This glossary contains some of the terms which researchers can uncover during their work and for which explanations are often not readily available elsewhere. note: other good glossaries can be found within "Parish Chest" and "Family Historian's Enquire Within".

abstract of title    summary of facts concerning ownership
bailiwick  jurisdiction of a bailiff
breathed  sometimes used in baptism registers to indicate birth date
copyhold a species of estate or right of holding land, according to the custom of a manor, by copy of the roll originally made by the steward of the lord's court
court-baron assembly of freehold tenants of manor under a lord
court-leet a court of record held in a manor before the lord or his steward
deforce  keep out of possession by force
engross to write in legal form; etc.
farmer  one who collects taxes etc in exchange for a fixed payment; one who farms land
feet of fines duplicate copies of agreements relating to land transactions kept by the King's Justices
feoffment the gift of a fief
fief  land held in fee or on condition of military service
fine a final settlement
husbandman often, a tenant farmer as distinct from a yeoman; one who labours in tillage
inquisition post mortem inquiry into the possessions of a deceased person who held land belonging to the crown
intack, intake a tract of land enclosed
lease and release
livery of seisin  delivery of possession
messuage a dwelling and offices with the adjoining lands appropriated to the household
quit-claim   a deed of relinquishment of claim or title
release quit-claim
socage   tenure of lands by service fixed and determinate in quality
statesman one who farms his own estate, a small landowner
yeoman  one of a class of small farmers, commonly freeholders, the grade next below gentleman; a man of small estate, any small farmer or countryman above the grade of labourer








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Furness Family History Society. Established 1993. Affiliated to the FEDERATION OF FAMILY HISTORY SOCIETIES.