teeth. Nineteenth-century medical reports stated that infants were more prone to disease at the time of teething. Symptoms were restlessness, fretfulness, convulsions, diarrhea, and painful and swollen gums. The latter could be relieved by lancing over the protruding tooth. Often teething was reported as a cause of death in infants. Perhaps they became susceptible to infections, especially if lancing was performed without antisepsis. Another explanation of teething as a cause of death is that infants were often weaned at the time of teething; perhaps they then died from drinking contaminated milk, leading to an infection, or from malnutrition if watered-down milk was given
teinter (occupation) dyer
temp. (abbreviation) temporarily
tempus (Latin) time
tenancy by the entirety see contenancy
tenancy in common property that is held by two persons - in tenancy in common the right of survivorship does not apply - in this case the property automatically becomes part of the estate and is taken care of according to the terms of the will
tenant a person who possesses lands or tenements by any right or title, either in fee simple, freehold, for life, for years, at will, or otherwise. Usually the use of this term is more restrictive in connitation and included only those who hold the lands and tenements of other persons (called landlords), the term for tenancy usually being fixed by lease.
tenant farmer a renter or one who is allowed to farm a particular piece of land in trade for services given, farmer who did not own the land worked
tenant in common a possession of the land as a whole by several persons, each having a separate title, although the land is not divided
tenants-in-capite a person holding feudal land directly from the king, usually several manors, who would in turn sub-infeud to other tenants
tender age see child of tender years
tenement any property that can be held, but most often refers to houses and land
tenements refers literally to anything held by a tenant in tenure but is often applied only to houses and buildings. See "lands, tenements, and hereditaments".
tenor the exact wording in a legal document or an exact copy
tenter attendant for an engine
tenter/tenterer (occupation) one who stretched the cloth on a machine while it was drying or looked after and maintained the machine used in the process
tenure occupancy or tenancy
terce land the rent from land given to a widow as her terce
terce a life-rent given by law to a widow, which consists of a third of her husband's estate on the condition that the marriage has lasted one year and a day, or that there is a living child of the marriage
terr. (abbreviation) territory
terrier book or scroll used to record land description, usage, etc.
territory area of land owned by the united States, not a state, but having its own legislature
test. (abbreviation) testament
testable capable of making a will
testament the act by which a person determines the disposition of his or her property after death
testamentary pertaining to a will
testamentary bond a bond posted with the court by the executor of a will guaranteeing a proper administration of the estate. Such a bond requires sureties. See also administration bond.
testamentary guardian see guardian
testamentum (Latin) will, testament
testate (adjective) having left a valid will. When he has died testate, or leaving a will that has been probated, the property passes by devise to the person or persons so designated in the will
testator a person (usually a male) who dies leaving a valid will or testament in force. See also "intestate"
testatrix woman who writes a valid will
teste the concluding and witnessing clause of a writ or other legal document which expresses the date of its issue and the name of the judge
testes (Latin) witnesses
testis (Latin) witness
tetanus (medical) an acute, often fatal disease caused by a specific bacterium, Clostridium tetani that enters the body through wounds, and characterized by high fever and tonic spasms and rigidity and spasmodic contractions of the voluntary muscles. Also called lock jaw and trismus
textor (occupation) weaver
thacker (occupation) thatcher
thatcher (occupation) roofer (using thatch)
these presents see presents
thirdbororough (occupation) tithing man or deputy constable
thirdborough (occupation) an underconstable
thresher (occupation) one who separated the grain from the husks and straw
thrombosis (medical) blood clot inside blood vessel
throwster (occupation) one in the textile trade who twisted the strands of fibre together into yarn
thrush (medical) a disease characterized by whitish spots and ulcers on the membranes of the mouth, tongue, and fauces caused by a parasitic fungus, Candida albicans. Thrush usually affects sick, weak infants and elderly individuals in poor health. Now it is a common complication from excessive use of broad-spectrum antibiotics or cortisone treatment. Also called aphthae, sore mouth, aphthous stomatitis
thyrotoxicosis (medical) a disease affecting the thyroid gland
tick fever (medical) rocky mountain spotted fever
ticket writer (occupation) person (usually female) who hand wrote or painted the price tickets on goods displayed for sale and painted the signs that go up to make a window display
tickney man/woman (occupation) sold earthenware from town to town
tide gauger/surveyor (occupation) monitored the state of the tide
tide waiter customs inspector
tidesman/tide waiter (occupation) customs official
tiemaker (occupation) one who made wooden railway ties
tiger (occupation) small groom or pageboy in livery
tiler (occupation) one who put tiles in place either on the roof or floor
tiller (occupation) farmer
tillman (occupation) plowman
times ironer (occupation) servant responsible for ironing the daily newspaper
tinctor (occupation) dyer or possibly a painter
tinker (occupation) an itinerant mender and seller of kettles, tin pots and pans
tinner (occupation) tin miner, tinsmith
tinter or teinter (occupation) artists who performs tinting
tipper (occupation) one who put the metal tips on arrows etc
tippler (occupation) kept an ale house
tipstaff (occupation) policeman
tirewoman (occupation) female dresser, especially in the theater
tithable taxable; a person who owes tax to a specified jurisdiction
tithe in English law, a tenth part of something paid as a voluntary contribution or as a tax especially for the support of noblemen and clergy; amount of annual poll tax
tithing derived from 'ten householders', each of whom lived on a 'hide' of land - historically there were then 100 tithings to a 'hundred'
tixtor (occupation) weaver
TMG (abbreviation) The Master Genealogist (software)
to wit namely; videlicet (abbreviated as viz.)
tobacco spinner (occupation) maker of cigars
todd fox hunter
todhunter (occupation) employed by the parish to hunt foxes
toe rag (occupation) who worked at the docks as a corn porter
toft a piece of land where an dwelling once stood but was destroyed and no rebuilt
toilinet manufacturer (occupation) made toilinet (a kind of quilting)
toller/tollgate keeper/tollie/tolman/turnpike (occupation) worked at the toll gate to collect fees for use of the road KEEPER
tonsor (occupation) Latin for barber
tool helver (occupation) made tool handles
top sawyer (occupation) upper man in a saw pit
topman (occupation) sailor who works in the ship's rigging
topsman (occupation) head cattle drover
tory loyalist; one who supported the British side in the American Revolution
touch holer (occupation) one who worked in the gun manufacturing industry
tow card maker (occupation) one who made tow cards, used in the textile industry
town chaberlain (occupation) one who looked after the towns affairs
town crier (occupation) one who made public announcments in the streets
town husband (occupation) employed by the parish to collect the money from the fathers of illegitimate children for their upkeep
township territorial civil and political subdivisions of a county with certain corporate powers of municipal government. In New England, a local political unit governed by a town meeting. In the U.S., it is a unit of area in government surveys of public lands, normally six square miles and divided into 36 sections of one square mile each. The south, east and west borders of a township are six miles long with the east and west borders following along a meridian. This makes the north border slightly less than six miles long due to the curvature of the earth. In Britain, formerly a parish or a district of a parish.
townsman in New England it was a town officer; a selectman
townswaiter (occupation) customs man
toxemia (of pregnancy) (medical) see Eclampsia
tozer (occupation) worked in the wool mills employed to tose or tease the cloth
tract a lot, piece, or parcel of land of any size
tradition the handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs, genealogies, etc. from generation to generation, especially by word of mouth
train band formerly a militia organization, especially one in New England during the 17th century; it was short for trained band
trammer (occupation) young person who worked in the mines
trampler (occupation) lawyer
tranqueter (occupation) person who made hoops
transcribe to make a copy in writing
transfrd (abbreviation) transferred
tranter (occupation) peddler
trapper (occupation) employed in the mines to open and shut the doors for the miners
travers (occupation) toll bridge collector
tredecim tertius decimus (Latin) number 1
tree all persons who are related to each other. They are either ancestors or descendants of each other or share one or more common ancestors with each other
treen maker (occupation) made domestic articles from wood
treenail maker (occupation) one who made the long wooden pins used in shipbuilding
trench mouth (medical) painful ulcers found along gum line, caused by poor nutrition and poor hygiene
trenchermaker (occupation) made wooden boards or platters for serving food from or cutting and slicing food on
trencherman (occupation) cook
trepanger (occupation) one who used a circular saw to cut timber
tres, tria tertius/a/um (Latin) number
triduum (Latin) a period of three days
trigemini (Latin) triplets
triginta trice(n)simus (Latin) number 3
trimmer (occupation) trims a ship by re-arranging its cargo
triple ancestor an ancestor who appears on three difference branches of one's family tree. This occurs when four of the ancestor's descendants marry (as two couples) and produce offspring.
tripper (occupation) dancer
trismus nascentium/neonatorum (medical) a form of tetanus seen only in infants, almost invariably in the first five days of life, probably due to infection of the umbilical stump
troacher (occupation) pedlar
troner (occupation) weighing official at the markets
trotter/trotman/trott (occupation) messenger
trouchman/truchman (occupation) interpreter
trover (occupation) smuggler
trugger (occupation) one who made long shallow baskets
trust the legal right or title to property held by one person for the benefit of another person who has an equitable title thereto.
trust deed instruments of real property financing similar to mortgages. They operate by placing the title to the real property in one or more trustees to secure payment of a debt. A trust deed has nothing to do with trustees of an organization conveying their title to property.
trustee a natural or legal person to whom property is legally committed to be administered for the benefit of a beneficiary
TSSF (abbreviation) Third Order of St. Francis
tubber (occupation) one who made tubs and barrels ie a cooper
tubman (occupation) English barrister
tucker (occupation) cleaner of cloth goods
tucker in (occupation) maid who attended the bedroom and "tucked in the bedclothes"
turner (occupation) turner of wood (using a lathe) into spindles
turnkey (occupation) prison warder or jail keeper
turnspit (occupation) one who operated the spit handle
tussis convulsiva (medical) whooping cough
tutor (Latin) (in Louisiana) A guardian of minor children
tutrix feminine form of Tuto
TVC (abbreviation) Texas Veterans Commission
tweenie/tweeny (occupation) maid who worked "between the stairs" she assisted the cooks and the housemaids
twins persons produced at the same birth. Two types: identical: conceived simultaneously as a division of an ovum, and, fraternal: conceived simultaneously by from separate ova.
twist hand (occupation) one who operated a lace machine
twister/twisterer (occupation) one who operated the machine used for twisting yarns and threads together
twp. (abbreviation) township, division of land
typhoid fever (medical) an infectious, often-fatal, febrile disease, usually occurring in the summer months, characterized by intestinal inflammation and ulceration caused by the bacterium Salmonella typhi, which is usually introduced by food or drink. Symptoms include prolonged hectic fever, malaise, transient characteristic skin rash (rose spots), abdominal pain, enlarged spleen, slowness of heart rate, delirium, and low white-blood cell count. The name came from the disease's similarity to typhus (see below). Also called enteric fever
typhus (medical) an acute, infectious disease transmitted by several micro-organism species of Rickettsia (transmitted by lice and fleas). Symptoms include headache, arthralgia and myalgia, chills, high fever, falling blood pressure, stupor, delirium, rash that begins on chest and spreads to rest of trunk and extremities The early rash is faint and rose colored and fades with pressure. Later the lesions become dull red and do not fade. People with severe typhus may also develop petechiae. Also called typhus fever, malignant fever, jail fever, hospital fever, ship fever, putrid fever, brain fever, bilious fever, spotted fever, petechial fever, camp fever
U 
UBCJA (abbreviation) United Brotherhood of Carpenters & Joiners of America
ubi (Latin) where
uc (abbreviation) under care of (Quaker)
UCV (abbreviation) United Confederate Veterans
UDA (abbreviation) United Daughters of America
UDC (abbreviation) United Daughters of the Confederacy
UFT (abbreviation) Ultimate Family Tree (software)
ulnager (occupation) one appointed to examine the quality of woollen goods to be sold
ult. (abbreviation) ultimo (Latin), of the preceding month
ultimo die (Latin) final day
ultimo, ult. (Latin) last; of the preceding month
ultimo (Latin) in the month immediately preceding
ultimus/a/um (Latin) last
ultimus (Latin) last, end, furthest
uncle the brother or either parent, or, the husband of either parent's sister. See also "auncle"
undecim undecimus (Latin) number 1
underground railroad the system which took slaves to freedom in fourteen Northern states by 1830, and about 50,000 between 1840 and 1860
undulant fever (medical) intermittent fever caused by brucellosis. also called abortus fever
unigena (Latin) only begotten daughter
unigenitus (Latin) the only son
unigentius (Latin) only begotten son
union the United States; also the North during the Civil War, the states which did not secede
unk. (abbreviation) unknown
unlaw any transgression of the law, act of injustice, a fine, or a law that has no real authority
unm. (abbreviation) unmarried
unodeviginti unodevice(n)simus (Latin) number 1
unofficious will a will made without any regard as to natural obligations of inheritance
unprobated will will never submitted for probate
unregistered will will that has been proved but not entered into a volume of copy or registered wills at the probate court, either because an executor was not disposed to pay fees for registering, or because the probate court did not maintain registered copies at that period of time
unseated land unsettled area
unseated persons who were taxed for land that they owned but did not live on
unsolemn will will in which an executor is not named
unus/a/um primus/a/um (Latin) number
upholder (occupation) upholsterer; also a cheapjack and seller of secondhand goods
upl (abbreviation) using profane language (Quaker)
upright worker (occupation) chimney sweep
urbs (Latin) city
USGW (abbreviation) USGenWeb (online collective providing genealogical resources via linked web pages)
USIGS (abbreviation) United States Internet Genealogical Society
usufruct the right to enjoy property and the benefits thereof as long as the property itself is not harmed nor depleted
usury the practice of lending money at a rate of interest that is excessive or unlawfully high
USV (abbreviation) United States Volunteers (US Civil War)
ut (Latin) as, so that, in order that
ut infra (Latin) as below
ut supra (Latin) as above
uterine having the same mother but different fathers
uxor. (abbreviation) wife; spouse; consort
uxor (Latin) wife, spouse, consort
V 
vacancy an opening referring to land or housing. A pause or break in the workings of a probate court because of the death or resignation of the main official. In Texas, an area of unsurveyed school land, not listed in land office records, between two or more recorded surveys
vacant land unappropriated public land, including land that has been occupied but on which no binding title had been given and the land thus reverted to the state
vaginarius (occupation) sheather; scabbard maker
valet (occupation) male servant that attended a nobleman or gentleman
valid that which is legal and binding
valuator (occupation) who valued objects
vanity book a county (any local) history book for which people subscribed before the book was written on the condition that their families would be included in its pages
variola (medical) another term for smallpox, which is an acute, highly infectious, often lethal viral disease characterized by chills, fever, headache and eventual formation of widespread pus-filled blisters. The smallpox virus has been eradicated from the world's population and currently exists in only two high-containment laboratories
vassal (occupation) servant of the lowest order
vatman (occupation) one who put the paper pulp into the moulds in paper-making industry or worked with vats e.g. in beer and wine making
vel (vel...vel) (Latin) or (either....or)
venator (venur) (occupation) huntsman
venator/venur (occupation) huntsman
vendue public auction
venesection (medical) the ancient practice of bleeding, which required a surgical incision in the patient to release what physician's believed was contaminated blood
verbatim word for word; in the same words, verbally
verderer (occupation) a Borsholder, Constable. Victualer - tavern keeper, or one who provides an army, navy, or ship with food supplies
verge maker (occupation) one who made the spindles used in clocks and watches
verger (occupation) one who worked with the priest in the running the church
verrier (occupation) glazier
vespere (Latin) in the evening
vestmentmaker (occupation) one who made the gowns worn by priests
vestry administrative group within a parish; the ruling body of a church
vetus, veteris (Latin) old
VFW (abbreviation) Veterans of Foreign Wars (USA)
victricus (Latin) stepfather
victualer (occupation) seller of food/drink
viculus (Latin) village, hamlet
videlicet (viz.) (Latin) namely
videlicet (Latin) namely, to wit, that is to say
videus (Latin) living, true to life, vigorous
vidua widow
viduus/vidua (Latin) widower/widow
viduus (Latin) widower, widow
viewer (occupation) one who worked at the mines in a managerial capacity
viginti vice(n)simus (Latin) number 2
villanage base servitude, tenure on condition of doing the lowest kind of services for the lord
villein (occupation) one who paid dues to the lord of the manor in return for use of the land
villeinage see VILLANAGE
vintager/vineroon (occupation) grape farmer, wine maker
vintner/vinter (occupation) wine merchant
viper's dance (medical) St. Vitus' Dance
vir (Latin) man, male
virgate area of about 30 acres
virgin in bonds or licenses of England, an unmarried woman
virginal player (occupation) player of a musical instrument similar to a harpsichord
virgo (Latin) virgin, female, girl
virtuosus/a/um (Latin) honorable
virus (medical) an ultramicroscopic, metabolically inert infectious agent that replicates only within the cells of living hosts, mainly bacteria, plants, and animals. In the early 1800s virus meant poison, venom, or contagion
vita (Latin) life
vita cessit (Latin) he/she departed from life, died
vital records birth, marriage, and death records
vital statistics data dealing with birth, death, marriage or divorce
vitious intromission the unwarranted dealing with the movable estate of a deceased person
vitner wine merchant
vivus (Latin) alive, living
vixit annos (Latin) he or she lived (a certain number) years
vixor (Latin) wife
viz. (abbreviation) videlicet (Latin), namely
void invalid; having no legal binding effect
vowler/vogeler/vogler/vageler/vogelaar/vogler (occupation) keeper or catcher of birds (also see FOWLER)
VRC (abbreviation) Veteran Reserve Corps (US Civil War)
vulcan (occupation) blacksmith
vulgo (Latin) commonly, generally
VVI (abbreviation) Vermont Volunteer Infantry (US Civil War)
W 
W (abbreviation) wife, widow, white, Caucasian
w.d. (abbreviation) will dated
w.p. (abbreviation) will proven, will probated
w/c (abbreviation) with consent of
w/o (abbreviation) wife of
w/pwr (abbreviation) with power (Quaker)
wabster (occupation) weaver
wadsetter (occupation) under Scottish law a creditor to whom a wadset is made; a wadset is a right, by which lands, or other heritable subjects, are impignorated by the proprietor to his creditor in security of his debt
wagoner (occupation) teamster not for hire
wailer (occupation) one employed in the mines to remove the impurities from the coal
wainwright (occupation) wagon maker
wait/wakeman (occupation) night watchman
waiter customs officer or tide waiter; one who waited on the tide to collect duty on goods brought in
waiver an intentional and voluntary giving up of one's rights
walker (occupation) fuller; cloth trampler or cleaner
walker/waulkmiller (occupation) cloth worker
waller (occupation) one who built walls either brick or dry stone, also a person who worked making coarse salt
wampum small cylindrical beads made from polished shells and fashioned into strings or belts, formerly used by certain Native American peoples as currency and jewelry or for ceremonial exchanges between groups, also called peag
wanter/wantcatcher (occupation) mole catcher
War Between the States U.S. Civil War, 1861-1865
ward a person who, by reason on incapacity (e.g. lunacy, minority, etc.) is under protection of a court either directly or through a guardian appointed by the court. aka: a ward of the court.; chiefly the division of a city for election purposes
warder (occupation) in charge of prisoners
warehouseman (occupation) in charge of or employee in a warehouse
warning out the practice of ordering poor or indigent persons or families to leave a community if they are looked upon as potentially becoming dependent upon the town, township, city, etc. for support
warper (occupation) set the warp thread on the looms or employed to move boats by hauling on the warps (the ropes attached to the boats)
warrant a court order. In probate cases some state statutes require a warrant to precede nearly every action of the probate court. A warrent may be issued prior to the assignment of the widow's dower, prior to taking inventory, prior to settlement, prior to distribution, or prior to almost any other action in which the court has interest.
warranty deed guarantees a clear property title from the seller to the buyer
warrener (occupation) in charge of a portion of land used for breeding rabbits and other small game
washman (occupation) tin coater
waste an uncultivated area of land
wasteman (occupation) checked the old workings for gas and maintaining them in the mines or employed to remove waste
watch finisher (occupation) assembled watches and clocks
watchman (occupation) town official who guarded the streets at night
water bailiff (occupation) official in charge of the fishing rights on a stretch of water
water carrier (occupation) carted and sold fresh water
water gilder (occupation) trapped water fowl
water gripes (medical) see cholera infantum
water leader/leder/loder (occupation) transported and sold fresh drinking water
water on the brain (medical) enlarged head
waterman (occupation) worked with or on boats usually on rivers
wattle hurdle maker (occupation) made a type of fence from wattle to keep the sheep in
way man (occupation) surveyor of roads
way-maker (occupation) employed to make roads
weaning brash (medical) see cholera infantum
weatherspy (occupation) astrologer
webber/webster (occupation) weaver; loom operator
webster/webber (occupation) weaver (originally a female weaver)
weigher (occupation) worked on the docks to weigh the cargo as it was unloaded
well sinker (occupation) dug wells
well wright (occupation) made the winding equipment used to raise the bucket in the well
wellmaster (occupation) one in charge of the local well with the responsibility of ensuring clean water for the village
wet glover (occupation) made leather gloves
wet nurse (occupation) woman employed to suckle tthe child of another (common practice with the rich)
wetter (occupation) dampened paper during the printing process or in the glass industry who detached the glass by wetting
whacker (occupation) horse or oxen team driver
wharfinger (occupation) owner of a wharf
wheel tapper (occupation) railway worker who checked for cracked wheels by striking them with a long handled hammer and listening for a clear ring
wheeler (occupation) wheel maker, attended to the spinning wheel in the textile industry and one who led the pit ponies that pulled the tubs underground in the mines
wheelwright builder/repairer of wheels of wagons, carriages etc.
wheelwright/wright (occupation) maker or repairer of wagon wheels
wheeryman (occupation) in charge of a wheery (a small light rowing boat)
whig (occupation) horse driver (Scottish term)
whipcord maker/whipmaker (occupation) made whips
whipperin (occupation) managed the hounds in a hunt
whitcher (occupation) maker of chests
white limer (occupation) plastered walls using lime and water plaster
white rent blackmail; rent to be paid in silver
white smith (occupation) tin smith
white swelling (medical) tuberculosis of the bone
whitear (occupation) hide cleaner
whitener/whitester/whitster (occupation) one who bleached cloth
whitening roll maker (occupation) made the whitening used in whitening walls of cottages
whitesmith (occupation) tinsmith; worker of iron who finishes or polishes the work
whitewing (occupation) streetsweeper
whitster (occupation) bleacher of cloth
whittawer (occupation) one who tans skin into white leather
WI (abbreviation) Women's Institute
wid. (abbreviation) widow
widow a woman whose husband has died; particularly such a woman who has not yet remarried
widower a man whose wife has died; particularly such a man who has not yet remarried
wife a married woman; a woman in her relationship with her spouse
will the legal declaration of a person's intentions as to the disposal of his estate (real estate and personal property) after his death
will contest any kind of litigated controversy (see litigation) concerning the eligibility of a document for probate. It is not related to the validity of the contents of the will.
willow plaiter/weaver (occupation) one who made baskets etc
windster (occupation) silk winder
Winter fever (medical) an old term for pneumonia, which is an inflammation in the lungs caused by different bacteria, viruses, and fungi. The tiny air sacs in the lung area become inflamed and fill with mucus and pus. It is unlikely to be contagious. Although symptoms can vary in intensity, they usually include fever, chills, cough, muscle aches, fatigue, sore throat, enlarged lymph glands in the neck, bluish nails, pains in the chest, and rapid, difficult respiration. Typical contributing factors to pneumonia are the common cold, influenza, seizure or stroke, aspiration under anesthesia, alcoholism, smoking, kidney failure, sickle cell disease, malnutrition, foreign bodies in the respiratory passages, bacteria, viruses, chemical irritants, and even allergies
wit. (abbreviation) witness
witness a person who has seen some event of has knowledge of something and is competent to give evidence concerning it, usually for legal purposes. The person often signs his/her names to some document attesting to the fact of their evidence.
womb fever (medical) infection of the uterus
wonkey-scoop driver who operates a one-horse scoop
woodbreaker (occupation) one who made wooden water casks
woodranger/wood reeve/woodward (occupation) in charge of the forest or woods
wool driver (occupation) one who brought the wool to market
wool factor (occupation) wool merchants agent
wool man /wool sorter/stapler (occupation) one who sorted the wool into different grades
wool winder (occupation) one who made up balls of wool for selling
woolcomber (occupation) operated machines that separate the fibres ready for spinning in woolen industry
woolen billy piecer (occupation) worked in the woolen mills to piece together the broken yarns
woolsted man (occupation) a seller of woollen cloth (from worsted man)
worm fit (medical) convulsions associated with teething, worms, elevated temperature or diarrhea
worsted manufacturer/shearman (occupation) one who made worsted
WOTW (abbreviation) Woodmen Of The World
WOW (abbreviation) Woodmen Of The World
WPA Historical Records Survey a program undertaken by the US Government 1935-1936 in which inventories were compiled of historical material
WRC (abbreviation) Women's Relief Corps
wright (occupation) workman, especially a construction worker e.g. wheelwright
writ of arrest see WRITE OF CAPIAS
writ of attachment court order authorizing the seizure of property sufficient to cover debts and court costs for not appearing in court
writ of capias ad satisfaciendum a document which required the loser (debtor) to be imprisoned until the debt was paid
writ of capias a formal arrest document, warrant
writ of fieri facias a court order to seize (attach) and sell goods belonging to the loser in a court case to pay debts owed
writ of summons document ordering a person to appear in court
writ of venire facias a document issued to call men to be jurors
wrkd (abbreviation) worked
wyrth (occupation) laborer
X 
xylographer (occupation) one who used and made wooden blocks used in printing illustrations
Y 
yard land land area which varies from fifteen to forty acres, depending on the locality
yardman (occupation) rail road yard worker
yatman (occupation) gate keeper
year's provision widow is entitled to a twelve months supply of goods and money or provisions out of her husband's estate - this specified amount cannot be used or given to creditors to clear her husband's debts.
yearman (occupation) one contracted to work for a year
Yellow Fever (medical) an acute, often-fatal, infectious febrile disease of warm climates, caused by a virus transmitted by mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti, especially Aledes aegypti, and characterized by liver damage and jaundice, fever, and protein in the urine. In 1900 Walter Reed and others in Panama found that mosquitoes transmit the disease. Clinicians in the late nineteenth century recognized "specific yellow fever" as being different from "malarious yellow fever." The latter supposedly was a form of malaria with liver involvement but without urine involvement. See epidemics for major outbreaks
yellowjacket (medical) Yellow fever
yeoman (occupation) a servant, an attendant or subordinate official in a royal household; a subordinate of a sheriff; an independent farmer who owns his land; a freeholder who cultivates a small estate; rank below gentleman
YM (abbreviation) yearly meeting (Quaker)
younger children a term used in English conveyances and somewhat applicable in Colonial America with references to settlements of land. It signifies all children not entitled to the rights of the eldest son who held the right to succeed the estate. In its strict sense it included daughters who may be older than the eldest son.
Z 
zambo a person with one native American and one Negro parent
zincographer (occupation) designer who etched in relief a pattern on zinc plates used for printing
zitherist (occupation) player of a simple, flat many-stringed instrument
zoetrope maker (occupation) craftsman who made zoetropes, an optical toy in the form of a cylinder with a series of pictures painted on the inner surface which gave the impression of continuous motion when viewed through slits in the rotating cylinder
zoographer (occupation) described and classified

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