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.