Guysborough County Genealogy

Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, Canada

Glossary of Old Terms

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-M-

Word/PhraseDefinitionUseage
M.S.1. Male servant 2. Merchant Service (Seaman)Scot.Occup
ma cousineCousin (female)French
ma grand-mèreGrandmotherFrench
ma mèreMotherFrench
ma soeurSisterFrench
ma tanteAuntFrench
MadererGarlic sellerUK Occupation
Madras makerMadras is a form of fine lace made in a lace millScot.Occup
MadreMotherItalian/Spanish
mågson-in-lawSwedish
maggioMayItalian
magrefcolicSwedish
magsjukdomstomach diseaseSwedish
magskärvpainful stomach diseaseSwedish
magvärkstomachacheSwedish
MaiMayGermany/French
Maiden nameA woman's family name before marriage. Some women keep their maiden names after marriage, while others take their husband's surname.Genealogy
Mail AgentGovernment appointed Agent sailing on Royal Mail Ships (RMS) to ensure the mail was 'protected and handled in a proper manner'UK Occupation
MaillerA mailler, or mealler, paid farm rent in money or kind, not in labour.Scot.Occup
majMaySwedish
majestätroyal majesty (as in Kunglig Majestät)Swedish
majestätsbrotttreasonSwedish
makaspouse, mate, husband, or wifeSwedish
makarnas gemensamma barnchild(ren) a couple had togetherSwedish
makespouse, mate, husband, or wifeSwedish
Maker-up1) Made up garments to order 2) Chemist 3) Agent for paraffin salesUK Occupation
Male MakerMaker of travelling bags - 'males' - from the bags used by the Royal MailUK Occupation
MalenderFarmerUK Occupation
Malignant sore DiphtheriaMedical
målsmanguardianSwedish
Maltster / MalsterBrewer, Made or sold maltsUK Occupation
MaltsterMaltster, or maltman , prepared malt from fermented barley for brewing or distillingScot.Occup
mamsellMissSwedish
man, mankjönman, male, husbandSwedish
månadmonthSwedish
Manchester WarehousemanCotton warehouseman - Manchester being the centre of the cotton industry at the time, cotton cloth was called 'Manchester' clothUK Occupation
MancipleStewardUK Occupation
måndagMondaySwedish
Manf.ManufacturerScot.Occup
Mangle Keeper / Mangle WomanWoman who hired out her mangle. The possession of a mangle, for the use of which a small sum was charged, was, among the poorer class of English cottagers, a common means of earning money.UK Occupation
ManglerWorked a mangle for wringing out water from washing PicturesUK Occupation
MangoSlave dealerUK Occupation
ManiaInsanityMedical
mantalassessed unit of landSwedish
mantalskrivenregistered for tax/census purposesSwedish
mantalslängdtax/census recordSwedish
Mantle Cutter Dress/TailorCut ladies' Mantles - a cape-like apparel - PictureUK Occupation
Mantle CutterCut out the mantles for gas lampsUK Occupation
Mantle Maker1. Cut and prepared the mantles for incandescent gas lamps 2. Maker of ladies cloaks worn over a dressScot.Occup
Mantua MakerA specific type of Dressmaker. Ladies dressmaker or bonnet maker. ( Mantua was a woman's loose gown in 17th-18th century).UK Occupation
ManuscriptA composition written with the hand as an ancient book or a non-printed modern book or music.General
MarasmusProgressive wasting away of body, like malnutritionMedical
MarblerStained paper or other surfaces to look like marbleUK Occupation
MarikenDressed goatskin from Morocco, often used for shoesScot.Occup
Marine Store DealerProprietor of a store selling equipment to Mariners. There were also those who aspired to that but who were nothing but junk dealersUK Occupation
MarinerSeaman, usually in merchant navyScot.Occup
Mark MakerMarked steel, silver or gold with the purity/quality of silver - where made etcUK Occupation
marknadmarket, fairSwedish
Marksman1) Sharpshooter 2) Marked out land 3) One who makes a mark in place of a signature 4) A grade or degree of the Orange Order 5) One who ranges competitors in a race 6) One who superintended marking New Forest ponies More Info.UK Occupation
marriage bannsA religious tradition by which engaged couples had to announce their intention to marry. This announcement allowed anyone in the congregation to voice their protest. The marriage banns normally took place a few weeks before the actual marriage date. In many churches, they banns were read aloud on three successive Sundays.Colonial Diseases
Marriage bondA financial guarantee that no impediment to the marriage existed, furnished by the intended bridegroom or by his friends.General
marriage recordA formal document normally kept by a church of marriages conducted within their congregation. Besides the names of the individuals being married, it may also contain their ages, occupation and residence, the clergyman's name, and possibly the names of sponsors.Colonial Diseases
MarriageThe legal union of two people who have chosen to spend their lives together.Genealogy
marsMarchFrench/Swedish
MarshallHorse doctor or shoe smithUK Occupation
MarshmanEmployed by landowners to tend marshland and the animals grazing thereUK Occupation
MärzMarchGermany
marzoMarchItalian/Spanish
MashmakerMade the mash-vats or 'mashels' used in brewingUK Occupation
maskinistmachinist, engineerSwedish
maskslagfaintingSwedish
MasonStone cutter or dresser. BricklayerUK Occupation
mässlingmeaslesSwedish
mästaremasterSwedish
Master ....Skilled and self-employed craftsman or tradesmanScot.Occup
Master LumperContractor employing cheap labour (working on the lump)UK Occupation
Master MarinerShip's officer qualified to take command of a ship - not necessarily a Captain. (current term)UK Occupation
Master WriterScribe or writer. (In Scotland, a Writer would be a Lawyer)UK Occupation
MasterOne of the three grades of skill recognised by a Crafts Guild. Skilled tradesman, often with his own business. Head school teacherUK Occupation
Matchet ForgerForged knife bladesUK Occupation
Matchet MounterWorked in the cutlery industry mounting knife blades to the handles - commonly made of bone thenUK Occupation
matermotherLatin
materfamilias(female) head of householdLatin
Maternal ancestorAn ancestor on the mother's side of the family.Genealogy
MaternalRelated through one's mother, such as a Maternal grandmother being the mother's mother.General
MatrimonioMarriageItalian/Spanish
matrossailor, seamanSwedish
Mawer / MatherMowerUK Occupation
mayoMaySpanish
MeallerA mealler, or mailler, paid farm rent in money or kind, not in labour provided.Scot.Occup
MealmanDealer in meal or flourUK Occupation
Measurements, acre43,560 square ft or 160 square rodsGeneral
Measurements, chain100 Links or 66 feetGeneral
Measurements, furlong1000 Links or 660 feetGeneral
Measurements, link7.92 inchesGeneral
Measurements, rod5 1/2 yds or 16 1/2 ft (also called a perch or pole)General
Measurements, roodFrom 5 1/2 yards to 8 yards, depending on localityGeneral
MeasurerA surveyorScot.Occup
Mechanic1) Machine operator, less skilled than an engineer 2) A journeyman engaged in one of the lower forms of handicraftUK Occupation
medwithSwedish
medborgarecitizenSwedish
MedicusFrom the Latin; doctor, physician, also can refer to a homeopathUK Occupation
medlemmemberSwedish
Medullary...Inner core of an organScot.Dise 1855
MelderCorn millerUK Occupation
mellanbetweenSwedish
Membranous CroupDiphtheriaMedical
menbutSwedish
MendicantOne who made a living by begging, or living on alms. eg mendicant friarsScot.Occup
MeningitisInflammations of brain or spinal cordMedical
mensis (menses)month(s)Latin
MercatorMerchantUK Occupation
MercerCloth sellerUK Occupation
Messenger-at-armsA law-enforcement officer of the Scottish Court of Session, responsible for serving documents and enforcing court orders.Scot.Occup
MessuageA dwelling house.General
MetererPoetUK Occupation
Metes & boundsProperty described by natural boundaries, such as 3 notches in a white oak tree, etc.General
MetritisInflammation of uterus or purulent vaginal dischargeMedical
MewerMade cages for hawksUK Occupation
MiasmaPoisonous vapors thought to infect the airMedical
MicroficheSheet of microfilm with greatly reduced images of pages of documents.General
MicrofilmReproduction of documents on film at reduced size.General
middagnoonSwedish
midnattmidnightSwedish
MigrantPerson who moves from place to place, usually in search of workGeneral
MigrateTo move from one country or state or region to another. (Noun : migration)General
MigrationMovement from one place to another.Genealogy
Milestone InspectorVagrant - 'gentleman of the road'UK Occupation
militärmilitarySwedish
MilitiaCitizens of a state who are not part of the national military forces but who can be called into military service in an emergency; acitizen army, apart from the regular military forces.General
Milk feverDisease from drinking contaminated milk, like undulant fever or brucellosisMedical
Milk legPost partum thrombophlebitisMedical
Milk sicknessDisease from milk of cattle which had eaten poisonous WeedsMedical
MillerMiller of corn, cloth miller, saw miller, oil miller (see)UK Occupation
Miller's CarmanDrove cart delivering flour or seedUK Occupation
MilliesNick-name for textile mill workersScot.Occup
MillinerWomen's hat maker / sellerUK Occupation
MillwrightDesigned, built and maintained mills or mill machinery, requiring a variety of skills, from reading plans to diagnosing and solving mechanical problems.UK Occupation
MilnerWorker in a Miln (Mill). Old spelling of miller (qv)UK Occupation
Min.Minister (or miner)Scot.Occup
minderårigunderageSwedish
mindrelesser, smallerSwedish
Mine CaptainSenior supervisor or the equivalent of a superintendent in a mining operation.UK Occupation
MinerWorker at mineral mines, usually coal, ironstone or shale in central ScotlandScot.Occup
ministerialbokparish registerSwedish
MinorOne who is under legal age; not yet a legal adult.General
Mintmaster / MakerIssued local currencyUK Occupation
MintmasterMaker of coin moneyScot.Occup
minutminuteSwedish
MisegathererLocal tax collectorUK Occupation
MisterIn early times, a title of respect given only to those who held important civil officer or who were of gentle blood.General
Mitral regurgitationHeart's mitral valve fails to close properly, causing blood to leak into upper heart chamberScot.Dise 1855
mjölnaremillerSwedish
Mocado Weaver16-17th Century weaver of wool (mock velvet) for clothingUK Occupation
moder, mormotherSwedish
moderpassionhysteric fitsSwedish
MoietyA half; an indefinite portionGeneral
MolecatcherTrapped and killed moles on farms - the molehills thrown up from their underground tunnelling caused crop losses.Scot.Occup
MolitorMillerUK Occupation
mon arrière-graGreat-grandmotherFrench
mon cousinCousin (male)French
mon frèreBrotherFrench
mon grand-pèreGrandfatherFrench
mon oncleUncleFrench
mon pèreFatherFrench
MondaymanWorked for the landowner in lieu of rent - usually a MondayUK Occupation
MoneyerMintmaster, maker of coin moneyScot.Occup
MongerSeller of goods (ale, fish etc.) i.e. fishmongerUK Occupation
Monthly NurseAn attending woman during the first month after childbirth. Also known as 'Confinement Nurse'. May also have the initials S.M.S. (Subsidiary Medical Services. i.e. not a doctor, but trained in some way)UK Occupation
morbrormaternal uncleSwedish
Morbus cordisHeart disease (morbus-disease; cordis-heart)Scot.Dise 1855
mördadmurderedSwedish
Mordant MakerMade a chemical known as Mordant, used in fixing the dye in cloth. This was obtained, amongst other chemicals, from the vapours given off from 'stewing' charcoalUK Occupation
morfarmaternal grandfatherSwedish
morgonmorningSwedish
morgongåvamorning gift, dowrySwedish
MormalGangreneMedical
mormormaternal grandmotherSwedish
MorphewScurvy blisters on the bodyMedical
Mortality schedulesEnumeration of persons who died during the year prior to June 1 of 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 in each state of the United States, conducted by the bureau of census.General
MortalityDeath; death rate.General
MorteDeathItalian
MortgageA conditional transfer of title to real property as security for payment of a debt.General
MortificationGangrene of necrotic tissueMedical
mosaiskJewishSwedish
Moss ReeveA bailiff who received and dealt with claims for land on swamps and mossy areas.UK Occupation
mostermaternal auntSwedish
motagainst, towardSwedish
Mother-in-lawMother of one's spouse.General
MoulderMade moulds for castings, brick making etcUK Occupation
MountebankSeller of fake patent medicines. An impostorUK Occupation
MoutererMiller receiving a fee for grinding cornScot.Occup
MudlarkScratched a living by scavenging river banks at low tideUK Occupation
Muffin CarrierA street seller of muffinsUK Occupation
Mugger1) A hawker of earthenware. 2) A grimacing comedian. 3) Someone who sold chinaware and pottery ( mugs, cups, plates) around a district, often a gypsy.UK Occupation
MugglerPigmanUK Occupation
MugmanPossibly a variant of 'Potman' a term sometimes used for a barman or other helper in a inn or public houseUK Occupation
Mule ScavengerYoung children, sometimes bought from Workhouses, worked some twelve hours a day crouched under working spinning mules, clearing out the debris accumulated there. A very dangerous occupation.UK Occupation
Mule SpinnerSee SpinnerUK Occupation
MuleskinnerTeamsterUK Occupation
MuleteerMule driverUK Occupation
MulticulturalA number of distinct cultural groups living within a country or region.Genealogy
MulturerMillerUK Occupation
MumperBeggarUK Occupation
muraremasonSwedish
MusickerMusicianUK Occupation
Muslin FlowererSewed and embroidered muslin cloth for domestic useScot.Occup
Mustarder / MustardmanDealer in mustardUK Occupation
MutterMotherGermany
mycketvery, muchSwedish
MyelitisInflammation of the spineMedical
myndigof legal ageSwedish
myndlingpupil or wardSwedish
Myocardial infarctionAn area of the heart muscle dies as a result of a lack of sufficient oxygen, a heart attackScot.Dise 1855
MyocarditisInflammation of heart musclesMedical
MyopathyA muscle-related diseaseScot.Dise 1855
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