Genealogy Terms and Defintions
Select one of the words or records listed below to see a definition or description. For Latin words, see the topic Latin terms.
When tracing an ancestry it is common to encounter records filled with obsolete, archaic, or legal terms that can be difficult to interpret. Misinterpreting these terms can make the difference between linking persons to the right generation, parents, spouse or children. Understanding exactly what is stated in any record is vital before attempting to move to the next generation. Inexperienced or impatient genealogists undervalue the quality of their research by applying present-day definitions to documents created in an earlier century. Take the time to use the glossary provided here and other excellent dictionaries, genealogical reference books and encyclopedias to interpret documents correctly.
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US Federal Censuses