A-Z of Genealogy – All about the H’s

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

HABEAS CORPUS – You may have the body – a write requiring a person detained by the authorities to be brought before a court of law so that the legality of the detention may be examined

habendum et tenendum – To have and to hold

HAIA – A Hedge

HALF BAPTISED – baptised privately

HAYWARD – Communal officer responsible for overseeing the making of hedges and the person responsible for regulating the cultivation of openfields and the use of the common generally

HEAD SUNDAY – Sunday after 6th July, known as Old Midsummer Day

HEARTH TAX – Tax introduced in England and Wales in 1662, colelcted between 1662 and 1689 (poor were exempt)

hec conventio facta inter – This agreement made between

hec est finalis concordia – This is the final concord

hec indentura facta inter – This indenture made between

HECKELL/HECKLE – Implement for combing flax or hemp

HECKLING – The refuse from hemp fibre

HEREDITAMENT – Property which can be inherited

hereditatio/onis – Inheritance

heredum et assignatorum suorum imperpetuun – Heirs and assigns for ever

HERIOT – Payment on teh death of a manorial tenant


HIBERNIA – Ireland

HIDE – Originally a unit, varying between 40 and 1000 acres, thought sufficient to support one family.

hiett/herriot/herryott – Heriot –A payment due to the lord of the manor on the death of a tenant

hiis testibus – (list of names) These being witness

HITCHED LAND – Part of the common field withdrawn by common consent from the customary rotation and used for some special crop

hodie – Today

HOMAGE – The tenants who attended a manor court ALSO oral acknowledgement by a tenant of his loyalty and feudal obligations to his lord

homagium/i – Homage(s)

homagium presentant/putant/dicunt quod – The homage present/confirm/say that

HONOUR – Aggregation of manors

honor/oris – honour

HORARIUS – Clock maker

HORREUM – Barn of storehouse

HOVELL – Shed, outhouse, framework for cornshack

HUER – Person placed on the Cornsih cliff to indicate to the boats stationed off land the course of the shoals of pilchards and herrings

HUGUENOTS – French protestants who fled persecution in France after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes (which allowed religious freedom) in 1685

HULT – Cottage or small house

HUNDRED – A unit of fiscal assessment and local government originally containing 100 HIDEs, intermediate between the county and the MANOR, roughly equivalent in size to the modern District; cantrefi in Wales

HUSBANDMAN – Usually a tenant farmer, distict from YEOMAN


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

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