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|Glossary of Words and Phrases|
Found in Combs &c. Research Reports
A Combs &c. Research Resource
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Cage, Cager: nickname for Micajah
calendars: All of Europe used the Julian Calendar issued by Julius Caesar until 1582 when Pope Gregory XIII ordered its replacement with what has become known as the Gregorian Calendar (still in use today). Most European countries adopted the Gregorian Calendar, but England refused until 1752, and during the interim period (1582-1752), dates may have been entered, depending on time and place in either New Style (NS) or Old Style (OS). In addition to an eleven day difference in days of the month, under the Julian Calendar, the first day of the year was 25 March, thus 1 Mar 1543, was actually 12 Mar 1544 under the Gregorian Calendar. Because of the resulting confusion, it increasingly became the custom in England and her colonies to list two years for the period between 1 Jan and 25 Mar (Ex: 1 Mar 1543/44). By an English Act of Parliament passed in 1750, the Gregorian (New Style) Calendar finally replaced the Julian (Old Style) Calendar, the day after 2 Sep 1752 was called 14 Sep 1752, and the legal first day of the year became 1 January. See the parish baptism entry of St. Botolph without Aldgate, London, for the rector's explanation of the change in 1752, and see also Albion College's Day of the Week Calendar, which not only provides the day of the week, but can convert dates from Old Style to New Style.
Carrie: nickname for Caroline, Carolyn
caveat emptor: let the buyer beware
cestui que trust: a beneficiary of property held by a trustee in trust
cestui que use: a person whose property was transferred for the benefit of another person.
cestui que vie: a life estate transferred to a person
chain: a measuring device used for land surveys, 60 feet in length.
chain carrier (CC, SCC): also "chain bearer." land surveyor's assistant; handled measuring chain. Note: Generally, there was a legal requirement that chain carriers take an oath as to the honesty of their work; therefore the chain carrier should have been of legal age.
Chapman Codes: British country and county codes (akin to U.S. 2-character state codes). See Index to English Combs &c. Counties
Chas.: abbreviation for Charles (the Latin for which is Carolus).
chattels real: rights derived out of real estate, devolved on personal representatives, not heir
chirurgion: (and var. sp.) surgeon. Example
cholera: acute, infectious disease characterized by diarrhea, vomiting, and cramps; major epidemics in U.S. in 1832, 1849 and 1866. Example
churchwarden church member whose duties are to aid and oversee parish business. Example
Cinda: nickname for Lucinda
Cintha, Citha, Cynthia, Sitha, Syntha: nickname for Seth (female)
clark, clarke: cleric (religious) or scribe (clerk). Example ("bible clark"). See also scrivener.
close: field or piece of land separate from others or from common land by a bank or hedge, legally unjustified entry into such is trespass (quare clausum fregit) Example
coat of arms: heraldic shield with distinctive symbols Example
codicil: supplement to a will. Example
comite (com.): (latin) county or shire. Example
common council: in American law, the lower or more numerous branch of the legislative assembly of a city; in English law, the councillors of the city of London (Court of Common Council). The English parliament was also anciently called the "common council of the realm."
compulsion: a mental condition endemic to the vast majority of the members of the Combs &c. Research Group; symptoms include the inability to admit that a lineage is fully documented until every record has been extracted, nor that any record is not extant. See also obsession.
consort: wife. If a grave inscription, indicates that she was survived by her husband. See also relict. Example
consumption: a wasting away of the body (consumed); formerly used to indicate tuberculosis. Example
convey: grant or sell. Example (See also next)
conveyance deed: transfer of property from one person to another.
cooper: maker or repairer of barrels and casks. See Combs &c. Occupations
copyhold: (archaic) a tenure of land in England Example
cordwainer: one who works with fine leathers, a shoemaker. See Combs &c. occupations
corporeal hereditament: right to inheritance of tangible property, e.g. an estate in land
corporeal rights: tangible rights in property, such as an estate in land as opposed to "incorporeal" rights.
Court of Assistants: formerly a court in Massachussetts organized in 1630 consisting of the governor, deputy governor and assistants; exercised the whole power, both legislative and judicial, of the colony and an extensive chancery jurisdiction as well. See also Freedom of the City re Courts of Assistants of London livery companies.
Court of Ancient Demesne: in English law, a court of peculiar constitution, held by a bailiff appointed by the king, in which alone the tenants of the king's demesne could be appleaded. See also demesne.
Court of Aldermen: in early London, the senior court of the City, composed of the Lord Mayor and Alderman (elder men), the latter composed of one from each of the City's twenty-five wards. See also Court of Common Council (below).
Court of Common Council: in early London, the "lower court" or council of the city, initially created (by 1285) to "counsel" the Court of Aldermen ("elder men"), but eventually holding such duties as to be more powerful than that court; composed of "common councilmen" elected from each ward of the City. See Freedom of the City
Court of Hustings: in English,law, the county court of London, held before the mayor, recorder and sheriff (although, in fact, the recorder is the sole judge); minimal authority today other than actions of ejectment since its jurisdiction was reduced following the abolition of all real and mixed actions.
Court of Policies of Assurance: in England, a court established by statute 43 Eliz, c. 12 (1601) to determine in a summary way all causes between merchants concerning policies of insurance; abolished by Statute 26 and 27, Victoria, c. 125 (1863). (Blackstone...) Example
courts leet and baron: in English law, a court-baron was a court which, although not one of record, was incident to every manor, and could not be severed therefrom; ordained for the maintenance of the services and duties stipulated for by lords of manors, and for the purpose of determining activities of a personal nature, where the debt or damage was under forty shillings. "Customary court-baron" was one appertaining entirely to copyholders. "Freeholders court-baron" was one held before the freeholders who owed suit and service to the manor, and was the court-baron proper. A court-leet was the name of an English court of record held once in the year, and not oftener, within a particular hundred, lordship or manor, before the steward of the leet; being the kind's court granted by charter to the lords of those hundreds or manors. Its office was to view the frankpledges, that is, the freemen within the liberty; to present by jury crimes happening within the jurisdiction; and to publish trivial misdemeanors.
See St. Clements, St. Mary's County, Province of Maryland and Tottenham, Middlesex, England for examples.
cousin: in early documents, particularly pre-1700, may refer to almost any relationship other than parents and siblings, including niece or nephew. Example. See also Degrees of Kinship
cousin german: first cousin. Example. See also Degrees of Kinship
Creasy, Cretia: nickname for Lucretia
croft: a small parcel of land.
currrier: one who cures (tans) leather. See also tanner. Example and see Combs &c. occupations
curtesy: the life estate of a widower in the lands of his deceased spouse (sometimes limited to men who sired issue by her which were or was born alive).
customary freehold: privileged copyholds
cutler: one who makes or sells knives etc. Example
Cyra, Sira: nickname for Cyrus
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Combs &c. Research Glossary
Combs &c. Research Resources
Last updated 25-Mar-2009
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