I hope this is not something obvious... I have tried to figure out what the word following the birthdate here is: "Patrick Dunlop shepherd in Brukside and Jean Wood his spouse had a son baptized named John (was born the 1st ???), witnesses to the baptism Mr. John Hay Esq. younger of Hopes and Joseph Anderson."

The word looks like 'jnstand' to me, which I can't make head nor tails of.

The record above this one also has a word after the birthdate that I can't figure out. The one above that looks like 'September past'. What is this pattern and what are they saying?

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1 Answer 1


It looks like "instant" meaning "this month". Since the latest month mentioned in the left column is October, I would interpret it that the child John was born October 1st and baptized on October 24th.

"Instant" (often abbreviated "inst.") and "ultimo" (or "ult."), meaning the previous month, are old English words originally from Latin.

The previous entry could be "September just past" and the one above that "September last".

  • Yes, I agree, "instant" meaning "this" [month]. The previous two entries I believe are "September last" and "September last past", both meaning the immediately preceding month.
    – RobertShaw
    Mar 31, 2013 at 3:38
  • 1
    Awesome! So great to learn something new. Thanks :D Never thought I'd need to know Latin for my family tree research. I've located both of the terms you mentioned on Geni's Abbreviations & Acronyms for Genealogy. Looks like a really useful reference. Apr 1, 2013 at 18:49
  • Happy to be of help, CGS, and thanks for adding the link! Apr 2, 2013 at 15:59

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