P

Parent – the Father or Mother of a person.

Paternal – Relating to the lines of one’s male ancestors.

Patronym – (Also Patronymic) 1. Naming the child for the father or grandfather.  2. The practice of surnames names based on the father’s first name.  Also Matronym, though far less prevalent, the surname coming from the mother’s name.  See also Eponym.

Pedigree – An individual’s ancestral chart.

Posthumous – Occurring after an individual’s death.

Postulant – An individual seeking to enter a religious order. Generally Catholic.

POW – See Prisoner of War.

Prisoner of War – An Enemy Alien living in a country or Enemy Combatant captured during a war who is held in an internment camp.

Primogenitor – The person who began a particular family line.

Primogeniture – (not to be confused with Primogenitor) The right of the eldest child (usually son) to inherit his parents’ estate(s).

Probate – The settling of an individual’s estate.

Progenitor – The beginning ancestor of a particular lineage.

Progeny – See Issue.

Proper Name – See Given Name.

Prussia– A now-defunct Eastern-European state, variously covering parts of Germany, Poland, and many other current Eastern-European countries.