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Glossary
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Glossary of Terms: A

abeyance
the condition of an estate which has been claimed but not taken possession of.
abode
a place of habitual dwelling or residence ie, a home.
Aboriginal
The descendants of the original inhabitants of North America. The Canadian Constitution recognizes three groups of Aboriginal people- First Nation, Métis and Inuit as separate peoples with unique heritages, languages, cultural practices and spiritual beliefs.
Aboriginal communities
Aboriginal Communities are located in urban, rural and remote locations across Canada. They include: First Nations or Indian Bands, generally located on lands called reserves; Inuit communities located in Nunavut, NWT, Northern Quebec (Nunavik) and Labrador; Métis communities; and communities of Aboriginal people (including Métis, Non-Status Indians, Inuit and First Nation individuals) in cities or towns which are not part of reserves or traditional territories (for example, the Aboriginal community in Winnipeg).
aboriginal rights
rights of Native peoples arising from their aboriginal use and occupation of territory.
Aboriginal self-government
Governments designed, established and administered by Aboriginal peoples under the Canadian Constitution through a process of negotiation with Canada and, where applicable, the provincial government.
Aboriginal title
A legal term that recognizes an Aboriginal interest in the land. It is based on the long-standing use and occupancy of the land by today's Aboriginal peoples as the descendants of the original inhabitants of Canada.
abstract
a summary of the essential facts in a document.
abstract book
a land record book listing land purchases.
abstract of title
shortened versions of the documents affecting the title of land.
abut
to adjoin or border such as land, estates, or farms.
Acadian
an inhabitant of Acadia (present day Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island); a descendant of French settlers (see Centre d'Études acadiennes Anselme-Chiasson).
achievement
a heraldic insignia including a shield or coat of arms, helmet, mantling, wreath, crest and motto.
action
a lawsuit.
action in personam
a court proceeding commenced against a person rather than against property.
action in rem
a lawsuit the purpose of which is to determine the legal status of property.
addition
a title or name added to a man's Christian or surname to show rank, occupation or residence.
administration , letters of
a document issued by the court authorizing the administration of the estate of a dead person in instances when an executor is not nominated in a will; or, if named in the will, the executor or executrix fails, refuses, is deceased, or is unable to act or perform the duties of an executor. An administrator will be appointed by the court if there is no will or if the will is defective. Probate records are located at the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick in Fredericton.
administration bond
an amount of money, usually twice the estimated value of an estate, posted by the person chosen by the court to act as administrator of an estate which insures that the administrator will fulfill his or her obligations satisfactorily according to law.
administration of estates
the court supervised management, settlement and distribution of an estate by an executor or administrator whose duties involve the collection and payment of debts and the distribution of the remainder of the estate.
Administrator
(male), administratrix (female) usually a close relative of the deceased appointed to administer an estate.
administrator cum testamento annexo
an administrator with the will annexed appointed by the probate court in instances where there is a defective will, an executor is not nominated in a will, or if the person named as executor in a will refuses or is unable to act.
administrator de bonis non
an administrator appointed by the court to distribute property discovered after the probate of an estate has been completed.
adverse possession
living on someone else's land without being challenged by the owner where the owner may or may not have knowledge of the occupation of his land. Under some situations, in accordance with the law, adverse possession can lead to outright ownership.
affiant
a person who signs an affidavit.
affidavit
a written document created while under oath before an authorized officer such as a notary public, solicitor, court officer, etc.
affinity
one's relationship to a spouse's relatives.
age of consent
age at which persons can marry without parental consent.
aggregate census
an enumeration in which no names are recorded, only the number of individuals in age groups.
ague
the shivering stage of an acute fever.
alien
a person born in a foreign country who has legal rights only in his country of origin.
alienate
in land transactions, the transfer of property which has unrestricted ownership.
almshouse
a workhouse for the care of the poor.
Ambrotypes
In 1851, Frederick S. Archer introduced a process by which a weak negative photographic image was placed on a glass plate. In most ambrotypes the image is hand tinted, covered with another piece of glass for protection and inserted in a small leather and metal case with black paper or paint used behind the image to make it appear positive. You notice no mirror-like effect if the ambrotype is rotated or tipped back and forth. Ambrotypes replaced the more expensive daguerreotypes and were very popular from 1852 to about 1870.
ancillary
in probate proceedings, if the decedent owned property in more than one province ancillary proceedings would be commenced for probate in the other province.
annulment
in church records, a termination of a marriage; in law, an annulment establishes that a marital status never existed.
anthropology
the study of human society, culture and behaviour, and also of the origins of human beings and their physical characteristics.
apothecary
one who prepared and sold drugs.
apprentice
one learning a trade or profession, bound by contract to work for a specified length of time under the direction of a master workman.
appurtenant
an "accessory" incidental to land in which a person owns an estate. Such as an easement or right of way across the land of another.
archaeology
the recovery and detailed study of material evidence remaining from human life and culture in the past.
armiger
one entitled to bear arms, such as a knight.
arms
the hereditary armorial bearings of a family with its marks of distinction or coats of arms.
arraignment
the action of formally bringing charges against someone.
assignment
a document transferring land ownership to another.
assumpsit
an agreement to perform an obligation, which if not performed may result in a lawsuit known as an 'Action is assumpsit'.
asylum
a place for the confinement of the insane.
attachment
a seizure or taking into custody of persons or property, by legal process, to satisfy a court judgment.
attestation
a certification by oath or signature in the presence of witnesses.
attornment
the act of accepting or recognizing a new landlord.