Headwaters of the mighty Mississippi River
GENEALOGY TERMS
ABSTRACT Summary of important points of a given text, especially deeds and wills
ADMINISTRATOR A person appointed by the court to administer the estate of an incompetent person or an intestate who differs from an executor in that he is court appointed whereas the executor is appointed by the deceased.
ADMINISTRATIX A female administrator
ADOPTION To take into one's family through legal means and raise as one's own child.
ADOPTION BY BAPTISM A spiritual affinity contracted between godfathers and godchildren in the baptism ceremony, and entitled the godchild to a share of the godfathers 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 person heir if he follows the stipulations in the will to take the name, arms, etc. of the adopter
ALIEN Foreign born person
ANCESTORS Person from whom you are descended in a direct line.
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.
ARCHIVES Reference to the storage of older records.
ASCENDANT Ancestor
BANNS Publication or posting of intended marriages, published for three consecutive Sundays prior to the event.
BASTARD An illegitimate child; born out of wedlock.
BENEFICIARY One who receives benefit of trust of property
BEQUEST A gift, personal property or money handed down in a will.
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.
CENSUS Official listing or counting of persons; the Federal Census has been taken every 10 years since 1790; there also are state censuses in some states which may have been taken every 5 to 10 years.
CENSUS INDEX Alphabetical listing of names enumerated in a census.
CERTIFIED COPY A copy made and attested to by officers having charge of the original and authorized to give copies.
CHRISTEN To receive or initiate into the visible church by baptism, to name at baptism, to give a name to
CIRCA About or approximately, usually used in front of a date or year.
COAT OF ARMS Shield with certain distinctive symbols or emblems painted on it in definite fixed colors identifying one person and his direct descendants.
CODICIL A supplement to a will.
COLLATERAL ANCESTOR Relatives descended from the same ancestors, but in a different line (aunts, uncles, cousins, those not in your direct line.
COMMON ANCESTOR
Ancestor shared by two people.
COMMON LAW MARRIAGE A marriage without ceremony, civil or ecclesiastical, which may or may not be recognized as a legal marriage.
COUSIN [1] A child of one's aunt or uncle; also called first cousin; [2] A relative descended from a common ancestor, such as a grandparent, by two or more steps in a diverging line; [3] A relative by blood or marriage; a kinsman or kinswoman; [4] A member of a kindred group or country.
DECEDANT A deceased person.
DECLARATION OF INTENTION First papers filed in the naturalization process, stating that the person wants to become a citizen.
DEGREE OF A RELATIONSHIP The distance between two persons related by blood - under Canon Law (used in most states) two persons who descend from a common ancestor, but not one from the other (brother, cousins, etc.) have a collateral consanguinity and a degree of relationship of the same number as the number of generations the furthest is removed from the closest common progenitor; for example, an uncle and nephew are related in the seconddegree because the nephew is two generations from the common ancestor (his grandfather and his uncle's father); two brothers are related in the first degree and first cousins are related to each other in the second degree; in linial relationships (direct lines) each generation is a degree.
DESCENDANT One whose ancestry can be traced to a particular individual.
DESCENDANT CHART Graphic document that shows descendants of a source couple for a specified number of generations.
DEVISE To give real property by will.
DEVISEE The person to whom real property is left in a will.
DIRECT LINE Descent from an ancestor through succeeding children.
DISTRICT LAND PLATT BOOK Maps which show location of the land patentee.
DISTRICT LAND TRACT BOOK
Books which list individual entries by range and township.
EMIGRANT One who leaves one country or region to settle in another.
ENUMERATION The process by which persons are counted for purposes of a census.
ESTATE The whole of one's possessions; especially all the property left by a deceased person.
EXECUTOR The individual appointed by the one making the will to dispose of his or her property after death in accordance with the terms of the will.
EXECUTRIX A female executor.
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 HISTORY CENTER (FHS) Located in may towns throughtout the United States, these are local research centers where one may access the information of FHL through the use of microfilm, microfiche and computers.
FORBID THE BANNS Public or formal objection to a marriage.
GEDCOM Acronym for GEnealogical Data COMmunication; file format supported by most genealogy database programs for the exchange of genealogy information between different programs and computers.
GENEALOGY
A study of family history and descent.
GIVEN NAME Name given to a person at birth, or baptism - ones first and middle names.
GUARDIAN Person appointed to care for and manage property of a minor, orphan, or adult incompetant of managing his own affairs.
HEIRS Those entitled by law or by the terms of a will to inherit property from another.
HOLOGRAPHIC WILL
One written entirely in the testators own handwriting.
HOMESTEAD
The house and adjoining land where the head of the family lives, which passes to the widow when her husband dies and is exempt from the claims of his creditors; this is similiar to a widow's dower, the difference being that the homestead includes the dwelling.
HOMESTEAD ACT Any of several legislative acts authorizing the sale of public land.
ILLEGITIMATE Born to a mother who was not married to the childs father.
IMMIGRANT One who settles in a country having emigrated from another.
INSTRUMENT A formal document such as a deed or a will.
IN-LAW Colonists used this term for any familiar relationship that occurred from a marriage; a woman's father-inlaw could be her husband's father or her stepfather; her son-in-law could be her daughter's husband or her own stepson.
ISSUE Offspring, children, lineal descendants of a common ancestor.
LEGACY Similar to a bequest, although it often has the meaning of money, whereas bequest usually means personal property.
LEGATEE The person to whom a gift is given or left to in a will; a person receiving real or personal property by will.
LEGATOR
A person who makes a will and leaves property to others.
LIEN A claim against property as security for payment of a debt.
LINEAGE
[1] direct descent from a particular ancestor; ancestry [2] the descendants of a common ancestor considered to be the founder of the line.
LINEAL CONSANGUINITY
Being descended in a direct line from another such as son, father and grandfather.
MAIDEN NAME A females last name or surname before marriage.
MICROFILM A reproduction of documents on film at a reduced size.
MIGRANT A person who moves from place to place to search for work.
MIGRATE To move from one county, state, or region to another.
MULATTO The offspring of one white and one black parent - somtimes used, especially on census schedules, for Indians.
MUSTER OUT A discharge from military service.
NAMESAKE Person named after another person.
NATURALIZATION The process of becoming a citizen of the U.S..
NATURALIZE To grant full citizenship to one of foreign birth.
NECROLOGY A listing of obituaries, as in a newspaper; records of death.
NEE Born; usually refers to a woman's maiden name.
NEPHEW A son of one's brother or sister; also an illegitimate son of an eccleasiastic, a niece, or a male or female grandchild.
NIECE A daughter of one's brother or sister; sometimes, granddaughter; (pre-senenteenth century England) any descendant, male or female, and occasionally, any younger relative.
NUNCUPATIVE WILL Oral will which, to be valid, must be given by a person in their last hours, witnessed by two or more witnesses, and written withina period of six to twelve days.
NOW WIFE Exclusively found in wills, this term implied that there was a former wife.
OBIT
[Latin] died without issue.
OBITUARY Published notice of a death, sometimes with a brief biography of the deceased.
PASSENGER LISTS Names and information of passengers who arrived by ship, often including their age, sex, occupation, place of origin.
PATERNAL Related to one's father. Paternal grandmother is the father's mother.
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.
PEDIGREE CHART
Graphic document that begins with one person and moves backward in time, showing the parents of each person in the tree.
PENSIONER One who receives a pension.
PROBATE Having to do with wills and the administration of estates.
PROGENY The issue or descendants of a common ancestor.
PROGENITOR
An originator of a line of descent, frequently used in referenceto the immigrant ancestor.
PROLES
Offspring.
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.
QUADROON A child of a mulatto and a white; a child with one black grandparent.
RELICT A widow or widower; the surviving spouse
SIBLING A brother or sister
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, birthdate, death date, and Social Security.
SOUNDEX
A card index system prepared by the Works Progress Administration for the federal censuses; names are arranged by letter and number codes according to the sounds of their consonants; thus, even if a name is misspelled or spelled in an unexpected way, it can often be located in the Soundex index.
SPOUSE
A husband or wife.
STATUTE Law
STEERAGE A section in a passenger ship for those paying the lowest fare.
SURNAME The last or family name that a person bears in common with others in his/her family.
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.
TESTAMENTARY Referring to, given by, or appointed by a will.
TESTAMENTARY BOND Security posted with the court by the executor of an estate to insure that the wishes of the deceased be followed.
TESTAMENTUM [Latin] will; testament
TESTATE Having a valid will upon death.
TESTATOR The person who makes a will.
TESTATRIX A female who leaves a valid will.
TOWNSHIP A division of US public land that contains 36 sections or 36 square miles. A subdivision of the county.
TRADITION The handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs, and genealogies from generation to generation.
UNDERGROUND RAILROAD The system which took slaves to freedom in fourteen Northern states by 1830, and about 50,000 between 1840 and 1860.
WARD Chiefly the division of a city for election purposes.
WILL A document declaring how a person wants his property divided after his death.
WITNESS

One who is present at a transaction, such as, the sale of land or the signing of a Will, who can testify or affirm that the event actually took place.

 
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© 1998 to 2011 by Michael Andrews for the benefit of the Minnesota GenWeb Project
© 2011 to present by Vikki Gray for the benefit of the Minnesota GenWeb Project