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Medieval genealogy, or "mediaeval genealogy" as British English describes it (perhaps more appropriately than American English because little or none of it refers to America), genealogy of the Middle Ages, the period between about the 5th century and the 16th century AD, is more difficult than more recent genealogy. As there were no legal requirements to record every birth, death, or marriage, one has to hope that a particular event was recorded by chance. As with more recent records, every document potentially contains something of genealogical interest but it may be so ambiguous as to need verification by some other means. The word "cousin", for example, commonly means "first cousin" but can mean a more distant cousin.

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