Silton Dorset Protestation ReturnIn the Dorset Protestation Returns of 1641-2, there is a block of 3 John SUTERs which have abbreviations after the names - se, jut, iun (obviously related to Latin in some way). The jut abbreviation is quite common and I translate that to junior - ie the son of another of the same name elsewhere. However I am unable to find a definitive translation of iun in any textbooks. Other information suggests that this person is the grandson in the group. Does anybody know for sure what this means?

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    According to my copy of "Palaeography for Family and Local Historians", there is no distinction between i and j. Iunior (ie jun or iun) then means "younger ". However, I am a long way off getting my eye in on that script to validate your transcripts.
    – AdrianB38
    Aug 21, 2022 at 21:29
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    The first two abbreviations are se~ and ju~ and almost certainly stand for "senior" and "junior", as you know. Without more text to compare with it is impossible to be sure what the third is. But it does not start with any usual form of 'i' or 'j'. My best guess would be Mi~, perhaps meaning "minor" or a related word. Can you show us a larger sample? (There are a couple of "M"s a little further down the page.) Aug 23, 2022 at 9:10
  • Thanks - I will try to post the full page. The writing from the pages from the nearby villages is slightly different in style and not 'pure' Latin. I think the key to this is the 1st character of the 3rd name - it follows a ':' which has been used to show a word shortening in later years of the parish register. I have burial dates which support 3 generations but no baptisms (PR didn't start until 1653).
    – lapsed
    Aug 24, 2022 at 10:12

1 Answer 1


Now we've got the bigger picture, I'll make my comment into an answer.

The first two abbreviations are se~ and Ju~ and almost certainly stand for "senior" and "junior", as you know.

The third is, I'm fairly sure, "Mi~". The blob at the top of the first letter is part of the "J" above. Removing that, what's left matches closely the "M" in "Mans" on the top line (and the "N" in the following word follows the same pattern.) The "M"s elsewhere - beginning people's names - are more elaborate and don't match but I think it's reasonable that the scribe used his simpler form in an abbreviation like this. I can't see any other letter on the page that fits better.

Looking at the transcription online, in Wimborne Minster there are two John Stronge, sen. and minimus; and three Thomas Budden, sen. Ju. and minor. https://archive.org/details/dorsetrecords12frye/page/n261/mode/2up and the next page.

So "Mi~" could stand for "Minor" or "Minimus". "Minimus" means "least" and so is the obvious one for the youngest of three, although the Wimborne recorder seems to have "minor" and "minimus" the wrong way around.

  • Well I think your logic is sound but looking at the 1st name in the 2nd column - it's Richard Moger - the 'M' there is quite different as you have noted. Everything points to this being a case of 3 generations but I want to avoid confirmation bias so will do a bit more research and then return here. Thanks for the link.
    – lapsed
    Aug 24, 2022 at 14:57
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    Junior, Senior etc. do not necessarily indicate different generations. They could include cousins. In my own family - a few years earlier and not far away (just into Devon) - there's even a case where John senior and John junior where half-brothers. Aug 24, 2022 at 15:13

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