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Genealogy Latin Dictionary


Latin terms appear often when looking through ancestral records. In particular wills, parish records and land records tend to be full of Latin terms. Our Genealogy Latin Dictionary helps you navigate all those unfamiliar terms.

As far as we know, GenealogyInTime Magazine maintains the largest online resource devoted to Latin words and phrases in genealogy. This is a good resource to bookmark.

Click on the letter below that corresponds to the first letter in the Latin word.

A | B C | D | E | F | G H | I J | K | L M | N O | P | Q R | S | T - Z

Latin Phrase
English Meaning
ab initio
from the beginning
absente reo
in the absence of the defendant
a contrario
from a contrary position
a cruce salus
from the cross comes salvation
something to be added
ad hoc
for this particular purpose, improvised
ad interim
in the meantime
ad libitum
ad lib
at one’s pleasure or to improvise
ad locum
at the place
ad maiorem Dei gloriam
to the greater glory of God
ad nauseum
to the point of making one sick
ad rem
pertaining to the matter in hand
aetas / aetatis
age / at the age of
a me infrascripto parocho vel vicario
I the undersigned vicar
aetatis suae
at his/her age of
anno aetatis suae
in the year of his/her age
things to be done
Agnus Dei
lamb of God
agricola farmer
otherwise called, an assumed name
elsewhere, in another place
alma mater
a student’s former University
altera die
on the next day
Alumni Oxonienses   Univesity of Oxford alumni records, date back to 1500
a former student of a university
A mari usque ad mare
from sea to sea (motto of Canada)
stranger, foreigner
amor caecus est
love is blind
Anno Domini
in the year since the birth of Christ
anno regni
in the year of reign
annus bisextus
leap year
annus horribilis
a horrible year
annus mirabilis
a wonderful year
anonymus, anonyma stillborn son or daughter
anti, ante
ante meridiem
A.M. or a.m.
before midday
ante prandium
before a meal
a posteriori
from what comes after
a priori
from what comes before
aqua vitae
a distilled spirit, such as brandy or whisky
arcularius carpenter
artium baccalaureus
Bachelor of Arts degree
atrium magister
Master of Arts degree
aurora australis
the southern lights
aurora borealis
the northern lights
avator farmer
ave atque vale
hello and goodbye
Ave Maria
Hail Mary
avia grandmother
avus grandfather