Genealogy Terms P - T

If you're just starting out, or have been researching for a while and have come across a word you're not familiar with, check our list below. If it's not listed, please feel free to send it on to us at and we'll research it's meaning and add it to our glossary.
Words starting the letters P through T:
Post (after).
Originally a parish was the ecclesiastical areas served by a church.
Parish chest
A triple locked chest in which parish documents were kept.
Parish records
Transcripts of church records, which date back to 1538. The Phillimore series cover marriages from mainly southern areas. The parish coverage is given in the book "Index to Parishes in Phillimore marriages" by M. E. Bryant Rosie. These are complemented by various other transcripts done by the Register Society, which contain baptisms and marriages.
US and state governments encouraged settlement with various offers of free land in exchange for certain conditions, such as living on the land for a certain number of years and improving it with trees or structures. A key to westward expansion, the Homestead Act of 1862 granted 160 acres of federal government land to those who'd settle and improve it for five years. This generated a paperwork, including a land claim (or application) and the patent transferring the land to the claimant once the conditions were met.
Portable Document Format files are created, which allows you to view books and other documents as computer based material. These can have search facilities, bookmarks and include multimedia items.
The process of executing the terms of a will or settling by administration.
The Religious Society of Friends was founded in the 1600s and is one of the oldest Nonconformist denominations.
Salvation Army
A non-military Christian organization, founded in 1865 by William Booth.
In Scotland, a legal document that records the transfer of ownership of a building or piece ofland. Sasines are useful for family researchers because they may include information about other members of a family.
in the Census, a child was described as a scholar if he/she was over 5 and receiving daily schooling or regular tuition at home.
An heraldic term for the left-hand side of a coat of arms as seen from the back.
Soundex is a coding system used by the government. Names are given code numbers which indicate the "sound" of a name versus the actual spelling of a name. The government used this system in some of the Census records as well as the passenger lists of ships arriving in the U.S.A. This Sounde System enabled people to search for ancestors when several different spellings of surnames were recorded.
Were sometimes called mothers-in-law.
Stranger in Blood
In the law of United States and the Commonwealth, a stranger in blood is someone mentioned in a will who is not related by blood to the testator. It is therefore the opposite of next of kin.
Written surveys or inventories of land belonging to an estate.
With a will.
(Time to Most Recent Common Ancestor)
An estimate of the amount of time between two males and their most recent paternal ancestor, calculated using differences between the two haplotypes.
One-tenth of a person's annual income paid in produce or as a money payment for the support of the Church and clergy.
The process of copying an original document into another form.
The shipping of convicts to penal colonies.
The generic term commonly referring to the relational structure of family information.
twp Township
Updated: 1 April 2016
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