Guysborough County Genealogy

Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, Canada

Glossary of Old Terms

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dagkarlday laborerSwedish
DagmakerMaker of pistolsScot.Occup
Daguerreotype ArtistEarly photographer - derived from Daguerre's methodUK Occupation
DairymaidWoman or girl employed to milk cows, make butter in dairyScot.Occup
DamsterDam builder - for loggingUK Occupation
dannemanfarmer, gentlemanSwedish
DanterFemale overseer in silk winding roomUK Occupation
DapiferSteward in a royal or noble houseScot.Occup
DarnerRepaired holes or gaps in textile garments, typically stockings.Scot.Occup
därstädes(of) that placeSwedish
Dateler/Dataller/Day Man/ Daytaleman/Day LabourerCasual worker, employed on a daily basisUK Occupation
Dauber/DawberMade Wattle & Daub walls using 'Lute', a tenacious clay.UK Occupation
daughter-in-lawThe wife of a person's sonColonial Diseases
Daughter-in-lawWife of one's son.General
Day feverFever lasting one day; sweating sicknessMedical
Day-maidDairymaidUK Occupation
de därthoseSwedish
de härtheseSwedish
Deal PorterA specialistworker in the docks - mainly London, handling baulks of softwood or 'deal' between ship and shore.UK Occupation
DeathThe moment a person dies.Genealogy
DeathsmanExecutioner - very popular!UK Occupation
DebarkationDeparture from a vessel or aircraft.Genealogy
DebilityLack of movement or staying in bedMedical
DecedentA deceased person.General
Decimer / DozenerElected by householders in a street to represent them at the Court LeetUK Occupation
Declaration of intentionFirst paper, sworn to and filed in court, by an alien stating that he wants to become a citizen.General
DecoymanDecoyed wild fowl, animals, into a trap or within shooting rangeUK Occupation
DecrepitudeFeebleness due to old ageMedical
DecretistKnowledgeable in decrees (decretals)UK Occupation
deedA signed and usually sealed instrument containing some legal transfer, bargain, or contract.Colonial Diseases
dejamaidservant, milkmaidSwedish
Delaine WeaverMade delaine, a light all-wool cloth of plain weave, usually printed. From the French laine, meaning wool. De laine - 'from wool'UK Occupation
DelfmanSold 'Delf', which is earthenware from Delft, Holland.UK Occupation
Delfsman / DelphmanWorker in quarries or open pits, usually quarrying stoneUK Occupation
delinqventerdelinquent, criminal (old spellling)Swedish
Delirium tremensHallucinations due to alcoholismMedical
DelverDitch digger - also a worker in a stone quarry.UK Occupation
Dempster/DemsterJudgeUK Occupation
DempsterOne who pronounces judgement - a doomster (judge)Scot.Occup
den därthatSwedish
den härthisSwedish
denthe, itSwedish
DengueInfectious fever endemic to East AfricaMedical
Dental MechanicMade false teeth - a very skilled job (Mechanic meant a craftsman or artisan)UK Occupation
DentitionCutting of teethMedical
DepaterRefined precious metalsUK Occupation
DeplumationIs falling of eyelashes as result of disease (not the disease itself). Tumor of the eyelids which causes hair lossMedical
DepositionA testifying or testimony taken down in writing under oath of affirmation in reply to interrogatories, before a competent officer to replace the oral testimony of a witness.General
DeputyPit workers' safety officerUK Occupation
descendantA person who is an offspring, however remote, of a certain ancestor or familyColonial Diseases
DescendantsA person's children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren and so on.Genealogy
descentLineage, ancestryColonial Diseases
desshis, her, itsSwedish
det därthatSwedish
det härthisSwedish
detthe, itSwedish
DevilPrinter's errand boyUK Occupation
DevillerOperated a 'devil' - a machine that tore rags in the textile industryUK Occupation
DeviseGift of real property by will.General
DeviseeOne to whom real property (land) is given in a will.General
DevisorOne who gives real property in a will.General
DexterDyerUK Occupation
Dey WifeFemale dairy workerUK Occupation
Diabetes mellitusDisorder characterised by elevated blood sugar levelsScot.Dise 1855
Diary feverA fever that lasts one dayMedical
Die SinkerWhen forging metals, lays out, machines, and finishes impression cavities in die blocks to produce forging dies, following blueprints and applying knowledge of die sinkingUK Occupation
Digger1) Coal face worker 2) Day labourer in slate of stone quarriesUK Occupation
Dikeman / DykemanDitch digger or hedgerUK Occupation
Diker/ DykerBuilder of dry stone wallsScot.Occup
DiphtheriaContagious disease of the throatMedical
DipperGlazed goods in the potteryUK Occupation
directoryA book listing the names, addresses, occupations etc., of a specific group of people; types include - city, telephone, county, regional, professional, religious, post office, street, ethnic, and schoolColonial Diseases
Dish TurnerMade wooden bowls and dishes on a latheUK Occupation
Disher / Dish ThrowerMade bowls and dishes from clayUK Occupation
DissenterOne who did not belong to the established church, especially the Church of England in the American colonies.General
DistemperUsually animal disease with malaise, discharge from nose and throat, anorexiaMedical
Distributor of StampsAppointee in charge of a county Stamp Office, collecting stamp duties (taxes) on land, registrations, etcScot.Occup
DistributorParish official who attended to the secular needs of inmates of the poorhouse / workhouseUK Occupation
District land office plat bookBooks or rather maps which show the location of the land patentee.General
District land office tract bookBooks which list individual entries by range and township.General
djärvbold, daring, venturesomeSwedish
Dock feverYellow feverMedical
Dock FoyboatmanA shore-based seaman who worked a 'foy' to give assistance to vessels entering port - running lines from the ship to shore, towing small vessels etc. Foy is a corruption of fee, which was what the boatman chargedUK Occupation
Docker / Dock WalloperStevedore, dock worker who loads and unloads cargoUK Occupation
DockerWorker at docks who loads and unloads ships cargoScot.Occup
Docket Room HandEmployed in a print works, processing the dockets which contain all the details, copy and pictures for a print jobUK Occupation
DockmasterIn charge of a dockyardUK Occupation
död utan bröstarvingedied without issueSwedish
död, döda, dödedead, deathSwedish
dödbokdeath recordSwedish
dödslistadeath recordSwedish
dödsorsakcause of deathSwedish
DofferWorked in the spinning mills, replacing the full yarn bobbins with empties on the looms.UK Occupation
Dog BreakerDog trainerUK Occupation
Dog KillerEmployed by the parish to round up and kill stray dogsUK Occupation
Dog LeechVeterinarianUK Occupation
Dog-WhipperDrove dogs away from the church. The dogs would be attracted by the custom of nailing fox tails to the church door as proof for collecting bounty on themUK Occupation
Dom. Serv.Domestic servant, household workerScot.Occup
domsentence, judgmentSwedish
dombokcourt recordSwedish
Domesday BookSometimes called just Domesday, it is a written record of a survey of England ordered by William the Conqueror in 1066. William was an attempting to register the landed wealth of the country in a systematic fashion and to determine the revenues due him. The survey was executed by groups of officers called legati, who visited each county and conducted a public inquiry. The set of questions that these officers asked of the town and county representatives constituted the Inquisitio Eliensis; the answers supplied the information from which the Domesday Book was compiled. Domesday is a corruption of Doomsday (the day of the final judgment); the work was so named because its judgments in terms of levies and assessments were irrevocable. The original manuscript was made in two volumes. The first and larger one, sometimes called the Great Domesday, included information on all England, with the exception of three eastern counties (Essex, Suffolk, and Norfolk), several northern counties, London, and some other towns. The surveys of the three eastern counties made up the second volume, which was known as the Little Domesday. These documents were frequently used in the medieval law courts, and in their published form they are occasionally used today in cases involving questions of topography or genealogy.Colonial Diseases
DomesmanJudgeUK Occupation
DominieCleric or schoolmasterUK Occupation
domsagajudicial districtSwedish
Donkey Man/BoyPassenger carriage driverUK Occupation
dopbaptism, christeningSwedish
doplängdrecord of baptismsSwedish
dopnamngiven nameSwedish
döpt, döpta, döpte, döpelsechristeningSwedish
DorcasSeamstressUK Occupation
dötthas diedSwedish
double dateA double date appears on some documents as a result of two changes introduced by the adoption of the Gregorian calendar, introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 to resolve the error caused by the Julian calendar in use up to that time. Scientists resolved that a year was slightly longer than the 365 ¼ specified by the Julian calendar, which resulted in the loss of 10 days. The new calendar also changed the first day of the year from March 25th on the Julian calendar to January 1st. Different countries adopted the new calendar at different times and the practice of providing a double date was common. The British Commonwealth and the United States adopted the new calendar in 1752. By this time, the calendar was behind by 11 days. So, the day following September 2, 1752 was decreed to be September 14, 1752..Colonial Diseases
Double datingA system of double dating used in England and America from 1582-1752, because it was not clear as to whether the year commenced January 1 or March 25General
DoublerOperated a machine twisting yarn in cotton/woolen mills. The yarn on different bobbins is combined onto another bobbinUK Occupation
DowerLegal right or share which a wife acquired by marriage in the real estate of her husband, allotted to her after his death for her lifetime.General
Dowser / DivinerFinds water using a rod or witching stickUK Occupation
DragmanFisherman who dragged a net along the sea bed (trawling)UK Occupation
DragomanInterpreter for Turkish or ArabicUK Occupation
dragonlight cavalrymanSwedish
DragoonCavalrymanUK Occupation
DragsmanPublic transport/hire coach/carriage driverUK Occupation
DrainerDug drains. Laid and buried clay tile drains in farm fields to drain them. Sometimes drains in towns.UK Occupation
drängfarmhand, bachelorSwedish
DraperDealer in fabrics and sewing goods - in use today. From the French 'drap-de-Berry', a woollen cloth coming from Berry in FranceUK Occupation
Drapery PainterSecond-rate painters employed painting the clothes (drapery) onto a painter's subjectUK Occupation
DrawboyWeavers assistant - sat on the looms to lift the heavy warpsUK Occupation
Drawer InDraws the warp yarn through loom parts to arrange warp for weaving specified pattern More InfoUK Occupation
Drawer1) Made wire by drawing the metal through a die 2) Raised the coal up the mineshaft 3) Mine worker pushing or dragging coal cartsUK Occupation
DraymanDrove a long strong cart without fixed sides for carrying heavy loads, such as beer kegsUK Occupation
Dredgerman1) Collected flotsam from the Thames for sale 2) Oyster fishermanUK Occupation
Dresser1) A surgeon's assistant in a hospital 2) Operator who assembled the yarns or threads prior to weaving of cloth 3) Assistant to a noble person, preparing clothes etc. 4) In an Iron Foundry, the person who removed the flash and unwanted bits from castingsUK Occupation
Dressing Machine MakerSewing machine makerUK Occupation
Drift MakerMade fishermen's drift netsUK Occupation
DrillmanAgricultural worker who operated a seed drillUK Occupation
Dripping ManDealer in dripping - fat from cooking meatUK Occupation
DriverLiterally, a slave driverUK Occupation
Dropsy of the BrainEncephalitisMedical
DropsyEdema (swelling), often caused by kidney or heart diseaseMedical
DroverDrove cattle, sheep, etc. to market; a dealer in cattleUK Occupation
DrownerA Waterman who understood the secrets of irrigation SeeUK Occupation
DruggerPharmacistUK Occupation
Drugget weaverWeaver of drugget - a plain and coarse open-sett woollen clothScot.Occup
Drum Battledore MakerMade galvanized drums with battledores (bat-shaped paddles), used as washing machinesUK Occupation
DrummerTravelling salesman (drumming up business)UK Occupation
Dry BellyacheLead poisoningMedical
Dry Salter1) Dealt in dried meat, sauces, pickles 2) Dealt in dyes for fabrics etc.UK Occupation
Dry Stone Waller / Dry Stane Dyker (Scottish)Builds walls with stones from the fields. The art involves no mortar or cutting, but the ability to see where the stones should fit. Served the dual purpose of disposing of the stones from the fields and building the boundary wallsUK Occupation
DrysalterDealer in salted or dried meats, pickles and saucesScot.Occup
DubberCloth dubber - raised the nap of clothUK Occupation
DufferPeddler of cheap goodsUK Occupation
DunnerDebt collectorUK Occupation
duplikatduplicate recordSwedish
DustmanUplifted street litter and domestic rubbish ( see 'scavenger' )Scot.Occup
DyerFabric dyerUK Occupation
dygn24 hours, daySwedish
DykemanHedger or DitcherUK Occupation
Dyker(Scottish) Stonemason. Builder of dry stone wallsUK Occupation
DyscrasiaAn abnormal body conditionMedical
DysenteryInflammation of colon with frequent passage of mucous and BloodMedical
DysorexyReduced appetiteMedical
DyspepsiaIndigestion and heartburn. Heart attack symptomsMedical
DysuriaDifficulty in urinationMedical
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