Commonly used Family Tree Abbreviations

Family Tree Abbreviations

Family tree abbreviations are shortened versions of words or phrases, and are utilised because they are easier to use, especially on a family tree when space can be at a premium.

You are sure to find many family tree abbreviations in transcripts of parish registers, census returns, other transcripts, indexes and genealogy books as you conduct family history research.

These abbreviations are unique to family history research and genealogy, and may not be found in any other fields or industries.

When you peruse a family tree, you will probably see the letter b. or d. before a date, which stands for born or died.

You should ensure you do not cause confusion when compiling your tree. 

When using family tree abbreviations, it is prudent to use b. for born, bap. for baptised, m. for married and bur. for buried, and use this abbreviation throughout your family tree.

If you use a single letter to signify a surname such as D for Dunkley on your work, you should use the same letter(s) on every document and also include a description of what it means.

This will help other people to understand what you have written and makes it easier to remember the letter(s) you have used.

Common family tree abbreviations

abs. Abstract
abt. About
admin. Administration
afsd. Aforesaid
als. Alias
appx. Appendix
Bach. Bachelor
Bap. Baptised
b. Born
bef. Before
b.o.t.p Both of this Parish
Bur. Buried
By lic. Married by Licence
c. Circa (About)
ca. Circa (About)
chr. Christened
d. Died
d/o Daughter of
Dau. Daughter
div. Divorced
dsp. or osp. Died childless
et al. And others
exec. Executor
gf. Grandfather
gm. Grandmother
ggf. Great Grandfather
ggm. Great Grandmother
GS. Grandson
h/o Husband of
hus. Husband
inf. Infant
junr. Junior
KIA. Killed in Action
Lat. Latin
lic. Licence
m. or marr. Married
MI. Monumental Inscriptions
ML. Marriage Licence
n.d. Not dated
n.p. No place
N.S. New Style (Gregorian) Calendar
Née Maiden name
obit. Obituary
O.S. Old Style (Julian) Calendar
o.t.p. Of this Parish
p.r. Parish Register
R.C. Roman Catholic
reg. Register
ret. Retired
s. Son
s & h. Son and Heir
s/o Son of
serv. Servant
soc. Society
spin. Spinster (unmarried)
unk. Unknown
unm. Unmarried
vols. Volumes
w. Wife
w/c. With consent of
w/o Wife of
w.d. Will dated
wdr. Widower
wid. Widow

Other family history abbreviations

AKA. Also Known As
BMD. Births, Marriages, Deaths
CRO. County Record Office
FFHS. Federation of Family History Societies
IGI. International Genealogical Index
LDS. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
ONS. Office of National Statistics
PCC. Prerogative Court of Canterbury
PCY. Prerogative Court of York
PRONI. Public Record Office of Northern Ireland
SOG. Society of Genealogists
TNA. The National Archives

Similar provisions also apply (Chapman County Codes) for the counties of England and Wales. These were in existence until local government was re-organised in 1974:

BDF. Bedfordshire
BRK. Berkshire
BKM. Buckinghamshire
CAM. Cambridgeshire
CHS. Cheshire
CON. Cornwall
CUL. Cumberland
DBY. Derbyshire
DEV. Devon
DUR. Durham
ESS. Essex
GLS. Gloucestershire
HAM. Hampshire
HEF. Herefordshire
HRT. Hertfordshire
HUN. Huntingdonshire
KEN. Kent
LAN. Lancashire
LEI. Leicestershire
LIN. Lincolnshire
LND. London
MDX. Middlesex
NFK. Norfolk
NTH. Northamptonshire
NBL. Northumberland
NTT. Nottinghamshire
OXF. Oxfordshire
RUT. Rutland
SAL. Shropshire
SOM. Somerset
STS. Staffordshire
SFK. Suffolk
SSX. Sussex
WAR. Warwickshire
WES. Westmorland
WOR. Worcestershire
YKS. Yorkshire

AGY. Anglesey
BRE. Breconshire
CAE. Caernarvonshire
CGN. Cardiganshire
CMN. Carmarthenshire
DEN. Denbighshire
FLN. Flintshire
GLA. Glamorgan
MER. Merionethshire
MON. Monmouthshire
MGY. Montgomeryshire
PEM. Pembrokeshire
RAD. Radnorshire

I have found a great website that lists many other family tree abbreviations found in genealogy, not just in England and Wales, but also in other countries.

We can sometimes encounter some terms we are not aware of as we conduct family history research.  This glossary of genealogy terms may help us to understand them.

  1. Family Tree Resources
  2. Starting Family History Research
  3. Family Tree Abbreviations