Latin for Genealogists

Legal documents and court records are full of Latin terms that need defining. It is important for you to know that when an index lists a name followed by et al, there are other names connected with this document in addition to the name that is indexed; or that et uxor or et ux. means "and wife." The best source for legal terms is a law dictionary. Consult Black's Law Dictionary, whenever you encounter legal terms you do not understand.

Tree Tips

A common phrase may have variant meanings. "Meeting house" could refer to a New England town hall, or it could be a Quaker place of worship. The difference could affect your research.

Lineage Lessons

^ P The term et al is shortened from et alii, a frequently used legal term " meaning "and others." When you encounter it in an index, pursue the full record to determine the names of the additional individuals. Often they are family members. Also seen frequently in an index is et ux., shortened from et uxor, meaning "and wife." An examination of the document will probably disclose her name.

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