Archaic Terminology for Genealogists

Genealogists read all kinds of old documents, books and records. In the process we must read materials that were written years ago. Many of the words and terms found within the various items are no longer used. There are a number of reasons for this. Words just cease to be used, and they also can change in their meaning. Some terminology isn????????t used because there just isn????????t any need for it any more. Take the term, ??????Funeral Trolley.?????? At one time, the general populous would know what it meant. However, this isn????????t the case today. According to A to Zax, ??????in areas where the streets were too muddy for a hearse to be drive, a trolley car built especially for the occasion was used. It carried the coffin, pall bearers and mourners to the cemetery gate on a spur track where the coffin was placed on a flat car by the pall bearers and taken into the cemetery. After the service the trolley car was reversed and the trip was made back into town.?????? A ??????nugging house?????? was a brothel, while a proavia was a great grandmother (proavus being the great grandfather). An out crier was an auctioneer, while an outener was a foreigner or a non-resident.

A number of sites can be found online where archaic terminology is listed. Following are a couple of my favorites:

If you????????d like a good book on the subject, I recommend A to Zax, by Barbara Jean Evans.


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