Definitions of Initials


Did you ever wonder what the initials mean that you might find on a document?

Initials after your ancestors' names may provide useful information that you had not expected.
The following list includes initials you may come across when reading old wills or other documents.


a.a.s. - died in the year of his/her age (anno aetitis suae)(86 y/o died in year 86)

d.s.p. - died without issue (decessit sine prole)

d.s.p.l. - died without legitimate issue (decessit sine prole legitima)

d.s.p.m.s. - died without surviving male issue (decessit sine prole mascula supersita)

d.s.p.s. - died without surviving issue (decessit sine prole supersita)

d.unm - died unmarried

d.v.p. - died in the lifetime of his/her father (decessit vita patris)

d.v.m. - died in the lifetime of his/her mother (decessit vita matris)

Et al - and others (et alia)

inst. - present month (instans)

Liber - book or volume

Nepos - grandson

Nunc - Nuncupative will, an oral will, written by a witness

Ob - s/he died (obit)

Relict - widow or widower (relicta/relictus)

Sic - so, or thus, exact copy as written

Testes - witnesses

Ult - late (ultimo)

Ux or us - wife (uxor)

Viz - namely (videlicet)

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