Fun With Genealogy Words

It has been a while since I have learned any new genealogy terms. I love words, and genealogy is a source of a great many unfamiliar words. This is partly because some of the words that you can come across in genealogy research are words that have fallen out of common usage. Think about it. When was the last time that you heard anyone talk about someone being exheres? It still happens, though, people are disinherited every day.

Did you know that back in the day, wives and housewives were not simply referred to as “wife”. They were honored with the title of “goodwife” or “goody”. I think that’s sweet, especially since women often took care of both the home and children, working hard to ensure that the messuage (dwelling house) was not messy. An old term related to women that does not seem to make much sense is the term “grass widow”, which implied an unmarried woman with a child, a discarded mistress, or a divorced or separated woman.

I would be thoroughly unimpressed with impressment, as it is the seizing of people and forcing them to work. My sons, if they were older, would be likewise unimpressed with the idea of placing out, or being assigned to work outside of the home as apprentices or servants to other people with payment going to their parents. Perhaps one day when they are older, if they are expressing displeasure at being asked to do chores I might explain that concept to them so that they can be thankful that placing out does not happen to kids these days.

Are you thinking of hosting a barbecue for your kith and kin? If not, you may want to plan a gathering for your friends and neighbors while there is still some summer left. If you are a grandparent, make sure you plan to spend some time with your liberi (grandchildren) before they get busy with school and school related activities.

Those are some fun new words from the world of genealogy. Have some fun by slipping one into a sentence now and again just for fun.

Photo by cohdra on morguefile.com.

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