Terminology, Meanings and Descriptions of Genealogical Abbreviations

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The following abbreviations are those most commonly used in genealogical records. It is not unusual to find, within the pages of one record, different variations used, but care should be taken to ensure that in these instances, it is a variation and not meant to indicate something else.

Select the first letter of the word from the list above to jump to appropriate section of the glossary.
•  A  •  B  •  C  •  D  •  E  •  F  •  G  •  H  •  I  •  J  •  K  •  L  •  M  •  N  •  O  •  P  •  Q  •  R  •  S  •  T  •  U  •  V  •  W  •  X  •  Y  •  Z  •

- A -

 
  • a. - about, age, acre, ante
  • a.a.r. - against all risks
  • AASP - American Antiquarian Society Proceedings
  • ab. - about; abbey
  • abbr. - abbreviation
  • abd. - abdicated
  • Abp. - Archbishop
  • abr. - abridged; abridgment
  • abs. or abstr. - abstract
  • abt. - about
  • AC - Ante Christum; ancestor chart
  • a.c. - attested copy; account current
  • acad. - academy
  • acc. - according to; account; accompanied
  • acco. - account
  • accu. - accurate
  • ackd. - acknowledged
  • actg. - acting
  • AD - [Latin] Anno Domini
  • adj. - adjoining; adjutant; adjourned
  • adm. - admission; admitted
  • admin. - administration; administrator
  • Admon. - letters of administration
  • admr. - administration
  • af. or afft. - affidavit
  • aft. - after
  • a.k.a. - also known as
  • AL - American Legion
  • ald. - alderman
  • alleg. - allegiance
  • a.l.s. - autographed letter signed
  • als. - alias
  • anc. - ancestry; ancestor; ancient
  • annot. - annotated
  • ano. - another
  • anon. - anonymous
  • ant. - antiquary; antonym
  • antiq. - antiquary; antiquities; antiquity; antiquarian
  • a.o. - account of
  • AOP - American Order of Pioneers
  • APG - Association of Professional Genealogists
  • APJI - Association for Protection of Jewish Immigrants
  • app. - apprentice; aprpoximately; appendix; appointed
  • App. Div. - Appelate division
  • appr. - appraisment
  • apprd. - apprised; appeared
  • approx. - approximately
  • apptd. - appointed
  • appx. - appendix
  • ar. co. - artillery company
  • arr. - arrived
  • ascert. - ascertain(ed)
  • ASG - American Society of Genealogists
  • asgd.- assignedasr. - assessor
  • assn. or assoc. - association
  • asso. - associated; associate
  • atty. - attorney
  • au. - gold
  • aud. - auditor
  • a.w.c. - admon. (letters of administration) with will and codicil annexed
  • AWOL - absent without leave

- B -

 
  • b. - born; bondsman; banns; book; birth; bachelor; brother
  • ba. - bachelor; baptized
  • bach. or batch. - bachelor
  • bap or bapt. - baptized; baptism
  • B.B. - Bail Bond
  • bcer - birth certificate
  • BCG - Board for Certification of Genealogists
  • b.d. or bdt. - birth date
  • bd. - bound; buried
  • bec. - because; became
  • bef.- before
  • bet. - between
  • BIA - Bureau of Indian Affairs
  • b.i.l. - brother-in-law
  • biog. - biography
  • bish. - bishop
  • bks. - books; barracks
  • bl. - bibliography
  • BLM - Bureau of Land Management
  • BLW - Bount Land Warrant
  • B.M. - Bench Mark; British Museum
  • bndsmn. - bondsman
  • bo or bot. - bought; bottom
  • b.o.t.p. - both of this parish
  • bp. - baptized; birthplace
  • bpl. - birthplace
  • bpt. - baptized
  • Br. - British
  • br. or bro - brother
  • bro-i-l - brother-in-law
  • B.S. - in court records, Bill of Sale
  • B.T. - Bishop's Transcripts
  • bur. or bu - buried

- C -

 
  • c. - cousin; circa; codicil
  • ca. - circa
  • capt. - captain; captured; captivity
  • CAR - National Society, Children of the American Revolution
  • catal. - catalogue
  • cath. - cathedral
  • CC - County Clerk; county court, county commissioner; company commander
  • CCP - Court of Common Pleas
  • CDA - Colonial Dames of America
  • CDIB - Certified Degree of Indian Blood
  • cem. - cemetery
  • cen. or cens. - census
  • cent. - century
  • cer. or cert. - certificate
  • cf. - confer
  • CG - Certified Genealogist
  • CH - Court House
  • ch. - child; children; church; chief, chaplain
  • chan. - chancery
  • chldn. or chn. - children
  • ch/o - child of
  • chr. or chris.- christened
  • cir. - circa
  • civ. - civil
  • CJ - County Judge
  • clk. - clerk
  • cod. - codicil
  • CO - commanding officer; Colonial Office
  • co. - county; company
  • C of A - Coat of Arms
  • col. - colony; colonel
  • coll. - college; collections
  • com. - commissioner; commander; commentary; committee; common; commoner; communicate
  • comm. - commissioners
  • comp. - company
  • confer. - conferred
  • conject. - conjecture
  • cont. - continued
  • contr. - contract
  • corp. - corporal
  • couns. - counsellor
  • cous. - cousin
  • coven. - covenant
  • c.r. - church report
  • CRA - Church Records Archives
  • crspd. - correspond; correspondence
  • c.s. - copy signed
  • CSA - Confederate States of America
  • csn. - cousin; cousins
  • ct. - court; citation; county
  • CW - Civil War; church warden

- D -

 
  • d. - died; death; daughter
  • DA - District Attorney
  • da. - daughter; day
  • DAB - Dictionary of American Biography
  • DAC - National Society of the Daughters of the American Colonists
  • DAR - Daughters of the American Revolution
  • dau. or daugr - daughter
  • dau-i-l - daughter-in-law
  • daus. - daughters
  • DAV - Disabled American Veterans
  • DB - Domesday Book
  • DC - District of Columbia; Deputy Clerk; Deputy County Clerk
  • DCG - Descendants of Colonial Governors
  • d. & coh. - daughter and coheiress
  • d'd. - deceased
  • dea or deac. - deacon
  • dec. or dec'd - deceased
  • decis. - decision
  • degr. - degree
  • dep. - deputy; depot
  • dept. - department
  • desc. - descendant
  • DFPA - Daughters of Founders and Patriots of America
  • devis. - devised
  • d. & h. - daughter and heiress
  • dil. - daughter-in-law
  • dio. - diocese
  • dis. - discharge
  • discip. - discipline
  • dist. - district
  • div. - division; divided; divorced; divinity
  • d/o - daughter of
  • do. - ditto
  • doc or docum. - document
  • dom. - domestic
  • dpl. - death place
  • DR - Daughter of the Revolution; Diocesan Registry
  • dr. - doctor; dram
  • d.s. - document signed; died single
  • ds. - deaths; daughters
  • dsct. - descendant
  • d.s.p. - [Latin] descessit sine parole; died without issue
  • d.s.p.m. - [Latin] descessit sine parole mascula; died without male issue
  • dt. - date
  • dto. - dittodtr. - daughter
  • dt's. - delirium tremens
  • dum. or d. um. - died unmarried
  • DVR - Society of the Descendants of Washington's Army at Valley Forge
  • d.y. - died young

- E -

 
  • E. - East or eastern
  • easi. - easily
  • ecux. - executrix; a female executor
  • E.D. - Enumeration District
  • ed. - edited; edition; editor
  • educ. - education; educated
  • Eng. - England
  • eno. - enough
  • ens. - ensign
  • ensu. - ensuing
  • est. - estate;established
  • establ. - establishment
  • estd. - estimated
  • etc. - [Latin] etcetera; and so forth
  • et. vir. - and husband
  • exc. - except; excellency; excepted; exchange
  • exec. or exor. or exr. - executor
  • exox. - executrix
  • exs. - executors
  • exx. - executrix

- F -

 
  • f. - father; female; folio; feast; feet; farm; following
  • fa. - father
  • F.A. - Field Artillery
  • fam. - family; families
  • FARC - Federal Archives and Records Centers (branches of the National Archives)
  • FASG - Fellow American Society of Genealogists
  • father-in-l - father-in-law
  • F.B. - Family Bible
  • f.e. - for example
  • ff. - following (pages)
  • FF's - First Families
  • FFV - First Families of Virginia
  • FGRA - Family Group Record Archives
  • FGS - Federation of Genealogical Societies
  • FHC - Family History Center
  • FHL - Family History Library
  • fidel. - fidelity
  • fil. or f.inl- father-in-law
  • f.m. - free mulatto
  • f.n. - free negro
  • foll. - following; followed
  • FR - Family Registry
  • freem. - freeman; freemen
  • ft. - foot; fort

- G -

 
  • g. - grand; great
  • GAR - Grand Army of the Republic
  • G.B. - Great Britain
  • gch. - grandchildren
  • gdn. - guardian
  • GEDCOM - GEnealogical Data COMmunication
  • GH - Genelaogical Helper
  • giv. - given; giving
  • GLC - Genealogical Library Catalog
  • GLO - General Land Office
  • gm. - grandmother
  • godf. - godfather
  • godm. - godmother
  • gp. - grandparents
  • GPAI - Genealogical Periodical Annual Index
  • gr. - grand; great; grant; graduate
  • g.r. - grave record
  • grf. - grandfather
  • grmo. - grandmother
  • grs. - grandson
  • g.s. - grave stone
  • GSW 1812 - General Society of the War of 1812
  • Gt. Br. - Great Britain
  • gt. gr. - great grand
  • GTT - Gone to Texas

- H -

 
  • h. - husband; heir; heiress
  • hdgrs. - headquarters
  • HEIC - Honourable East India Comapny
  • her. - heraldry
  • hers. - herself
  • HM - His or Her Majesty
  • HMS - Her (or His) Majesty's Service or Ship
  • hims. - himself
  • Hist. - History
  • hist. - historian
  • hon. - honorable
  • hon. dis. - honorably discharged
  • honor. - honorary
  • honora. - honorably
  • HSA - Huguenot Society of America
  • hund. - hundred
  • hus. - husband

- I -

 
  • ibid. - [Latin] ibidem; same (reference)
  • IGI - International Genealogical Index
  • ign. - ignorant
  • illus. - illustrated
  • imp. - importation
  • inc. - incorporated; incomplete
  • incl. - included; inclusive
  • Ind. - Indians
  • IND.S.C. - Indian Survivors' Certificates
  • Ind. T. or Ind. Ter.- Indian Territory
  • Ind. W.C. - Indian Widow's Certificate
  • inf. - infant; infantry; informed
  • info. - information
  • inh. - inherited
  • inhab. - inhabitant
  • inq. - inquiry
  • ins. - insert
  • inst. - institute; institution
  • int. - intentions; interested; interred
  • inv. or invt. - inventory

- J -

 
  • JA - Judge Advocate
  • JNH - Journal of Negro History
  • JP - Justice of the Peace
  • Jr. - Junior
  • jud or judic. - judicial; judicious
  • junr. - junior
  • jur. - [Latin] jurat; certification that a document was written by the person who signed it

- K -

 
  • k. - killed; king
  • kn. - known
  • knt. or kt. - knight
  • KRRNY - King's Royal Regiment of New York

- L -

 
  • l. - license; law
  • labr. - laborer
  • Lat. - Latin
  • lb. - pound
  • LBC - Letter Book Copy
  • LC - Library of Congress
  • ld. - land
  • ldr. - leader
  • LDS - Chuch of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • l.e. - local elder in a church
  • lib. - library
  • lic. - license
  • lieut. - lieutenant
  • li. or liv. - lived; living
  • liv. abt. - lived about
  • ll. - lines
  • lnd. - land
  • l.p. - local preacher
  • ltd. - limited

- M -

 
  • m. - month; male; mother; married; marriage
  • m/1, m/2 - married first, married second, etc.
  • mag. - magistrate
  • maj. - major
  • mak. - making
  • mat. - maternal
  • m.bn. - marriage banns
  • MCA - Microfilm Corporation of America
  • MCC - Microfilm Card Catalog
  • MCD - Municipal Civil District
  • MD - Doctor of Medicine; Middle Dutch
  • md. - married
  • mem. - member; membership; memorials; memoir
  • ment. - mentioned
  • messrs. - plural of mister
  • Mex. S.C. - Mexican Survivors' Certificates
  • Mex. S.O. - Mexcian Survivorr's Originals
  • Mex. W.C. - Mexican Widows' Certificate
  • MG - Minister of the Gospel
  • m.h. - meeting house
  • MGH - Middle High German
  • m.i. - monument inscription
  • mi. - mile; miles
  • MIA - Missing in Action
  • mil or milit. - military
  • min. - minister
  • m-in-l - mother-in-law
  • MLG - Middle Low German
  • MLW - Military Land Warrant
  • MM - abbreviation for Monthly Meeting of Society of Friends (Quakers)
  • m.o. - mustered out
  • mo. - mother; month
  • mors. - death; corpse
  • mov. - moved
  • MQ - Mayflower Quarterly
  • Mr. - Mister
  • Mrs. - Mistress
  • ms. - manuscript
  • mss. - manuscripts
  • mtg. - meeting; mortgage
  • mvd. - moved
  • my/d - my daughter

- N -

 
  • N. - Negro; North
  • n. - nephew; name
  • NA - National Archives in Washington, D.C.; Native American
  • na. - naturalized
  • NARS - National Archives and Record Service
  • nam. - named
  • nat. - [Latin] natus; birth; son; offspring
  • n.d. - no date
  • N.E. - New England; North Eeast
  • NEH - National Endowment for the Humanities
  • NEHGS - New England Historic Genealogical Society
  • neph. - nephew
  • neph-i-l - nephew-in-law
  • nfi - no further information
  • nfk - nothing further known
  • NGS - National Genealogical Society
  • NHPRC - National Historical Publications and Records Commission
  • nm. - name
  • nmed. - named
  • not. - noted
  • NP - Notary Public
  • n.p. - no place
  • nr. - none recorded; not recorded; naturalized
  • NS - New Style calendar; Nova Scotia
  • NSCDA - National Society of the Colonial Dames of America
  • NSDAR - National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution
  • NUCMC - National Union Catalog of Manuscript Colletions
  • nunc. - nuncupative
  • N.W. - North West
  • NWC - Navy Widow's Certificate
  • NW. Terr. - North West Territory
  • n.x.n. - no christian name

- O -

 
  • o. - oath
  • O.B. - Order Book
  • ob. - obiit
  • obit. - obituary
  • o.c. - only child
  • O.E. - Old England; Old English
  • offor offic. - official
  • oft. - often
  • OM - Organized Militia
  • o.p. - out of print
  • ord. - ordained; ordinance; order; ordinary
  • org. - organization
  • orig. - origin; original
  • OS - Old Style calendar
  • o.t.p. - of this parish

- P -

 
  • p. - page; per; populus; parentage; parents; pence
  • p.a. - power of attorney
  • pam. - pamphlet
  • par. - parish; parent; parents
  • pat. - patent; patented; paternal
  • pchd. - purchased
  • PE - Presiding Elder
  • peo. - people
  • perh. - perhaps
  • petitn. or petn. - petition
  • petr. - petitioner
  • ph. - parish
  • PI - Preliminary Inventories
  • pion. - pioneer
  • PJP - Probate Judge of the Peace
  • PLB - Poor Law Board
  • plt. - plantiff
  • P.M. - Post Meridiem; afternoon; Post Mortem; after death; Police magistrate
  • P.O. - Post Office
  • POA - Power of Attorney
  • POE - Port of Entry
  • pp. - pages
  • PPA - per power of Attorney
  • pr. - proved; probated
  • p.r. - parish record
  • preced. - preceding
  • PRO - Public Record Office
  • pro. - probate; proved
  • prob. - probable; probably
  • prop. - property
  • propr. - proprietor(s)
  • provis. - provision
  • pt. - point; port; petition; pint
  • ptf. - plaintiff
  • pub. - public; published; publisher; publication
  • pvt. - private
  • pymt. - payment

- Q -

  q. - [Latin] quarto; oversize book
  • q.y. - query
 

- R -

 
  • r. - rector; rex; rejected; river; road
  • R. - Range; Rabbi; River; Road
  • rat. - rated
  • R.C. - Roman Catholic
  • rcdr. - recorder
  • rcpt. - receipt
  • RD - release of dower rights
  • re. - regarding
  • rec. - record
  • reg. - register
  • Reg. Gen. - Registrar General
  • rel. - relative
  • reld. - relieved
  • rel-i-l - relative-in-law
  • ren. - renunciation
  • rep. - report; representative; reprint; reprinted
  • repl. - replaced; replacement
  • repud. - repudiated
  • res. - research; residence; resides
  • respectiv. - respectively
  • ret. - retired
  • Rev. - Reverend; Revolutionary War
  • Rev. War - Revolutionary War
  • RG - Registered Genealogist
  • rgstr. - registrar
  • RIP - [Latin] requiescat in pace; rest in peace
  • rinq. - relinquished
  • Rom. - Roman
  • RR - railroad

- S -

 
  • s. - son(s)/ soldier; survivor; spinster; successor; shilling
  • s. and h. - son and heir
  • SAR - Sons of the American Revolution
  • SASE - self-addressed stamped envelope
  • SCV - Sons of Confederate Veterans
  • s'd - said [found in legal documents]
  • scatt. - scattering; scattered
  • SDA - Seventh Day Adventists
  • S.E. - southeast
  • sec. - second; secretary; section; sector; security
  • serg. - sergeant
  • serv. - service; servant
  • sett. - settlers; settler
  • sev. - several
  • sh. - share; ship
  • sil - son-in-law
  • sin. - [Latin] sine; without
  • sis. - sister
  • sn. - [Latin] sine; without
  • s/o - son of
  • SO - Survivors' Originals
  • soc. - society; societies
  • s.p. - [Latin] sine prole; without offspring
  • s.p.l. - [Latin] sine prole legitima; without legitimate offspring
  • s.p.m. - [Latin] sine prole mascula; without male offspring
  • spell. - spelling; spelled
  • spr. - sponsor
  • sr. - senior
  • srnms. - surnames
  • st. - saint; street
  • sup. - supply; superior
  • supt. - superintendent
  • surg. - surgeon
  • SUV - Sons of Union Veterans
  • sw. - swear; sworn
  • syl.- syllable

- T -

 
  • T. - Township
  • tak. - taken
  • terr. - territory
  • test. - testament
  • tho. - though
  • thot. - thought
  • thro. - through
  • TIB - Temple (Records) Index Bureau
  • tn. - town; township
  • top. - topographical
  • Tp. - Township
  • t.p. - title page
  • t.p.m. - title page mutilated
  • t.p.w. - title page wanting
  • tr. - troop; translated; translation
  • transcr. - transcribed
  • transl. - translation
  • treas. - treasurer
  • TRIB - Temple Records Index Bureau
  • TVA - Tennessee Valley Authority
  • twn. - town
  • twp. - township
  • ty. - territory

- U -

 
  • UDC - United Daughters of the Confederacy
  • U.K. - United Kingdom
  • unasgd. - unassigned
  • unc. - uncle
  • unit. - uniting; united
  • unk. - unknown
  • unm. - unmarried
  • unorg. - unorganized
  • USCG - United States Coast Guard
  • USCT - United States Colored Troops
  • USMC - United States Marine Corps
  • USN - United States Navy
  • USWPA - United States Works Progress Administration

- V -

 
  • v.a. - [Latin] vixit annos; (s)he lived (a certain number) years
  • var. - various; variation; variant
  • VFW - Veterans of Foreign Wars
  • Vi - visitor
  • VIP - Very Important Person
  • Vis. or Visc. - Viscount; Viscountess
  • vit. - vital
  • viz. - [Latin] videlicet; namely
  • V.L. - Vulgar Latin
  • vols. - volunteers; volumes
  • v.r. - vital records
  • vs. - versus
  • v.s. - vital statistics

- W -

 
  • w. - wife; will; west; widow
  • wag. - wagoner
  • W.B. - Will Book
  • W.D. - War Department
  • w.d. - will dated
  • wd. - widow; ward
  • wf/o - wife of
  • wh. - who; which
  • wit. - witness
  • wk(s). - week(s)
  • wnt. - wants
  • W.O. - Widow's Originals
  • w/o - wife of
  • W.O. - Warrant Officer
  • w.p. - will probated; will proved
  • WPA - Works Progress Administration
  • WRHS - Western Reserve Historical Society
  • W.S. - Writer to the Signet
  • wtn. - witness
  • ww. - widow
  • ww/o - widow of
  • wwr. - widower

- X -

 
  • X - a mark made by a person instead of a signature; Christ; Christian
  • x ch. - exchange
  • Xn. - Christian
  • Xnty. - Christianity
  • Xped. - Christened
  • Xr. - Christian
  • Xt. - Christ
  • Xtian. - Christian
  • Xty. - Christianity

- Y -

 
  • y. - year
  • yd. - graveyard
  • yr. - year; younger; your

- Z -

 
  • None
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