A-Z of Genealogy – All about the J’s

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

At the start of last weeks blog I pointed out that ‘i’ should not be confused with ‘j’ and it is important to note this as ‘i’ and ‘j’ were often used interchangeably although as a general rule ‘j’ would be used as a consonant and ‘i’ as a vowel, with only ‘I’ being used as a capital letter until about the 17th century. Thus, John may be found spelt ‘Iohn’. Conversely ‘j’ would be used instead of ‘i’ where more that one ‘i’ ended a word and when writing in roman numberal i.e. ‘xii’ would be written ‘xij’.

Bearing this is mind, all the following words may be found spelt starting with an ‘I’ in early records.

JACENS – Lying, being, situated

JAM – Mow, at present, already, hitherto

JAMPA – Heath, gorse, furze

JOINTURE – Property settled on a woman at marriage which would become hers on the death of her husband

JONATHAN – An instrument used by smokers to light a pipe

JOSEPH – An ancient riding habit with buttons down to the skirts

JOURNEYMAN – a skilled worker, who has completed an apprenticeship, hired to work on a daily basis


JUDEX – Judge

JUDICIUM – Judgement, statute, right, jurisdiction, suit, trial, court

JUGUM – yoke, a measurement of land

JULIAN CALENDAR – Old style calendar in use in England and Wales before 1752 when new years day fell on Lady Day, the 24th March.

JUNCTUS – Joined



DE JURE – By rights, lawfully

JURE – Justly, lawfully

JURO – to swear

JURO AD/SUPER – To swear on or by

JURO PRO FIDELITATE – To swear fealty

JUS, JURIS – Law, right, due, privilege

JUS COMMUNE – Common law

JUSSUM – Command, order

JUSTE – Justly

JUSTICIARIUS – Judge, justice

JUSTIFICO – To justify, set right, to bring to justice

JUSTITIA – Sentance, punishment, justice

JUVENCA – Heifer

JUVENCUS – Bullock

JUVENIS – Young, young man

JUXTA – near to, beside, according to

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

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