What Did They Mean By That? Now at an New Low Price.

hbd7169What Did They Mean By That? Is now available at the reduced price of only $19.60, down from $36.

What Did They Mean By That? A Dictionary of Historical and Genealogical Terms Old and New has long been the most popular historical dictionary carried by Family Roots Publishing. This book provides an understanding, in modern terms, for words used in the past. Many of these words, used historically in everyday conversation, to describe items, jobs, events, and technology of the day, are no longer in use or get used with a different meaning. This book provides the background family historians need to grasp the meaning of letters, documents, and sources from the past.

Genealogists enjoy the thoroughness of this book. At 6″ x 9″ and 350 pages this is a big dictionary, and it lists entries paragraph style, instead of using a typical dictionary two-column format. In fact, the book feels a bit more like an encyclopedia than it does a standard dictionary. Most entries provide more than just a standard definition. Rather, entries provide an explanations, examples, and observations. This dictionary has other unique features as well. What Did They Mean By That includes images. While not on every page, the pictures do provide both an element of interest as well as prove educational. Some of the images are pictures and some are document samples. There is also a small chart at the beginning showing a comparison between Saxon and English alphabets.

With that all said, perhaps the best review of this book is the one the book gives itself on the back cover:

“The family historian must seek out the records of the merchants, courts, legislators, and churches, as well as the everyday expressions of the common men and women, all the while striving to remain aware that just as we have created words like television, computer, microwave oven, automobile, space station, gigabyte, and airplane, and set aside words as ticking and icebox, stadle, and squabpie, our ancestors had to do the same. They made up the likes of telegraph, railroad, and telescope, and assimilated German words like hex, sauerkraut, fresh, hoodlum, and kindergarten; Spanish words such as barbeque, chocolate, and tornado; French sounds like bayou, levee, depot, and chowder; and Indian words such as hickory, pecan, hominy, moccasin, and raccoon. Though they invented the likes of popcorn, sweet potato, eggplant, bullfrog, and backwoodsman, they left behind them terms no longer needed in their daily lives. Gone were the likes of moxa (Indian moss burned on an area of the body, thought to cure gout), hautboy (oboe), gruntling (young hog), muchwhat (nearly), revelrout (a ruckus), and, from most regions of the U.S., the long “a” sounds of old England (fahst for fast, dahnce for dance, and hoff, meaning half).

In addition to terminology, such as the names of the many courts and legal processes, this collection of more than 4500 words includes many occupations, descriptions of early furniture and foods, common medical terms and herbal remedies, and many all but forgotten expressions. The words found here are seen at every turn of research; in court documents (especially inventories of estates, court entries, and lawsuits), church records, books, newspapers, letters, and songs.”

 

What Did They Mean By That? A Dictionary of Historical and Genealogical Terms, Old and New is available from Family Roots Publishing.

Black’s Law Dictionary (1st & 2nd Editions), as well as Bouvier’s 1856 Law Dictionary FREE Online

Blacks-Law-Dictionary-250pw

Prompted by a listing found at cyndislist.com today, I found that we can now access online digitized versions of Black’s Law Dictionary – First and Second editions. I’ve sold the CD-ROM at the FRPC website for years, and even have a Fourth Edition, as well as a Revised Fourth Edition on my own reference library bookshelf.

The digitized books are found at the World Freeman Society website. Also found at the site is a transcribed html copy of Bouvier’s 1856 Law Dictionary, 6th Edition. Want to read the Magna Carta Libertatum 1215 – The Great Charter of Liberties? You’ll find it on the site also.

Copies of the Black’s Law Dictionary (1st & 2nd Editions) on CD-ROM are also available from Family Roots Publishing Co.

Dictionary of Americanized French-Canadian Names: Onomastics and Genealogy

cf8465Let me start with a simplified, and probably more than you will ever need, introduction to Dictionary of Americanized French-Canadian Names: Onomastics and Genealogy. In short, surnames of 17th and 18th century colonists have changed over 400 years. This dictionary provides a brief, yet thorough, explanation of these linguistic changes along with a substantial list of surnames with their meaning and/or origin. Entries also provide some or all of the following information: the name of the first French-Canadian bearer of the name, the name of his parents, his place of origin in France, the name of his spouse and the names of her parents, and the place of his marriage.

That synopsis should just about cover it for most people, but for those who like big words, here is the advanced version, in the words of the author:

“Some 400 years later, it should come as no surprise to find that important differences, both linguistic and distributional, have developed between the surnames found in France and those of its erstwhile colony. Indeed, there are enough such differences to make francophone onomastic research in North America a field of study unto itself, one that, surprisingly, has received very little serious attention when one considers how much time and effort have been invested in the genealogical study of these names.”

The author goes on to explain the division, or categorization, of ‘Canadian French’ surnames, along with subdivisions and types. The subsequent 12 pages go into detail about how and why names change. Coverage include topis like orthographical changes and phonological changes. There is also coverage for foreign names; English, German, Basque and Breton names and others; which are found in the same area of Canada. The discussion also covers French-Canadian surname modifications in English Canada and the US, with coverage on types of anglicization, direct translations, partial translations, near translations, and mistranslations.

So why would you want this book? The names. Remember, most of this book serves as a dictionary of names. Here is a sample entry taken from the author’s own ancestry, showing the value of common entries in this book:

“Picard, from Picard, the nickname of a native of Picardie, a former province in France. — Amer. Peacor, Pecor, Pecore.

— Philippe Destroismaison dit Picard (Adrien and Antionete Lerous) from Montreuil in Pasde-Calais (Nord-Pas-de-Calais) m. Maritine Crosnier (Pierre and Jeanne Rotreau) in Chateau-Richer, QC in 1669.”

Let me go back to simple. Many surnames have changed with time and this dictionary will help trace your ancestor’s names through history.

Get your copy of Dictionary of Americanized French-Canadian Names: Onomastics and Genealogy from Family Roots Publishing; Price: 21.51

What Did They Mean By That? A Dictionary of Historical and Genealogical Terms Old and New

hbd7169What Did They Mean By That? A Dictionary of Historical and Genealogical Terms Old and New has long been the most popular historical dictionary carried by Family Roots Publishing. This book provides an understanding, in modern terms, for words used in the past. Many of these words, used historically in everyday conversation, to describe items, jobs, events, and technology of the day, are no longer in use or get used with a different meaning. This book provides the background family historians need to grasp the meaning of letters, documents, and sources from the past.

Genealogists enjoy the thoroughness of this book. At 6″ x 9″ and 350 pages this is a big dictionary, and it lists entries paragraph style, instead of using a typical dictionary two-column format. In fact, the book feels a bit more like an encyclopedia than it does a standard dictionary. Most entries provide more than just a standard definition. Rather, entries provide an explanations, examples, and observations. This dictionary has other unique features as well. What Did They Mean By That includes images. While not on every page, the pictures do provide both an element of interest as well as prove educational. Some of the images are pictures and some are document samples. There is also a small chart at the beginning showing a comparison between Saxon and English alphabets.

With that all said, perhaps the best review of this book is the one the book gives itself on the back cover:

“The family historian must seek out the records of the merchants, courts, legislators, and churches, as well as the everyday expressions of the common men and women, all the while striving to remain aware that just as we have created words like television, computer, microwave oven, automobile, space station, gigabyte, and airplane, and set aside words as ticking and icebox, stadle, and squabpie, our ancestors had to do the same. They made up the likes of telegraph, railroad, and telescope, and assimilated German words like hex, sauerkraut, fresh, hoodlum, and kindergarten; Spanish words such as barbeque, chocolate, and tornado; French sounds like bayou, levee, depot, and chowder; and Indian words such as hickory, pecan, hominy, moccasin, and raccoon. Though they invented the likes of popcorn, sweet potato, eggplant, bullfrog, and backwoodsman, they left behind them terms no longer needed in their daily lives. Gone were the likes of moxa (Indian moss burned on an area of the body, thought to cure gout), hautboy (oboe), gruntling (young hog), muchwhat (nearly), revelrout (a ruckus), and, from most regions of the U.S., the long “a” sounds of old England (fahst for fast, dahnce for dance, and hoff, meaning half).

In addition to terminology, such as the names of the many courts and legal processes, this collection of more than 4500 words includes many occupations, descriptions of early furniture and foods, common medical terms and herbal remedies, and many all but forgotten expressions. The words found here are seen at every turn of research; in court documents (especially inventories of estates, court entries, and lawsuits), church records, books, newspapers, letters, and songs.”

 

What Did They Mean By That? A Dictionary of Historical and Genealogical Terms, Old and New is available from Family Roots Publishing; Price: $35.28.

Dictionary of American-Indian Place and Proper Names in New England

ne27Another in a line of great reprints from the New England Historic Genealogical Society comes a Dictionary of American-Indian Place and Proper Names in New England, written by R. A. Douglas-Lithgow, in 1909, with an added foreword by David Allen Lambert, 2012.

For those who reside or come form New England, Native American names for towns, streets, rivers, parks, and other locations are a daily part life. I was born and raised in Southern California. Spanish names and words were what I knew and grew up with. I remember my first trip back east. I had a terrible time enunciating some of the location names based on Native American words. I am sure my twisted tongue was a source of amusement to some of my associates. Of course, I had my laughs when it was their turn to visit me. Either way, whether you currently live in New England or have your ancestral roots there, this dictionary of American-Indian names can go a long way in helping with your research.

In this dictionary you will find a(n):

  • “Introduction to New England tribes
  • State-by-state listing of place names, including some now extinct
  • List of prominent 17th-century New England Native Americans
  • Enumeration of New England tribes
  • List of words from the Abenaki and Massachusetts (or Natick) languages”

In other words, this book can help you identify specific locations within New England. It can also help to interpret records like early deeds. Consider the book mandatory to the amateur and professional historian interested in pre-colonial New England and native cultures.

As the author comments upon in his introduction, and is reiterated in the foreword, “these words represent almost all that remains of the aboriginal inhabitants of this country,—a brave, noble, and patriotic race who, opposed by the overwhelming and heedless forces of civilization, did everything the bravest and noblest could do to obey the first law of Nature[:] self-preservation.” Continuing, he marvels that so many names have survived considering the local Indian tribes had no written language. This dictionary is unique, and undoubtedly considered a blessing by many genealogists searching through places names of New England.

Dictionary of American-Indian Place and Proper Names in New England is available from Family Roots Publishing; Price: $24.45.