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Genealogy and Family History

Glossary

Ancestor:
Any person from whom another person is directly descended, for example, parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and so on.
Ancestry:
The group of people from whom a person is descended.
Birth:
The moment a person is born.
Border entry:
The location on land where new immigrants first enter a country.
Characteristics:
Features that distinguish people or places from others.
Country of origin:
The country in which a person is born.
Cultural mosaic:
A country like Canada wherein many different cultures thrive and preserve their distinguishing characteristics.
Cultural diversity:
A country or region inhabited by people from many different ethnic backgrounds.
Culture:
The arts, beliefs, habits, institutions and other human endeavours considered together as being characteristic of a particular community, people or nation.
Death:
The moment a person dies.
Debarkation:
Departure from a vessel or aircraft.
Descendants:
A person's children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren and so on.
Embarkation:
Boarding a vessel or aircraft or setting out on a journey.
Emigrant:
A person who leaves a country to live in another.
Emigration:
Leaving one country to live in another.
Family events:
Events that are meaningful or significant to a specific family.
Family history:
The reconstruction of the daily lives of a person's ancestors based on information gathered and the writing of their biographies.
Family tree:
A chart that shows how people in a family are related to each other.
Genealogist:
A person who specializes in studying the history of a family.
Genealogy:
The study of a person's ancestors and the collection of information (names, dates) about that family.
Generation:
People born about the same time and related to a person at the same level (parents, grandparents, great-grandparents). A period of approximately 30 years separates each generation.
Given name:
The name parents give their child at birth.
Heraldic symbols:
Official symbols granted to a family (coats of arms, blazons, etc.).
Hereditary:
Physical or psychological traits passed on to children by their parents.
A person who enters into a new country to settle there.
Immigration:
A person's entry into a new country to settle there.
Maiden name:
A woman's family name before marriage. Some women keep their maiden names after marriage, while others take their husband's surname.
Marriage:
The legal union of two people who have chosen to spend their lives together.
Maternal ancestor
An ancestor on the mother's side of the family.
Migration:
Movement from one place to another.
Multicultural:
A number of distinct cultural groups living within a country or region.
Paternal ancestor:
An ancestor on the father's side of the family.
Point of entry:
The first place (border entry or port) immigrants arrive when entering a country.
Port:
A city or town having a harbour where ships or boats take on or unload cargo or passengers.
Pull factors:
Reasons people choose a new country or location in which to live.
Push factors:
Reasons people leave their country or home to move to another.
Quarantine:
The isolation and restriction placed on the movement of people or animals to prevent the spreading of a dangerous or contagious disease.
Relative:
A person connected to a family by birth or marriage.
Sibling:
A person's brother or sister.
Spouse:
A husband or wife.
Surname:
A person's family name or last name.
Systematically:
How something is done following step-by-step procedures.
Timeline:
A table outlining the schedule of events for successive years within a particular historical period.
Wedding:
The celebration of the union of two people in marriage.