Record Abbreviations

Hinshaw's records in his Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, Heiss's Abstracts from the Records of the Society of Friends in Indiana, and archival records of Quaker meeting minutes and other documents all contain a large number of abbreviations.  To understand the actions recorded in these records, it's necessary to consult a glossary of these abbreviations.  The following is a comprehensive (but not exhaustive) listing of the most common abbreviations used in recording Quaker meeting minutes and other documentation.  The listing is drawn from abbreviations cited on, on the web site of the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College, and in introductory materials to Hinshaw's volumes.

altm  =  at liberty to marry (also see ltm)
ack = acknowledged, acknowledgement
ami = announced marriage intentions
amist - announced marriage intentions a second time
apd = attending places of diversion
apt = appointed
att = attached to, attended

b = born
BG = burial grounds
btw = between
bur = buried
bef = before

c = circa, about
cem = cemetery
cert = certificate
cd = contrary to Discipline
ch = child, children
chm = condemned his/her misconduct
chr = charter
co = chosen overseer(s), county
com = complained, complained of 
comm = committee
con = condemned
ct = certificate

d = died
dau = daughter
dec = deceased
dis = disowned, disowned for
div = divorced
dp = dropped plain dress and/or speech
dr = drinking spiritous liquor  to excess
drpd = dropped
dt = daughter, daughters
dtd  = dated

e = east
end = endorsed

FBG = Friends burial grounds
fam = family
form = formerly
fr = from
Frds = Friends

gc = granted certificate
gct = granted certificate to
gl = granted letter
glt = granted letter to
gr dau = grand daughter
gr s = grand son
Gr Yd = grave yard

h or hus = husband

IM = indulged meeting

j = join, joined
jas = joined another society
JH = joined Hicksite meeting
JP = Justice of the Peace

ltm = liberated to marry, left at liberty to marry
lvd = lived
lvg = living

m = marry, married, marrying, marriage, month
ma = meeting approved
mbr = member
mbrp = membership
mcd = married contrary to Discipline
MG = minister of the Gospel
MH  = meeting house
mi = miles
MM = monthly meeting
mos = married out of society (see mou)
mou = married out of unity
mt = married to
mtg = meeting
mvd = moved

n = north
na = not attending meeting
neg att = neglecting attendance
nmn = no middle name
NW Terr = Northwest Territory

O = Orthodox, Ohio
ou - out of unity

PN = preparative meeting
PO = post office address
prc= produced a certificate
prcf = produced a certificate from
prob = probably

Qkr = Quaker
QM = Quarterly Meeting

rcd = recorded
rec/recd = receive, received
recrq = received by request
relfc = released from care of
relrq = released by request
rem = remove, removed
ret = returned, retired (rarely used)
ret mbrp = retained membership
rev = reversed
rm = reported married
rmt = reported married to
roc = received on certificate
rocf = received on certificate from
rol = received on letter
rolf = received on letter from
rpd = reported
rq = request, requests, requested
rqc = requested certificate
rqct = requested certificate to
rqcuc = requested to come under the care of (the meeting)
rst = reinstate, reinstated

s = son, sons
sep = separated
sis = sister

temp = termporarily
transfrd = transferred
twp = township

uc = under care (of the meeting)
unm = unmarried
upl = using profane language

w = wife
w/c = with consent of
wid = widow
w/pwr = with power
wrkd = worked

y = year
YM = Yearly Meeting

*     *     *     *     *     *

The abbreviations cited by the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College are annotated with the following explanatory information.


"A statement issued by a monthly meeting to a person (or persons) transferring their membership to another monthly meeting.  Also a marriage certificate."

Complained, Complained Of

"A person could be complained of for an act which was contrary to the rules and advices as outlined in the Discipline."

Granted Certificate To

"All members removing beyond the limits of their Monthly Meetings . . . are to apply to their respective meetings for certificates [of membership] direct to [the monthly meeting] within the limits of which they propose to sojourn or settle.  But if any shall remove without so applying, the Monthly Meeting of which they are members, after making the usual inquiry, and finding no obstruction, should without improper delay, send certificates for them . . . but if their previous conduct require that they be treated with, and the distance be such as to render it inconvenient for the meeting they removed from, the Monthly Meetings, within the verge of which they are, should be requested to treat with them, and report the effect of their care: on which, if it prove satisfactory, certificates of removal may be directed; but if otherwise . . . testimonies of [disownment should be] issued . . ."  From Discipline (1819)

Granted Letter

"After about 1875 letters of membership were granted to and received from most other Protestant bodies."

Joined Another Meeting

"That is, another religious group or another branch of Friends, i.e. Orthodox to Hicksite."

Liberated to Marry, Left At Liberty To Marry

"When a couple would announce at monthly meeting their intention of marriage, a committee was appointed to investigate 'their clearness' and report to the next monthly meeting, after which time the couple were 'left at liberty to marry.'"

Married Contrary to Discipline

"Both participants were members of the Society of Friends and were married by a civil ceremony or by a member of another denomination (i.e.' by a priest')."

Married Out of Unity

"One of the parties was not a member of the Society of Friends or was a member of another branch of Friends."

Received by Request

"A convinced Friend was accepted as a member by request."

Released by Request

"Voluntary termination of one's membership in the Society."

Received on Certificate From

"A certificate of membership was received from another monthly meeting.  Usually (but not always) where no state follows the name of the monthly meeting, it is to be assumed that the meeting is located in Indiana."

Received on Letter From

"After about 1875 letters of membership were accepted from most Protestant bodies."


"When a member was found to have acted contrary to the rules and advices as outlined in the Discipline, he was reported to (or complained of for) the monthly meeting.  The meeting then appointed a committee to treat with him and report their finding.  Usually they reported 'treated with satisfaction' and he was condemned his misconduct.  If not it was reported 'treated without satisfaction' and he was disowned.  Any one disowned had the right of appeal to the Quarterly Meeting and the Yearly Meeting."

Reinstate, Reinstated

"After a disownment the member could still condemn his misconduct and be reinstated in membership."