beneficiary – someone that benefits from something. It is often the person designated to receive proceeds or benefits from a will.
BMD – birth, marriage, death records.
census – a count of the population, usually includes various statistics about the population.
centenarian – someone who lives to be at least 100 years old.
Christian names – the first and middle name given to a child at birth or baptism. Also called the given name.
citation – 1) a formal reference to a source of information. 2) an official summons to appear before a court.
cite – to quote an authority.
codicil – a supplement to a will.
decedent – the deceased person.
deed – a legal transfer of title.
descendant – originating from an ancestor.
descendant chart – a chart that lists all the descendants of an individual.
dowry – the money or property that a woman brings to a marriage.
executor – the person responsible for carrying out the terms of a will.
hundred – an administrative subdivision that existed in southern English counties prior to the 1974. Also used in Australia.
intestate – a person who dies without making a valid will.
issue – a person’s children or offspring.
JP – Justice of the Peace.
nee – identifies a woman’s maiden name, from the French word for born.
posthumous – after death. Sometimes children are referred to as posthumous, which means the child was born after the father’s death.
probate – a copy of a legally valid will, usually held by a regional court.
relict – the surviving spouse in a marriage.
Soundex – a filing system used in old US censuses where the family name was filed by the sound it made. It was used to cross-reference similar sounding names such as Smith and Smythe.
testament – written instructions in a will as to the disposition of property and the body of the deceased.
testator – the person who made the will.