A-Z of Genealogy – All about the F’s

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

FABER – smith

FABRIFER – blacksmith, iron-worker

FALL GATE – gate across a public road

FALSO – falsley

FALSARIUS – counterfeirter, forger

FAMILIA – household, (religious) community

FARTHING – quarter of a penny

FATHOM – unit of measurement of six feet

FEALTY – allegiance or fidelity; oath of loyalty sworn by a VASSAL to his LORD after the LORD had accepted the VASSAL’s HOMAGE.

fecit finem pro ingressu – he paid an entry fine

FEE – the area of jurisdiction of a lord of the manor whis was subject ot feudal obligations; IN FEE means hereditarily

FEE SIMPLE – freehold estate in which land passed on death to the common law heir

FEET OF FINES – court copies of agreements over property until 1833, held at The National Archives (TNA)

FELONY – a serious crime

FEMINA – woman. wife

FENUM – hay

FEOFFMENT – the act of granting a FEE

FERIA – fair, holiday

FEUDAL SERVICE – duties rendered by a VASSAL to his LORD in return for the land granted by means of ENFEOFFMENT, which could be military (knight service), administrative (serjeanty) or ecclesiastical (frankalmoign or free alms).

fidei defensoris – defender of the faith

FIEF – a MANOR or Manors granted to a VASSAL by his LORD by means of ENFEOFFMENT to be held in return for FEUDAL SERVICE.

FIFTEENTH – occasional tax levied by the crown for special purposes (eg waging war etc) being one fifteenth of annual income

FILIA – daughter

FILIOLA – small daughter

filee mee et heredibus eius de propro corpore – to my daughter and the heirs of her own body

filio meo– to my son

filius son

FILIOLUS – small son

FILIUS/FILIA NULLI – the son/daughter of noone, illigitimate child

filius/FILIA populi – the son/daughter of the people, illigitimate child

FINE – Money payment to the lord made by an incoming tenant

FIRMA – farm: rent, fixed payment

firmarius/i – farmer/renter(s)

FIRMO – to farm; to farm out

firmiter teneri et obligari – firmly bound and obliged

FIRST FRUITS AND TENTHS – a form of taxes placed on clergy

FLEET MARRIAGES – Clandestine marriages which took place in churches/chapels in and around the Fleet prison before 1754

FLEET REGISTERS – register of fleet marriages found in series RG 7 at TNA and at online resaerh sites

Forisfacto – Forfeited


FOSSA – dike, embankment, ditch

FRANKPLEDGE – old english law; a pledge or surety of freemen, a pledge taken by all the inhabitants of a tithing vouching for the good behaviour of each other over the age of 14 years and answering to any infraction of the law

FRATER – brother; monk, friar

FREEHOLDER – Held land “for-ever” free from the customs of the manor

fregerunt assisiam panis et cervisie – they broke the assize of bread and ale

FRUMENTUM – Corn, grain

FUIT – he, she, it was, has been

FULLINGDAY – day when those newly of age (14 years) were drafted into a tithing

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

Leave a ReplyCancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.