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We’ve all come across terms and abbreviations that, at first, were confusing while doing our research.  For those who may just be starting their ancestral quest, here are some common ones you may encounter:

Terms
Decedent: Person who has died.
Dower: Share of husband’s real estate to which the widow is entitled.
Estate: The total property held by an individual and available after death.
Grantee: Recipient of proper either through purchase, gift or request.
Grantor: Individual who sells or gives property to another person.
Ibid: Same location. Identifies a document that has already been quoted.
Infant: A person below the age designated as adulthood.
Intestate: Died without leaving a will.
Issue: Offspring.
Nee: Identifies a woman’s maiden name.
Posthumous: After death.
Proximo: Used in dates for next, usually refers to the following month.
Relict: Widow of particular individual.
Sic: Shows that an incorrect fact has been copied faithfully.

Abbreviations
b. or bn. – Date of birth.
b. or bur. – Date of burial.
C. – abbreviation of latin word “circa” meaning an approximate date or time.
d. – Date of death.
dsp – Abbreviation of a latin term meaning died without issue.
et. al. – Abbreviation of latin term meaning others, indicating the presence of other names not listed on the document.
JP – Justice of the Peace.
m., m1, m2 – Marriage date, numbers indicate first, second marriage.
n.d. – No date known.
ob. – Abbreviation for the latin term “obit” meaning deceased.
Tutor – Guardian of underage person or minor.
Unm. – Unmarried.

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