Family History Terms

Archive (Arch) A repository where records are kept.
Autobiography The story of a person’s life as told by the person themselves.
Biography (Bio) The story of a person’s life as told by someone else.
Birth Having a child. The point at which the child is no longer in the mother.
Birth Certificate A document recording a birth event.
Burial Where the deceased is laid to rest.
Census A periodic recording of information on citizens of a particular nation.
Chart A visual means of representing data. See Pie charts, Line charts, Bar charts, etc.
Child Once single offspring.
Christening (Chr) A baptism into a church.
ChurchA building in which people meet for religious purposes. Also refers to a group of people with specific defined religious beliefs.
County A governmental unit larger than a city and smaller than a nation. See also Shire, Province, etc.
Court proceedings A recording of the events that take place in a court.
Date When an event took place.
Death The separation of the spirit from the body. Passing beyond the veil.
Death Certificate A document containing information on the death of a person, usually by someone certified to do so.
Deceased Dead person.
DeedA document that record the possession of property, normally land.
DNADeoxyribonucleic acid. A self-replicating material and carrier of genetic information used in living entities.
Encumbrance A claim against property (Merriam-Webster).
Event A happening. Something that took place at a specific time and location.
Family The basic unit in society traditionally consisting of two parents rearing their children (Merriam-Webster).
Family Group Sheet (FGS) A document containing information on one particular family, showing Parents and Children.
Family Organization An organization for the purpose of remembering, finding, and recording information about extended families.
FatherA male parent.
GraveThe location where a person is buried.
HuntTo seek for something.
IncarcerationThe act of putting someone in jail.
Index To enter data into a computer in order to allow the computer to build an Index on that data for the purpose of searching it for information.
IndividualOne single person, as opposed to a group of people.
Letter A communication of a message to someone at a distance, either by paper or electronic means.
Library A building or electronic repository which stores books and other media as a means of sharing knowledge.
Lien A document that records a debt or encumbrance.
Marriage A covenant between spouses. A way for the community to recognize the the formation of a family.
Marriage CertificateA document containing information on the marriage between two spouses.
Memory Knowledge of an event.
Microfilm Durable film on which images of documents where captured.
Military Record Records showing events in the military career of a person.
Mother A female parent.
Name An identifier given at birth.
Newspaper A set of papers folded together containing information of interest for a particular period of time.
Obituary A newspaper article discussing the death and/or burial of a person.
Parent A person having offspring.
Parish A religious or governmental unit smaller than a city.
Parish Church Many parishes have a church building as its central location and repository of records.
Patent (Pat) A document showing proprietary control of specific possessions.
Pedigree Chart (PC) A diagram showing parental relationships for multiple generations.
Personal History A story of a person’s life written by the person themselves.
Picture An image taken by a camera or painted by a painter
Probate The action or process of proving before a competent judicial authority that a document offered for official recognition and registration as the last will and testament of a deceased person is genuine.
Record A formal way to remember something. A document or image.
Search To seek for something. The act of seeking.
Seekers Those that search for that which was lost or that’s location is unknown.
Ship Passenger Lists A list of passengers on a particular voyage normally having minimal information.
Story A recording of an event or events either fictional or real.
Title Record A record showing evidence of a legal right or possession.
Trust A legal document showing ownership of property on behalf of others.
Video A recording showing movement over time.
Vital Statistics Facts about something of interest such as births, deaths, and marriages.
Will A record used to distribute possessions after death.

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