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abbreviated transcription of a document or record that includes the date of the record, every name appearing therein, the relationship (if stated) of each person named and their description (ie., witness, executor, bondsman, son, widow, etc.), and if they signed with their signature or mark.

ad litem

legal term meaning in this case only. For example, “George Thomas, duly appointed by the court, may administer ad litem the settlement of the estate of Joseph Thomas, deceased.”adm. (abbreviation)administrator, administration.


(abbreviation)adminsitrator, administration.


(abbreviation)letters of administration.

administrationa court action used ot settle the estate of a person who died without leaving a left a will, or a person who left a will that the court disallowed, or where the executor appointed by the deceased refuses to serve in that capacity.

affidavita written or oral statement made under oath.


ancestor table, tabulates the ancestry of one individual by generation in text rather than pedigree chart format. A comprehensive ahnentafel gives more than the individual’s name, date and place of birth, christening,marriage, death and burial. It should give biographical and historical commentary for each person listed, as well as footnotes citing the source documents used to prove what is stated.

ahnentafel Number

the unique number assigned to each position in an ancestor table is called an ahnentafel number. Number one designates the person in the first generation. Numbers two and three designate the parents of number one and the second generation. Numbers four through seven designate the grandparents of person number one and the third generation. As the ahnentafel extends by generation, the number of persons doubles.


also known as; alias.


a citizen of another country.


a person from whom you descend;grandparents, great-grandparents, 2nd great-grandparents (also called great great- grandparents), 3rd great-grandparents, etc.;direct-line ancestor; forefather; forebear.

Ancestral File 

a genealogical system developed ty the Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), links individuals to ancestors in pedigree, family group, and descendant formats. It contains genealogical information about millions of people from many nations.


denotes all of your ancestors from your parents as far back as they are traceable. Estimates suggest that everyone has approximately 65,000 traceable ancestors, meaning ancestors whose existence can be documented in surviving records.


(abbreviation) anonymous.


interpretation, explaination, clarification, definition, or supplement. Many types of genealogical presentations contain statements, record sources, documents, conclusions, or other historical information that require an annotation. Generally, annotations appear in footnotes, end-notes, or in the text itself. Genealogical software provides a field for documentation, comments, notes, and analysis. Genealogists use annotations to explain discrepancies between two or more documents, to add information from another source to support a statement or conclusion made in a different record, and other difficult to interpret situations.


(abbreviation) appraisal; appraisment.


grant of property or a legal right, benefit, or privilege to another person.authenticateprove a document is not a forgery.

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