Friday, 11 April 2014

A-Z Challenge 2014: J is for Jargon

I could just as easily have put this post under "W is for Weird Words"... Genealogy has a language all its own, just like most occupations, pursuits, or leisure activities.  I'm not talking a foreign language here
(although Latin does play a significant part).  I'm talking about specialist words and abbreviations.

Words (and acronyms) tend to be ones you learn along the way, and make for interesting discoveries.
  • LDS = Latter Day Saints or Mormons, who provide FamilySearch, indexing, and Family History Centres. 
  • BTs = Bishop's Transcripts = a copy of the vicar's registers, which can be very useful if the originals have been destroyed by accident. 
  • OPC = Online Parish Clerk = a person who has volunteered to collect as much genealogical data as they can about a certain parish (and their help is free, too).  Learn more about them here.
  • TIA = Thanks In Advance = don't forget to say thank you to the OPC!
Abbreviations are the ones which trip you up, not because they are difficult to remember, but because you need to remember NOT to use them in certain situations.  Why?  Because different abbreviations mean different things in different countries.  My favourite is one which a friend and I found on one of the larger paid-for websites.  It was a set of census records, where the enumerator had written the birthplace as "Taunton, Som."  Now, to a UK person, that means "Taunton, Somerset" (town, county).  But the transcription had been provided by someone in another country; and the transcription?

"Taunton, Somalia" (town, another country)...


  1. Yep, abbreviations can be challenging at times.. They mean differently at different context, different nation and in lot many other way... A nice post. Thanks.

  2. Your bio gave me a chuckle. I'm sure we ARE related if we go far enough back, and besides I have ancestors from not that far back in the UK. Following you from the A to Z Challenge!

    1. Glad to meet you - cousin! :o) Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Never knew about these abbreviations and that will help

    1. Glad to help - and thanks for stopping by!

  4. Glad I could help! :o) Thanks for stopping by...

  5. I used to be a trainer in my professional life and would warn new staff about using "in house" jargon on our members. It's the quickest way to alienate someone or confuse them or just irritate them. But jargon is so tempting - it was an uphill battle.

    1. I know just what you mean. It is so confusing for new people, and is terrible where I work (the aircraft industry). So, let's try and annihilate those abbreviations! Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Hi Ros,
    Thanks for dropping by.
    This is really nice to know
    these jargon.
    Thanks for sharing
    Have a Happy Weekend
    P V

  7. Good and helpful post. I didn't realize that abbreviations could be so complex!

    1. And those are only a few! I have dropped in on your blog - looks wonderful. Thanks for stopping by!


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