Glossary of Genealogy

This page forms part of the Australian Family History Compendium, sponsored by Coherent Software Australia Pty Ltd. If you have encountered any words you don't understand that aren't listed in this glossary, please send them to afhc@cohsoft.com.au. Once we've tracked down an answer for you, we'll add it to this glossary.

See also:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


A

AFFHO
Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations. The umbrella body for family history organisations in Australia and New Zealand.
AIGS
Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies
Asthenia
General wasting away, lack of strength.

B

Bap or Bapt
Baptism, Baptised
BDM
Birth, Death, Marriage
Bp
Bishop

C

c or ca
Circa
Chapman codes
A widely used set of three-letter abbreviations for British counties
Chas
Charles
Chr
Christened, Christening
Circa
About, approximately, around.
Civil registration
Records of birth, death and marriage kept by the civil authorities. Birth, death and marriage events are, by law, required to be registered with the appropriate governmental body. See also Parish Records.
Co.
County
CoE or CofE
Church of England
Crippleware
Software distributed as shareware which has some features disabled. Software known as crippleware is frequently the cause of debate on the Internet, with some people saying that authors of crippleware are taking advantage of the shareware distribution system to cheaply distribute what is essentially a demonstration version of a commercial program. Other people say that shareware authors have a right to cripple the shareware version of their software, in order to force people to pay for it.

D

d
Died
Dau.
Daughter (of)
Descendants chart
A chart going forwards in time, showing a couple, their children, their children's children, and so on. The two most common layouts are drop-line descendants charts and indented descendants charts.
Dioc
Diocese
Direct Ancestor or Direct Descendant
Refers to an ancestor or descendant in the direct line, that is mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, etc and not aunts, uncles, cousins. The word direct is technically superfluous, but its inclusion usually signifies that the user wants to stress that they are not including aunts, uncles and similar collateral relations. See also Patrilineal and Matrilineal.
Drop-line descendants chart
Sometimes simply called a drop chart. A descendants chart with lines connecting information on different people. This style of chart is what many people think of when they talk of a "family tree". A drop chart can occupy a large amount of space.

E

Ed or Edw or Edwd
Edward

F

Family History Centre
See LDS.
FHC
See LDS.
Full Age
Over 21 years of age.

G

GEDCOM
A standard file format for exchanging family history information between different computers and software. This format is meant to be read by computers, not humans. The standard is defined by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Current fully ratified version is 5.5. If you are a software developer, the GEDCOM standard may of interest. It can be found at ftp://ftp.gedcom.org/
Genealogy SA
New name for the former South Australian Genealogy and Heraldry Society. Web site
Geo.
George
GPO
General Post Office
GRD
Genealogical Research Directory. A list of names and locations being researched by people world-wide, with contact details for the researchers. Published every year, in April or May.
GSQ
Genealogical Society of Queensland Inc.
GSV
Genealogical Society of Victoria Inc.

H

HAGSOC
The Heraldry and Genealogy Society of Canberra
Hy
Henry

I

IGI
International Genealogical Index. An index to some of the records, mainly parish registers, held by the LDS. A valuable information source for family historians.
Indented decendants chart
a descendants chart where information on each person occupies a line, and children are indented relative to their parents. Indented descendants charts are much more compact than drop-line descendants charts and are excellent aids for further research, but they are perhaps not as attractive.

J

Jno
John

K

L

LDS
Common abbreviation for Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, sometimes incorrectly referred to as Mormons. The LDS church has many family history records, such as parish registers, on microforms. Many of these microforms may be viewed by anyone (including non-members of the church) at their Family History Centres. See also IGI.
Lighter
A type of barge
Lighterman
One who navigates a lighter

M

m or Marr
Marriage, Married
Matrilineal
The female line only.
Minor (age)
Under 21 years of age
Mormon
See LDS.
Ms
Manuscript, or Maiden Surname

N

Nee
"Born". Normally followed by a woman's maiden name.

O

P

Parish Records
Records created and originally kept by the religious head of an area, generally the clergyman of a parish. For events prior to Civil Registration, these are often the only record of baptisms, marriages and burials.
Patrilineal
The male line only.
Pedigree
A chart that goes backward in time, starting from one person, showing their parents, then the parent's parents, and so on.
PRO
Public Record Office

Q

QFHS
Queensland Family History Society

R

RC
Roman Catholic

S

SAG
Society of Australian Genealogists
SAGHS
South Australian Genealogy and Heraldry Society, now known as Genealogy SA
Shareware
Computer software which you can "try before you buy". You have the right to install and use the software for a limited time period. If, at the end of this time period, you still wish to use the software, you must send payment for the software to its author. If you do not wish to pay for the software, you must delete it from your computer. Shareware is generally much cheaper than commercial software, because the author's distribution and advertising costs are very low.

See also crippleware.

Ship-breaker
Someone who buys and breaks up old ships.

T

Tiny Tafel
A file format that summarises your family history information, containing only surnames, date ranges and places. Can be easily compared with other Tiny Tafels using a computer.

U

V

W

WAGS
Western Australian Genealogical Society
Wesleyan
The Methodist Church, now part of the Uniting Church
Wm
William

X

Y

Z