administration: Management and settlement of an estate
administrator: An appointee of the court who settles the estate of a deceased person who died without leaving a will
abstract: A summary of a particular record or document; usually contains only the most important information from the original document; may be used instead of original documents in genealogical research
ahnentafal: A numbering system used to identify each individual in a family tree. 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. From the German Ahnen meaning ancestor, and Tafel, table or list.
ancestor: Any person from whom one is descended, especially one earlier in a family line than a grandparent; forefather; forebear
ancestry: 1. Family descent or lineage 2. Ancestors collectively
ancestral: Of or inherited from an ancestor or ancestors
Ancestral File: A computerized file of individual and family records, created from records and pedigree charts submitted to the Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 1979. The purpose of the Ancestral File is to help people coordinate
apprentice: 1. One bound by indenture to serve another for a prescribed period with a view to learning an art or trade. 2. One who is learning by practical experience under skilled workers a trade, art, or calling
banns: See marriage banns
baptism: The ceremony or sacrament of admitting a person into Christianity or a specific Christian church by dipping the person in water or pouring or sprinkling water on them;
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.
base-born: See illegitimate
bastard: See illegitimate
beneficiary: The person designated to receive the income of a trust estate.
bequest: Legacy; usually a gift of real estate by will
biography: The history of an person's life
biographer: The author of a biography
birth certificate: A formal document normally issued by a government body responsible for the registration of vital statistics within a particular jurisdiction
bond: A contract to carry out specific duties, which if not performed satisfactorily, a penalty may be paid
bounty land: Land given to military servicemen as payment for their services
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.
cadastra: A public record, survey or map for tax purposes showing ownership and value of land
canon law: Church law\
cemetery record: an account of the names and death dates of those buried within a cemetery
census record: A government sponsored enumeration of the population in a particular area; contains a variety of information from names heads of household or all household members, their ages, citizenship status, and ethnic background etc.
christening: Christian ceremony of baptizing and giving a name to an infant. See also baptism
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: A major Christian religion founded in 1830 by Joseph Smith, the Mormons. In 1894 it founded the Family History Library to gather records which help people trace their ancestry. The Library has grown to acquire the world's largest collection of genealogical information. The Library is located at 35 North West Temple Street, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150 (Telephone: 801-240-2331). You do not need to visit the Library to utilize its resources. Most of the library's films and microfiche can be loaned for use at one of their Family History Centers, located in many cities around the world. The key library resources include FamilySearch®, Family History Library Catalog®, the International Genealogical Index™ (IGI), Ancestral File™, Family Registry™, and Personal Ancestral File® (PAF). Many of the resources of the church are available at the Family History Centres without charge
church record: See baptismal record, marriage record, and burial record
CGRS: Certified Genealogical Record Specialist, BCG credential
chattels: personal property, both animate and inanimate
clan A Celtic group esp. in the Scottish Highlands comprising a number of households whose heads claim descent from a common ancestor
codicil: An addition to a will to change, explain, revoke or add provisions which overrule the provisions in the original will
collateral ancestor: An ancestor not in the direct line of ascent, but of the same ancestral family
collateral families: The families with whom your ancestors intermarried and moved
connubial: Of or relating to the married state; conjugal
consanguinity: A close relation, kinship
conveyance: An instrument by which title to property is conveyed
coroners inquest: A legal inquiry, or inquest by a coroner, to determine the cause of a sudden or violent death.
cousin: 1. The son or daughter of ones uncle or aunt 2. A collateral relative more distant than a brother or sister, but descended from a common ancestor
daughter-in-law: The wife of a person's son
deed: A signed and usually sealed instrument containing some legal transfer, bargain, or contract
descendant: A person who is an offspring, however remote, of a certain ancestor or family
descent: Lineage, ancestry
directory: A book listing the names, addresses, occupations etc., of a specific group of people; types include - city, telephone, county, regional, professional, religious, post office, street, ethnic, and school
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.
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 ¼ 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
dower: The portion of an estate that a widow is entitled to upon the death of her husband
emigration: The process of leaving one's home country to live in another country
enumeration: Process by which persons are counted for purposes of a census
enumerator: census taker
executor: The individual who carries out the instructions and provisions of a will
Family History Library: 35 North West Temple Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84150:
family group report: A form which contains genealogical information about a nuclear family - a husband, a wife, and their children. It usually includes the dates and places of birth, marriage and death.
family tree: A genealogical diagram
gazetteer: An alphabetically organized book describing the names and places of a particular region.
GEDCOM: A standard file format for exchanging information between genealogy programs. The acronym GEDCOM stands for GEnealogical Data COMmunications. The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) developed the GEDCOM standard.
genealogy: 1. The science or study of family descent 2. A chart or recorded history of the descent of a person or family from an ancestor or ancestors 3. Descent from an ancestor; pedigree; lineage
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.
grantee: A person who buys or receives land
grantor: A person who sells or gives the land
husband: A married man; a man in his relationship with his spouse
indenture: A contract binding one person to work for another for a given period of time
intestate: 1. Having made no valid will. 2. Not disposed of by will. 3. When an owner of real property has died intestate, title to the property is said to pass by descent to the heirs. See also testate
illegitimate: Born of parents not married to each other
LDS: See Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
lineage: Direct descent from an ancestor
marriage banns: A religious tradition 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, they banns were read aloud on three successive Sundays.
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 and residence, the clergyman's name, and possibly the names of sponsors.
née: Born, usually refers to a woman's maiden name
nuclear family: A family group that consists only of father, mother, and children
pedigree: 1. A list of ancestors; record of ancestry; family tree 2. Descent; lineage; ancestry 3. 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
peerage: A book containing a list of peers with their genealogy, history, and titles
posthumous: 1. Born after the death of the father 2. Published after the death of the author 3. Following or occurring after death
primary record: A record created at the time of the event (birth, marriage, death, etc.) as opposed to records written years later
primogenitor: ancestor, forefather
primogeniture: 1. The state of being the firstborn of the children of the same parents 2. An exclusive right of inheritance belonging to the eldest son
probate: 1. an 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. 2. The officially authenticated copy of a probated will
progeny: Descendants, children
progenitor: An ancestor in the direct line, forefather
onomastics: The science or study of the origin and forms of proper names of persons or places
record agent: A person specializing in the knowledge of records and sources
redemptioner: An immigrant to the United States in the 18th and 19th centuries who obtained passage by becoming an indentured servant
secondary record: A record created some time after the event
sepulchre (sepulcher): A place of burial, tomb
sibling: A brother or sister
soundex: A filing system, 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.
sponsor: A person who presents a candidate for baptism or confirmation and undertakes responsibility for the person's religious education or spiritual welfare
spouse: A partner in marriage; one's husband or wife
stepbrother: A person's stepparent's son by a former marriage
stepchild: The child of a person's spouse by a previous marriage; stepdaughter or stepson
stepdaughter: A person's stepparent's daughter by a former marriage
stepparent: The person who has married one's parent after the death or divorce of the other parent's stepmother or stepfather
testament: The act by which a person determines the disposition of his or her property after death
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 who dies leaving a will or testament in force
tithe: A tenth part of something paid as a voluntary contribution or as a tax especially for the support of a religious establishment
trustee: A natural or legal person to whom property is legally committed to be administered for the benefit of a beneficiary.
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: A legal statement of a person's wishes concerning the disposal of his or her property after death
witness: An individual present at an event such as a marriage or the signing of a document who can vouch that the event took place