What’s New "What Did They Mean By That" by John Drake J.D

Welcome to this week’s Tree Talk Tuesday. As Genealogists we are always on the hunt through court records, cemeteries, family bibles, county histories and various other resources in hopes of finding that next branch of our family tree. Often times when while we are doing this, we come across a word or phrase that sound odd to the modern ear. So, then our hunt turns to finding out more about what that odd word or phrase meant and in this week’s Tree Talk Tuesday blog post we are focusing on just that.

Recently the Genealogy Department  has added two books by Paul Drake J.D, title “What Did They Mean By That” and “More What Did They Mean By That”. Mr. Drake created these books to help Genealogists in their search for understanding phrases, abbreviations and definitions of words that come up in Historical records and texts. 

The following is a sample of an abbreviation from the book;

“7br: or 7ber= September” (pg xiv)
“fower”= four (4) (pg xii)

 
Here is another example showing the definition of a word from the book;

“dorseteen, dorsetine:  a cloth or fabric, probably now unknown, e.g. “in 1798 Kuhn & Risberg of Philadelphia advertised ‘assorted silk, camblets (q.v.) hairbines and dorsteens for sale””(pg. 94)

Both of these books are organized alphabetically making searching for a term or phrase simple. Currently the department has two copies of each of these. One set circulates (you can check them out) and the other set is “library use only.” So next time you come across a odd word, abbreviation or phrase you may want to check out these resources.

Happy Ancestor Hunting!

To check out these books please visit our online catalog or visit the department.

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