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Genealogy Dictionary

Ab Nepos
Great-great-grandson.
Ab Neptis
Great-great-granddaughter.
abeyance
A condition of undetermined ownership. Usually with probate when an estate has not yet been assigned.
abstract
A statement summarizing the essential facts contained in a document or record. See Also: Docket
Abstract Book
Record books that contain abstracts of the information contained on deeds or land entries, usually listed in alphabetical order by surname of the purchasers.
Accomptant
Accountant (occupation)
administration
Management and settlement of an estate. See Also: Letters of Administration.
administrator
The person appointed by the court to be responsible for settling the estate of a deceased who died without leaving a will. See Also: Administration.
Administrator's Bond
A bond (money) posted by an administrator to guarantee the proper performance of his or her duties. The court may or may not require bond.
administratrix
Female administrator.
adopt
To take by choice into a relationship; to take voluntarily (a child of other natural parents) as one's own child.
adopted child
See Adoptee.
adoptee
The person that has been adopted into a family.
adoption
The legal process of adding a child into a family. The child's surname is usually changed to that of the parents adopting the child and they become the legal guardians of the child. Once adopted the law views the child as part of the adoptive family. Many adoption records are sealed, ostensibly to protect the child but also to protect the natural parents.
affidavit
A written and signed statement sworn in front of a court officer.
Ahnentafel
Literally German for "ancestor table" (ahnen = ancestor, tafel = table). A table or report showing a person's ancestors in a specific format. The ahnentafel lists a person and all of their known direct ancestors.
Ahnentafel Number
The numbering system used to identify each individual in a family tree. Each individual is numbered as follows; the subject of the family tree or ahnentafel report is number one (1), each individual's father is two (2) times the individual and the mother is the father's number plus one (1).
alien
A citizen of another country.
alms house
Poor house or a place for the insane or those who could not take care of themselves.
Amanuensis
Secretary or stenographer (occupation)
ancestor
A person from which you are descended.
Ancestral File
A database of names in linked genealogies submitted to the LDS Family History Library. This resource contains all submitted data, regardless of accuracy or later findings. The LDS Family History Library does not attempt to verify any data submitted to them. This is a good resource for finding possible clues but should not be used as proof.
archives
Storage of older records. The National Archives, for example, is a place to store records no longer considered current by the government
artificer
A skilled or artistic worker or craftsman (occupation).
assignee
The person to whom a privilege or some property is signed over by the court. The person receiving the privilege or property.
assigns
See Assignee.
assignor
The person who signs over the right to some property to another person (assignee).
Assistant Marshall
Census taker before 1860 in the United States.
atlas
A bound collection of maps that may include charts, illustrations, tables, and detailed explanations of features on the maps. A detailed atlas or map created about the time your ancestors lived in an area can be very helpful in determining where they lived, who their neighbors were, where they might have traveled to church, etc.

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