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Historic Abbreviations and Nicknames


These are nicknames actually found in materials used in preparing this wiki. Some of the nicknames are now sometimes used as given names themselves. That is, sometimes "Libby" is a nickname for Elizabeth, but some people may actually be named "Libby."

Fannie/Fanny (used as a word, not so offensive in US English as in UK English)


This wiki uses modern abbreviations (as for US states) or no abbreviations at all (as for given names) in its original text. But abbreviations in historic source material are supposed to be quoted as written. This is a table of historic abbreviations encountered in documents, their meaning, and the modern equivalent if any.

Included are some abbreviations commonly used in genealogy some of which are not used here.

As a general rule, British abbreviations take a period (.) if they consist only of the first few letters of a word or name in order (ex: Oct.), but do not take the period if they omit some letters in the middle (ex: Dr, Mr, Weds). The theory here is that if letters are omitted in the middle the result is a contraction, not an abbreviation. Historic documents in America have used both systems, so abbreviations defined here may be found with or without periods.

Follow bearer means use the abbreviation as the person or institution who bears the name uses it.

Historic Abbreviations
HistoricMeaningModern (this wiki)
BrosBrothers (in Company name)follow bearer
BrosBrothers (in text)do not abbreviate
Co.Countydo not abbreviate
Co.Companyfollow bearer
Jon.Jonathando not abbreviate
JnoJohn (never Jonathan)do not abbreviate

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