OFS Glossary of Genealogical related terms.

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Alphabetic Glossary Index:


Glossary of Genealogical Terms

The letter "A"

Ancestors: a person, typically one more remote than a grandparent, from whom one is descended.
Ancestral: of, belonging to, inherited from, or denoting an ancestor or ancestors.
Ancestry: one's family or ethnic descent.
Ancient: belonging to the very distant past and no longer in existence.
Archives: a collection of historical documents or records providing information about a place, institution, or group of people.
Attest: the status of being born to parents who were not married

The letter "B"

BarSinister: To affirm; to certify by signature or oath.
Bequeath: To give personal property to a person in a will.
Biographer: someone who writes an account of a person's life
Biography: The history of an person's life

The letter "C"

Census: Official enumeration, listing or counting of citizens.
Codicil: Addition to a will
CollateralAncestor: Belong to the same ancestral stock but not in direct line of descent; opposed to lineal such as aunts, uncles & cousins.

The letter "D"

Descendants: a person that is descended from a particular ancestor.
Discovery: the action or process of discovering or being discovered

The letter "E"

Estate: All property and debts belonging to a person.

The letter "F"

FamilyHistory: the study of families and the tracing of their lineages and history.
FamilyRoots: A progenitor or ancestor from which a person or family is descended.
FamilyTree: a diagram showing the relationships between people in several generations of a family; a genealogical tree.

The letter "G"

Genealogy: a line of descent traced continuously from an ancestor.
GenealogyRecord: A record or table of the descent of a person, family, or group from an ancestor or ancestors; a family tree.
Grantee: One who buys property or receives a grant
Grantor: One who sells property or makes a grant.

The letter "H"

Heir: a person who inherits or succeeds to the property of a deceased person legally; any successor to property or money by will or law
Heritage: property that is or may be inherited; an inheritance.
Historical: of or concerning history; concerning past events.
History: the study of past events, particularly in human affairs.

The letter "I"

Illegitimate: Born to a mother who was not married to the child's father
Intestate: One who dies without a will or dying without a will.
Investigation: the action of investigating something or someone; formal or systematic examination or research.

The letter "L"

Legacy: property left to someone in a will.
Lineage: lineal descent from an ancestor; ancestry or pedigree.
Lodge: a chapter or meeting hall of a fraternal organization

The letter "M"

MaidenName: the surname that a married woman used from birth, prior to its being legally changed at marriage.
Maternal: of or relating to a mother during pregnancy or shortly after childbirth.
Messuage: a dwelling house
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
Morality: death; death rate
Mortgage: a conditional transfer of title to real property as security for payment of a debt

The letter "N"

Names: give a name to.
Namesake: person named after another person
Necrology: listing or record of persons who have died recently

The letter "O"

Offspring: a person's child or children.
OralHistory: the collection and study of historical information using sound recordings of interviews with people having personal knowledge of past events.

The letter "P"

Paternal: of or appropriate to a father.
Progenitor: a person or thing from a person is descended or originates; an ancestor or parent.
Progeny: a descendant or the descendants of a person; offspring

The letter "Q"

Quest: a long or arduous search for something.

The letter "R"

Records: a thing constituting a piece of evidence about the past, esp. an account of an act or occurrence kept in writing or some other permanent form.
Roots: the basic cause, source, or origin of something.

The letter "S"

Search: try to find something by looking or otherwise seeking carefully and thoroughly.
Sib: a person's brother or sister, having one or both parents in common with another; sibling
Spinster: a woman still unmarried; or one whose occupation is spinning
Surname: family name; or last name