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Covering Indiana counties of: Clark, Crawford, Dubois, Floyd, Harrison, Jefferson, Lawrence, Orange, Perry, Scott and Washington; and Kentucky counties of Breckinridge, Bullitt, Hardin, Jefferson and Meade.

Genealogy Glossary
A-L | M-Z
Donated by Dan Burrows

ABSTRACT - Summary of important points of a given text, especially deeds and wills.

ACRE - See measurements.

ADMINISTRATION (of estate) - The collection, management and distribution of an estate by proper legal process.

ADMINISTRATOR (of estate) - Person appointed to manage or divide the estate of a deceased person.

ADMINISTRATRIX - A female administrator.

AFFIDAVIT - A statement in writing, sworn to before proper authority.

ALIEN - Foreigner.

AMERICAN REVOLUTION - U.S. war for independence from Great Britain 1775 - 1783.

ANCESTOR - A person from whom you are descended; a forefather.

ANTE - Latin prefix meaning before, such as in ante-bellum South, "The South before the war"

APPRENTICE - One who is bound by indentures or by legal agreement or by any means to serve another person for a certain time, with a view of learning an art or trade.

APPURTENANCE - That which belongs to something else such as a building, orchard, right of way, etc.

ARCHIVES - Records of a government, organization, institution; the place where records are stored.

ATTEST - To affirm; to certify by signature or oath.

BANNS - Public announcement of intended marriage.

BENEFICIARY - One who receives benefit of trust or property.

BEQUEATH - To give personal property to a person in a will. Noun -- bequest.

BOND - Written, signed, witnessed agreement requiring payment of a specified amount of money on or before a given date.

BOUNTY LAND WARRANT - A right to obtain land, specific number of acres of unallocated public land, granted for military service.

CENSUS - Official enumeration, listing or counting of citizens.

CERTIFIED COPY - A copy made and attested to by officers having charge of the original and authorized to give copies.

CHAIN - See measurements.

CHATTEL - Personal property which can include animate as well as inanimate properties.

CHRISTEN - To receive or initiate into the visible church by baptism; to name at baptism; to give a name to.

CIRCA - About, near, or approximate -- usually referring to a date.

CIVIL WAR - War between the States; war between North and South, 1861 - 65.

CODICIL - Addition to a will.

COLLATERAL ANCESTOR - Belong to the same ancestral stock but not in direct line of descent; opposed to lineal such as aunts, uncles & cousins.

COMMON ANCESTOR - Ancestor shared by any two people.

CONFEDERATE - Pertaining to the Southern states which seceded from the U.S. in 1860 - 1, their government and their citizens.

CONSANGUINITY - Blood relationship.

CONSORT - Usually, a wife whose husband is living

CONVEYANCE - See deed.

COUSIN - Relative descended from a common ancestor, but not a brother or sister.

DAUGHTER-IN-LAW - Wife of one's son.


DECEDENT - A deceased person.

DECLARATION OF INTENTION - First paper, sworn to and filed in court, by an alien stating that he wants to be come a citizen.

DEED - A document by which title in real property is transferred from one party to another.

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.

DEVISE - Gift of real property by will.

DEVISEE - One to whom real property (land) is given in a will.

DEVISOR - One who gives real property in a will.

DISSENTER - One who did not belong to the established church, especially the Church of England in the American colonies.

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.

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 25

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.

EMIGRANT - One leaving a country and moving to another.

ENUMERATION - Listing or counting , such as a census.

EPITAPH - An inscription on or at a tomb or grave in memory of the one buried there.

ESCHEAT - The reversion of property to the state when there are no qualified heirs.

ESTATE - All property and debts belonging to a person.

ET AL - Latin for "and others".

ET UX - Latin for "and wife".

ET UXOR - And his wife. Sometimes written simply Et Ux.

EXECUTOR - One appointed in a will to carry out its provisions. Female Executrix

FATHER-IN-LAW - Father of one's spouse.

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 absolute ownership without restriction.

FEE TAIL - An estate of inheritance limited to lineal descendant heirs of a person to whom it was granted.

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.

FRATERNITY - Group of men (or women) sharing a common purpose or interest.

FREE HOLD - An estate in fee simple, in fee tail, or for life.

FRIEND - Member of the Religious Society of Friends; a Quaker.

FURLONG - See measurements.

GAZETTEER - A geographical dictionary; a book giving names and descriptions of places usually in alphabetical order.

GENEALOGY - Study of family history and descent.

GENTLEMAN - A man well born.

GIVEN NAME - Name given to a person at birth or baptism, one's first and middle names.

GLEBE - Land belonging to a parish church.

GRANTEE - One who buys property or receives a grant.

GRANTOR - One who sells property or makes a grant.

GREAT-AUNT - Sister of one's grandparent

GREAT-UNCLE - Brother of one's grandparent.

GUARDIAN - Person appointed to care for and manage property of a minor orphan or an adult incompetent of managing his own affairs.

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.

HEIRS - Those entitled by law or by the terms of a will to inherit property from another.

HOLOGRAPHIC WILL - One written entirely in the testator's own handwriting.

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 5 years.

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.

ILLEGITIMATE - Born to a mother who was not married to the child's father.

IMMIGRANT - One moving into a country from another.

INDENTURE - Today it means a contract in 2 or more copies. Originally made in 2 parts by cutting or tearing a single sheet across the middle in a jagged line so the two parts may later be matched.

INDENTURED SERVANT - One who bound himself into service of another person for a specified number of years, often in return for transportation to this country.

INFANT - Any person not of full age; a minor.

INSTANT - Of or pertaining to the current month. (Abbreviated inst.)

INTESTATE - One who dies without a will or dying without a will.

INVENTORY - An account, catalog or schedule, made by an executor or administrator of all the goods and chattels and sometimes of the real estate of a deceased person.

ISSUE - Offspring; children; lineal descendants of a common ancestor.

LATE - Recently deceased.

LEASE - An agreement which creates a landlord - tenant situation.

LEGACY - Property or money left to someone in a will

LEGISLATURE - Lawmaking branch of state or national government; elected group of lawmakers.

LIEN - A claim against property as security for payment of a debt.

LINEAGE - Ancestry; direct descent from a specific ancestor.

LINEAL - Consisting of or being in as direct line of ancestry or descendants; descended in a direct line.

LINK - See measurements.

LIS PENDENS - Pending court action; usually applies to land title claims.

LODGE - A chapter or meeting hall of a fraternal organization.

LOYALIST - Tory, an American colonist who supported the British side during the American Revolution.

© 1997 Dee Floyd-Pavey
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