Abbreviations Found in Genealogy Records

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Here are some abbreviations you may find in genealogy records.

Names[edit | edit source]

Main article: Abbreviations Lists for Personal Names (English)

Jno or Johes = John
Hy = Henry
Wm = William =Willus
xpher or Xpoferus= Christopher The first two letters are not really X and p but the greek letter X(Ch) and p (r) Xp was a customary abbreviation for Christ. In "Xmas" the second letter has been dropped.
Jas = James
Jos = Joseph
Geo = George
Rici=of Richard
Benj = Benjamin

Dates[edit | edit source]

Main article: Julian and Gregorian Calendars

"ber" = sometimes added to a number to indicate a month of the year. In 1752, two changes were made to the English Calendar. The first was from the Julian to the Gregorian Calendar. The second, of great significance to genealogists, was that the commencement of the year was changed from the old Julian reckoning of 25 March. Under the Julian reckoning, months were abbreviated thus:





Under the calendar year with the Gregorian reckoning, the months of January, February and March became the initial months of the year, not the final months. As the new system is readily found in use prior to the formal introduction, great care should be taken when transcribing documents of the pre-1752 period between 1 January and 24 March. The conventional English transcription procedure is to use both Old and New Reckonings; for example, the Old Style of 1 February 1626 would be written as 1 February 1626/7 in the New Style. Modern computer four-digit field entries will encounter difficulty with this convention, and it is necessary to consider conversion of year entry to determine correct year.

i, ii, iii, iv, v, vi, vii, viii, ix, x = 1 to 10
xx, xxx = 20 & 30
i or j = primo; on the first

Latin[edit | edit source]

viz. = videlicet; namely

cum cont.= with a sermon

dom.=dominus (-a); lord or sir (lady or dame)

fil.=filius (-a)= son (daughter)

fil.pop= filius(-a) populi or filius (a) vulgi; bastard son or daughter of a harlot

in com.=in comitatu; in the county (of)
libre = book

lic.=per licentiam;by licence

nupt.=nupti fuerunt; were married

ob. = obit; died
s.p. = sine prole; without offspring

May also refer in parish chest materials to Smoke-penny= one of the dues once payable at Eastertime to the incumbent of a parish by his parishioners, in this case from the occupier of a house with a fireplace.

sep.= sepuliebatur or sepultus(-a) erat; was buried

par.=parochie; of the parish of...
q. = quarto; oversize book

vid.=viduus (-a) widower (widow)

Terms[edit | edit source]

wf/o = wife of
admon or admin = letters of administration
col. = colored

kno. wedding= Knobstick wedding; the wedding of a pregnant single woman to the putative father-to-be, under pressure from the parish vestry. Churchwardens attended to see that the ceremony was performed, the name is derived from their staves of office.
w.d. = will dated
twp = township
nat. = natus; birth; son; offspring
ms. = manuscript

Terr.Tent.=Terre Tenant the lord of a manor or freeholder in actual occupation of the land, as distinct from his superior lord.
X = a mark made by a person instead of a signature; Christ; Christian
OED = Oxford English Dictionary

Websites[edit | edit source]