F

Genealogy Dictionary

fact
Specific events, attributes, or information about a person.
Family Group Sheet
A standard form for recording genealogical information on one husband and wife with children born to them. 
Family History Center (FHC)
A local or regional LDS library that can draw upon the resources of the Family History Library (FHL) in Salt Lake City, UT. Each Family History Center (FHC) provides volunteers to help with genealogy research using LDS materials and can order records collected by the LDS on microfilm or fiche from the FHL.
Family History Library (FHL)
The genealogy library established and run by the LDS in Salt Lake City, UT. This library holds the largest collection of genealogical information in the world and is open to the public.
Family Tradition
A source of information about a person, family, or event. Family tradition usually consists of a story (oral or written) that, by itself, may be unverified. See Also: Oral History.
Federal
The national government; a strong centralized national government. During the U.S. Civil War "Federal" and "Union" were used interchangeably to refer to the government of the United State of America (the North).
fee simple
An inheritance having no limitations of conditions of use.
feme
female, woman or wife.
feme sole
An unmarried woman or a married woman with property independent of her husband.
filiam
daughter
filium
son.
Final Papers
Petition for citizenship with supporting documentation filed by an alien (non-citizen) in a court of law. See Also: Declaration of Intent, Naturalization, First Papers.
finding source
A source that simply points at other sources of information. One example of a finding source is an Index to official documents. The Index itself does not provide proof but directs the researcher to documents that can provide proof of specific facts. Other examples of finding sources include The Source and The Redbook, both from Ancestry, Inc., plus The Handybook for Genealogists from Everton Publishers. These books help the researcher find actual documents.
First Papers See Declaration of Intent.
The Declaration of Intent was often called first papers because it was the first step toward citizenship. See Also Final Papers, Naturalization.
FHC
See Family History Center.
FHL
See Family History Library.
forebear
An ancestor, a forefather.
fortnight
A period of two (2) weeks.
freeborn
Born as a free person (as opposed to slavery).
Freedom of Information Act
A U.S. law that provides that any person has the right, enforceable in court, of access to federal agency records, except to the extent that such records (or part of them) are protected from disclosure by one of nine exemptions. Few genealogists need to resort to this law since most records are readily available.
freedman or freedwoman
A man or woman who has been freed from bondage or slavery.
freeholder
Someone who holds land by fee simple.
Freeman
A person who held the full rights of citizenship, such as voting and engaging in business (as opposed to an indentured servant or slave). A freeman could enter into contracts, buy and sell land, etc. See Also: Goodman, Gentleman. In some areas this also meant an unmarried man.
Friends
Correctly called The Society of Friends, they were the Quakers.
full age
Age of majority, legal age, an adult. It is the age, based on local definition, when a man or woman could be considered a full adult in society. This term is often found in marriage applications and indicates whether the bride or groom needed parental approval for the marriage.

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