Ancestry and Genealogy: Understanding Church and Legal Latin in UK Records

In genealogical research latin terms are often encountered in church records and legal documents, this list is intended to aid the genealogist in interpreting those terms.

abavia - 2nd great grandmother, female ascendant in the fourth degree
abavus - 2nd great grandfather, male ascendant in the fourth degree
abnepos - 2nd great grandson, male descendant in the fourth degree
abneptis - 2nd great granddaughter, female descendant in the fourth degree
adnepos - 3rd great grandson, male descendant in the fifth degree
affines - relatives by marriage, in-laws
affinitas - relationship by marriage
agnati - paternal relations
agnatus - related by blood on the male side
alimenta/o - provision made for made for younger sons or unmarried daughters
alius/a/ud - other
alter/era/erum - the other of two
ambo/ae/o - both
amita - father's sister, aunt
amita magna - grandfather's sister, grandaunt
amita uxoris - wife's father's sister
anima - soul, spirit
annus - year
anno - in the year
anno Domini - in the year of the Lord
arbor consanguinitatis - family tree
atavus - 3rd great grandfather, male ascendant in the fifth degree
avunculus - mother's brother, uncle
avus - grandfather
avi (pl.) - grandparents
avi relicta - grandfather's widow

banni - marriage banns
baptisma - baptism
baptisavit - he baptized
baptisatus/a - baptized
baptisatus/a est - he(or she) was baptized

caelebs - single, unmarried (man)
capellanus - chaplain
cognati - maternal relations
cognomen - surname
commater - godmother
comparere - to appear
comparuit pro me - he/she appeared before me
compater - godfather
conceptus/a/um - conceived
concepta est - she was pregnant
coniunx (coniux) - husband or wife
coniuges (pl.) - married couple
consanguinitas - blood relationship (if too close, an impediment to marriage)
consobrinus/a - cousin on the mother's side
contrahere - to contract, to draw together
matrimonium contraxerunt - they contracted marriage
coparcener - co-heir
copulatio - marriage
copulatus/a - married man/woman
copulatus/a est - he/she was married
coram - in the presence of
corpus - body
cum - with

decessit - he/she died
decessit sine prole - died without issue, childless
decessit vitae patre (d.v.p.) - died in father's lifetime
decessus - death
defunctus/a/um - dead
denunciatio - publication of the marriage banns
factis tribus denunciationibus - after 3 publications of the banns, 3 banns having been published
desponsus/a - betrothed
Deus - God
didymus/a - twin male/female
dies - day
die - day (a form used after certain prepositions)
discessit - he/she died
dominus - lord
domus - home
dos - dowry

ecclesia - church
ego - I
eiusdem - the same
eodem die - on the same day
erat - he/she/it was
est - he/she/it is
et - and
etiam - also
e, ex - from

feme covert - married woman
feme sole - unmarried woman
femina - woman
filia - daughter
filia fratris/sororis - niece, daugher of brother/sister
filius - son
filius fratris/sororis - nephew, son of brother/sister
frater - brother
frater ex materno latere - half-brother common mother
frater ex paterno latere - half-brother common father
frater germanus - twin brother
frater naturalis - brother
fuit - he/she/it was
fuerunt - they were

gemellus/a - twin
geminus/a - twin
gener - son-in-law, cousin
genitum - begotten, born
gens - male line, clan
genus - type, kind, birth, descent, sex, origin, class, race
generis - of the type, sex, etc.
germana - sister
germanus - brother
glos - husband's sister
gloris - brother's wife
gravida - pregnant

habere - to have, to hold
habitare - to reside
habitans - resident (adj.)
habitantes - residents
hebdomada - a week
heri - yesterday
hic, haec, hoc - this
hoc die/mense/anno - on this day/month/year
huius - of this
humatio - burial
homo - man, human being
humatus/a - he/she was buried

ibidem (ibid.) - in the same place
idem, eadem, iden - the same
ignotus/a - unknown
ille, illa illud - that
ilius - of that
illegitimus - illegitimate
impedimentum - impediment or hindrance (as to a marriage)
impedimentum consanguinitas - impediment of too close a blood relationship (2nd cousin or closer)
nulloque detecto impedimento matrimonio - and no marital impediment having been uncovered
imponere - to place upon, to impose
impositus/a/um - imposed, placed upon, given
cui impositum est nomen - to whom was given the name
infans - infant
instant, inst. - of the current month
inuptus/a - unmarried
infra - below, later
infrascriptus - written below
intra - within
ipse/a/um - himself/herself/itself
ita - thus, so
item - also, likewise

iunior/junior - younger
iure/jure - legally
iurare/jurare - to swear, take an oath
ius/jus, iures/jures - law, laws
iuvenis/juvenis - young person

lavare - to wash, to baptize
lautus/a est - he/she was baptized
levantes - godparents
levir - husband's brother
liber, libri - book, books
liber baptizatorum - baptismal register
liber defunctorum - death register
liber matrimoniorm - marriage register
ligatus/a est - he/she was joined or married
locus - place
locus sigilli - where a persons seal is placed (on a document)

majorennis - of legal age
majores - ancestors
mane - in the morning
manu propria - (signed) in one's own hand
marita - wife
maritus - husband
mater - mother
mater meretrix - mother of illegitimate child
matertera - maternal aunt
matrimonium - marriage
mensis - month
mense - in the month (of)
meridies - noon
minimus/a natu - youngest
meus/a/um - my, mine
morbus - disease
post longum morbum - after a long illness
mors - death
mortis - of death
mortuus/a/um - dead, deceased
mortuus/a est - he/she died
mulier - woman, wife
mutuo consensu - by mutual consent

nascit - he/she is born
natalis - natal
natus/a - born (adj.), son/daughter (noun)
natus/a est - he/she was born
nepos - grandson, nephew
nepos ex fil - grandson
nepos ex fratre - brother's son
nepos ex sorore - sister's son
neptis - granddaughter
nocte - at night
nomen - name
noverca - stepmother
nullus/a/um - no, none
nuptus/a - married
nunc tutus exitus computarus/a - safe exit
nurus/a - son's wife

obiit - he/she died
obstetrix - midwife
omnis - all, every
orbus/a - orphan masc./fem
origo - birth
originis - of the birth
ortus - origin, birth

parentes - parents
parochia - parish
parochus - parish priest
partus - childbirth
pater - father
patres - forefathers, ancestors
patrui relicta - paternal uncle's widow
patrinus/a/i - godfather/godmother/godparents
patruus - paternal uncle
patruerlis - paternal nephew
pie - piously
post - after
postridie - on the day after
pridie - on the day before
privignus/a - stepson/stepdaughter of a father
pro - in behalf of, for
proclamatio - bann, decree
proles - issue, child
proles spuria - illegitimate child
proneptus - grand niece
propinqui - relations, relatives
prosocrus - wife's grandmother
proximo, prox. - of the next month
pudicus/a - chaste
puella - girl
priores - ancestors
proavus/a - great grandfather/great grandmother
prorare vexilla - patriotic
provincia - province
proximus consanguineus - nearest relation
puer - boy
puerperium - childbirth
purgatus/a - cleansed, baptized

quasi - almost, as if
qui, quae, quod - who, which, what
quidam, quaedam - a certain person (masc./fem.)
quoddam - a certain thing
quondam - formerly, sometime

relictus/a - widower/ widow
renatus/a - reborn, baptized
requiescat in pace - may he/she rest in peace
ritus - rite
de ritu sanctae matris ecclesiae - according to the rite of the holy mother church

sacerdos - priest
sacer, sacra, sacrum - sacred
sacramentis totiis munitiis - fortified by all the last rites
sanctus/a/um - holy,sacred
scorta - unmarried mother, whore
scriptus/a/um - written
semper - always, forever
senior - older
sepelire - to bury
sepultus/a/um - buried
sequens - following
sic - thus, so
signum - mark
signum fecit - he/she made a mark, signed
sine - without
socer - father-in-law
socrus - mother-in-law
socrus magna - maternal grandmother
solemnicatio - marriage
solutus/a/um - unmarried (also free from debt)
soror - sister
sororius - brother-in-law (wife's brother)
sponsalia - marriage banns
sponsalis - betrothed (adj.)
sponsus/a - groom/bride. spouse, betrothed
spurius/a - illegitimate
stemma (gentile) - pedigree
stuprata - pregnant out of wedlock
stuprator - father of illegitimate child
sub tutela - under guardianship
subscripsit - he/she signed
subsignavit - he/she signed with a mark
sum - I am
sunt - they were
supra - above
ut supra - as above
susceptores - godparents
suus/a/um - his/her/its/their own

tempus - time
testamentum - will, testament
testis - witness
triduum - a period of three days
trigemini - triplets
tutor - guardian

ubi - where
ultimo, ult. - of the preceeding month
ultimus/a/um - last
unigena - only begotten daughter
unigentius - only begotten son
urbs - city
ut - as, so that, in order that
ut infra - as below
ut supra - as above
uxor - wife

vel (vel...vel) - or (either....or)
vespere - in the evening
vetus, veteris - old
victricus - stepfather
viduus/vidua - widower/widow
videlicet (viz.) - namely
vir - man, male
virgo - virgin, female, girl
virtuosus/a/um - honorable
vita - life
vita cessit - he/she departed from life, died
vulgo - commonly, generally
Also useful are the months and numbers for interpreting dates and ages.
Months: Januarius, Februarius, Martius, Aprilis, Maius, Iunius, Iulius or Quinctilis, Augustus, September (VII-ber), October (VIII-ber), November (IX-ber), December (X-ber).
Numbers Cardinal Ordinal
1 unus/a/um primus/a/um
2 duo,duae,duo secundus/a/um
3 tres, tria tertius/a/um
4 quattuor quartus/a/um
5 quinque quintus/a/um
6 sex sextus/a/um
7 septem septimus/a/um
8 octo octavus/a/um
9 novem nonus/a/um
10 decem decimus
11 undecim undecimus
12 duodecim duodecimus
13 tredecim tertius decimus
14 quattordecim quartus decimus
15 quindecim quintus decimus
16 sedecim sextus decimus
17 septendecim septimus decimus
18 duodeviginti duodevice(n)simus
19 unodeviginti unodevice(n)simus
20 viginti vice(n)simus
30 triginta trice(n)simus
40 quadraginta quadrage(n)simus
50 quinquaginta quinquage(n)simus

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