Genealogy Books | Genealogy Bookshop

  • Full Screen
  • Fixed Width
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Kabristan Publications

Kabristan Archives is a small publisher specialising in books related to Irish and Indian graveyards and cemeteries. Kabristan books can be ordered direct from Genealogy Bookshop.

Visit our Kabristan Bookshop to place your order.

Genealogy Resources

We adding to our online genealogical resources all the time. Our Genealogical Dictionary, list of Genealogical Bibliographies, Parish Registers and Genealogy websites are now live.

Genealogy Glossary: A

E-mail Print

Genealogy Dictionary Index Page

ab initio:

used in situations regarding the validity of will, deed, or other legal document. An agreement declared void ab initio stands null and void from the very beginning of its intended existence and not just from the instant it is declared as void. [Latin, from the beginning]

ab nepos:

great-great-grandson [Latin]

ab neptis:

great-great-granddaughter [Latin]


a divorce, most often found in church records, parish books and legal documents. (latin, breaking off)


an abbreviated transcription of a document or record that includes the date of the record, every name appearing within, the relationship (if stated) of each person named and their description (i.e. witness, executor, bondsman, son, widow, etc.), and if they signed with their signature or mark. An abstract does not include every word or punctuation mark, but still includes all the essential details. Corrections or comments may be included in square brackets after the word.

abstract book:

record books containing abstracts of the information contained on land or entries deeds, usually in alphabetical order by surname of the purchasers.


a unit of area.  In the United States and England an acre is equal to 43,560 square feet (4047 square meters). This is equal to 10 square chains or 160 square poles. 640 acres equals one square mile. Prior to the introduction of the metric system, many European countries used their own official acres. These were differently sized in different countries. The historical French acre, for example, was 4,221 square meters, whereas in Germany as many variants of "acre" existed as there were German states. See

adm., admin. :

(abbreviation) see administration, administrator


the collection, management and distribution of an estate. Usually a court-appointed action used to settle the estate of a deceased person who died without leaving a will, of a person who left a will that was disallowed by the court, or where the executor appointed by the deceased is unable or refuses to serve in that capacity.


an appointee of the court who settles the estate of a deceased person who died without leaving a will.


a written or oral statement made under oath.


(acronym) American Genealogical Lending Library.

agricultural schedule:

the Agricultural Schedule was an addition to the U.S. Census, introduced in 1850, which listed the holdings of individual farms. The first agricultural census (1850) recorded the name of the owner, agent or manager of the farm; the value of farming implements and machinery; horses, asses and mules; milch (milk) cows; working oxen; other cattle; sheep; swine; the value of livestock; bushels of wheat; bushels of Indian corn; bushels of oats; pounds of rice; and pounds of tobacco. Subsequent Agricultural Schedules (in the censuses of 1860, 1870 and 1880) contain even more detailed information. The U.S. Agricultural Schedules thus provide a rich source of information for those whose ancestors were American farmers.


a  numbering system used to identify each individual in a family tree in text rather than pedigree chart format.  From the German ahnen meaning ancestor, and tafel, table or list.. In addition to an individual's name, date and place of birth, christening, marriage, death and burial a comprehensive ahnentafel should also give biographical and historical commentary for each person listed, with footnotes citing the source documents.

ahnentafel number:

the unique number assigned to each position in an ancestor table. The starting person is given the number 1, the starting person's father twice that number (2), and the starting person's mother twice that number plus one (3). Numbers four to seven designate the grandparents of the starting person. Therefore to find the father of any person, double that number and to find the mother, double the number and add one.


(acronym) also known as; alias.


a citizen of another (foreign) country


a person from whom you are descended; a direct-line ancestor; forefather; forebear. More usually used to describe the generations before your grandparents.

Ancestry File:

a genealogical database system developed by the Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, linking individuals to ancestors in pedigree, family group, and descendant formats. Containing compiled genealogies submitted by LDS (Mormon) church members and other genealogists, it contains genealogical information about millions of people from many nations. See:


family descent or lineage, denoting all of your ancestors from your parents as far back as they can be traced. Research indicates that everyone has approximately 65,000 traceable ancestors, meaning thoses ancestors whose existence can be documented in surviving records.

anon. :

(abbreviation) anonymous.


a critical or explanatory note about an information resource that follows a citation providing clarification, explanation, definition, interpretation or supplementary information. Genealogists may use annotations to explain discrepancies between two or more documents, or to add information from other sources to support statements or conclusions made in a different record.

appr. :

(abbreviation) appraisal; appraisment.


the granting of property or of a legal right,  benefit, or privilege to another person.


prove that documentary evidence and other physical evidence is genuine, and not a forgery

Genealogy Bookshop Newsflash

Genealogy Bookshop is now partnered with Ancestry, helping you trace your family tree with millions of fascinating records. Discover your past at

You are here Genealogy Resources Glossary Genealogy Glossary: A