Nabb Research Center- Explore the history and culture of the Delmarva Peninsula


at Salisbury University

Preserving the heart and soul of Delmarva

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Map & Directions
Wayne and Power Streets
Salisbury, MD 21804
(410) 543-6312

Visiting Hours
Monday 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.


Genealogical Terms

  • AB NEPOS--a great-great grandson
  • AB NEPTIS--a great-great granddaughter
  • AD QUOD DAMNUM--a writ directing the sheriff to inquire what damages, if any, will result if a specified act be done.
  • AFFIANT--a person making an affidavit, also called a deponent.
  • APPRAISER--one who lists and puts a cash value on property
  • ASSUMPSIT--an express or implied promise to perform or pay something to another for a consideration.
  • BAILIWICK--area over which an officer has authority
  • BEHOOF--use, benefit, or advantage
  • BOUNTY LANDS--lands donated by the government as a bounty for volunteer services.
  • Cl Cur--Clericus Curiae--clerk of the court
  • CORUM--(quorum). The select number of the Justices of the Peace necessary to be present to act as a court.
  • CUM TESTAMENTO ANNEXO--with will annexed when the executor dies not serving and the court authorizes an administrator
  • DE BONIS NON--administration granted on an estate not handled by the one who is qualified
  • DFT--DEFENDANT--party against whom a suit is filed
  • DR DEBETUM--a legal obligation to the court
  • EMINENT DOMAIN--right of the government to take property for public use
  • ET AL--ET ALIUS--ET ALS--ET ALLI--and others
  • ET UX ET UXOR--conveyance by a man to his wife
  • ETC--ET CETERA--and other things
  • FEE--a freehold estate held of a superior lord on a condition of some service.
  • FEE SIMPLE--outright ownership with no restrictions on the transfer of property
  • FEE TAIL--fixed line of descent, canceled in 1776 in Virginia
  • GLEBE--land belonging to a parish church or assigned to a minister as part of his salary.
  • HEREDIMENT--a comprehensive term for any property which may be transmitted by the law of descent.
  • INDENTURE--a deed which originally was made in two parts formed by cutting or tearing a single sheet across the middle in a jagged or indentured line, so that the two parts may be subsequently matched.
  • INTESTATE--without a will or testament of record.
  • IPSO FACTO--a deed with no restrictions
  • ITEM--also, a charge in an account
  • JOINTURE--a settlement upon a woman of an estate or property, in lieu of dower or in consideration of marriage.
  • JUR--abbreviation of juratum meaning sworn, hence that part of an affidavit where the officer certifies that the same was sworn before him, is called the jurat.
  • JUSTICE--an officer of the county court, called a commissioner before 1660
  • LAND WARRANT--a negotiable government certificate entitling its holder to be put in possession of a designated quantity of public land or other appropriation of land by Congress.
  • LEASE AND RELEASE--a species of conveyances in common usage in England, under the statue of uses, which, while consisting of two instruments, was practically but one, and was designated to get around some of the conditions imposed by the statue of uses.
  • LIVERY OF SEISIN--transfer of property with immediate possession by grantee
  • MESSUAGE--a dwelling house with adjacent lands and buildings; a term used in deeds to describe the premises conveyed.
  • MOIETY--one half two joint tenants are said to take by moities.
  • MUNIMENT--the evidences or writings whereby one is enabled to defend the title to property.
  • NUNCUPATIVE WILL--an oral will declared by the testator in his last illness before witnesses and afterward put in writing.
  • PLT PLAINTIFF--party who files a suit.
  • POLL--one qualified to vote; POLLS are voting precincts also.
  • POLL TAX--a tax on individuals and not a property tax.
  • POSTHUMOUS CHILD--a child born after the death of its father.
  • PROCESSIONER--a foreman appointed to direct marking of land lines.
  • PROTHONOTARY--a chief notary or clerk; a register or chief clerk of a court in certain states of the U.S.
  • QUIT CLAIM DEED--a deed conveying the interest of the grantor at the time it is delivered.
  • RELICT--a widow.
  • REPLEVIN--the common law action or writ devised to obtain the specific chattel or thing which the plaintiff claimed was his property.
  • SCIRE FACIAS--and it is ordered that; the name of a common law write requiring the defendant or person against whom it is issued to show cause why the plaintiff should not have the advantage of the record.
  • SEIZIN--the possession of real property as of right, or by reason of a chain of title; formerly a seizin indicated a freehold estate.
  • SIC--in like manner.
  • SINE DIE--without delay, indefinitely.
  • S P--without progeny (without child or children).
  • SS--Supra Scriptum--as written above; also that is to say.
  • SPECIE--coin Bearing government stamp showing its value.
  • SURVEYOR OF HIGHWAY OR ROADS--foreman appointed to direct upkeep of the public roads in a designated area.
  • TAIL--rule fixing descent of property.
  • TENANT BY COURTESY--right of a man to hold property owned by his deceased wife for life when they have children to possess it.
  • TITHABLE--one on whom a head tax is paid, usually males 16 and older.
  • VESTRY--governing body of the church with duties of government in colonial times.

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Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture
East Campus Room 190 | Salisbury, Maryland 21801 | 410.543.6312

Salisbury University