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A glossary of genealogical terms.
U.S. Court of Private Land Claims: A federal court that processes land claims.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: A department in the United States government that oversees public health, social welfare, and social security issues. It was created in 1953 as the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW).
U.S. district court: A court in the United States federal system that hears cases involving violations of federal law and disputes between parties of different states. Each state has at least one district court, some states have many.
U.S. Surveyor General: The federal officer who oversees the surveying of federal land in the United States.
Ukrainian Catholic Church: The largest of the Eastern Catholic Churches. In 1054, the year of the Great Schism, the leader of the Catholic Church in Constantinople and Pope Leo IX in Rome excommunicated each other over their disagreement on points of doctrine. The eastern churches, including those in Ukraine, formed the Eastern Orthodox Churches. In 1596 the church in Ukraine reunited with Rome on the condition that the Ukranian church could preserve its traditional rites. This agreement was called the Union of Brest-Litovsk. Many Ukrainians opposed this union, broke away from the Ukranian Catholic Church in 1633, and returned to Orthodoxy. In 1839 the Russian government took over all of Ukraine except the province of Galicia, which came under the control of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which favored the Catholic Church. The Russian tsarist government forced the Catholics to convert to Orthodoxy. Between 1914 and 1989, during Soviet rule, all religious activities in Ukraine were repressed. Soviet officials pressured the Ukranian Catholic bishops to dissolve the Union of Brest-Litovsk. When they refused, the bishops were imprisoned or deported. The Ukranian Catholic Church was made legal again in December 1989. Many Ukranian Catholics emigrated to the Americas and Western Europe between 1880 and 1914 and again after World War II.
Ukranian Greek (or Eastern) Orthodox: The Eastern Orthodox church in Ukraine. The Eastern Orthodox Churches formed in 1054, the year of the Great Schism, when the leader of the Catholic Church in Constantinople and Pope Leo IX in Rome excommunicated each other over their disagreement over points of doctrine. The eastern churches, including those in Ukraine, formed the Eastern Orthodox Churches. In 1596 the church in Ukraine reunited with Rome on the condition that the Ukranian church could preserve its traditional rites. This agreement was called the Union of Brest-Litovsk. Many Ukrainians opposed this union, broke away from the Ukranian Catholic Church in 1633, and returned to Orthodoxy. Like other religions in the Soviet Union, the Ukranian Eastern Orthodox church was suppressed from 1914 to 1989.
Ulster: One of the five provinces of early Ireland. It was composed of all of the counties that are now part of Northern Ireland, plus the counties of Cavan, Donegal, and Monagan. Northern Ireland is still referred to as Ulster.
Ulster King of Arms, Ireland: A representative of the British Crown who records grants of coats of arms in Ireland. Edward IV created this office in 1552.
Ulster Scot: A person of Scottish descent who lives or lived in Northern Ireland. Also called Ulsters. Most Ulster Scots are descended from a group of Presbyterians that King James I sent to live in northern Ireland (Ulster). The king did this to displace Irish Catholics and to strengthen English rule.
Unassigned lands: Lands in Indian Territory that had not been assigned to any tribe. Beginning in the 1850s, railroads and white settlers pressured the government to open these lands for settlement, which the federal government did in 1889.
Union: The northern states that supported the United States federal government during the Civil War
Union of Kalmar (1397): A union that put Denmark, Sweden, and Norway under one crown. In 1387 Margaret I came to the throne of Denmark. She adopted her nephew, Erik of Pomerania, as her heir. In 1388 Margaret was crowned queen of Sweden. The next year, Erik was proclaimed heir apparent of Norway. In 1397, Erik was crowned king of Norway, Denmark, and Sweden during a ceremony in Kalmar, Sweden. This was the official Union of Kalmar. During this union, the three nations agreed to have a common foreign policy. Each country would continue its existing laws and would be governed by its own national council. During this union, Norway became increasingly less important in Scandinavian politics. Margaret and Eric both left the highest administrative position in Norway empty and governed Norway directly from Copenhagen, Denmark. Sweden, led by a Swedish noble named Gustavus Vasa, broke away from the union in 1523. Norway remained with Denmark until 1814.
Unitarian Church: A religion that developed out of Congregationalism in the early 1800s. William Ellery Channing rejected many of Congregationalism's Calvinistic doctrines, including the belief that God would send unbaptized babies to eternal punishment and the belief that only certain people, the elect, were predestined to be saved. Channing taught that though Jesus Christ was the highest human being, he was not the Son of God. Channing believed humans have great potential for good if they use reason to back moral principles. Modern Unitarian sects believe that they can find light and truth from many sources. They practice no sacraments, though some congregations have rituals for initiation and fellowship. The Unitarians and Universalists merged in 1961 to form the Unitarian Universalist Church.
United Brethren: A religion created in Germany in 1708 under Alexander Mack. Persecution in Germany led many of its members to immigrate to Germantown, Pennsylvania. The Brethren practice trine baptism (baptism by immersion in which a person is immersed three times, once for each member of the Trinity) and refuse to take oaths or serve in the military. They are also called Dunkards or Dunkers.
United Church of Canada: A church formed in 1925 when the Methodist Church, Canada; the Congregational Union of Canada; and most Canadian Presbyterian Churches merged. The Evangelical United Brethren joined in 1968. The Church has a presbyterian form of government, in which the clergy and laity have equal responsibility for church policy and government. The church's doctrine emphasizes conversion to the teachings of Jesus Christ and a commitment to correcting social evils and injustice. The church operates several colleges and hospitals in Canada.
United Church of Christ: A Protestant Church formed in 1957 when the German (Evangelical) Reformed Church and the General Council of Congregational Christian Churches combined. Church government combines Congregationalism and Presbyterianism. The United Church of Christ gives each local church the autonomy to run its own affairs but also has a definite organization of representative bodies (local churches, associations, conferences, and the General Synod).
United Empire Loyalists, Canada: The term used in Canada for an American loyalist (a person who was loyal to the British Crown during the American Revolution) who moved to Canada during and after the American Revolution. Most Loyalists came to Canada primarily between 1775 and 1783, although many arrived after 1783. Some arrived as late as 1796. The Loyalists left the United States in part to escape persecution and in part to receive free land. Most Loyalists settled in the western parts of Nova Scotia and Québec. The Loyalists brought their British heritage into French-dominated areas, and the French-speaking Canadians quickly lost status to the newcomers. Loyalist demands for more authority over local affairs caused the British government to create the colony of New Brunswick in 1784 and the colony of Upper Canada in 1791.
United Free Church, Scotland: A church that formed in 1900 when the United Presbyterian Church and the Free Church combined to form the United Free Church. In 1924 the United Free Church reunited with the Church of Scotland.
United Presbyterian Church, Scotland
A church that formed in 1847 when the Secession and Relief Churches in Scotland combined. In 1900 the United Presbyterian Church united with the Free Church to form the United Free Church. In 1924 the United Free Church reunited with the Church of Scotland.
United States Air Force: The branch of the United States military charged with organizing, training, equipping, and supporting the forces that maintain military operations in the air and in space. It was originally part of the Army, which owned five planes at the beginning of Word War I. In 1947 it became the United States Air Force and an equal partner with the Army and Navy.
United States Army: The branch of the United States military charged with organizing, training, equipping, and supporting the land forces. The United States Army rose out of the Continental Army. It was formally established in 1789 as the Department of War.
United States circuit court of appeal: The former name for the federal intermediate appellate courts, which were established in 1891. The name of the court changed in 1948 to United States courts of appeals. These courts hear appeals from federal district courts.
United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit: A federal court located in Denver, Colorado, that hears appeals from federal districts courts in Utah and five other western states.
United States District Court of the District of Utah: A federal court in Utah that hears civil and criminal cases involving citizens of different states, interstate controversies, violations of federal law, and immigration and naturalization cases.
United States Geological Survey: An agency of the United States government that makes topographic, geologic, and mineral maps of the United States.
United States Marines: The branch of the United States military charged with organizing, training, equipping, and supporting amphibious forces (troops that perform seaborne operations using forces of the Navy, Air Force, and Army). The Marine Corps was formally established in 1798. It was part of the Navy from 1834 until 1952, when it became a distinct branch of the military.
United States Military District or Tract, Ohio: Land in what is now central Ohio that was granted to soldiers who served in the Continental Army from any state. Land that was not claimed became Congress land.
United States Navy: The branch of the United States military charged with organizing, training, equipping, and supporting the forces that maintain the command of the sea.
United States oath of allegiance: An oath administered to new citizens of the United States, whereby they renounce all ties to other governments and bind themselves to the government of the United States.
United States Research Outline: A publication produced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that describes the major sources of information for family history research in the United States.
United States Supreme Court: The highest court in the United States.
Universalist Church: A religion with similar beliefs to the Unitarians. The Universalists believed that no person would be excluded from salvation. The Universalists merged with the Unitarians in 1961 to form the Unitarian Universalist Church.
Unmovable property, Scotland: A term used in Scotland to describe land or other property that has a title.
Upper Canada: A colony created in 1791 when the old Province of Québec was divided. It lasted until 1841, when it was renamed Canada West, which was part of the Province of Canada. It is now the province of Ontario.
Upper Peninsula, Michigan: The upper part of Michigan that is north of Lake Michigan and extends up into Lake Superior.
USGenWeb: A site on the World Wide Web that lists genealogical databases, libraries, bulletin boards, and other resources that are available on the Internet for genealogical research in United States. This site is maintained by many volunteers.
Utah Immigration Card Index: An incomplete but valuable list of Latter-day Saint pioneers who crossed the plains before 1869, when the railroad arrived in Utah. Also called the Crossing the Plains Index.
Utah Militia: A military organization created by the Constitution of the Provisional State of Deseret in 1849 to protect Utah settlers. All men between the ages of 18 and 45 were required to participate. There were also organizations for boys age 14 to 17 and men age 45 to 75. The federal government took control of the militia in 1887, with the passage of the Edmunds-Tucker Act.
Utah Supreme Court: The highest state court in Utah. It has original jurisdiction over extraordinary writs and questions from federal courts. It may hear appeals from district courts, state agencies, and the court of appeals.
Utah Territory: A territory organized in 1850. It included parts of present-day Nevada, Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah.
Utah War (1857-1858): A conflict that occurred when President James Buchanan appointed a governor to replace the Latter-day Saint leader Brigham Young and ordered several thousand United States troops to the Utah Territory to challenge an alleged Mormon rebellion that did not exist. The conflict was settled peacefully. The soldiers built Camp Floyd, southwest of Salt Lake City, and remained there until the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861.
Utdrag ur födelse-vigsel-och dödböker, Sweden: A copy that parish ministers made annually of the birth, marriage, and death information in their registers. The ministers copied the information onto special forms and sent them to the Statistica Centralbyrån (Central Bureau of Statistics) in Stockholm, Sweden.
Utdrag ur husförhörslängder, Sweden: An extract that a parish minister made every tenth year of the clerical surveys. The ministers copied the information onto special forms and sent them to the Statistica Centralbyrån (Central Bureau of Statistics) in Stockholm, Sweden.
Utflyttade, Sweden: The Swedish word for moving-out records. These are records that parish ministers in Sweden kept to document people who moved away from the parish. Also called utflyttningslängder.
Utflyttningslängder, Sweden: The Swedish word for moving-out records. These are records that parish ministers in Sweden kept to document people who moved away from the parish. Also called utflyttade.