Sunday, April 3, 2016

A -Z 2016 Family History

A For Abbreviations and Acronyms

Image Wikipedia ©©

If the above image looks like something you view regularly, then there is a good chance that you are a genealogist! Family history records are filled with abbreviations and acronyms and until you becaome familiar with or have references for at hand, these often confusing terms can make researching your ancestors quite a challenge. Finding the abbr. (abbreviation) Ad.D or Ad.M or ds. on a record might leave you scratching your head, until you discover out that they are abbreviations for adopted daughter, adopted mother and deaths.  Family history research reveals a wealth of abbreviated language and one almost needs to be a linguist to decipher various records. Having a list of references at hand can be the key to translating the many abbreviations and acronyms used on the documents you read and understanding your ancestors' lives.

This blog post is the first of my contributions to the A -Z 2016 Blog Challenge .  For this week's challenge I am posting some links to references and resources regarding abbreviations and acronyms that I have found useful in my own research. Most of the following resources can be accessed online, through archives, libraries, organisations and blogs. I have also included links to some catalogues and books.

Along the genealogy journey you will encounter records containing commonly used abbreviations  for names, places, occupations, relationships between family memebers, medical conditions and legal terms, to name a few examples. A better understanding of the present accepted codes of abbreviations and acronyms as well as those unfamiliar and confusing ones in the past will enable you to make the most of the information you find on census, births, marriage, death, military, legal and other documents.

I hope these links will provide you with some understanding of the common and even not so common genealogical abbreviations and acronyms that can be road blocks on your genealogical journey. You are welcome to share any helpful references of your own that are not listed below.





  1. That's quite a list. Wish I could survive on less sleep.

    1. I agree.............and going to work gets in the way too!

  2. Thanks Sharn, Like Jill I whish that I could get by on less sleep.

  3. Thanks Sharn - what a wonderful list - i will post a link to you post on GSQ's Facebook page

  4. Thanks Sharn - what a wonderful list - i will post a link to you post on GSQ's Facebook page

  5. Oh yes...abbreviations..already I am coming across some new ones in my naval research.

  6. Maybe I'm a bit slow today, but what is GSQ?

  7. Once I used the term "Ag Lab" from the English Census records but someone from America had to google the term as they had not come across previously.

  8. Sharn, I'm in for more sleep too! Glad you are on board.Fran

  9. Lots of excellent abbreviations. Some suggestions from Susie Zada as to how to deal with Vic Place name abbreviations of birth, death and marriage indexes: . And a good, though not exhaustive list, can be found at .
    Visiting from A to Z