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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.

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A Glossary of Genealogical and Family History Terms


Genealogy Glossary: C

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c., ca.

(abbreviation) about or around, from the Latin word circa.


(acronym) Certified American Indian Lineage Specialist, a professional genealogical certification granted by the Board for Certification of Genealogists in the United States.


(acronym) Certified American Lineage Specialist, a professional genealogical certification granted by the Board for Certification of Genealogists in the United States.

canon law:

a law or body of laws of a Chrsitian church, governing the faith and practice of the members.

cem. :

(abbreviation) cemetery.

cemetery records:

names and death dates of those buried within a cemetery. Cemetery records may also include details of the names of the deceased's relatives and maps of the grave sites. In addition to paper records tombstones may contain birth and death dates along with details of other family members. See Monumental Inscriptions.


an official, usually periodic count of a population in a given area, often including the collection of related demographic information.  U.S. Federal censuses have been taken every 10 years since 1790, while in the UK the census has been conducted every ten years since 1801.

census records:

in addition to the name of the head of household, the names of all household members, their ages and occupations, census records may contain additional information including place of birth, ethnic background, property value, marriage information, education level, birthplace of parents, relationships between individuals and more.

certified genealogist:

a genealogist who has passed a test administered by a certifying organisation, and who subscribes to a Code of Ethics and Conduct.


a unit of length; a chain measures 66 feet or 22 yards or 4 rods or 100 links (20.1168m). An acre is the area of 10 square chains (that is, an area of one chain by one furlong). See

civ. :

(abbreviation) civil

civil law (or common law):

the body of law having to do with the private rights and remedies of individuals in which compensation may be awarded to the victim, as opposed to criminal law.


a supplement, appendix or addition to a will to change, explain, revoke or add provisions which overrule the provisions in the original will, without the intention of replacing the entire will.

collateral ancestor:

an ancestor not in the direct line of ascent, but descended from the same ancestral stock and therefore of the same ancestral family

collateral line:

line of descent connecting persons descended from the same stock, but from a brother or sister of an ancestor (for example, a cousin, niece, nephew, aunt, or uncle).

comm. :

(abbreviation) communion, communicant.

common ancestor:

any person to whom two or more persons claim descent or lineage.


 a person who receives or is entitled to receive Communion in a religious ceremony or service.

conf. :

(abbreviation) confirmed.


Confederate States of America; the group of 11 southern states that seceded from the United States in 186061 until its defeat in the American Civil War in 1865.


sharing the same lineage or origin; having a common ancestor. [Latin, com + sanguineus, of blood]


literally meaning common blood, describes the familial relationship between two individuals. The degree of sanguinunity measures how closely a person is related to another in the sense of a family.

consent affidavit:

written or oral consent given under oath by a parent or guardian (usually the father) in cases where the bride or groom was under the minimum legal age of consent to enter a contract of marriage. 


husband, wife, spouse, mate, companion or partner. Often used to refer to the spouse of a reigning monarch. 


a legal document or instrument, such as a deed or lease, by which the title to real property is transferred from one person to another; warrant; patent.


the child of an aunt or uncle (a first, or full, cousin); the degree of cousinship (first,second, third cousin, etc) indicates the minimum number of generations between both cousins and the nearest common ancestor (i.e. a person's nth cousin is anyone other than oneself or one's siblings found by going back n+1 generations and then forward n+1 generations). Earlier definitions may refer to a close relative, kinsman, or friend. See

cousin chart:

a table, also referred to as a table of consanguinuity, which identifies the degree of cousin relationship between two individuals using their most recent common ancestor as the reference point.


(abbreviation) Civil War, the American Civil War (18611865), also known as the War Between the States.

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