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calumus meretrix et gladio innocentis

Terms

These are definitions of words and expressions used in the Main pages of this wiki.

/ or fractions in years
In Old Style (OS) dates, the year begins on March 25. For some time OS dates and New Style dates co-existed. While both styles were in use, the year number was ambiguous for dates between January 1 an March 24. For example, February 12, 1721 Old Style was the same day as February 12, 1722 New Style. Careful scribes specified which style they were using with "O.S." or "N.S." Another way was to use a slash: February 12, 1721/2, which means 1721 O.S. and 1722 N.S. In print sometimes composed fractions were used: February 12, 172½. There was no need to use the slash for dates after March 25 because the year number would be the same in both styles. New Style and Old Style do not imply which calendar was in use (Gregorian or Julian). New Style was often adopted before the Gregorian calendar was. What the slash does not indicate is uncertainty about the date. A very few authors use a hyphen in place of the slash. Again, this does not mean a range of year, but exactly one year expressed two different ways. All dates entered here are New Style, but source texts are copied as faithfully as possible, and the various date expressions will occur in them.
administrator or administratrix
Person appointed to disposed of a deceased person's estate when the deceased did not leave a will.
baptism
In religious organizations performing infant baptism the date of baptism may be the nearest record of the date of birth.
brother
occasionally the word "brother" seems to be used metaphorically for a close friend, especially a fellow in a religious group. Sometimes "brother" means what we would now call "brother-in-law," while "brother-in-law" may mean step-brother.
cousin
In old records this is a general term of kinship and may replace more precise modern term such as "nephew" or "great uncle."
daughter in law or daughter-in-law
In old records this term is sometimes used for a stepdaughter as well as in its modern sense of the wife of a son.
executor or executrix
person who carries out the terms of the will of a deceased person.
folio
The page number actually printed on paper page. In some case this is a reference to a nearby numbered page such as facing folio 258 or following page 132. "Folio" is used because many sources are available in different kinds of electronic files including images which may number pages in various ways, such as from the front cover. The folio number should be the same however the book is recorded in electronic form, although obviously it will vary between print editions of the same work.
Junior or Jr.
"Junior" and "Senior" are often found in old records and in genealogy meaning nothing more or less than "the Younger" and "the Elder." They do not necessarily mean (as they do in modern use) the Junior is the son of Senior or that the persons distinguished by these terms otherwise have exactly the same name without the Jr. or Sr.
month
In many old records (before 1754) March is the first month of the year, so the 10th month is December, not October. When dates of an event vary by exactly two months, it is like that someone has misunderstood a source text, and the later date is what the original author intended.
probate
a legal process in settling the estate of a deceased person. At law, probating a will and proving a will are two different things. Here several things have been mashed together under the term probate. We do not really care who got the chicken and who got the garden and whether the will properly conveyed them (which are the issues of probate). We are interested in whether the person actually wrote the will — for he or she, and all of the witnesses were alive when it was written. Morevover, common practice was for the person making the will to mention all his or her living close relatives, even just to snub then (for otherwise the will might be contested). Failure to mention a son, daughter, or spouse is an indication the person omitted was already dead. And of course the will does not come to court until the person making it is dead, so this puts a bracket on the person's date of death. Occasionally an appointed executor will have died too, and this will be noted. When a person does not leave a will, an administrator may be appointed, and again, the principal is dead before this is done. These things may be different actions before different authorities, but here they are all grouped as probate.
son in law or son-in-law
In old records this term is sometimes used for a stepson as well as in its modern sense of the husband of a daughter.

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Some Julian dates have been converted to the proleptic Gregorian calendar. They will not agree with contemporary documents.

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