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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Glossary Title Page

Palatinate
area in Germany known as the Pfalz, Rheinland Pfalz and Bavarian Pfalz from which thousands of families immigrated to colonial America.
paleography
study of handwriting.
parent county
the county from which a new county is formed.
parish
ecclesiastical division or jurisdiction; the site of a church.
passenger lists
passenger lists are lists of the names and information about passengers that arrived on ships into the United States. These lists were submitted to customs collectors at every port by the ship's master. Passenger lists were not officially required by the United States government until 1820. Before that date, the information about each passenger varied widely, from names to number of bags.
patent
a government grant of property in fee simple to public lands; land grant.
paternal line
line of descent traced through the father's ancestry.
patronymics
patronymics is the practice of creating last names from the name of one's father. For example, Robert, John's son, would become Robert Johnson. Robert Johnson's son Neil would become Neil Robertson.
pedigree
a person's ancestry, lineage, family tree.
pedigree chart
a chart showing a person's ancestry.
pension (military)
a benefit paid regularly to a person for military service or a military service related disability.
pensioner
person who receives pension benefits.
p.o.a. (abbreviation)
power of attorney.
poll
used in early tax records denoting a taxable person; person eligible to vote.
posthumous
a child born after the death of the father.
power of attorney
written instrument where on persons, as principal, appoints someone as his or her agent, thereby authorizing that person to perform certain acts on behalf of the principal, such as buying or selling property, settling an estate, representing them in court, etc.
pr. (abbreviation)
proved, probated.
p.r. (abbreviation)
parish register.
preponderance of evidence
evidence of greater weight or more convincing than the opposing evidence; evidence more credible and convincing, more reasonable and probable, and can be circumstantial in nature.
primary evidence
original or first-hand evidence; the best evidence available that must be used before secondary evidence can be introduced as proof.
primary source
primary sources are records that were created at the time of an event. For example, a primary source for a birth date would be a birth certificate. While you can find birth dates on other documents, such as marriage certificates, they would not be primary sources for the birth date, because they were not created at the time of the birth.
primogeniture
insures the right of the eldest son to inherit the entire estate of his parents, to the exclusion of younger sons.
prob. (abbreviation)
probably; probated.
probate
legal process used to determine the validity of a will before the court authorizes distribution of an estate; legal process used to appoint an someone to administer the estate of someone who died without leaving a will.
probate records
probate records are records disposing of a deceased individual's property. They may include an individual's last will and testament, if one was made. The information you can get from probate records varies, but usually includes the name of the deceased, either the deceased's age at the time of death or birth date, property, members of the family, and the last place of residence.
progeniture
a direct ancestor.
public domain
land owned by a government.
Pvt. (abbreviation)
military rank of private


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Glossary Title Page


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