NORTH CAROLINA

Trails To The Past

Resources: Dictionary

Abstract - summary of important points of a given text, especially deeds and wills.

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.

Ancestor - a person from whom you are descended; a forefather.

Ante - Latin prefix meaning before.

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. 

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.

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.

Codicil - addition to a will.

Collateral Ancestor - belonging 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.

Consanguinity - blood relationship.

Consort - usually, a wife whose husband is living.

Conveyance - see deed.

Deceased - dead.

Decedent - a deceased person.

Declaration of Intention - first paper, sworn to and filed in court, by an alien stating that he wants to become 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 the 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.

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.

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".

Executor - one appointed in a will to carry out its provisions. 

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.

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.

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

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.

Guardian - person appointed to care for and manage property of a minor orphan or an adult incompetent 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 testator's own handwriting.

Illegitimate - born to a mother who was not married to the child's father.

Immigrant - one moving into a country from another.

Indentured Servant - one who bound himself into service of another person for a specified number of years, often in return for transportation to a country.

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.

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 a direct line of ancestry or descendants; descended in a direct line.

Lis Pendens - pending court action; usually applies to land title claims.

Lodge - a chapter or meeting hall of a fraternal organization.

Maiden Name - a girl's last name or surname before she marries.

Manuscript - a composition written with the hand as an ancient book or a non-printed modern book or music.

Marriage Bond - a financial guarantee that no impediment to the marriage existed, furnished by the intended bridegroom or by his friends.

Maternal - related through one's mother.

Messuage - a dwelling house.

Metes & Bounds - property described by natural boundaries, such as 3 notches in a white oak tree, etc.

Microfiche - sheet of microfilm with greatly reduced images of pages of documents.

Microfilm - reproduction of documents on film at reduced size.

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.

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.

Minor - one who is under legal age; not yet a legal adult.

Mister - in early times, a title of respect given only to those who held important civil officer or who were of gentle blood.

Moiety - a half; an indefinite portion.

Mortality - death; death rate.

Mortality Schedules - enumeration of persons who died during the year prior to June 1 of 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 in each state of the United States, conducted by the bureau of census.

Mortgage - a conditional transfer of title to real property as security for payment of a debt.

Namesake - person named after another person.

Necrology - listing or record of persons who have died recently.

Nee - used to identify a woman's maiden name; born with the surname of.

Noncupative Will - one declared or dictated by the testator, usually for persons in last sickness, sudden illness, or military.

Orphan - child whose parents are dead; sometimes, a child who has lost one parent by death.

Orphan's Court - orphans being recognized as wards of the states, provisions were made for them in special courts.

Passenger List - a ships list of passengers, usually referring to those ships arriving in the US or Canada, from Europe.

Patent - grant of land from a government to an individual.

Paternal - related to one's father. 

Patriot - one who loves his country and supports its interests.

Pedigree - family tree; ancestry.

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 - one who receives a pension.

Poll - list or record of persons, especially for taxing or voting.

Post - prefix meaning after.

Posterity - descendants; those who come after.

Power of Attorney - when a person is unable to act for himself, he appoints another to act in his behalf.

Pre - prefix meaning before.

Probate - having to do with wills and the administration of estates.

Progenitor - a direct ancestor.

Progeny - descendants of a common ancestor; issue.

Proved Will - a will established as genuine by probate court.

Provost - a person appointed to superintend, or preside over something.

Proximo - in the following month; in the month after the present one.

Public Domain - land owned by the government.

Quitclaim - a deed conveying the interest of the party at that time.

Rector - a clergyman.

Relict - widow; surviving spouse when one has died, husband or wife.

Sic - Latin meaning thus; copied exactly as the original reads.

Spinster - a woman still unmarried.

Sponsor - a bondsman; surety.

Statute - law.

Surname - family name or last name.

Territory - area of land owned by a country, not a state or province, but having its own legislature and governor.

Testamentary - pertaining to a will.

Testate - a person who dies leaving a valid will.

Testator - a person who makes a valid will before his death.

Tithable - taxable.

Tithe - formerly, money due as a tax for support of the clergy or church.

Township - a division of U.S. public land that contained 36 sections, or 36 square miles. 

Tradition - the handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs, genealogies, etc. from generation to generation, especially by word of mouth.

Transcribe - to make a copy in writing.

Ultimo - in the month before this one; abbreviated ult.

Verbatim - word for word; in the same words, verbally.

Vital Records - records of birth, death, marriage or divorce.

Vital Statistics - data dealing with birth, death, marriage or divorce.

Ward - chiefly the division of a city for election purposes.

Will - document declaring how a person wants his property divided after his death.

Witness - one who is present at a transaction, such as a sale of land or signing of a will, who can testify or affirm that it actually took place.

Yeoman - A servant or attendant; a subordinate of a sheriff; an independent farmer. 

Source: Provided freely for redistribution by Dan Burrows.

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Footnotes


Copyright © 2017 by Donna Sims Conner.  The information on Trails To The Past may be used in personal family history research, with source citation. The pages in entirety may not be duplicated for publication in any fashion without the permission of the owner. Commercial use of any material on this site is prohibited.  Please respect the wishes of those who have contributed their time and efforts to make this free site possible.  


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