My Tangent – When Is an Attorney Not An Attorney?

20 February 2010


My head is in a spin this morning, and not saying that some of you may consider that it is in a spin at most times anyway, but here is my question… When is an attorney not an Attorney? See that I have maintained a lowercase on the first “attorney” and I’ve capitalized the second, “Attorney”.

And really, I am serious; this is not a trick question. This is me trying to understand something that I have found in my Transcription Project that may or may not provide some sort of clue in my search for the genealogy and ancestry of my ggg-grandfather James Smith.

This is what I’ve found as to definitions of the word "attorney".

Today’s definitions:
1. From The Free Dictionary, by Farlex – attorney
  • (Law) a person legally appointed or empowered to act for another
  • (Law) (Business/Professions) US a lawyer qualified to represent clients in legal proceedings
  • (Law) (Business/Professions) South African a solicitor
  • [from Old French atourné, from atourner to direct to; see ATTORN]
2. From the Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary – attorney
  • Etymology Middle English attourney, from Anglo-French aturné, past participle of aturner
  • Date: 14th Century
  • one who is legally appointed to transact business on another’s behalf; especially :Lawyer
3. From, Oxford Dictionaries – attorney
  • a person appointed to act for another in legal matters
  • chiefly US a lawyer
  • ORIGIN from Old French atorner ‘assign’
And so, come back and just take a gander at my next couple of postings in my Transcription Project. Is there some shred of evidence as to the origins of my ggg-grandfather James Smith? Or is it just happenstance? And the search continues.



(Image of Ringmaster borrowed from Freaker's Ball Blog. Thanks.)


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