Sunday, October 16, 2011

Look It Up, Dear!

In honor of Noah Webster's birthday, today has been designated Dictionary Day!

Language is evolving constantly, so the words we encounter in records about our ancestors may be unfamiliar to us. Or we may find that the definition in use today is not the same as in past times!

A must-have in your genealogy library is Black's Law Dictionary. Although Black's is now in its 9th edition, the 4th edition is recommended because it contains terms genealogists may encounter that are now obsolete.

Another fun dictionary to have on the shelf is A to ZAX: A Comprehensive Dictionary for Genealogists & Historians, by Barbara Jean Evans. It includes words from many categories including occupational, household, and colloquial terms.

Whenever you encounter an unfamiliar word in historical documents, or a phrase seems unclear, remember your parents admonishment to "look it up, dear!"

Disclaimer: The links above lead to product pages. I am an Amazon affiliate, and should you purchase a book by following one of my links, I will receive a small commission. You pay the same price as if you visited Amazon independently.

© 2011 Denise Spurlock, Ancestral Trees Research

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