Abbreviations &Acronyms for Genealogy

Vicki’s note – a website from   See also the link to “Glossary of Geni Terms.”   The complete list of abbreviations and acronyms is in the link below, as it is too long for the BLOG.  Look for these links and more in the banner at the top of the BLOG “Genealogy Links and Electronic Helps”.


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Abbreviations & Acronyms for Genealogy – The Accepted

Related Projects   Glossary of Geni Terms


This will be a listing of the ACCEPTED – genealogical abbreviations and Acronyms – found from various sites – Rootsweb/, (which I think is now owned by – if you find another list – send me the link and i will check, verify, combine and add any additional items to the list.

Also abbreviations used on census records – since they are generally and most generally used or copied over itnto a genealogy database. As they seem to become accepted usage in genealogy.

The programs of PAF (by the LDS), ancestors (Evertons), Family tree, Legacy 7.5 are the standard’s of Genealogical data entry – their abbreviations are the “accepted standard” so to speak.

I was taught IF IN DOUBT – DO NOT abbreviate – or if you feel that the abbreviation may be taken out of context or misconstrued – – in using/coping sourcing – do not change abbreviations to suite yourself. copy it VERBATIM and changing no spellings and it you fell you just must change the information any changes you make should be placed within […] it indicate the changes made to the original entry.

Abbreviations for countries – RootsWeb, up-to-date country code standard. ISO 3166 is the commonly accepted International Standard this shows both the OLD two letter code ad the new ISO 3166 which is 3 letters.

Abbreviations: Country and Regional Locations – RootsWeb

At the end I will list the books also that were referenced –

Sources for further reading and reference.

Concise Genealogical Dictionary, by Maurine & Glen Harris

1900 Federal Population Census, by the National Archives Trust Fund Board.

Abbreviations and Acronyms: A Guide for Family Historians A book by by Kip Sperry.

Colonial American English: A Glossary by Richard M. Lederer.

The Dictionary of Genealogy by Terrick H. Fitzhugh. An outstanding reference explaining terms and concepts used in UK genealogy.

Bouvier Law Dictionary A Law Dictionary Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States of America and of the Several States of the American Union, by John Bouvier, Revised Sixth Edition, 1856.

  • Project Photo Credit: alleyrose18


7 Important Clues From the 1880 U.S. Census

Vicki’s note – article by Kate – Legacy Tree Genealogists.

7 Important Clues From the 1880 U.S. Census


Census reports, when available, are one of the backbones of genealogical research. They help us trace family members back and forth in time and provide a great deal of biographical information about each person, all in a neatly arranged table format. It is easy to focus on those all-important columns which provide the key facts: name, age, occupation, marital status, place of birth.

The 1880 U.S. Census is well-known for being the first census to (finally!) report the relationship of each individual to the head of the household. It was also the first to specify the place of birth not only of the individual being enumerated, but also the place of birth of his or her parents. Genealogists love the 1880 U.S. Census for providing those much-needed clues.

But hidden in plain sight, in all of those other columns that often only contain a tick-mark, is additional information which can provide a great deal of information about the lives of our ancestors. Not all of them are always used, but when they are, they offer a bonanza of detail and a deeper glimpse into the lives of these individuals. Here are seven places you should always check in the 1880 U.S. Census and why!

#1 – The two columns before Column 1

We tend to give scant notice to the first two columns of the census. We know that they track the number of the dwelling and the number of the family, noting how many families live in a building, such as an apartment or tenement house. But beginning in 1880, there were two additional columns added to the census before Column 1. Designed for city use, these note the street name in the first column, and the house number in the second column. With this information we can pinpoint the exact address at which our ancestors lived. In the example below we can see that the Samuel Gracey family lived at 85 Lexington Street in Boston and their neighbors, at 89 Lexington Street, were the Howland Otis family.


#2 – Column 7

This column isn’t often used, but if your ancestor was born during the census year (June 1879 through May 1880) the month of his or her birth should be noted in this column. This makes finding a birth or baptismal record a lot easier.

#3 – Column 12

If your ancestors were married during the census year the month in which their wedding took place should be noted in this column. As with the birth designation, this can help narrow your searches for marriage records considerably.

#4 – Column 14

This column isn’t completed for everyone (mostly adult males) and when it is, there are just small numbers written there. Those numbers indicate the number of months in which that individual was unemployed during the previous year. This provides a picture of the financial situation of the family, and sometimes helps to explain why the children were working.

#5 – Column 15

Every time I see something written in this column, I get excited. You just never know what you will see there. This column asks if the individual was sick or temporarily disabled on the day that the enumerator arrived. If so, the enumerator was to specify the illness or reason for the disability.

In the example below, it appears that Margaret and Ann were suffering from bilious fever when the enumerator showed up at their house.


#2 – Column 7

This column isn’t often used, but if your ancestor was born during the census year (June 1879 through May 1880) the month of his or her birth should be noted in this column. This makes finding a birth or baptismal record a lot easier.

#3 – Column 12

If your ancestors were married during the census year the month in which their wedding took place should be noted in this column. As with the birth designation, this can help narrow your searches for marriage records considerably.

#4 – Column 14

This column isn’t completed for everyone (mostly adult males) and when it is, there are just small numbers written there. Those numbers indicate the number of months in which that individual was unemployed during the previous year. This provides a picture of the financial situation of the family, and sometimes helps to explain why the children were working.

#5 – Column 15

Every time I see something written in this column, I get excited. You just never know what you will see there. This column asks if the individual was sick or temporarily disabled on the day that the enumerator arrived. If so, the enumerator was to specify the illness or reason for the disability.

In the example below, it appears that Margaret and Ann were suffering from bilious fever when the enumerator showed up at their house.

Kate – Legacy Tree Genealogists Researcher

With a Master’s degree in history, Kate loves to help clients really see into the lives of their ancestors. She is a gifted writer and has a great breadth of experience that helps her gather treasured details about a person’s heritage. Some of Kate’s favorite things to research are Native American genealogy and Civil War ancestors.

The Basics of Czech Research

Vicki’s note – very helpful article from Legacy Tree Genealogists.  My children’s paternal grandmother is Bohemian.  She always proudly said that they were “Bohunks”.  I have not researched that Central Europe part of my children’s ancestry yet.  The tools in this article will help when I do.       On most of the websites – there is an option to translate it to English .

  The Basics of Czech Research

The first challenge in beginning Czech research is figuring out that your ancestors actually came from what is now the Czech Republic.

The area now known as the Czech Republic was historically two different lands (Bohemia and Moravia), which later became provinces under the same names as part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and then changed hands several more times in the 20th century. So, your ancestor might have been recorded as a citizen of Austria, Austro-Hungary, Czechoslovakia, or even the Soviet Union, depending on the time period, while at the same time considering themselves Bohemian, Moravian, Silesian, Czech, or German.

Historically, the western half of what is now the Czech Republic was the kingdom of Bohemia (Böhmen in German), and the eastern side, bordering Slovakia, was Moravia (Mahren), with a little piece of Silesia (Schlesien). In fact, the terms Bohemia and Moravia are still used today by modern Czechs (Čechy and Morava) and the two regions differ slightly in culture, vocabulary and dialect.

As with other European research, almost all records useful for genealogy were kept at the town or parish level, so you need to know which specific town or village your ancestor came from before beginning research outside of the United States (or any other country to which they immigrated). Some sources that can give a specific village name include any family papers that have been passed down, naturalization records, passport applications, passenger lists, and church records (to name a few). General trends in immigration or surname distribution can also be helpful in narrowing down the region if it proves to be tricky or if it is a common village name.[1]

Czechs that immigrated to the United States came from both Bohemia and Moravia, but they tended to settle in different areas of the country with their neighbors. For example, many of the Czechs that came through the port of Galveston and settled in Texas were from Moravia or Eastern Bohemia, and it was common for a whole village to move together. The farmers that settled in the Midwest, such as Wisconsin and Iowa, tended to be from Bohemia, since it had a very similar climate to their homeland and they could continue practicing the same forms of agriculture to which they had long been accustomed.[2]

Once the hometown has been identified, the next step is to reference it in a gazetteer to determine the local parish and therefore, what church your ancestors would have attended. An excellent gazetteer available online is The entries on GenTeam not only detail which parish the town was part of, but also include information on when church records began, the town’s name in both German and Czech, and a link to the archive website where the records are housed for that specific parish. The best news for researchers is that all of the Czech regional archives are working to digitize their church records, and most parishes are complete!

The majority of the Czech population was historically Catholic because it was the state church under the Austro-Hungarian Empire, but other minority religions kept records too, including the Lutherans, Reformed (Calvinist), and churches unique to Czech history, like the Hussites or the Moravian Brethren. Most church records are held at the regional level, but there are some, like the Jewish records for Bohemia, that are housed in the National Archives (Narodní Archiv) in Prague. (The Jewish records for Moravia are in the regional archives.) Other types of records, such as cadastral maps (government land maps), school records, and censuses are sometimes available through the regional archive websites as well, though some are at the district level and only available onsite. There are seven regional archives as shown in this map, and all have different websites with access to the digitized images:

Map showing the seven regional Czech archives. Map courtesy of the Czech Society for Genealogy and Heraldry in Prague,



Vicki’s note – the Czech regions names and links to their archives are hard to read                              on the map, so I am adding them larger here (and on the Genealogy Links page.                               There was also no direct link to each – I made the links.  The numbers refer to the map above.   

  1. Czech Region – Archiv hlavního města Prahy,
  2.  Czech Region -SOA v Praze,
  3. Czech Region -SOA v Zámrsku,
  4. Czech Region -SOA v Opavě ,
  5. Czech Region –Moravský zemský archiv v Brně,
  6. Czech Region -SOA v Třeboňi,
  7. Czech Region -SOA v Plzni,
  8. Czech Region -SOA v Litoměřicích,



While some of the regional archive websites are available in German or English in addition to Czech, many others are not. Still, these can often be navigated without too much trouble by using the translate feature on Google Chrome into your native tongue of choice.

Once you have found your family’s parish and located the records on the archive website, the next step is being able to read them! Parish registers were recorded in three different languages, depending on the time period and the individual priest: Latin, German, or Czech. Some excellent resources for interpreting the old handwriting and learning vocabulary in the various languages can be found on the FamilySearch wiki, or Brigham Young University’s Script Tutorials paleography website (for German only at this time). And don’t forget to try Google Translate!

Czech parish registers themselves are a fantastic resource for genealogical information. Unlike some church records, where the christening records give the bare minimum of information, many Czech records give the child’s name, birthdate, christening date, parents’ and grandparents’ names (including maiden names of the women), fathers’ and grandfathers’ occupations, and the house number and village where each member of the family lived. House numbers are particularly helpful in Czech research to differentiate between families because there are often multiple individuals in the parish with the same names.

There are countless other helpful websites for Czech research, like this database of obsolete Czech towns or this Polish name translator that lists given names in several different European languages including English, Czech, Latin and German. Don’t be too intimidated by the language barrier—Czech records are a treasure trove for genealogists and you don’t have to speak the language fluently to learn to read the words “narozeny, oddany, zemřely” (births, marriages, deaths) or 17 května 1887 (17 May 1887).

Do you have Czech ancestry? Would you like help discovering your roots? Contact Legacy Tree Genealogists today for a free consultation.


[1] The website uses census data from the 20th century to modern day to identify percentages of surnames in different regions and can be very useful in narrowing down likely regions.

[2] “Introduction to your Czech Roots,” Amy Wach, J.D., presentation at the National Genealogical Conference 2015, syllabus material in possession of the author.

Legacy Tree Genealogists
The team at Legacy Tree Genealogists has been helping clients worldwide discover their roots for over a decade. We’re based near the world’s largest Family History Library and connected with genealogists and archives around the world, and we love doing what we do! We also love sharing our genealogy tips with our readers.


Could You Have Royalty Hiding in Your Family Tree?

Vicki’s note – here is a fun article from Family History Daily:

Could You Have Royalty Hiding in Your Family Tree? Check This List of Surnames:

Do you suspect that some of your ancestors may have royal roots? If you can find one of the surnames from your family tree on the list below, you just might be right!

Many families have stories of royalty in the family tree — and while many of these turn out to be just that, stories — it sure can be fun to investigate. Even if you don’t have tales of Kings and Queens in your past, you might be surprised to discover that having noble connections is actually somewhat common.

Find Your Family Lineage

1) Simply enter your name. 2) View your family history now!

One of the most obvious places to begin looking is at your early American ancestors (if you have them). A good deal of these families had aristocratic connections and there are a plethora of books that document these lineages.

Americans of Royal Descent by Charles H. Browning, published in 1891, was one of the first. It includes hundreds of surnames and documents the royal family trees of these individuals in detail. We’ve taken the time to list some of the surnames from his below. If you don’t see a surname from your tree on this list you can access this book for free online via Hathitrust, where you will find thousands other family names with documented royal ancestries. Look at the index in the back of the book for the full list of names.

A rather interesting article on Browning, his book and related texts can be found here.

This book is certainly not the only (or most updated) source of information on the aristocratic lineages of early Americans. If your surnames are not mentioned in our list or in the book, don’t fear. There are many other books and resources to explore. (we’ve included a list below).

While it is fun to read through the following surnames, a good deal of additional research will be needed on your part if you do find a matching name. As with any aspect of your family history research, all information should be verified and properly sourced before it can be considered a correct addition to your family tree.

Don’t rely on the family trees you find published online, or a single book or resource, when researching royal connections. Many books and resources were published for vanity purposes only and contain very questionable information. Other books contain inaccuracies or are outdated. If you think you have found a solid connection to royalty you will likely be able to discover well-established and documented trees online. Connect with those who manage these trees and their related societies for the most accurate information available.

Here are 100 Surnames With Known Royal Connections

  1. Abel
  2. Alden
  3. Appleton
  4. Ayer
  5. Barber
  6. Barclay
  7. Beverly
  8. Binney
  9. Brooke
  10. Brown
  11. Campbell
  12. Carroll
  13. Chauncey
  14. Coleman
  15. Cooper
  16. Davis
  17. Dickinson
  18. Darling
  19. Douglas
  20. Dunbar
  21. Edwards
  22. Ellery
  23. Ellis
  24. Emmett
  25. Evans
  26. Farley
  27. Fleming
  28. Forest
  29. French
  30. Gardiner
  31. George
  32. Gerard
  33. Gerry
  34. Gibson
  35. Graham
  36. Hamilton
  37. Haynes
  38. Herbert
  39. Hill
  40. Howard
  41. Hume
  42. Irving
  43. Jackson
  44. James
  45. Jenkins
  46. Johnson
  47. Kane
  48. Kennedy
  49. Ker
  50. Key
  51. King
  52. Langdon
  53. Lawrence
  54. Lee
  55. Leonard
  56. Livingston
  57. Lloyd
  58. McCall
  59. McDonald
  60. Malcalester
  61. Montgomery
  62. Morris
  63. Morton
  64. Nelson
  65. Nicholson
  66. Nixon
  67. Norris
  68. O’Carroll
  69. Ogle
  70. Opie
  71. Parsons
  72. Patterson
  73. Peabody
  74. Pomeroy
  75. Porter
  76. Pratt
  77. Preston
  78. Quay
  79. Randolph
  80. Read
  81. Reeve
  82. Robinson
  83. Rogers
  84. Sanford
  85. Shaw
  86. Smith
  87. Sowden
  88. Stanley
  89. Taylor
  90. Townsend
  91. Turner
  92. Tyler
  93. Valentine
  94. Varson
  95. Walker
  96. Watts
  97. White
  98. Whiting
  99. Williams
  100. Young

Of course, having one of these surnames in your tree does not necessarily mean you have royal ancestry – these names relate to specific individuals and not to the surname in general. Look these surnames up in the index of Browning’s book for more information on the person or persons who match these entries.

On the flip side, NOT finding your ancestors’ surnames doesn’t mean that you don’t have royal ancestry. This list is just fun sample of surnames that have known noble roots. Check out Americans of Royal Descent by Charles H. Browning for his full list of early American names and explore the resources mentioned below for more information on searching for royal roots in general.

Here are some places to start when researching royal connections:

Publicity Photographs taken of the Genealogy CLUB – August 31, 2016

Publicity Photographs taken of the

Stateline Genealogy Club @ Beloit Public Library

August 31, 2016.


Thanks to  Shelly Evans, Shirley Bauer, Diane Gemignani, Kim Caswell, Tom Hess and daughter, who were able to make an extra trip to the Library and join me to be in photographs taken by professional photographer Susan – of Brian Thomas Photography.

You did a great job representing the Library programs and the Stateline Genealogy Club @ Beloit Public Library, while having fun.

In the background of the first photograph are the microfilm cabinets that hold microfilms of Beloit Daily News, and other microfilms.

The painting, also in the background of the first photograph,  is “The Birth Of Beloit” by Frank Boggs (1915 – 2009).  It depicts French Canadian Indian Trader Tebo negotiating the sale of “his” property to pioneer Caleb Bloggett.  He bought the “Three looks” at a bargain, as it was enough land to start a city.


Vicki’s Note – Here is a history lesson on Tebo (and a Beloit Wisconsin connection to Stephen Mack of Macktown/Rockton Illinois)  from  :

” Joseph Tebo

By Don Sonneson September 15, 2013 at 11:44:32

Joseph Thiebault, AKA Tebo, was a French Canadian trapper who worked for the America Fur Trading Co. He trapped the area of the Rock River from Madison Wisconsin South. He had a cabin at the junction of Turtle Creek (Beloit WI) and Rock River. He had 2 Indian wives and I find reference to 5 children. Joseph Jr., Francois, Wm Henry, Therese who died in infancy and Baptiste. The wifes names appear to be Lisette and Scho-coi-we-kah. Baptiste was born to Thiebault’s wife who was half Winnebago and half French. He disappeared from his cabin @ Tebo Point on the lake Koshkonong sometime after Jan. 1838. In 1853 the children were in Cass County Territory of Minnesota. Thiebault has many spellings in documents as Tebo couldn’t spell it. Thibault, Thibault, Thebeau, Thebolt. Stephen Mack referred to Thiebault as being a dissipated man. (He drank)”

And another from Wisconsin Historical Society

“Historical Essay

Beloit, Wisconsin – A Brief History

“…French trapper Joseph Thiebault came to the area to trade with the Ho-Chunk in the 1820s, the first white man to settle in the area. New Englander Caleb Blodgett purchased Thiebault’s land in 1836 and is credited as Beloit’s first permanent settler.

The New England Immigrating Company, led by Dr. Horace White, arrived in 1836 and began buying land from Blodgett. Soon friends and family were moving to the area. Churches and schools were planned, mills were running using water from the Rock River, businesses took root in the village, and the cornerstone of Beloit College was laid in 1846…”

Photo 1.  Our nice Genealogy/Local History Area at the Beloit Public Library.



Note the 2012 wall map of the Rock County townships and towns, (Milwaukee Map Service) in the background of Photograph 2, and all of the Beloit City Directories and Beloiter High School Yearbooks in the foreground.  Also note the 4 small study rooms – for up to 3 people to use for 2 hours.

We instantly started exploring, and sharing while we waited for the photographer to be ready.


Photo 2. – The photographer said, “Don’t move.  It’s perfect.




Photos 3 & 4 –  One is never too young to start seeking family history and learning genealogy; starting with how to use our microfilm readers.   We also have a new computer microfilm reader. 🙂

gen-club-4 gen-club-5

Tri-County Family History Genealogy Fair – Saturday, September 17

Vicki’s Note – here is a free, nearby genealogy educational opportunity that I just found out about.  I have been to their events before, but have other plans already, or I would go:


                 Family History

                                         Genealogy Fair
Saturday, September 17, 2016

8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Gateway Technical College

Madrigrano Auditorium

3320-30th Avenue

Kenosha, WI 53140


Driving Directions
Kathy Nuernberg

(262) 455-5296
Kenosha County Genealogy Society (KCGS), and co-hosts Burlington (Racine County) and Walworth County Genealogical Societies invite you to our yearly Family History Genealogy Fair.

This is a FREE community event with FREE parking.

Other area libraries, historical and genealogical societies will also be represented, including Wisconsin Veterans Museum, Chicago Newberry Library, Union Grove History Seekers, Lake Geneva’s Black Pointe Estate and Gardens, UofW-Parkside Archives and Research Center, Kenosha Public Library, Racine Public Library and Daughters of the American Revolution to name but a few.

We will also provide 1-on-1 sessions with seasoned genealogists to assist beginning genealogists as well as those who have hit a “brick wall” in their research.

Since we do not charge admission to this event, we offer wonderful door prizes and raffle items throughout the day as a means of covering our costs.


Research at Appomattox Court House: genealogy through the lens of the Civil War – Daniel Hubbard, PhD

“My Cousin, the Gangster” – Mike Karsen
Explaining Italian Civil and Church Records – Daniel Niemiec
“Polish Immigration: When, Where, Why and How? – Steve Szabados

“Life Writing: the recording of ourselves, our memories, and experiences, whether one’s own or another’s” – Judy Rockwell
Register Now! 

DNA and the Genealogical Proof Standard – a Program from CAGGNI

Vicki’s Note – This is a program sponsored by  the (CAGGNI) Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois:


(Note – from now on, I will be using this sideways “” sign in Posts to separate my comments from sections with quotes that I add from other sites or sources.  Thanks Pat Scott for the idea to make my Posts clearer, and more readable.  I  don’t usually correct any grammar errors  on material from other sources.)






DNA and the Genealogical Proof Standard

When  – Saturday,  September 17 2016
10:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Location     Schaumburg Public Library, Illinois

DNA and the Genealogical Proof Standard
presented by Karen Stanbary

DNA test results provide evidence to confirm and advance your genealogical research.  Skillful correlation of the DNA data with traditional documentary research can break through bricks walls.  We will discuss the specific use of DNA evidence within the framework of the Genealogical Proof Standard.

Karen Stanbary is a professional genealogist with expertise in the use of DNA test results to solve genealogical problems.


Special three hour Free Genealogy Class this Friday at the Library

Stateline Genealogy Club Program – THIS Friday – September 9, 2016

“Genealogy (Family History) – Introduction for Beginners,

and New Techniques for Experienced Genealogists”,

taught by Deborah Gosa.

Registration NOT needed.

NOTE Special Time 9:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Be there when we open at 9:30 a.m.

We meet in the Beloit Public Library Meeting Room,

Then go to the Library Computer Classroom to be trained on specific websites, etc.

There will only be 12 computers in the Classroom,

so BRING YOUR OWN LAPTOP to work on, if you have one.


Memory Treasures found in Newsletters

Memory Treasures found in Newsletters

by Vicki Ruthe Hahn


We can find clues to our ancestors in the oddest places.


My Mom:

Daisy Ice cream


My Dad:

Gene Ruthe’s favorite song – “What a Wonderful World, by Louis Armstrong.”

(“…They’re really saying, I love you.”)

The New York Public Library Digital Collections

The New York Public Library Digital Collections

New York Library Digital photos



The New York Public Library’s digital collection continues to grow as they digitize their huge collections of photographs, manuscripts, maps.  The latest to be added are photographs of immigrants who came to Ellis Island.


Read more on The History Blog:

One striking group of photographs that has recently been uploaded is the William Williams collection. Williams was Commissioner of Immigration for the Port of New York at Ellis Island from 1902-5 and 1909-13, some of the busiest years of immigration to the United States. He left his papers, including the pictures he collected from his days at Ellis Island, to the New York Public Library and now the photographs are online. There are an eminently browsable 100 or so pictures and article clippings in the Williams collection