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Glossary of Helpful Terms


Abuttal: A common boundary (the meeting of two properties).

Afore: Before.

Assigns: Individuals to whom property is, will, or may be transferred by conveyance.

Appurtenances: A term for what belongs to and goes with something else, with the appurtenance being less significant than what it belongs to. An appurtenance could for instance refer to a back-yard that goes with the adjoining house.

Behoof: It signifies use, service, profit, advantage. It often occurs in conveyances of land.

Bequest: A gift or inheritance given in a will.

Chattels: Any article of tangible property other than land, buildings, and other things annexed to land.

Codicil: An addition to a will to record changes.

Convey: To give or transfer title of property to another.

Covenant: A binding agreementor compact.

Dowry: The money, goods, or estate that a woman brings to her husband in marriage. A gift of money or property by a man to or for his bride.

Enfeoffe: Also known as feoffment. Complete surrender and transfer of all land ownership rights from one person to another.

Freeman:One who is in the enjoyment of the right to do whatever he pleases, not forbidden by law. One in the possession of the civil rights enjoyed by the people.

Hereditaments: Anything capable of being inherited.

Husbandman: One whose occupation is husbandry; a farmer. Usually a smallholder who may also have to work on others land to support himself, i.e. one below the status of yeoman.

Incumbrances: A general term for any claim or lien on a parcel of real property.

Imprimis: In the first place. Used to introduce a list of items or considerations.

Jointures: An arrangement by which a man sets aside property to be used for the support of his wife after his death. The property so designated.

Journeyman: A qualified tradesman working for someone else.

Old Tenor: Descriptions of paper money, issued at different periods by the American colonial governments. The first issue of notes is known as the "Old Tenor" issue.

Legatee: A person to whom a legacy is bequeathed.

Presents: The document or instrument in question.

Rod: A unit of length equal to 16.5 feet or 5.5 yards.

Surety: One who has contracted to be responsible for another, especially one who assumes responsibilities or debts in the event of default.

Testator: One who makes a will.

Testatrix: A woman who makes a will or testament. Female form of testator.

Thereabouts: Near that place. Also used to indicate that a date or figure is approximate.

Viz: As follows.

Yeoman: Farmers who would work on their own land as either freeholders or tenants.

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