Muscogee County- Terms

Computer and Genealogy Terms


We'll have a quiz on these later. Just kidding, if you have any others, share with us.

Computer and Genealogy Terms

Abstract  An Abstract is an abridged version of a document highlighting only the main points of the document.

A.G. An A.G. is an accredited genealogist.  While certified genealogists go through the Board for Certification, accredited genealogists take their test through the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Ancestors The people from whom you descend – your parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents.

Ancestral file A lineage-linked database of families submitted by fellow genealogists.   This database is available on CD at your local Family History Center.

Anthology A collection, such as a collection of poems, short stories, or interviews.

Banner ads A form of advertising that appears in your browser window.

Batch number  An identifying number used for patron submission forms for some entries found in the International Genealogical Index.

Bookmark A way to mark favorite web pages, so that you can easily return to that location  Check help on your computer to see how to bookmark.

Boolean search A search based on which search terms you use (AND, OR, NOT).

Bounce When a message does not get to its intended individual.   Instead it “bounces” back or gets sent back to either the originator of the message, when sending personal e-mail, or to the list owner, in regards to a mailing list. A message can bounce because a mailbox is full or a typo in the e-mail address.

Bulletin boards  These areas are online message boards. The message stays at the site where the bulletin board is located.  When responding to a message, it is necessary to do so online.

Census A recording of information taken on behalf of the government.   The census results may be summarized in tabular format with very few names, or it may list the names of everyone in the household.   Governments use different view of your ancestor’s relevant information.

Chat rooms A chat can be equated with the party lines that were available through the telephone company.  Many people have access to the conversation.  In a chat room, everyone present in the room can see the messages you post. 

Civil registration  Another name for the records of births, marriage, and death generated by civil authorities.

Computer interest group (CIG)  A subset of genealogical society that is devoted to the computer aspects of genealogy.  At their meeting you will learn of new genealogy software and online sites devoted to genealogy. 

Copyright  A legal status that offers protection to authors, artist, musicians, and others to help encourage them in their creative endeavors. It does this by limiting what others may do with the works they have already completed and make available.

Correspondence Record   List who you talked to and when, so you can document who, what, when and where. You may need that info later

Cutting  The act of highlighting specific text with your mouse (or other pointing device) and then pressing the Backspace or Delete key to remove it. (Also know as deleting text.)

DAR  Daughters of the American Revolution.   This is a lineage society that admits individuals only when they have proven a family connection to a qualifying ancestor.

Database  A searchable, complied, and computerized list that contains records of information that you can sort by predefined categories.  For genealogical purpose, the database could contain death records, surnames, and pedigree information.

Database program  A program designed to store, retrieve, and organize information.  Ex.   Those interred in a cemetery or those you are extracting from a census.

Daughter-out Refers to when you descend from a daughter.  At the point the surname you are tracing, for her children, changes from her maiden name to the name of her spouse.

Descendants Those who descend form someone.

Digest (format of a mailing list) Composes 5 – 30 (varies) messages into a single e-mail message before the mailing list program sends it to you.  The other format is list.

Digitization  It’s like making a photocopy to the computer.

Directories These web search-starting points offer you a list of websites.  

Domesday book A general survey taken in 1086 if those who owned land in England.   a.k.a. the 1st English census.   Remember it was only for landowners.

e-mail  An electronic form of sending messages through the internet.

Emoticons A way of using characters on the keyboard to show emotions.

end-of-line ancestor  The last individual of any of your lines that you can currently identify.

Family group record  A form that includes vital information on a father, mother, and children in a given family.

Family history The recording of a family’s individual members, and their collective lives and times together.

Family History Center (FHC)  The main branch is located in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Through your local FHC or Latter-day Saints (LDS) you can search the main databases on CD and request microfilms from the main library.

Filters  Used as a method of automatically sorting your incoming, unread e-mail into specific folders or files, based on criteria that you have preset with a selection of options that are part of your e-mail program.

Five Civilized Tribes  Those Native American Indian tribes that were moved into the half of Oklahoma originally set aside as “Indian Territory.”  The tribes that comprised this group included the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole.

Flame war  an online argument that usually escalates to involve many people in a matter of a few hours.

Frames  A way of viewing multiple windows in a single browser window. 

Gazetteer A dictionary for places.  It gives you details about the place.

GEDCOM  GENealogical Data COMmunication allows you to share your information with other genealogy programs (trees) without having to re-type it all.  A GEDCOM file can be used to generate a web page.

Genealogy The recording of the descent of an individual person.

Genealogy dance It’s what we do when we make a connection.  The duration of the dance depends on the importance of connection.

GENUKI  The premier genealogy site for the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Hit The result that fits your search criteria from a search engine.

Home page  The web page is the first one on any site.

Homestead In land records, generally the 160 acres an individual could acquire from the United State under the Homestead Act of 1862.

Inscription  Information that appears on a tombstone. 

International Genealogical Index (IGI)  Originally created as a means for LDS individual to track religious ordinance done on behalf of their deceased families.

Internet service provider (ISP) A company or organization that offers a connection service to the Internet by modem connection for a fee.

Interpretation of records The inferences and assumption we make based on the records currently available.

List (format of a mailing list) The list sends each message posted to the list as a separate e-mail. The other format is digest.

List owner The person who is responsible for keeping control on an e-mail list.

Lurker A person who has joined an e-mail list, but only reads messages.  I fear this is the person who holds the key to my past.

Mailing list A list of e-mail addresses of a group that discuss a single idea.

Network A system of computers connected together so that they can share files, printers, and connections.

Notary records These records can be used to trace roots back to ancient Rome.  They now record land transactions and other property (i.e. car), loans, businesses, and the collection of state taxes.

Parish Can be either an ecclesiastical (church) or civil government division.

PDF Portable Document File, requires a special, free, program called adobe Acrobat Reader, to read the file. 

Pedigree chart  Is a road map showing your direct ancestral lineage.

Pop-up ads Advertisements that appear when you view certain web pages.

Public domain Where copyrighted creative works ownership revert to when the copyright laws no longer apply. 

Queries  Request for help in regard to a particular subject in which you are interested.

Repository any building those houses records for safekeeping.

Research log Also called Correpsondence Record. A preformatted page that have columns for info such as date of search, repository, person(s) involved, or titles.  Anything to help document who, what, or where you information came from.

Research planning sheets   Formatted sheets designed to record pertinent information about research problems, including the ancestor’s name, the source of info, the date, your goal, and where or how to accomplish your task.  File the original and work off a copy during the project.

SASE Self-addressed stamped envelope.  Whenever you are requesting information that will be mailed to you, include one. 

Search engine A site that is designed to “search” for specific info. 

Shareware Software you can try before paying for.

Snail mail Mail delivered by regular mail.

Soundex An index based on the phonics of a surname. 

Source citation  A source citation is an entry that states where you found the information of the life events.  This can be books, land records, personal knowledge, or vital statistics. 

Spam  The on-line term for unwanted e-mail, usually advertising.

Spreadsheet A spreadsheet program can be used for recording of data in rows and columns.

Subscribe To add your e-mail list added to a mailing list of messages of a specified topic.

Surfing When you go from one web site to another.  Generally you move between sites using links.

Tagline A one-liner at the end of an e-mail.

Uniform resource locator (URL)  The address of any given web site on the internet.

User error A short between the operator and the keyboard.  It is not a computer error.

USGenWeb  A genealogical project supported by volunteers. 

Virus  A program designed to harm your computer.  Research, buy, and use a good Anti-virus software to protect your computer.

Vital records  Certificates issued for birth, marriage, and death records.

Web browser  A software application that you use to surf the internet.

Web code  A code (HTML) that a browser software needs to display a web page.

Web page editor  A software program that allows you to create web pages without having to know web code.

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