Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Abbreviations and Acronyms

I belong to a listserv of genealogy librarians. One type of question is posted often. It starts with something like this, "my patron was consulting a (named) source and found the notation "____", and ends like this, "does anyone know what this means?" You might run across the unknown notations in just about any type of record or census. One source that might help with these issues is Abbreviations and Acronyms: a guide for family historians by Kip Sperry. We own the revised 2nd edition. The entries are listed in alphabetical order and included is a brief explanation or description of the abbreviations, acronym, or initials. Here are just a few to give you an idea of the entries. ALOH = American Legion of Honor. capt = captive or captured. HC = (1) Havana, Cuba (2) Harvard College (3) Haut-Canada (4) heads of cattle (5) Holy Cross. KG = (1) Knights of the Order of the Garter (2) Knights of St. George. SGDL = step-granddaughter-in-law. So when you run up on a notation in a source come take a look at this book to be sure you know how to interpret it correctly.

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