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A glossary of genealogical terms.
Tabellion: A French term for scrivener, a person who prepares wills and other documents. A tabellion has less training than a notairs (notary) or avocat (lawyer).
Tables décennales: A French index that covers ten years of a particular set of records. French civil registration records have ten-year indexes. The English translation for these indexes is ten-year indexes.
Taufen: The German word for baptisms.
Tax: Money that a government collects from individuals, businesses, and other institutions under its jurisdiction.
Tax abatement record: A record that lists names of individuals seeking a tax deferment. It lists the reason for the request and may also list names of relatives or guardians.
Tax records: A general term referring to all documents created as a result of taxation.
Tax sale record: A record created when the property of a person who was delinquent in paying property taxes is sold to pay the taxes.
Tax, PERiodical Source Index: A record type used in the Locality and Research Methodologies sections of the PERiodical Source Index (PERSI) to identify articles that contain information about tax records.
Taxation, Family History Library Catalog™: A subject heading used in the Family History Library Catalog to categorize tax records.
Taxation, general: The process of a government gathering money from its citizens to meet its operating expenses.
Telephone directory: A list of the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of people in an area.
Tellico land grants: Grants for lands ceded in 1805 to the United States government by the Cherokee Native Americans.
Temple ordinance, Latter-day Saint: A religious ceremony performed in a temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by one having priesthood authority.
Temple recommend, Latter-day Saint: A certificate given to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that certifies their worthiness to enter a temple.
Temple record, Latter-day Saint: A record of an ordinance performed in a temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Temple Records Index Bureau: A card index to Latter-day Saint temple ordinances performed between 1842 and 1970 for living and deceased individuals. The information from these records is now available in the International Genealogical Index®.
Temple work, Latter-day Saint: A term used in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to refer to ordinances performed in the temple.
TempleReady™: A computer program that helps members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints prepare the names of their ancestors for temple ordinances.
Ten-year index, France: An index that covers ten years of a particular set of records. French civil registration records have ten-year indexes, called tables décennales.
Tente en el aire: A term used in Catholic Church registers to describe a person from Spanish-speaking Latin America whose ancestry is Indian, African, and Caucasian. Racial classifications were often based on physical appearance or social status; therefore, they were not always accurate.
Terminology: The terms (jargon) used in a field of study.
Territorial army, British: British forces marshaled in other countries.
Territorial census: A count and description of the population of a territory.
Territorial probate court: A court that had probate jurisdiction over the Nevada Territory. It was established in 1861 and abolished in 1864, when Nevada became a state.
Territorial records: Records, such as land records, kept by a territorial government.
Territory of Hawaii: A territory created in 1900 that consisted of all of the present-day state of Hawaii. At that time, all citizens of Hawaii became citizens of the United States. Hawaii was made a state in March 1959.
Territory of Orleans: A division of Louisiana created when the United States divided the Louisiana Purchase along the 33rd parallel. The District of Louisiana was the land to the north, and the Territory of Orleans was the area to the south.
Territory, United States: An area in the United States that is not within the limits of any state. The residents are citizens of the United States. A territory does not have equal power with states in the federal government. The first territory established was the Northwest Territory. This territory set the pattern for how all future territories would operate. Congress established a territory and appointed a governor, a secretary, and three judges to govern it. When the population reached 5,000 adult males, the territory could choose a legislature and send a delegate to Congress. This delegate could introduce bills and participate in debate but could not vote. A territory could apply for statehood when its total population grew to 60,000.
Testament: A legal document that describes how a person's real and personal property should be distributed after his or her death.
Under early English law, a will described how an individual’s real property (lands and buildings) would be distributed after death. Since the Crown technically owned all land and buildings, a specific set of laws applied to its distribution. A testament distributed the person's personal property, such as furniture, belongings, crops, debts, and so forth.
The term will eventually came to mean both a will and a testament.
Testament, French: The French word for will, which is a legal document that describes how an individual’s real and personal property should be distributed after his or her death.
Testamentary bond: A written statement wherein the executor of a will guarantees that he or she will faithfully perform the tasks assigned by the probate court.
Testamentos: The Spanish term for wills.
Testate: The state of an individual’s estate when he or she dies and has left a will.
Testimony: Information given in a court by a competent witness. Evidence, on the other hand, is derived from documents, artifacts, and other sources.
Textual Reference Branch: The branch of the National Archives from which a researcher can obtain copies of land case files.
The Atlantic Canadians 1600-1900: An Alphabetized Directory of the People, Places, and Vital Dates: An index to people from the Canadian provinces of Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick who are listed in many published biographies, cemetery records, census records, directories, family histories, Loyalist listings, marriage records, and vital records in newspapers.
The Central Canadians1600-1900: An Alphabetized Directory of the People, Places, and Vital Dates: An index to people from the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba who are listed in many published biographies, cemetery records, census records, directories, family histories, Loyalist listings, marriage records, and vital records in newspapers.
The Church in Wales: The Church of England (Anglican Church) in Wales.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: A church restored in New York state on 6 April 1830 by Joseph Smith. The Latter-day Saints believe that after Christ’s apostles died, the world fell into a great period of apostasy. Then in the spring of 1820, when Joseph Smith prayed to know which church he should join, God the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ, revealed to him that none of the churches on the earth had the complete truth. The fulness of the gospel was now to be restored. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints accepts the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly and also accepts the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price as scripture. Early Latter-day Saint settlements were established in Kirtland, Ohio; central western Missouri; and Nauvoo, Illinois. Beginning in 1847 the Church migrated to and began settling the Intermountain West. By 1900 the Church had settlements in Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, California, Mexico, and Alberta, Canada. The Church now has members worldwide.
The French Canadians 1600-1900: An Alphabetized Directory of the People, Places, and Vital Dates: An index to French Canadians and English-speaking residents of Québec and French Canadians from other provinces who are listed in many published biographies, cemetery records, census records, directories, family histories, Loyalist listings, marriage records, and vital records in newspapers.
The Genealogist’s Address Book: A guide to historical and genealogical societies in the United States.
The Henry R. Baldwin Genealogical Records, Ohio: A collection of church, military, cemetery, court, and family information about people from eastern Ohio from 1867 to 1913.
Theft: Illegally taking property without the owner’s permission.
Thirty Year's War (1618-1648): A series of wars that began as a civil war between Protestants and Catholics in Germany and ended as a general struggle for territory and power involving almost every nation in Europe. The first part of the war occurred in Bohemia between 1618 and 1620 when the Archbishop of Prague ordered the destruction of a Protestant church. The Protestants revolted and removed the Catholic king and Holy Roman Emperor, Ferdinand, from the throne and put a Protestant in his place. In 1620, however, the Protestants were defeated, and Ferdinand regained the throne. The next phase of the war occurred from 1625 to 1629 when the king of Denmark, Christian IV, sent troops to oppose Ferdinand in Saxony. Once again the Protestants were defeated. From 1630 to 1635 the Swedish king, Gustavus Adolphus, entered the war. He was a devout Protestant and feared that Ferdinand was becoming too powerful. Again the Protestants were defeated. The final phase of the war lasted from 1635 to 1648. It was instigated by Cardinal Richelieu of France, who was determined to keep the Habsburg family of Austria from gaining too much power. France and its Swedish allies entered the war on the side of the Protestants. This time the Protestants won. As a result of the war, France acquired Alsace and Lorraine; Sweden gained control of the mouths of the Oder, Elbe, and Weser Rivers; Calvinism was placed on equal grounds with Lutheranism and Catholicism; and Germany was left in ruins. It took Germany nearly 200 years to recover. Many Germans left their impoverished country to immigrate to the Americas.
Three-Part Record, Latter-day Saint: A printed book used to record membership records of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints between 1900 and 1920. It was divided into three parts: records of baptisms, priesthood ordinations, and unbaptized children.
Tidepengebøger, Denmark: Records kept by Danish trade guilds. They include records of the payment of guild member dues. These are helpful for finding guild members' residences.
Tierras y aguas: A type of Latin American land record that contains information about land grants and water rights, correspondence, transfers of title, and similar documents.
Time period: A length of time between two dates or points in time; also an era of time.
Tingbog, Denmark: Danish court records. Danish courts recorded land ownership, sales, and transfers.
Tithable: An individual who is subject to a tax.
Tithe Applotment books: A list of people who paid taxes to the Church of Ireland between 1820 and 1840 They are arranged by parish.
Title, land: The right to own land; also a certificate showing ownership of land.
Title, name: A word or phrase attached to a person or family that signifies identification, honor, distinction, or position.
Título de propiedad: The Spanish word for land title, a land record in Latin America that includes information relating to land title, possession, contracts, bills of sale, buildings, or improvements. These records may also include information about the families and individuals who have owned or occupied the land.
Toleration act, general: A law passed by a government to allow religious freedom.
Toleration Act, New Hampshire: A law passed by the New Hampshire legislature in 1819 that forbade the practice of taxing state residents to support the Congregational or any other church.
Tombstone record: A transcription of a tombstone or grave marker.
Topographic map: A map showing the physical features of a piece of land.
Torna atrás: A term used in Catholic Church registers to describe a person from Spanish-speaking Latin America whose ancestry is Indian, African, and Caucasian. Racial classifications were often based on physical appearance or social status; therefore, they were not always accurate.
Torrens system, Canada: A method of recording land transactions between the British Crown and individuals. It provides the actual land titles and a registry of transactions. Manitoba, Canada, began using this system in 1885.
Tote: The German word for a civil death record.
Tour of duty: A term used to indicate the length of a person's service in the military.
Town clerk: A town official who keeps the vital, land, and other records of a town.
Town Clerks' Registers of Men Who Served in the Civil War, ca. 1865-1867: Registers containing names and vital information about men from New York who served in the Civil War. The registers are arranged by county and town.
Town court, Connecticut: A court in Connecticut with jurisdiction over civil matters. These courts were succeeded by the circuit courts.
Town courthouse: A building that houses a town’s court of law.
Town hall: A public building that houses offices for a town’s government or that is used for town meetings.
Town history: A written account of the events that took place in a town or city.
Town meeting minutes: A written account of the discussion and decisions made at a meeting of the residents or leaders of a town or city.
Town record, general: A record kept at the town, city, or village level.
Town Records, Family History Library Catalog™: A subject heading used in the Family History Library Catalog to categorize records kept by a town's government.
Townland, Ireland: A unit of land in Ireland that was a family holding. Townlands varied considerably in size but were on average about 350 acres. A townland is also a territorial division equivalent to a township.
Township Papers, Canada
A collection of miscellaneous land records for Ontario. It contains some family information mentioned in correspondence. The records are not indexed, but they are arranged by township, concession, and lot number.
Township Papers, Canada: A collection of miscellaneous land records for Ontario. It contains some family information mentioned in correspondence. The records are not indexed, but they are arranged by township, concession, and lot number.
Township, Canada: A division of a county in Ontario, Nova Scotia, eastern Québec, and a few counties in Québec along the Ottawa River. Nova Scotia quit using townships over a hundred years ago, but most of Ontario and parts of Québec still use them. Some townships had their own municipal governments, although villages and towns within their boundaries may have been independent of them. Some townships were only parcels of land. In Québec, the word township is translated as canton. The Cantons de l'Est are the Eastern Townships of Québec, which are in counties lying north of the Vermont border. In Canada's Prairie Provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta) and in portions of British Columbia, townships are square blocks of land, six miles on a side. They are numbered north from the 49th parallel, which forms the boundary between Canada and the United States. Townships in western Canada never have their own governments.
Township, governmental: A government with jurisdiction over a 36-square-mile area.
Township, land: A piece of land that is six miles on each side. A township contains 36 square miles of land.
Tract book: The official government records that contain the legal description of a piece of land and the names of the owners. One copy is sent to the federal government, and the other is kept by the local land office.
Tract, land: A piece of land.
Tract, publication: A short book or pamphlet on a particular topic, frequently a religious subject.
Trade directory: An alphabetical list of persons engaged in the same trade or profession.
Trade, land: The buying and selling of property.
Trade, occupation: A skill an individual uses to earn a living.
Trail of Tears: An exodus that occurred in 1838 when the United States government forced the Cherokee Native Americans to move from their lands in the Southeast to the Indian Territory, west of the Mississippi. The Cherokees called this march the Trail of Tears because so many of their people died along the way.
Transcript, copy of records: A handwritten, typed, or printed copy of a document or set of records.
Transcript, court records: A verbatim, written account of the proceedings of a trial or court hearing.
Transcript, school: A student’s educational record.
Transfer of property: The changing of land ownership from one person to another after the first land grant is given.
Transfers of land between individuals: A land transaction that occurs after the original land grant has been issued from the government or a land company.
Transported prisoner: A prisoner who was deported from Great Britain to America, Australia, or the West Indies.
Trauungen: A German word for marriages.
Treasury warrant: A warrant purchased from the state for a specific amount of vacant land.
Treaty of Paris (1763): The treaty that ended the Seven Years War (French and Indian War) in 1763. This treaty gave the British the French colonies of Nova Scotia (formerly Acadia) and Québec (formerly New France). Britain returned Manila in the Philippines to Spain.
Treaty of Utrecht (1713): A treaty signed in 1713 to end the War of Spanish Succession (Queen Anne's War). In this treaty, Phillip was acknowledged the king of Spain; France agreed that France and Spain would never unite under one crown; and Great Britain gained the islands of Gibralter and Minorca, a contract to supply all Spanish colonies in America with slaves, and territory in Canada (the land around Hudson Bay, Newfoundland, and the Nova Scotia region of Acadia). The Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI refused to sign the treaty, claiming that he was the heir to the Spanish throne. France and Austria continued to battle until 1714, when they signed the treaties of Rastatt and Baden, which confirmed most of the terms in the Treaty of Utrecht.
Tresalvo: A term used in Catholic Church registers to describe a person from Spanish-speaking Latin America whose ancestry is African (1/4) and Spanish Caucasian (3/4). Racial classifications were often based on physical appearance or social status; therefore, they were not always accurate.
Trespass: Illegal interference with one's person, property, or rights; also illegal entrance into private buildings or land.
Trial Division of the Federal Court of Canada: A federal court in Canada that has jurisdiction over claims against the Crown and miscellaneous cases involving the Crown.
Trial Division, Canada: A division of a provincial superior or supreme court in Canada. The Trial Division hears serious civil and criminal cases and has the authority to grant divorces. Also called Court of Queen's Bench.
Tribal records: Records kept by tribes of Native Americans.
Trolovelse: A Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian word for engagement (as in engagement to be married).
Tuition: Guardianship over a child who is not old enough to marry.
Tuscarora: A powerful tribe of Native Americans who originally lived in North Carolina. Upset by white settlers who were taking their land, the Tuscarora attacked white settlements in North Carolina on 22 September 1711. This bloody war ended in the tribe's defeat. Remaining tribe members joined the Iroquois League in New York and eventually moved to Indian Territory in what is now Oklahoma.
Tutelas: The Spanish term for guardianship records.
Tutelle et curatelle: A French term for guardianship papers. These are records about orphans and the conservation of their property.
Twin territories: A term that referred to both the Oklahoma and Indian Territories. These two territories were combined in 1907 to form the state of Oklahoma.
Twitchell Archives: Land records compiled by Ralph E. Twitchell. They cover the years 1685 to 1898 and include land disputes, appeals, grants, wills, mine claims, and judgments. The records are in both English and Spanish.