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09 December 2013

For Example: What Is Viz?

Old newspapers and obituaries often contain the abbreviation viz. Some genealogists wonder exactly what viz means, so in this tip we will look at three abbreviations that often are confused.

  • e.g. from exempli gratia - "for example" (common usage is that what follows e.g. is an example and not a complete list of items)
  • i.e. from id est - "that is" (common usage is that what follows is a restatement of something previously stated)
  • viz. from videlicet - "that is" (common usage is that what follows is a complete list)
The reality:
James Jones was born in Harford County, Maryland and his wife was born in Smith County, Ohio. They were married in Smith County, Ohio, in 1830. James and Elizabeth (Smith) Jones had children named Riley, James, John, Martha, Thomas, and Elizabeth. In addition to being a farmer, James was a cooper and also helped making ends meet by fixing wagon gears and wagon wheels.

The statement in the county history (using e.g, i.e., and viz.) :

James and Elizabeth (Smith) Jones came to the county from Coshocton County, Ohio, in 1847. James was born in Harford County, Maryland, and Elizabeth was born in Smith County, Ohio. James and Elizabeth were married in her native county (i.e. Smith County) in 1830. James operated a farm after their marriage and also did coopering and other work (e.g. wagon fixing) for nearby farmers. They were the parents of six children, viz.: Riley, James, John, Martha, Thomas, and Elizabeth

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