R genealogical glossary terms
A glossary of genealogical terms.
Radicación de estrangeros, Philippines: A Spanish term used in the Philippines to mean naturalization records.
Rådstueretten: A Danish word for city hall court.
Railroad grant: Land given to railroad companies as an incentive for them to build railroads in undeveloped areas.
Railroad map: A map that shows railroad routes.
Range, Canada: A term used in the legal description of land. In eastern Canada a range is sometimes a synonym for a "concession," which is a strip of land that is part of a geographical township. In the Prairie Provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta) a range is a square block of land six miles on a side. Ranges are numbered east or west of the First Meridian or west of one of the other meridians. When they are counted north of the 49th parallel base line, these 36-square-mile blocks are called townships.
Ranglisten, Germany: A type of military record used in Germany. These lists may contain the enlisted soldier's name, date and place of birth, possibly parents' names, muster date, conscription information, occupation, and any changes of address. The English translation of ranglisten is personnel files.
Rates: A term for local taxes.
Reader's ticket, Britain: A paper indicating that the holder is a responsible researcher. Many archives and libraries in Great Britain require researchers to obtain a reader's ticket before using archive or library collections. Researchers can usually apply for the reader's ticket at the archive or library that they will be using. Reader's tickets are usually issued for a specific period of time, such as a few days or a week. Before going to a British archive or library, researchers should write to the archive or library to find out what is required to obtain the reader's ticket.
Real property: Land and the buildings and resources on it.
Real property tax list: An Ohio tax record that lists the names of people who owned real property, the location of the property, the number of acres, and the types of buildings on the land. People who received land grants from the federal government are not listed because their land was not taxable for the first five
Rear admiral: A navy officer who ranks above a commodore and a coast guard officer who ranks above a captain.
Rebellion of 1837, Canada: An abortive uprising for Canadian independence that occurred in Upper and Lower Canada. The Maritime provinces led a peaceful uprising under moderate leaders such as Joseph Howe of Nova Scotia. In Upper Canada, the more militant William Lyon Mackenzie encouraged outright rebellion. A group of colonists who tried to capture government military supplies were quickly defeated by British regulars and local militia groups. Mackenzie fled to the United States. In Lower Canada an economic depression and friction between English and French residents caused a hasty, unplanned rebellion that was quickly crushed by the military. The Rebellion of 1837 emphasized to the British government, however, the need to replace the old, colonial form of government with a more representative form of government. The rebellion led to the Act of Union in 1840.
Receipt: A document that proves a payment has been made for goods, services, or land.
Receipt, probate: A record certifying that a person received property through probate.
Received: A term used to refer to people who moved into a local church congregation.
Record Management and Archives Office, Philippines: An archive in the Philippines that has many records from the Philippine's Spanish and American periods. Many of this archive's records have been lost. The Family History Library™ has microfilmed the most valuable records from this archive.
Record transcript: A handwritten, typed, or printed copy of a document or set of records.
Record-finding aid: A guide, such as an inventory or register, that helps researchers find the records they need.
Records court, Alabama: A court used in Alabama cities that have more than 1,000 people. Records courts keep records of minor civil and criminal cases occurring in the city. Also known as municipal courts, commissioners' courts, city courts, mayors' courts, and town courts.
Records Selection Table: A chart in a research outline that helps a person identify the type of record he or she should use to meet a specific research goal.
Rectangular survey system: A method for surveying land in which land is divided into townships that are six square miles in size. Each township is divided into 36 sections of 640 acres each. Each section is divided into tracts of various sizes. Land descriptions are based on the location of the lot within the section and township.
Red Books, Maryland: A part of the Maryland State Papers that contains military records dating from 1770 to 1830. The Red Books contain Revolutionary government and committee acts, proclamations, correspondence, and minutes; rosters; names of prisoners in Maryland; and passport transcripts.
Red River Colony, Canada: A colony founded by Lord Selkirk, who settled displaced Highland Scots in what is now Manitoba.
Reference tool: A source of information that contains general information about topics such as languages, places, social customs, and history.
Reformed Church in America: A reformed church that developed from the Dutch Reformed Church. Its doctrine is based on the teachings of Huldrych Zwingli and John Calvin. A basic tenet is that all church life must have a basis in scripture.
Refugee tract: Land grants in Ohio issued to refugees from Canada who came to the Colonies after 4 July 1776 and who aided the cause of the Colonies during the Revolutionary War. Land that was not claimed became Congress land.
Regimental histories, Germany: A type of military record used in Germany. These histories contain information about the actions of the unit, including soldiers who received medals or died in battle and pictures of the soldiers.
Regional archive, Denmark: One of four archives in Denmark. Each county deposits its records in its regional archive when the records are 100 years old. Records of genealogical value include church records of births, marriages, and deaths; census records; and land records.
Regional archive, Norway: One of seven archives that cover different regions in Norway. These archives have records pertaining to the area they cover, including church records of births, marriages, and deaths; land records; and court records.
Regional archive, Scotland: An archive that collects records from a region in Scotland.
Regional branch of the National Archives: A division of the National Archives that collects records of federal government offices and courts within the area it serves.
Regional government, Canada: A governing body that has jurisdiction over several townships, towns, and counties in Canada.
Regional record: A record kept at the regional level. A region may include a part of a country, an entire country, or several countries.
Register: A book-type record. Church registers, for example, contain records of baptisms or christenings, marriages, burials, or deaths. The term register can also refer to the person authorized to keep official records. Libraries and archives sometimes describe their holdings in registers.
Register of Citizenship: A list of aliens who have become citizens.
Register of Deeds, Scotland: A type of land record in Scotland. It records all legal, written agreements that need to be preserved. The Register of Deeds includes land transactions, marriage contracts, contracts of partnership, contracts of sale, bonds, and so forth.
Register of Mesne Conveyance: A governmental office in Charleston, South Carolina, that houses land records, such as deeds, releases, bonds, and mortgages, that were recorded for all counties in South Carolina.
Register of probates: A book in which probate actions (the dividing of a deceased individual’s belongings among the heirs and paying the expenses and debts) are recorded.
Register of transients: A police record of people in a city who are not living there permanently. These registers were common in Germany and other European countries.
Register, military: A list of officers in the military.
Register, probate: A court's order book that contains petitions and grants of probates and administrators bonds.
Registered will: An official copy of a will made by a court clerk. Registered wills may have been recorded in an official probate court book.
Registers of Vital Statistics, Norway: Community records kept in Norway after 1915. They contain information about all persons in the community and the dates when they moved into or out of the area. They also contain information regarding taxes, voter registration, and other official business. These registers are not generally available to the public. Before 1946 the government funded the keeping of these records, but all information was submitted voluntarily. Since 1946 registration has been mandatory. In Norwegian these registers are called folkeregistre.
Registrar General, Great Britain: The title given to the person who is in charge of registering births, marriages, and deaths in England and Wales, Ireland, and Scotland.
Registrar's office: A local governmental office where civil registration records are kept.
Registration district: A division of a county with a government office that keeps birth, marriage, and death records for that area.
Registre des actes de mariage: The French term for a marriage register, a bound book in which marriages were recorded.
Registres parossiaux: The French term for church records, which are an excellent source of information about people from France and Québec.
Registry of Deeds: An agency, located in Portsmouth, New Jersey, that recorded deeds in the colony of New Hampshire before 1772.
Registry of Jewish Research: An alphabetical list of genealogists and the Jewish families they are researching. This list is maintained by the Jewish Genealogical Society.
Registry of Probate, New Hampshire: A record-keeping agency of New Hampshire that recorded probate records until the year 1771, when the probate courts were created.
Relationship to Head, 1881 British Census: A column on the 1881 British Census that indicates how a person was related to the head of the household.
Relative: An individual who is connected to another individual by blood, marriage, or legal adoption.
Relief Church, Scotland: A church formed in 1761 when a group of people broke away from the Church of Scotland. The Relief Church opposed the practice of patronage in which wealthy landowners chose local ministers. In 1847 the Relief Church combined with the Secession Church to form the United Presbyterian Church.
Religion: The service and worship of a deity, deities, nature, ancestors, or other entities. Religion can also refer to any belief or set of beliefs that is held to with intensity and faith.
Religious trend: Religious beliefs and practices popular during a particular period of time and in a particular location.
Removal record, church records: A record created when an individual was dismissed from a church or other organization.
Removal record, England: A document authorizing a constable to transport a family back to their parish of settlement.
Removal record, general: A record created when poor people were forced to leave a place to which they had moved and return to the place they came from.
Removed: A term used to refer to people who moved away from a local church congregation.
Rent roll: A list used by proprietors to collect the annual rent from the tenants who rented their land. Also called quitrent.
Report and Registry: A requirement for United States citizenship between 1798 and 1828. New immigrants were required to appear before a local court and register their arrival in the United States. This was recorded in the court minutes.
Repository: An archive, parish, or other institution that houses documents or records.
Republic census: A census taken of a republic, such as the Republic of Texas.
Republic of Hawaii: A government established in Hawaii in 1894 before it became a state. In 1891 Liliuokalani became queen. She tried to establish total control and remove American influence from Hawaii. In 1893 a group of influential Americans led a revolution and removed the queen from office. The leaders of the revolution established the Republic of Hawaii, which lasted until 1898, when the United States annexed Hawaii. All Republic laws, except those that conflicted with the United States Constitution, stayed in place until 1900.
Republic of Ireland: A country that formed in 1948 when John A. Costello became the prime minister, cut all ties with Great Britain, and declared southern Ireland (formerly called the Irish Free State) to be an independent republic.
Republic of Texas: An independent country that comprised present-day Texas and existed from 1836 to 1845. The republic was formed when Texas won its independence from Mexico. Most Texans wanted to join the United States, but they met with opposition from European governments, who feared that the United States would gain control of the Southwest, and from the Northern states, who did not want another pro-slavery state in the Union. Texas joined the United States in 1845.
Request for Copies: A form used to request copies of records from the Family History Library™.
Requinterón: A term used in Peruvian Catholic Church registers to describe a person whose ancestry is African and Caucasian. Racial classifications were often based on physical appearance or social status; therefore, they were not always accurate.
Research: The process of finding information about a particular topic.
Research interest: A way that people can indicate that they wish to coordinate research about an individual listed in Ancestral File™. When a person registers a research interest, his or her name and address appear on the Interested Researcher List in Ancestral File.
Research Methodology Section, PERiodical Source Index: A section in the PERiodical Source Index (PERSI) that indexes articles that contain strategies for finding certain types of information or instructions on how to use a specific record type. Most of the articles in this section are under the "Other" heading within the index.
Research outline: A type of publication prepared by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that describes the records and strategies that can be used to pursue family history research in a specific geographic location or particular type of record.
Research sequence: The order in which one searches different types of records.
Research Strategy, Canada: A section in the research outlines for Canadian provinces that lists what types of records are most valuable for that province and the most effective order in which to search the various record types.
Reservation, Native American: Land that the United States government has set aside and designated for one or more tribes of Native Americans. The tribe retains the title to the land and exercises legal and governmental control over it.
Reserved land: Public land set aside for a specific purpose, such as for use as military bounty or a national park or monument.
Residence: The place where an individual lives.
Resource file: A file of computerized family history information created by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Military Index and Social Security Death Index are examples of resource files.
Resource guide: A type of publication written by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that describes how to use a particular source of family history information.
Retour, Scotland: The act of a jury giving their verdict. Also called return.
Retrospective Index: One of the two indexes that comprise the PERiodical Source Index (PERSI). This is a subject index to articles that appeared in genealogical periodicals published from 1847 to 1985. The 1847–1985 Index is on microfiche at the Family History Library™ (FHL fiche 6016863). Also called the 1847–1985 Index.
Return, Scotland: The act of a jury giving their verdict. Also called retour.
Reverted lottery land: Land that was returned to the state when the lottery receiver did not claim it.
Review list, Latin America: A type of military record used in Latin America. The Spanish term is lista de revista.
Revolutionary War (1775-1783): The war in which the thirteen American colonies won their independence from Great Britain. The war began when colonists resisted British taxation without representation. The first battle, on 19 April 1775, was at Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts. That June, George Washington was named commander in chief of the Continental Army. On 4 July 1776 Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, which declared the colonists' freedom from British rule. France signed an alliance with the colonists in 1778; Spain declared war on Britain in 1779. Britain recognized United States independence by signing the Treaty of Paris on 3 September 1783.
Revolutionary warrant: A certificate authorizing a veteran of the Revolutionary War to receive bounty land.
Rhode Island Historical Society Collection: The largest collection of manuscript genealogical material about Rhode Island families.
Riding, Canada: A Canadian voting precinct or election district; the area represented by a member of a legislature.
Riksarkivet, Sweden: The national archive of Sweden. It collects records relating to Swedish history, culture, and people.
A German title of nobility equivalent to a British knight.
Rivest Marriage Index, Canada: An index to over 230,000 Catholic marriages that occurred between 1670 and 1972 in 13 counties northwest and northeast of Montréal. It is organized alphabetically by the bride's maiden surname. This index includes Joiliette Prothonotarial District, Saint-Jérome Prothonotarial District, Mont-Laurien Prothonotarial District, Sorel Prothonotarial District, St. Roch-de-l'Achigan Parish, and St. Roch-sur-Richelieu Parish. This collection's formal title is Index to Marriages of Québec and Adjacent Areas 1670–1964.
A bound collection of maps that show the roads in an area.
Road return: A road survey. Road returns give the names of the property owners whose land was appropriated for a road.
Roman Catholic Church: The largest Christian church in the world. The Catholic Church has a hierarchy of clergy which is headed by the pope in Rome. Their doctrines include clerical celibacy, original sin, and transubstantiation. The liturgy is centered on mass and the veneration of the Virgin Mary and saints. The Catholic Church was the official state church of European countries for many centuries until the Protestant Reformation, when many countries chose other state religions. In those countries, Catholics were often persecuted.
Roman law: A civil code based on the laws and government used in ancient Rome. The Code Napoléon (1804) is the best-known example.
Roster: A roll or list of military or other personnel. It usually gives the person's rank or role.
Royal burgh, Scotland: A city or town in Scotland that was established by a royal charter. Originally, only royal burghs could send representatives to parliament.
Royal colony: A colony that was governed under the direction of the King of England, who appointed a governor over the colony and provided instructions on how the governor was to exercise his authority. All undisposed land was owned by the king, but the governor had the authority to dispose of it through the grant process.
Royal Irish Constabulary: The national police force in Ireland from 1816 to 1922.
Royal Marines, British: A branch of the British armed forces that operates landing craft and helicopters and performs amphibious operations (land and sea). The Royal Marines are part of the Royal Navy.
Royalty: The status of being a king or queen or directly related (either by blood or marriage) to a king or queen.
Royden Woschward Vosburgh Collection: A collection of church records from the Dutch Reformed, Lutheran, some Presbyterian, Episcopal, Congregational, and German Reformed Churches in the Hudson and Mohawk Valleys. These records were transcribed between 1913 and 1921. Also listed as New York Church Records: Vosburgh Collection.
Rullor, Sweden: A type of record in Sweden that lists men who lived in the Soldier's Home at Vadstena (Vadstena Krigsmanshus).
Rural deanery, Church of England: An ecclesiastical division of the Church of England. Several parishes are organized into a rural deanery. Several rural deaneries comprise an archdeaconry.
Rural municipality, Canada: A governing body in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The rural municipalities are not counties; they are rather considered local governments, like cities. Manitoba and Saskatchewan do not have mid-level governments comparable to counties. A rural municipality's boundaries may include cities and villages with their own separate governments.
Russian Empire consular records: Records kept between 1901 and 1922 by consular officials of the Russian Empire who were stationed in Canada and the United States. These records deal with former residents of the empire who sought the aid of the consulate. These records are especially helpful in documenting Jewish immigrants.