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This glossary was initially developed as a result of numerous questions on the Combs Mailing List, primarily in respect to the meanings of unfamiliar words (both English and Latin) found in early records. The answers to the questions were not only helpful in terms of understanding the documents themselves, but also often led researchers down new and previously unexplored paths (See, for example, The Drapers Company of London, Its History, Function and Usefulness to Genealogical Researchers). The collection of words and phrases has grown ever since, and this glossary is the result of both Mailing List contributions and added entries collected by the Editor (See a partial list of Sources below).

In addition to words and phrases, early records also abound in abbreviations, most of which are in the Glossary proper. Additional abbreviations include alphanumeric designations of months of the year:

* See Calendars re O.S. (Old Style) and N.S. (New Style) dating.

Many abbreviations employ the use of superscript to designate the omission of letters in a word. For example:

Other designated symbols of abbreviations include the use of - or ~ over a letter to indicate the actual word includes more than one of that letter.

Also frequently used is the letter p followed by a colon (:) to indicate per. One frequently seen example is p:mission (permission).

The Combs &c. Glossary is dynamic: ever-growing, ever changing. Also, still to come is a form permitting addition of further words and phrases by visitors to our site. In the meantime, please email corrections to the Combs Webmaster

The Combs &c. Research Group

Sources*

* Incomplete listing due to the facts that (a) this report is research in progress; and (b) numerous other sources are electronically linked from specific words and phrases. Also note: Combs &c. does not warrant the accuracy of the definitions in this glossary, a number of which have been provided more by "example" than definition.

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