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Dictionary of Genealogy Terms

  1. Author:  This is the person who creates the work (for example, a book author).


  2. Birth Certificates:  Birth certificates are state government issued genealogy records of the date and place of birth for an individual.


  3. Census Data:  Taken every ten years, US census data provides insightful public domain genealogy search information.


  4. Compilation:  A compilation is a collection of pre-existing material (not original work).


  5. Copyright Attorney:  A copyright attorney or lawyer is someone trained in copyright law and interpretation.


  6. Copyright Infringement:  When someone breaks a copyright law (whether knowingly or unknowingly), it is called copyright infringement.


  7. Copyright Renewal:  In the mid-1900’s, copyrights had a limited life and were available for renewal or extension of the copyright.


  8. Death Certificates:  Death certificates are state issued documents noting the date of death of a certain individual.


  9. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA):  The DMCA updates copyright laws for the technical innovations (specifically the internet).


  10. Facts:  Facts are truths or discoveries and cannot be copyrighted.


  11. Fair Use:  Fair use pertains to laws permitting copyrighted material to be used in limited quantities for certain educational purposes.


  12. Family Bible:  Often, families would create a family tree or history inside the cover of their family Bible.


  13. Family Tree:  A family tree is a method for organizing family members to show relationships over multiple generations.


  14. Free Genealogy Records:  Free genealogy records are genealogy records that are in the public domain and can be used for any purpose.


  15. Genealogy Search Database:  A genealogy search database is an index of genealogy records, such as military records, that has been computerized so that it can be efficiently searched.


  16. Genealogy Records:  A genealogy record is any piece of documentation that contains genealogy information.


  17. Genealogy Search:  This is when a person works to discover information about their ancestors.


  18. Genealogy:  A genealogy is a family history.


  19. National Archives:  The National Archives is a library that contains genealogy information.


  20. Original Expression:  In order for a work to be able to be copyrighted, it needs to contain a unique method of arranging facts or a unique correlation between the facts.  This is called original expression.


  21. Original Work:  Original work, also called original expression, is the only type of work that can be copyrighted.


  22. Piracy:  Piracy is another term for copyright infringement.


  23. Pre-existing Material:  Pre-existing material refers to text used inside of an original work that is not subject to copyright laws for that work (either because it was previously copyrighted or exists in the public domain).


  24. Public Domain:  Public domain records are free genealogy records and can be used by anyone for any purpose.


  25. Scrapbook:  A scrapbook is a method of preserving a genealogy through the use of images and narratives.