HomeDNAAuthorized alphabet soup | The Authorized Genealogist

Authorized alphabet soup | The Authorized Genealogist

The language of the regulation. Half Latin, half Greek, half regulation French, even half Anglo-Saxon. And all complicated.

It was revealed in a Missouri newspaper in early August 1876.

The type of report The Authorized Genealogist simply loves to see.

Below the heading “Probate Court docket Docket,” we discover what was scheduled for the primary day of the Probate Court docket session — to be held on Monday the twenty first of August, and on the next three days.




The newspaper docket listing is chock filled with authorized alphabet soup.

In simply this snippet from the Advertiser Courier, we discover ourselves wading by way of it: “adr” and “adr c t a” and “g & c m h.”


Now if we’ve been working with probate information lengthy sufficient, we are able to most likely determine that “adr” is the abbreviation the paper used for “administrator” — the particular person chosen by the courtroom to deal with the property of an individual who died with out leaving a legitimate will.

However then what’s the “c t a” bit? Which — sigh — you received’t discover within the regulation dictionary as a part of the definition of administrator…

Oh, you will see it within the regulation dictionary. In the beginning of the C letter entries within the abbreviations: “An abbreviation for cum testamento annexo, in describing a species of administration.”

Properly, that was useful, wasn’t it?

So we’re off to a different web page, the place we discover that “cum testamento annexo” means “With the desire annexed. A time period utilized to administration granted the place a testator makes an incomplete will, with out naming any executors, or the place he names incapable individuals, or the place the executors named refuse to behave.”

Okay, acquired that.

So what about that “g & c m h” thingy?

I’ve to confess that one had me stumped for a minute. I used to be fairly positive we have been speaking a few guardian of minor heirs… However the “& c” half made me suppose.

Missouri, you might recall, was smack dab in the midst of the Louisiana Buy. Which means its earliest authorized historical past was not beneath the English frequent regulation however slightly beneath the civil regulation of France and Spain — and it carried that civil regulation custom over into its early days as an American territory, modeling its courts after the French and Spanish authorized system.

And that civil regulation system used the time period curator slightly than guardian.

Was that it? Yep. Search for curator in Black’s Legislation Dictionary and it says: “In Missouri. The time period ‘curator’ has been adopted from the civil regulation, and it’s utilized to the guardian of the property of the ward as distinguished from the guardian of his particular person.”

So the guardian took care of the kid — making selections about education and garments and extra, the curator took care of the kid’s property, and the courtroom might title one particular person to deal with each roles.

Authorized alphabet soup for positive… however digestible in small bites with the assistance of a superb authorized dictionary… and an appreciation of the historical past of time and place.

Cite/hyperlink to this put up: Judy G. Russell, “Authorized alphabet soup,” The Authorized Genealogist (https://www.legalgenealogist.com/weblog : posted 13 Dec 2022).


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