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A Couple of Genealogy Terms for You

Every so often, I like to add some new words to my vocabulary. I really enjoy having a big vocabulary because, let’s face it, words are a lot of fun. My son, who is nineteen months old, is adding a new word or two to his vocabulary every day or so. I am so pleased about that because he seems to like words just as much as I do. While these two words won’t be on the tip of his tongue any time soon, if you are into genealogy they just might come in handy for you. At the very least, you may be able to impress or even stump the research librarian on your next trip to the archives.

A holographic will is not written on shiny paper, nor does it have a picture that appears to jump out at you when you look at it from a certain angle. That would be a hologram. A holographic will is a will that is hand written, and has been signed by the person who made it.

Sic is an abbreviation, not what happens when someone is feeling so ill that they cannot even finish writing or typing the word “sick” without, um, having to stop writing or typing. If you see the word sic on a record that you find in your research, it means that the record that you are viewing is a copy that reads exactly as the original. While you may be thinking “Of course the copy should read exactly as the original”, remember that sic is used to indicate that there may have been a mistake in the original document and since the copy reads the same as the original, the mistake has been carefully preserved for your inconvenience. It may be time to take a detour and figure out if there is actually an error in the record and what the error is.

Photo by mconnors on morguefile.com.