Donna Cooper's Genealogical Words 




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Genealogical words - Research Guidance

Donna Cooper's Glossary of Genealogical Words and Terms


One can not do genealogy for very long without learning about the settlement of the United States and the terms and phrases that were used in the pioneer days. An interest of these early groups of settlers never seems to cease. This is what makes the study of genealogy such a wonderful hobby. If you think of a term you'd like to see added, just drop me a note.

Under each item that has a personal touch to my genealogy is a note that is posted on another page. Those are numbered so that you know which item goes with which note. Just click on the note item to open the other section. 



K - Z


Kinship: Son-in-law in Colonial America it usually meant step-son, which really meant son by law.

Kinship: Cousin usually meant uncle or aunt or perhaps could have really been cousin. But first cousin did not always mean first cousin - it could have even been uncle or aunt.

Kinship: Father-in-law might have been step-father in the early wills and records of Colonial America - meaning the father by law.

Kinship: Nee is sometimes used when speaking about the maiden name of a female.

Kinship: In the early days of our country rarely was adoption was filed - but sometimes it was mentioned in estate papers.

Kinship: Friend in a will usually meant cousin, uncle, or a relative of some sort.

legitiums: The  Latin for lawful, licit, right, proper, or legitimate.

letifer: Latin for deadly or mortal.

liber libri: Latin for book. In colonial times many record books are described as liber. 

Lord Proprietors: One thing that they concentrated on was an attempt to establish Claredon County in the Cape Fear region in between the years of 1663- 1667.  

Lost Colony of 1587: The Lost Colony of 1587 was at Roanoke Island in Virginia and was the site of the first English visit in the New World.

magister:  Latin word for master, canon - master of a school, or a professor.

Maius (Mai): Latin word for May.  

malo mallui malus: Latin word for to choose - prefer.

mater matris: Latin word for mother.

matrimonium: Latin for marriage. Often seen in English Parish records.

mets and bounds: this is a real property term and is often seen in deeds. Metes is the limit of a surveyed tract whereas bounds are the boundaries of the adjacent tracts.

meus: Latin word for my.

Military Districts: After the Revolutionary War, and with the creation of the Federal Government, Virginia and some other states were asked to cede their western lands to the US Government. Those ceded lands were used to create the Northwest and Southwest Territories. In 1781 Virginia relinquished its claim on the land that was in the Northwest Territory. In exchange they were allowed to award bounty land grants to certain veterans of the war in what was called the Virginia Military District and in land that was located in the south-central part of Ohio. They did this until Ohio became a state in 1803. And also Virginia awarded military bounty land Grants to Revolutionary War Soldiers in the Kentucky territory until 1792 when it became a state.  [Note 15    ]

Native American Treaties: There are many of them. The changes in boundary lines especially those in Tennessee, North Carolina and Kentucky can be better understood after the study of these treaties. 

natus:  Latin word for "of born".

North Carolina Land Grants: In 1777 vacant land could be granted. There had to be land that was available to be granted that was in North Carolina and the party wanting the grant had to have the money to pay for it. This land had formerly been the property of the King of England and of the Earl of Granville. Although there was a small fee that had to be paid when the land was recorded not everyone had money to pay for it. But the idea was to keep the Tories from getting these land grants. Before this period of land grants and between the years of 1663 and 1729, North Carolina was under the control of the Lords Proprietors and their descendants. They were commissioned colonial officials and authorized by the governor and his council to grant lands in the name of the Lords Proprietors. Albemarle County, North Carolina was divided into what was called local governmental units that were called precincts. Initially there were three precincts, which were Berkley, Carteret, and Shaftesbury. But as the colony expanded to the south and west new precincts were created. By 1729, there were a total of eleven precincts: six in Albemarle County and five in Bath County that were created in 1696. The Albemarle Region was the first permanent settlement in the Carolina area. And another region that was developed along with this was that area that is located around the present-day Charleston, South Carolina. Because of the natural harbor and easier access to trade with the West Indies, more attention was given to developing the Charleston area than the northern counterparts. For a twenty-year period, during the years of 1692 through 1712, the colonies of North and South Carolina existed as one unit of government. North Carolina had an assembly and council, but the governor of Carolina lived in Charleston, SC, and a deputy governor was appointed for the state of North Carolina. In the year of 1729, seven of the eight of the Lords Proprietors sold their interests in North Carolina to the Crown and at that time North Carolina then became a royal colony. The eighth proprietor, Lord Granville, retained an economic interest and continued on with granting land in the northern half of North Carolina. All political functions of this were under the supervision of the Crown up until the year of 1775.   [Note 8 ]

North Carolina - Colonial Years:  The first permanent English settlers that came to North Carolina were the immigrants who had moved down from the tidewater area of southeastern Virginia. The first of these settlers moved into the Albemarle area of northeast North Carolina sometime around 1650 - known mostly as Perquimans and Pasquotank Counties. And these two counties were filled quickly with several immigrant families of Quakers. In the year of 1663 Charles II granted a charter to eight English gentlemen who had helped him regain the throne of England - the Lord Proprietors.

North Georgia Land - The Yazoo Land Fraud: This fraud really began in 1785. But in 1789 these three companies, The South Carolina Yazoo Company, The Virginia Yazoo Company, and the Tennessee Company formed together for the purpose of buying land from the Georgia Assembly. And on the 21st of December 1789, Governor Telfair signed into law a bill that was for the purpose of selling 20,000,000 acres of land to these three Yazoo Companies for a balance of $207,000. The deal fell through when the companies tried to pay in old, and in most cases worthless, currency. Patrick Henry headed the Yazoo Company. A lot of people paid for land that they didn't get and were upset because they wanted the land they'd been promised.

novem: Latin word for number nine.

nuncupative will:  a will that is an oral will made by the deceased and in the presence of a witnesses.

octavus, octavo: The Latin word for the eighth.

octo: The Latin word for the number eight.

Old style calendar date: May be a listed date as O. S. and is always a pre 1752 date.

Oklahoma Land Rush: On March 2, 1889 the United States Congress passed the Indian Appropriations Bill, proclaiming that unassigned lands were part of the public domain. This is what is now known to be the first step toward the famous Oklahoma Land Rush. A rail line ran through the state and it was determined that the area where Guthrie, Oklahoma is located then and now would be a good place to start a new township. Although mile square parcels of land had been roughly designated and six-mile square allotments were reserved for towns, no formal city planning had not really happened, nor had any government be set up. On April 22, 1889, people who were gathered on the Arkansas and Texas borders of Oklahoma could seek a parcel of unclaimed land and file for ownership with the federal government. Most of these people were from Kansas and Missouri, but some people came to seek land from other states as well. The city of Guthrie, Oklahoma was made in just one afternoon.

Palatines: At one time the Palatinate area was situated west of the Rhine and north of the French (Alsatian) border. Before 1800, it included a large area that was located just east of the Rhine, including Mannheim and Heidelberg. The historical Pfalz has always had somewhat vague boundaries and once even consisted of 44 different countries. Most of us today, including myself, end up confused when we look at the map of that area. In the northern and western parts of the Palatinate the terrain is mostly of rounded sloops of rolling hills, and it is, believe it or not, very valuable farming land. To the east there is the Rhine valley, which is very fertile land and also valuable land, and to the south there is the large Palatine Forest, with only small agricultural spots around the villages. The Palatinate area is today in modern times called Pfalz. The present state of Rheinland-Pfalz consists in modern times of the Palatinate, parts of the former Prussian Rhine province (Rhineland), plus some smaller territories that include Hohenzollern. And today - in modern times - the slope of the Palatine Forest (Pfaelzer Wald) is considered to be one of the largest areas in Germany for producing wine products. 

Palatine Emigrants: The Palatine story begins in the winter of 1708 and in 1709. Those were very long and cold winters in the Rhineland area of Germany and the times were said to have been hard. It a very bleak period for the Palatine people and making a living was not easy. That was when the discussion began - the talk about leaving what they'd been doing all their lives and leaving their homes and homeland where they'd lived all their lives. And so that next spring and by the coming of early April, when the ground was still frozen and after most of the vines had been killed by the bitter winter weather, they started planning on leaving their homeland and to go to Pennsylvania to the New World. Since the year of 1702 their country had been enduring a war and so they could see very little hope of things being better. The Thirty Years War was still laying heavy on their minds, a period in which one out of every three Germans had died in the hands of the enemy.

The German History concerning this group of people explains that the Palatines were very heavily taxed and had endured religious persecution already and now with the economics that they were facing their disillusion of Germany continue to mount. As these people considered their future, they considered also ways to overcome their hardships. The older generation remembered that, in 1677, that William Penn had visited their Palatine area, and that he had encouraged them to go to Pennsylvania and to live in America, a place where a man and his family could be free of the problems they were now facing in in their homeland of Germany. Like many emigrants who came to the American continent they had the "American dream". But to go to America meant a long ocean voyage and a future that was unknown and also to an unknown part of the world. The Palatine people knew that the German Elector would stop any migration as soon as he noticed that it was happening. So they agreed that only a mass exodus from the Palatinate would be successful. Many wondered how they could ever finance such a journey and how they'd raise the money to leave. Soon small boats, known as scows, were acquired so that they could make the trip down the Rhine River. That was costly and then there was the expense of an ocean voyage, too, that they'd have to finance. While some of the people had relatives that could assist them financially, many were poor and had no one to help. Even so and even considering all these things it wasn't long before their minds were made up for them because France's King Louis XIV invaded their land, ravaging the towns in the Lower Palatinate.

In masses, the Palatine people boarded their small boats that they'd already purchased and headed down the Rhine toward Rotterdam. It was April 1709 and the first parties of them were already afloat on the Rhine. They took not only the basic goods they’d need but also a great faith in God. The river voyage took an average of 4-6 weeks and at the time they left it was extremely cold. Unbelievably by June of 1709 these Palatine people arrived at Rotterdam at a rate of one thousand per week. The Elector, as expected, issued an edict forbidding the migration, but almost all of them ignored it. By October of 1709 more than 10,000 Palatines had completed the Rhine River journey and were on their way to England. The Duke of Marlborough was assigned by Queen Anne to transport the immigrants to England. And so the British troop ships were also used. The Queen assumed these Protestants would help fuel the anti-Roman feelings that were now developing in England. The ships from Rotterdam landed, in part, at Deptford and the refugees were sent to one of three camps that were located at Deptford, Camberwell, and Blackheath outside the city wall of London. And many Londoner's really did welcome the Palatine people. But the poor were not really welcomed, because the English felt the English food that should be theirs was being taken from them to feed these German Palatine people. And so the British newspapers published mixed accounts of the Palatines, some were praising them as a people and others cursed them for what they were doing. At that time over 3,000 of these Palatines were sent to Ireland, and it was thought they'd reinforce the Protestant faith in Ireland. The trip from England to Ireland was short, taking only about 24 hours.   

Meanwhile, dozens of Palatines were sailing to America, and most were on their way to Pennsylvania - to what they saw as the Promised Land. The ocean voyage was harsh, with over-crowded, under-supplied, and the ships were unsanitary. The provisions that were supplied were generally the least expensive available. And it was said that they often ran out of water and food. Many of them died and thousands were ill. By the time they arrived in Pennsylvania many of them were wishing they'd never left Germany. By 1750 it is thought that at least 80,000 had arrived. These Pennsylvania immigrants that clustered there not only came from Germany, but were also from Bohemia and from Switzerland. Most were either Lutheran or Reformed, and some were even Mennonite in their religious beliefs.

Here is a passage that is very important to the study of these people. "The State of the Poor Palatines As Humbly Represented By Themselves Upon Their First Arrival In This Kingdom, About June, 1709 (from London, England) We the poor distressed Palatines, whose utter Ruin was occasioned by the merciless Cruelty of a Blood Enemy, the French, whose prevailing Power some years past, like a Torrent rushed into our Country, and overwhelmed us at once; and being not content with Money and Food necessary for their Occasions, not only dispossest us of all Support but inhumanely burnt our House to the ground, where being deprived of all Shelter, we were turned into open Fields, and there drove with our Families, to seek what Shelter we could find, being obliged to make the cold Earth our Lodgings, and the Clouds our Covering. In this deplorable condition we made our Humble Supplications and Cries to Almighty God, who has promised to relieve them that put their Trust in him, whose Goodness we have largely Experienced, in disposing the Hearts of Pious Princes to a Christian Compassion and Charity towards us in this miserable condition, who by their Royal Bounties and large Donations, and the exemplary Kindness of well-disposed Nobility, Gentry, and Others, We and our poor Children have been preserved from Perishing; specially since our Arrival into this happy Kingdom of Great Britian. While not only like the Land of Canaan, abounds with all things necessary for human Life, but also with a Religious People, who as freely give to the Distressed for Christ’s sake, as it was given to them by the Almighty Donor of all they enjoy. Blessed Land and Happy People! Governed by the Nursing Mother of Europe, and the Best of Queens! Whose unbounded Mercy and Charity has received us despicable Strangers from afar off into Her own Dominions, where we have found a Supply of all things Necessary for our present Subsistence; for which we bless and praise Almighty God, the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty and all Her good subjects, from the Highest Degree to those of the meanest Capacity; and do sincerely and faithfully promise to all our utmost Powers, for the future, to render ourselves Thankful to God, and Serviceable to Her Majesty, and all her Good Subjects, in what way so ever her goodness is pleased to dispose of Us: and in the mean time be constant in our Prayers, that God would return the Charity of well disposed People a thousand fold into their own Bosoms, which is all the Requital that can present be made by us poor distressed Protestants." 

Palatines: [Note 10 ]

patria: this is Latin word for father.

Patronymic: (medieval) a surname based on the father's given name. [Example: Gunner Anderson - was the son of Ander Nelson].   This is often seen in Scandinavia. [In Norway it would be Ander Nelsen and not Nelson as in Sweden.] [Dotter would be daughter in Sweden - such as Mai Gunnarsdotter might be the daughter of Gunner Anderson where his son could be, for instance, Wilbert Gunnerson.]  In Dutch the word daughter may be seen as dochter.]

peculium: The Latin word for a bit of money or a small property.

pecunia: The Latin word for money.

Pennsylvania Dutch: The German word for German is "Deutsch", so if a person said that they were a Pennsylvania "Deutschman", that person really meant he was a Pennsylvania German. In recent years and with recent generations of English speaking people in the United States, the term has been corrupted to the pronunciation and spelling of Pennsylvania "Dutchman" or by saying that they descend from the "Pennsylvania Dutch".   [Note 4 ]

Pilgrims: The Pilgrims were English Separatists who were the founders in 1620 of Plymouth Colony in New England. In the first years of the 17th century, small numbers of English Puritans were breaking away from the Church of England. They had strong feelings about England and that they had not completed the work of the Reformation. The Pilgrims committed themselves to a life strictly based on the Bible. Most of the Separatists who came to Plymouth Colony were farmers, poorly educated and without social standing and without any political standing in England. One of the Separatist congregations that was led by William Brewster and the Rev. Richard Clifton in the village of Scrooby was from Nottinghamshire, England. This Scrooby group emigrated to Amsterdam in 1608 to escape harassment and religious persecution by doing so. The next year they removed to Leiden, where they had religious freedom and remained there for about 12 years. In 1617, the congregation voted to emigrate to America because they were discouraged by economic difficulties, the pervasive Dutch influence on their children, and their inability to secure any civil autonomy. Through the Brewster family's friendship with Sir Edwin Sandys, who was the treasurer of the London Company, this congregation of Separatists secured two patents that authorized them to settle in the northern part of the company's jurisdiction. They were unable to finance the costs of the emigration with their own meager resources, so they very wisely negotiated a financial agreement with Thomas Weston who was a prominent London iron merchant. Strangely enough fewer than half of the group's members elected to leave Leiden, so a small ship, the Speedwell, carried them to Southampton, England, where they were to join another group of Separatists and where they picked up a second ship. After some delays and disputes, the voyagers regrouped at Plymouth and were soon aboard the 180-ton ship - the Mayflower. It began its historic voyage on Sept. 16, 1620, with about 102 passengers - with fewer than half of them from Leiden. After a 65-day journey, the Pilgrims entered the harbor at Cape Cod on November 19. Unable to reach the land they had contracted for, they anchored on November 21, 1620 at  Provincetown. Because they had no legal right to settle in the region, they decided that they should draw up an agreement - the Mayflower Compact, which created their own government. The settlers soon discovered Plymouth Harbor, on the western side of Cape Cod Bay and made their historic landing on December 21; the main body of settlers followed on December 26. Odd as it is, the term Pilgrim was really first used by William Bradford himself and it was used to describe the Leiden Separatists who had left Holland for England. In 1799 the Mayflower's passengers were first described as the Pilgrim Fathers. William Bradford was a leader of the pilgrims and he helped to established Plymouth Colony and was a governor for more than 30 years.  [Note 2 ]

Pocason: wet lands, swamp areas. This term is often seen in North Carolina deeds or land grants. The spellings are varied.

Pre-surname period: In Sweden the date is around 1890 and in Poland it is before 1821.

Puritans:  In 1620 the Pilgrims came and then in the 1630's thousands of Puritans came. The Puritans soon became the most dynamic Christian force in Massachusetts. In England, the Puritans were a people of financial means and who had political influence, but King Charles would not tolerate them because they wanted to reform the Church of England. They were being persecution for their beliefs so they felt the only hope for their families was to establish a colony where they could have government, society, and church and all based upon the Bible as they interpreted it. So in New England they could escape the ideas of Old England they surmised.  They came to America in groups and often entire congregations of them came bringing with them their minister. They organized communities with the church or meeting house in the center of the town. The church was the center of the community and was providing direction and purpose for them in their new land. The Puritans did more for the shaping of the American colonies than they have ever been given credit for. Their values and principles continue to mold our country even today.     [Note 6 ]

Quaker: A Quaker was one who was of a certain religious sect of people. It was and is a church that was founded by George Fox of Leicestershire, England about 1650. The members of this group called themselves Friends and were known as the Quakers in the colonial history of America and they are still an active religious group. William Wade Hinshaw copied and published a lot of the Quaker records. His collection of books are one of the most valuable resource tools for any genealogist who is researching these areas and before 1800. The five volumes include North Carolina, Virginia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Ohio, and Indiana. There are other books too that compliment the Hinshaw collection and they are also considered to be a valuable research tool.  A lot of the Quakers in the colonial states were Irish and have a history that lends to interesting reading and a valuable resource tool. In the early days of England the Quakers rebelled against the rigid hierarchy and government control prevalent in the Anglican church, and began meeting in homes or buildings without steeples, waiting upon God silently to make His presence felt and inwardly heard. They would sit for hours without speaking and waiting to be moved by the spirit.  They believed and may still believe that any person could be called by God to rise and preach upon any occasion of worship. They were very much persecuted in Old England before finding refuge in the American colonies. They were in the early days and still are today very family oriented. There was a decline in the Quaker influence in the United States with many of the pioneers as they joined the Methodist and Baptist dominations. These churches were gaining strength in the south and on the frontier and in rural America at the later part of the eighteenth century. The Quakers were wonderful record keepers and their records are very accurate and remarkable for the times that they were written.    [Note 5 ]

quarta:  Lain for the number four.

quartus decimus:  Latin word for fourteenth.

quartus, quarto: Latin words for the fourth.

quinque:  Latin word for the number five.

quintus decimus: Latin words for the fifteenth.

quintus, quinto:  Latin words for the fifth. 

relict: in colonial wills this was term was used sometimes. It was a reference to a woman - the relic of some man  - a widow.

Roanoke Island: In 1584, Virginia was the site of the first English visit. It was a short-lived military settlement that existed in between the years of 1585-1586.  It was removed by the Englishman, Sir Francis Drake, following his sacking of St Augustine, Florida. There was a fear of a retaliatory Spanish attack as the result of the St Augustine affair.  This was he first permanent English settlement in North America. It is now known as the Lost Colony of 1587.  It was at that time referred to as being in Virginia and was named for Elizabeth I, the Virgin Queen.  During the reign of her successor, James I, what is now known today as Virginia was settled then at Jamestown.  On May 24, 1624 a London Stock Company that had the charter was declared vacated, and the colony of Virginia came under control of the crown as the first royal colony in the New World and as recorded in English history. It included a large area and was most of the area from just north of modern New York City southward to Cape Fear.

Salem, Massachusetts: probably the most important thing that happened at Salem was the witch trials of 1692. The events, which led to the witch trials, actually occurred in what is now the town of Danvers, Massachusetts. In the year of 1692 it was at that time the parish of Salem Town, known as Salem Village. The behavior of two young girls; the daughter, Betty, and the niece, Abigail Williams, of the Salem Village minister, Reverend Samuel Parris brought hysteria and confusion to an already time of confusion. In February 1692, Magistrates Jonathan Corwin and John Hathorne examined three accused women. By the time the hysteria had spread about, 24 people had already died. Nineteen were hanged on Gallows Hill in Salem Town, and some died in prison. Giles Corey at first pleaded not guilty to charges of witchcraft, and refused to stand trial. His refusal meant he could not be convicted legally so his examiners chose to subject him to interrogation by the placing of stone weights on his body. He survived this brutal torture for two days before he died.

Scottish Immigration: Most of the Scottish immigration occurred sometime between 1650 and 1780. The Scottish Americans grew in numbers from 1650 to 1780. Most of the early Scottish Americans immigration occurred in the Appalachian Mountains on the Atlantic Coast. In 1650, two-thirds of the 50,400 Scottish settlers in England's American colonies were clustered in Virginia and Massachusetts. In the 1600's England was in control of Scotland and so many of them wanted out from under the English thumb and thought by coming to the American colonies they were getting some distance from England's rule.    [Note 12]

Scotch-Irish Highlanders of Virginia: The migration of the Scotch-Irish down the Valley of Virginia to the Virginia Highlands had already began by the 1740s. In the period between the French and Indian War and the American Revolution, the Scotch-Irish populated what was then Augusta County, Virginia very heavily. Many Americans of Scotch-Irish descent can trace their family to this certain area of Virginia.    [Note 7 ]

secundus, secundo: Latin term for the second.

septem:: Latin word for the number seven.

Selectman - Selectmen: In was a measure used in Colonial time. And it was someone who was appointed by some high ranking person in the community who was to watch over the morals, health, and public measures of the community. [Note 16  ]

septimus decimus: Latin word for seventeenth.

septimus, septimo: Latin words for seventh.

sepulta - sepultis: Latin for buried.

sepulchre: Latin for burial records are listed under this heading in the old English records.

sepulta innupta: Latin for a single person.

sepulta vidua: Latin for a widow.

sex:  Latin for the number six.

sextus decimus:  Latin words for sixteenth.

sextus, sexto:  Latin words for the sixth.

Shakers: Mother Anne Lee, who started the Shaker movement in America. Surprisingly to most that she was formerly a Quaker. She did incorporate some of her Quaker background into Shaker ideas and practices those being simplicity, financial responsibility, work ethic, belief in the perfectibility of humankind was among the ideas that she held religious beliefs in. Ann Lee and also her followers believed that she was to be the second incarnation of Christ. Shakers were known to be a celibate sect, and expanded their membership through adult conversions and the rearing of orphans, who were given a choice of joining the Shakers, or going out into the world when they became of legal age. They were an American religious movement, mainly located in New England and New York and there was a group of them located early at Enfield, Connecticut. Their worship included many lively songs and dances and they loved the praise of God. The Quakers originated in England in the middle part of the 17th century and the Shakers originated in the New World in the Colonies of America. According to John G. Shea's "The American Shakers and Their Furniture" (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1982), p. 3, "She (Ann Lee) came from England in 1774, with eight faithful followers all of whom were convinced she was Christ Incarnate." ..."The evangelical proclivities of Ann Lee first came to light when she joined a Quaker couple, the Wardleys, in divine worship. The Wardleys and their few followers were not conventional Quakers. They had come under the influence of the French Prophets, or Camisards, who were driven from France because of the emotional disturbances their unorthodox preaching caused among the people."    [Note 6 ]

Spartanburg, SC: Just north of Spartanburg, South Carolina is where the Battle of the Cowpens was fought during the Revolutionary War.    [Note 13 ]

surety (security):  is one who stands bound for the debt or obligation of another. This term is often seen in marriage records.

Tennessee Territory:  In the year of 1790, North Carolina ceded its western lands that included Washington, Davidson, Hawkins, Greene, Sullivan, Sumner, and Tennessee counties, to the federal government. And so between 1790 and 1796 the territory was known as Tennessee Territory. In 1796 this territory became known as Tennessee, and was then made the sixteenth state in the Union.

Trail of Tears: The Trail of Tears was in 1838 and 1839. It was when the Cherokee Indians were forcibly removed from North Carolina and Georgia to Oklahoma.

Treasury Warrants:  In Virginia in 1699 a new system of obtaining land came into being that was called treasury rights or treasury warrants. It did away with the headright system. Anyone could purchase land for 5 shillings for each 50 acres.  And as it was with the headright system the owner was liable for the quitrents and for settling the property. If he didn't do those things it would revert back to the crown.    

tres: Latin word for the number three.

tertius, tertio: Latin word for the third.

tricesimo: Latin for the word thirtieth.

ultimo:  This is Latin for the last, latest or most recent happening, etc.

undecimus: The Latin term for eleventh.

unica:  The Latin word for only or sole.

unus: The Latin word for number one or only one.

uxor: The Latin word for wife.

undevicesimo or nono decimo: Latin for the nineteenth.

uxor (ux.): A Latin term meaning wife. 

Uxoratis: This is the Latin word for married.

Valley Forge: is a historic site, where American Revolutionary leader George Washington kept his winter quarters, in Pennsylvania, in Chester County on the Schuylkill River.

vidua, viduus: The Latin word for widow or widower.

vespillo:  The Latin word for undertaker.

Virginia Company: The Virginia Company was formed with a charter from King James I in 1606.It was a joint stock company and had the charter of settling Virginia as a satellite English settlement. They were to settle in the Chesapeake region and in December of 1606 there were 108 settlers who had sailed from London and who were instructed to settle in VA. On May 14, of 1607, the Virginia Company explorers landed at Jamestown Island, to establish the Virginia English Colony. This was on the banks of the James River, which is about 60 miles from the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Some historians say that they landed there because of the deep water channel that is there and it let their ships ride close to shore; which was close enough, to moor them to the trees.   [Note 1  ]

Virginia's Entail System: The Virginia laws concerning wills changed in October of 1776. At that time the entail system was abolished. On the 1st of January in 1786, the English system of primogeniture estates ceased to be effective. This affected the content of probate records and how they were filed. Under the primogeniture system wills always named the wife or the oldest son of the testator. Before this system was demolished law was what set the inheritance of real estate. It was such that the widow received her dower, or her one-third, for her lifetime; and also the oldest son was the heir at law, and so he received the remaining two-thirds unless it was otherwise specified in his father's will. After the Revolutionary War, when Virginia's general inheritance law took effect, all heirs of intestate estates were then able to inherited equally. The right of dower was from the old Common Law principle. Before the Revolutionary War, the Common Law of England applied in the colonies, as did the written laws of England. Two important principles of wills under English law were the primogeniture system and the right of dower.  

Virginia's Great Books: In Virginia, wills, inventories, appraisals, estate accounts, and divisions of estates were usually recorded in the will books. During the seventeenth century, and in Virginia, some counties kept records and all types in volumes called great books. There were multi-purpose record books and were kept in several different counties. In Goochland deed books both wills and deeds are kept. In the Norfolk County's appraisements and audits books both inventories and appraisals are recorded. Virginia will books are usually indexed by the testator or decedent’s names and are seldom indexed by the legatee or heir. 

Virginia's Tax Records: Virginia's tax records are a great resource and one that should not be overlooked. In Virginia and during the Colonial days, before the American Revolution, there were three forms of taxation, the quitrent, the parish tax, and the poll tax. Virginia's quitrent system was not a new system, because it first began in England. In early England when the obligations that was due to the manor [taking care of the lord's land, etc.] were all completed and finished, then the payment was made - the rent was paid - and one could "quit" for the year. In the colonial days of Virginia, those people who lived south of the Rappahannock River had a quit rent that they had to pay to the crown. Virginia residents, who lived in the Northern Neck, and between the Rappahannock and Potomac Rivers, paid quitrents to the agents of Lord Fairfax. The 1704 quitrent rolls of Virginia are examples of these. Another kind of tax was the parish levy. It was nothing more than an annual tax paid by all tithables for the support of their ministers, maintenance of the parishes lands (the parsonage and lands producing income for the parish), and also it covered the support of the poor of that particular parish. The poll tax was another kind of tax. It was the main tax except for the years of 1645 to 1648. And it was the main source of revenue for the colony of Virginia during the colonial period. The poll tax was an annual tax. It was computed by dividing the total expenses of the colony and individual counties by the total number of tithables; and then the result of that complication was levied on each tithable. Interestingly, tithables were first defined during the colonial period in 1624. And at that time the definition meant "every male head above sixteen years of age." In 1629 all agricultural workers were added; and then in 1643 all males and black females aged sixteen or over were classified as tithables. And then in 1649 they added the imported male servants and of any age.

widow:  not always seen in documents as the female.

widower:  not always in documents seen as the male.

Whiskey Rebellion: The Whiskey Rebellion occurred in 1794. Little is remember of it today. The Secretary of Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, placed a 25% excise tax on liquor to help pay for war debts. George Washington's army was dubbed the Watermelon Army by the Pennsylvania whiskey rebels and was made up of men on from Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, and Virginia. The main distortion of the of the Whiskey Rebellion was its alleged confinement to four counties of western Pennsylvania. We now know that no one paid the tax on whiskey throughout the American back-country. That is, in the frontier areas of Maryland, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, and the entire state of Kentucky. The reason that the whiskey tax was hated in the back-country is because whisky production and distilling were widespread. Whiskey was not only a home product for most farmers, but it was often used as a money, as a medium of exchange for transactions. The back-country was gripped by a non-violent, civil and disobedient refusal to pay this imposed tax that had bet set on whiskey. And as one might guess, no local juries could be found to convict tax delinquents. The Whiskey Rebellion was actually widespread and quite successful, because it eventually forced the federal government to repeal the excise tax.

yoeman: Was a man in England who owned his own land and generally was thought of as a farmer. A gentleman's son was often described as a yeoman that is only while he was working his holding, pending inheritance of his father's lands.

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