G genealogical glossary terms

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Gadsden Purchase[edit | edit source]
  • An area of land north of the Gila River that the United States government purchased from Mexico for $10 million in 1853. Now part of Arizona and New Mexico, the Gadsden Purchase defined a clear boundary between the United States and Mexico and gave the United States the land it needed to build a southern railroad route to the Pacific Ocean.
Gael[edit | edit source]
  • A member of the ethno-linguistic group which originated in Ireland and subsequently spread to Scotland and the Isle of Man. They are speakers of the Goidelic (or Gaelic) languages of Irish, Scottish Gaelic or Manx.
Gaelic[edit | edit source]
  • Of, or pertaining to, the Goedelic Celts; a Celtic language (Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Manx); or a Gaelic-speaking person from Ireland, Scotland, or the Isle of Man.
Gaspé Peninsula, Canada[edit | edit source]
  • A peninsula located in the mountainous region of southeast Québec, Canada, south of the St. Lawrence River. Jacques Cartier, a French navigator, landed on the peninsula and claimed the territory for France in 1535.
Gazette[edit | edit source]
  • An archaic term for a newspaper.
Gazetteer, general[edit | edit source]
  • A geographical dictionary which lists and describes places. Often contains a place's alternate names, time period when the name was in use, parent jurisdictions, and geographic location. 
Gazetteer, newspapers[edit | edit source]
  • An archaic term for a newspaper reporter. Early newspapers were called gazettes.
Gazetteers, FamilySearch Catalog™[edit | edit source]
  • A subject heading used in the FamilySearch Catalog to categorize gazetteers (works that list and describe places).
Geburten[edit | edit source]
  • German word for births or civil birth records. The word is also used in southern Danish records.
GEDCOM[edit | edit source]
  • The acronym for GEnealogical Data COMmunications. GEDCOM is a computer data format created by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for storing genealogical information so that many computer programs can use it.
    Personal Ancestral File® and FamilySearch® both use GEDCOM.
Genealogical Card Index, Maine[edit | edit source]
  • A card index to local histories of Maine. The Maine Historical Society maintains this index.
Genealogical Centre, Ireland[edit | edit source]
  • An organization in Ireland that indexes records of genealogical value. Some centers are open to the public, but their indexes are not available for public inspection. The staff will search the indexes for interested researchers. Also called heritage centre.
Genealogical collection[edit | edit source]
  • A group of genealogical records collected by an individual or society. The collection usually focuses on a specific type of record, group of people, or time period.
Genealogical Collection of Delaware Families[edit | edit source]
  • A collection of about 3,000 alphabetically arranged files with genealogies, pedigrees, correspondence, newspaper clippings, and so forth.
Genealogical compendia[edit | edit source]
  • A term referring to collected lineages published in genealogical dictionaries and periodicals.
Genealogical dictionary[edit | edit source]
  • A book that lists marriages or family groups alphabetically by the husband's surname and chronologically by his year of marriage.
Genealogical Index Rhode Island Records[edit | edit source]
  • A card index created by Frank T. Calef of town vital records, freeman lists, cemetery burials, colonial censuses, and other records. It is at the Rhode Island Historical Society and on microfilm at the Family History Library™.
Genealogical Office, Ireland[edit | edit source]
  • An office in Dublin, Ireland, that houses records dealing mainly with heraldry. The office's holdings include information extracted from records that were destroyed when the Public Record Office burned.
Genealogical periodical[edit | edit source]
  • A publication produced at fixed intervals that deals with some aspect of family history research.
Genealogical Periodical Annual Index[edit | edit source]
  • A subject index to 150 to 200 currently published periodicals. It includes book reviews, names of surname journals, and publishers' addresses for the periodicals in the index.
Genealogical reports, Latin America[edit | edit source]
  • A type of record used in Latin America. The Spanish term is informaciones genealógicas. These records served as proof of nobility so hidalgos (members of the untitled Spanish nobility) might join fraternal orders or obtain government positions.
Genealogical research[edit | edit source]
  • The process of finding information related to a person's ancestors, descendants, and relatives.
Genealogical society[edit | edit source]
  • An organization in which membership is based on interest in genealogy.
Genealogical Society of New Jersey's Genealogical Collection[edit | edit source]
  • An alphabetical collection of newspaper clippings and family histories.
Genealogical Society of Utah[edit | edit source]
  • A genealogical society founded on 13 November 1894 by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to further genealogical work. The society was the forerunner of the Church's Family History Department.
Genealogical Surname File, Delaware[edit | edit source]
  • An index to many of the names found in genealogies and local histories of Delaware.
Genealogical Timeframe[edit | edit source]
  • An indefinite time period in which records of identifiable ancestors became available. It is accepted to include from the 1st to the 15th generation or since the adoption of surnames.
Genealogical word list[edit | edit source]
  • A type of publication produced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that explains the basic grammar of many non-English languages and contains a list of words commonly used in family history research.
Genealogy, FamilySearch Catalog™[edit | edit source]
  • A subject heading used in the FamilySearch Catalog to categorize sources that contain (1) family history information that has been gathered by individuals, societies, and archives and (2) sources that discuss how to do family history research.
Genealogy, general[edit | edit source]
  • The study of an individual’s ancestry. Also called family history.
Genealogy, published work[edit | edit source]
  • A published account of an individual’s ancestors, descendants, or both.
General[edit | edit source]
  • In many armed forces, an officer of the highest rank. In forces with a field marshal, general ranks directly below the field marshal. In the U.S. Army, Air Force, and Marines, generals are the highest officers. There are several grades of generals including general, lieutenant general, major general, brigadier general, and, in the U.S. Army and Air Force, five star general.
General Assembly, Virginia[edit | edit source]
  • An elected legislature in colonial Virginia that also served as an appellate body.
General Council of the Assemblies of God[edit | edit source]
  • The largest Pentecostal religion in the world. Pentecostalism grew out of the religious revival of the early 1900s. Its doctrines include the infallibility of the Bible, the fall and redemption of man, divine healing through prayer, baptism by immersion, eternal punishment for the unsaved, and the return of Christ to rule on earth. Pentecostals believe that every Christian should be filled with the Holy Spirit.
General council, Rhode Island[edit | edit source]
  • A court in Rhode Island with jurisdiction over probates. The general council is also known as the council of probate.
General Court of Pleas, Georgia[edit | edit source]
  • A court in the state of Georgia that heard minor civil cases. The court is no longer used, and no records remain.
General court of trials, Rhode Island[edit | edit source]
  • A court in Rhode Island with statewide jurisdiction over civil and criminal matters. Before 1671 it was called the general court. These courts lasted from 1647 to 1729.
General court, Connecticut[edit | edit source]
  • The highest court in Connecticut during the colonial period. It handled many criminal and civil cases.
General court, Maryland[edit | edit source]
  • A court in Maryland with statewide or colonywide jurisdiction over capital crimes, land disputes, and other civil matters. This court existed from 1637 to 1805. It was also called the provincial court.
General court, Massachusetts[edit | edit source]
  • A court in Massachusetts that heard appeals on probate cases. The general court existed from 1620 to 1865.
General court, Rhode Island[edit | edit source]
  • A court in Rhode Island with statewide jurisdiction over civil and criminal matters. In 1671 the general court became the general court of trials. The general courts were used from 1647 to 1729.
General court, South Carolina[edit | edit source]
  • A court used in South Carolina before 1769.
General court, Virginia[edit | edit source]
  • A court in Virginia with statewide jurisdiction over major civil cases, capital crimes, probate records, and appeals from county courts. The court was abolished in 1851.
General Land Office[edit | edit source]
  • A division of the federal government charged with the distribution and management of public land. It is now known as the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
General Land Office of the Republic of Texas[edit | edit source]
  • A government agency of the Republic of Texas charged with the distribution and management of public land.
General register[edit | edit source]
  • A church register that combines christening, marriage, and burial information in the same book.
General Register Office, England and Wales[edit | edit source]
  • The central repository for government birth, marriage, and death records for all of England and Wales from 1 July 1837 to the present.
General Register Office, Ireland and Northern Ireland[edit | edit source]
  • The government offices in Ireland and Northern Ireland that keep the civil registration (birth, marriage, and death) records of these countries. The office in Dublin, Ireland, has records for all of Ireland through 1921, after which it has only records for the Republic of Ireland. The Office in Belfast, Northern Ireland, has all civil registration records for Northern Ireland from 1921 to the present.
General Register Office, Scotland[edit | edit source]
  • A record office in Scotland that holds governmental records of births, marriages, and deaths from 1855 to the present, census records, and the Old Parochial Registers.
General register, probate[edit | edit source]
  • A court book in which were recorded wills involving a land transaction
Gentilhomme[edit | edit source]
  • The lowest ranking title in the French gentry. Translated as gentleman, gentilhomme ranks below an écuyer (esquire).
Gentleman[edit | edit source]
  • The lowest title in the British and French gentry. A gentleman is usually entitled to use a coat of arms. The French word for gentleman is gentilhomme. Since society assumed that gentlemen did not do manual labor, the term gentleman eventually came to mean a man in a profession that did not involve manual labor.
Gentry[edit | edit source]
  • The lower class of British and French nobility. In Great Britain, gentry includes the titles of baronet, knight, esquire, and gentleman. Most of the gentry were entitled to coats of arms. In France, the gentry (called the petite noblesse) includes the titles of knight (chevalier), esquire (écuyer), and gentleman (gentilhomme).
Geographical division[edit | edit source]
  • A level of civil or ecclesiastical jurisdiction. When a place falls under several levels of jurisdiction, such as a city, county, state, and country, each level of jurisdiction represents a geographical division. In genealogical research, it is best to identify a place using all jurisdictions, the names for all geographical divisions. For example, the following place-name identifies the names of the city, county, province, and country: Victoria, Peel, Ontario, Canada.
Geographical information[edit | edit source]
  • Information about the physical and cultural characteristics of a country or area.
Géopatronyme[edit | edit source]
  • France: A computerized file of modern French surnames. This file is available at the Bibliothèque publique d'information in Paris, France. The user types in a surname, and the computer displays a map showing each department in France where at least ten people with that surname live. Users can connect to Minitel to search the telephone directories for specific names and addresses in a given department.
George Olin Zabriskie Collection, New York[edit | edit source]
  • A collection of information about early New York Dutch families. The collection contains family group records, vital record transcripts, correspondence, published articles, and local histories.
German[edit | edit source]
  • Something or someone from the Germany, one of the German states; also the language of the German, Swiss, and Austrian people.
German Center for Genealogy[edit | edit source]
  • An archive in Leipzig, Germany, that has genealogical materials for Germany.
Germa[edit | edit source]
  • Emigration Company: An organization created to help German immigrants come to Texas to obtain land. This company's records are available at the General Land Office in Austin, Texas. The records are in German.
German Lutheran Church[edit | edit source]
  • The Lutheran Church in Germany. Its doctrines and practices are based on the teachings of Martin Luther.

German Palatine: A person who emigrated from the Palatinate region of southwest Germany.

German Pietism[edit | edit source]
  • A religious movement that developed out of 17th-century German Lutheranism. Pietism stressed missionary and charitable work, personal Bible study, and personal religious experience as opposed to the formal, intellectual religious practices in more dominant religions. Pietism led to the formation of the Church of the Brethren and the Amish sects.
German Reformed Churc[edit | edit source]
  • A Protestant church formed in Germany and based on the teachings of John Calvin and Huldrych Zwingli. It is sometimes called the German Reformed Church, which combined with several Congregational churches to form the United Church of Christ.
German Revolution (1848-1849)[edit | edit source]
  • A war that began when word of the French revolution reached the German states. At first the German revolutionaries did well. In Austria the chancellor resigned. In Berlin the Prussian king was forced to appoint new ministers and promise that a constitution would be created. However, as the revolution progressed, many Germans lost interest or began to disagree about the goals of the revolution. They also disagreed about whether Catholic Austria or Protestant Prussia should lead the new, unified Germany. The revolutionaries were defeated in the spring of 1849, and the German Confederation was reestablished.
German-American Club[edit | edit source]
  • An organization for Americans of German descent.
Gilbert Cope's Collection of Family Data[edit | edit source]
  • A collection of family history information about Quakers and others who lived in southeastern Pennsylvania and Burlington, Cumberland, Gloucester, and Salem counties in New Jersey.
Given nam[edit | edit source]
  • A name (not the family name or surname) used to identify an individual. In some cultures, the surname is spoken before the first name, so the term given name may be preferred. Also called Christian name.
Gloucester County Historical Society's Historical and Genealogical Files, 1600s-1900s[edit | edit source]
  • A collection of about 3,000 alphabetized family folders that contain information about hundreds of South Jersey families.
Gosiute War (1863)[edit | edit source]
  • A so-called war that occurred after about 1855 when the Gosiute tribe of Native Americans, who were living in western Utah, began retaliating against white settlers for incursions on their land and way of life. The Native Americans threatened the settlers and killed their livestock. In 1863 local militias and the United States army attacked the Native Americans, killing many and forcing the rest to sign a treaty to end hostilities.
Government jurisdiction[edit | edit source]
  • The power, right, and authority of a government to make, enforce, and interpret its laws; also the geographical area covered by a government’s authority.
Governor and council, Virginia[edit | edit source]
  • A governing body in Virginia's earliest colonial period. This body heard all civil and criminal cases. Beginning in 1619 they heard appeals from the county courts.
Graf[edit | edit source]
  • The German word for count, a title of nobility in continental Europe that is equal in rank to a British earl. A graf is below a marquess and above a viscount.
Grand Army of the Republic[edit | edit source]
  • A fraternal organization of Union veterans, both army and navy, of the United States Civil War. The Grand Army of the Republic had tremendous political power during the late 1800s. Its Confederate counterpart was the United Confederate Veterans.
Grand council, South Carolina[edit | edit source]
  • A court used in South Carolina before 1769.
Grande de España[edit | edit source]
  • The lowest title in Spanish nobility, ranking below a señor (lord). The English translation is Grandness of Spain.
Grandness of Spain[edit | edit source]
  • The lowest title in Spanish nobility, ranking below a señor (lord). The Spanish term is Grande de España.
Grange, USA[edit | edit source]
  • A fraternal organization for farmers.
Grant, England probate[edit | edit source]
  • Court approval of the executor or administrator, allowig the will or administration to be probated.
Grant book[edit | edit source]
  • A book that contains a day-by-day account of all actions taken by a probate court. Also called act book.
Grant of administration[edit | edit source]
  • An official court document authorizing an individual to begin settling the estate of a deceased individual who did not leave a will.
Grant of guardianship[edit | edit source]
  • An official court document giving an individual guardianship over another.
Grantee[edit | edit source]
  • An individual receiving interest in another person's property.
Grantor[edit | edit source]
  • An individual transferring his or her interest in property to another person.
Grants by North Carolina[edit | edit source]
  • Land grants given by the state of North Carolina for land in Tennessee. Grants were given in Davidson, Green, Hawkins, Sullivan, Sumner, and Washington Counties and the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts.
Grants south of Green River, Virginia[edit | edit source]
  • Grants for land reserved by Virginia for Revolutionary War veterans. The land grants were also used as a relief for squatters.
Grants west of the Tennessee River[edit | edit source]
  • Land grants based on treasury warrants.
Grave registration[edit | edit source]
  • A list of the places where people who had something in common, such as service in a war, are buried.
Great Mahele[edit | edit source]
  • A division of land in Hawaii made in 1845. The king of Hawaii received a portion of the land, and the rest was divided equally between the government, chiefs, and tenants. Before this division, the king owned all of the land.
Great Northern War (1700-1720)[edit | edit source]
  • A war in which Denmark tried unsuccessfully to win back territory it had lost to Sweden in the Danish-Swedish War (1657–1660).
Great Philadelphia Wagon Road[edit | edit source]
  • A great trunk trail and road that ran from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Salisbury, North Carolina. From Philadelphia the road went to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where it turned southwest and went through Hagerstown, Maryland; the Shenandoah Valley; Staunton, Virginia; Roanoke, Virginia; and ended in Salisbury, North Carolina.
Great Schism, Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches[edit | edit source]
  • An event in 1054 that is considered the split between the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Churches. The two churches had been drifting apart for several hundred years before this final split, which centered on two doctrinal issues. The Roman Catholic Church wanted the pope to be considered infallible (incapable of making an error) and wanted the pope to have authority over the whole church. The Eastern Orthodox Churches did not. The second issue was a phrase called the filoque, which was added to the Nicene-Constantinople Creed. The Roman Catholic Church accepted this phrase, which states that the Holy Spirit proceeds from both the Father and the Son. The Eastern Orthodox Churches did not accept it, believing instead that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father only.
Great Sessions, Wales[edit | edit source]
  • A court established in Wales when England and Wales united in the 1530s. Wales had four circuits. This court, held twice per year, usually tried serious criminal matters and arbitrated interjurisdictional disputes between local landlords. The Great Sessions court was abolished in 1830 and replaced with circuit courts.
Greenbriar Company, Virginia[edit | edit source]
  • A land speculation company that was granted land in present-day West Virginia, which it surveyed. The company then sold the surveys to individuals, who obtained titles to the land by patent from the secretary of the colony or the Virginia Land Office.
Greenlaw Index, New England[edit | edit source]
  • An index to many Rhode Island, Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont local histories and genealogies published between 1900 and 1940.
Greffe du tribunal, France[edit | edit source]
  • The French term for clerk of the court. In France these clerks keep duplicates of civil registration records for the most recent 100 years.
Gregorian calendar[edit | edit source]
  • The calendar system used in most of the present-day world. Pope Gregory XIII introduced this calendar in 1582 to correct the Julian calendar, which because of miscalculated leap years no longer matched the solar year. In the Gregorian calendar, the year begins on 1 January and has 365 days. Years that are divisible by four have an extra day in February, called a leap day. The year of a new century, however, has a leap year only if it is divisible by 400. Various countries adopted the Gregorian calendar at various times. England and the American colonies adopted it in 1752.
Gretna Green[edit | edit source]
  • In common law, a "Gretna Green marriage" means a marriage transacted in a jurisdiction that was not the residence of the parties being married, to avoid restrictions or procedures imposed by the parties' home jurisdiction. The original Gretna Green is a town by that name, famous for runaway marriages, and just over the border in south Scotland. When English laws prohibited marriage under the age of 21, some younger couples crossed the Scottish border and the first town on the road was Gretna Green.
Griffith’s Land Valuation book, Ireland[edit | edit source]
  • A list of people who paid taxes to the government of Ireland between 1820 and 1864. Names are arranged by county and then by union and barony.
Griffith's Primary Valuation, Ireland[edit | edit source]
  • A survey conducted in Ireland between 1840 and 1864. Its purpose was to identify all taxable property in every parish in Ireland. It lists the names of the immediate lessor and each occupant or tenant, the area (size), the value of the holding, and the amount of tax assessed.
Guardia civil[edit | edit source]
  • A Spanish term for civil guard. The term can also refer to the military records kept about the members of the guardia civil. In the Philippines the term also refers to the Filipino military.
Guardian[edit | edit source]
  • An individual who is granted the legal authority to oversee the affairs of a minor child or an adult who is deemed by a court to be incapable of managing his or her own affairs.
Guardianship[edit | edit source]
  • When one individual is granted the legal authority to oversee the affairs of a minor child or an adult who is deemed by a court to be incapable of managing his or her own affairs.
Guide[edit | edit source]
  • A book or other resource that can help a person use records or an archive or library.
Guild[edit | edit source]
  • An association of merchants or craftsmen in a city. Guilds existed in Europe from the 1100s to the 1500s to regulate trade and protect the interests of guild members.
Guild of One-Name Studies, Great Britain[edit | edit source]
  • An organization that coordinates the affairs of one-name groups (organizations that gather information about all individuals with a particular surname) in Great Britain.
Guildhall Library, England[edit | edit source]
  • A library in England that has many guild and occupational records from England.
Guion Miller Report, Cherokee descendants[edit | edit source]
  • A report that lists the genealogy of people who were alive in 1906 and who claimed to be descendants of the Cherokee Native Americans. This report was compiled to identify Cherokee descendants who were eligible to be compensated for lands taken from their ancestors during the 1830s. To qualify, individuals had to document their lineage back to an Eastern Cherokee who had been living during the 1830s and prove that they had not affiliated with any other tribe.
Gunner[edit | edit source]
  • An officer in the British navy. Traditionally, a gunner operated a cannon. In current British usage, the title refers to all privates in an artillery unit except drivers. In current United States usage, a gunner is the person who sets the direction of fire of an artillery piece.
Gyldenløve Feud (1675-1679)[edit | edit source]
  • A war between Norway and Sweden. Insert non-formatted text here