[google-site-verification=BUAlvMnZmaWmFqYUikfKRXtYJYxId8l6lrVnALp5aG0] Terms | HALIFAx GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY | Linda Vivian


Agenealogistconcentrates on identifying a family lineage and may then choose to capture their story in a narrative (family history). The account focuses on the family itself, perhaps with a reoccurring theme, using history as context to explain their circumstance and actions. Other people are included only to support the family story. Example:Dowd: An American Journeyby Linda Dowd Vivian is a set of four volumes about eight generations of the Dowd family. Their generational migrations from colonial times to the 21st century is the thread that ties the personal stories together, using history only to provide context. The author is a genealogist/family historian.

Aforensic genealogistresearches deceased people to determine identification and sometimes find living relatives, e.g., to solve a cold case, mystery, mistaken identity, return an heirloom, etc., such as MIAs, victims, imposters, etc. Example:America, Your Roots Are Showingby Megan Smolenyak, a series of stories about her exploits to uncover or unravel identifications or heritage. The author is a forensic genealogist.

Ahistorianfocuses on an era, event, or circumstance, and then uses a person or group (not necessarily related) to support the account. Although it may contain biographical or familial content, the purpose is to present the historical aspect. People’s stories are included to personalize or explain it in an engaging way. Example: Atomic City Girlsby Janet Beard is about the Manhattan Project (creation of the atomic bomb during World War II) using personal stories of eight unrelated women to illustrate the circumstances and environment of a historical happening in the 1940’s. The author is a historian.

Linda Vivian, MEd

Abstract: An abridgment or summary of relevant information in a document. An abstract is a short form of a document, which gives the main points or most important information, and deletes repetitive language. Researchers usually make an abstract (summary) of such documents as wills and land deeds. Many documents contain lengthy and superfluous words and phrases, thus the need to abstract pertinent information such as personal names, relationships, occupations, dates, localities (place names), description of real or personal property, and names of witnesses.

Transcription: A letter for letter, word for word copy. It is an exact copy of an entire records. As much as practical, the documents in this text have been transcribed letter for letter, word for word, thus preserving the writer's handwriting style, abbreviations, punctuation, and spelling (including errors and misspellings). Some people number the lines in their transcription to match the lines in the original document.

Extract: An exact copy, word for word, of a portion of a document, such as an extract of a family from the 1850 U.S. census copied onto a census extract form. It is a quotion or part of a written document as opposed to an abstract or summary.

Facsimile: An exact reproduction of a document, such as a photocopy, digital photo, scan, or ready printer copy (taken from microfilm or microfiche).

Kip Sperry, "Terms," Reading Early American Handwriting (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1998) 27-28

HGS 2013