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Glossary
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Glossary of Terms: D

Daguerreotype
The photographic process used can date early photographs, at least approximately. In 1838, L.J.M. Daguerre introduced a procedure for fixing images by which a silvered copper plate was placed in iodine fumes, then exposed in a camera, developed in mercury vapours, fixed with sodium hyposulphite, then washed and dried. Daguerreotypes were a tremendous success and the technique spread throughout Europe and North America in the years from 1840 to about 1860. Daguerreotypes usually took the form of portraits in small leather and metal cases with the faces often being hand tinted. If the daguerreotype is rotated or tipped the back and forth in normal lighting, a mirror-like effect will be noticed. Never take apart an old daguerreotype or touch its unprotected surfaces because the chemicals are still active and the surface can easily be marred or smudged.
deed
a document in writing if signed and acknowledged by which an estate or interest in land is transferred from a grantor to a grantee; donor to donee - if a gift.
deed poll
a deed executed or signed by one person only, even though other grantors were involved, and in some instances the names of the grantees were added later.
demise
a lease, transferring from a lessor to a lessee a leasehold estate for a term of years, for life, or "at the will" of the landlord.
demurrer
a delay or stay.
deponent
a person who testifies before an officer at a deposition hearing. Depositions are often confused with affidavits.
devise
pertains to gifts of an interest in real property by means of a will.
dialect
a variety of a language used in a certain region or among an identifiable group of people. A dialect differs from other varieties of the same language in respect to pronunciation, vocabulary or grammar.
direct relative(s)
a person who is descended from a common or blood ancestor.
dispensation
a special release from obligation.
disposition
a deed of conveyance of property.
disseisin
the ouster or removal of a person from possession of real property.
divorce
(a) mensa et thoro (from bed and board) a type of legal separation; (b) divorce a vinculo absolute divorce.
Documentary sources
see Primary sources and Secondary sources
dower
the one-third interest of a widow in the freehold lands of her deceased husband.
dragoon
a heavily armed mounted infantryman.