Do you have genealogy glossary terms you’d like to share? Send them to: email@example.com.
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- Archives: a collection of historical documents or records providing information about a place, institution, or group of people.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