When you’re knee-dip in genealogy resources, you might start to feel just a little overwhelmed by the abundance of legal terms you don’t understand. Because much of the genealogy hunt involves sifting through court and county records, marriage licenses, certificates of birth and death and other official documentation, it’s important you’re familiar with some of the terms you will encounter.
Even if you aren’t familiar with them, you should know how to find the definitions you need as quickly and efficiently as possible. That way, instead of being bogged down by legal terms, you can get on with the important business of starting your search, finding your ancestors, reconnecting with your past and learning who you are.
In this layman’s guide, we’ll give you a crash course in genealogy terms, why they matter, some of the most common words and phrases you’ll encounter, and how to continue researching these terms on your own.
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