A-Z of Genealogy – All about the D’s

This week it’s all about words and phrases found in genealogy, family and house history research beginning with the letter D.

DAME SCHOOLS – small primary schools run by women before the setting up of board schools

DAMPNUM/I – damages

DARE – To give

DATA APUD – dated at/in

DEANERY – a group of parishes forming a district within an archdeaconry overseen by a Dean

DEBEO/ERE – to owe


DECENNARIUS/I – tithingman(men)


DEDI, CONCESSI ET HAC PRESENTI CARTA CONFIRMAVI – have given, granted and by this my present charter have confirmed

DEFALTA/AE – default

DEFAULTER – Tenant who fails to attend a court without good reason, liable to be amerced

DEFECTUS REDDITUM- defect of rent

DEI GRATIA ANGLIE SCOTIE FRANCI ET HIBERNIE – by the grace of god, of England, Scotland, France and Ireland

DEMESNE – the property held by the lord or lady of the manor themselves

d DENARIUS – penny

DENIZATION – entitling foreign nationals to certain UK rights but not full British citizenship

DE PLACITO DEBITI – in a plea of debt

DE PLACITO TRANSGRESSIONIS – in a plea of trespass

DEPONENT – someone who make a written or spoken statement (deposition) under oath

DE REDDITU TERRE – of the rent of the land

DIE SEQUENTI – on the next day

DIE VERO – on this very day

DIMITTO/ERE – to demise/lease

DISSEISIN – Dispossession of an estate

DISTRICTIO/ONIS – distraint(s)

DISTRINGO/ERE – to distrain

DISTRAINT – impounding of goods/chattels until a payment is made

DOMESDAY BOOK – strictly speaking, only the EXCHEQUER DOMESDAY OR GREAT DOMESDAY, but this is often termed Volume I, LITTLE DOMESDAY being Volume II; the final product of the DOMESDAY INQUEST.

DOMESDAY INQUEST – the inquiry started in January 1086, in which England was divided into CIRCUITS surveyed by sets of COMMISSIONERS whose returns, after checking and at least two stages of abbreviation, became the EXCHEQUER DOMESDAY.

DOMINA/AE – lady

DOMINICUS – demesne


DOMINUS/I – lord

DOMUS – house

DOWAGER – widow with title/property derived from her late husband

DOWTER – daughter

DUCAT/DUCKETE – gold coin of varying value


DUM VIXIT – while living

I would love to hear what obscure words and phrases you have found in your research – sarah@spfhhistory.co.uk

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