firewall 1. A system designed to prevent unauthorized Internet users from accessing computers connected to the Internet. All Internet messages pass through the firewall, which examines each message and blocks those that do not meet the specified security criteria.
GEDCOM 1. A file format that allows the exchange of information from one genealogical program to another. GEDCOM is an acronym for GEnealogical Data COMmunication.
given name 1. First name. 2. A name that precedes one's surname.
metaphone 1. A way to code English words phonetically by reducing them to 16 consonant sounds. This reduces matching problems from wrong spelling or different spelling of names.
pedigree 1. An identification of a person's direct ancestors.
Social Security Death Index 1. A computerized index to death benefits paid out as early as 1940. Most records, however, date from 1962. Some ancestors may not be in the death index because prior to the 1960s, farmers, housewives, government employees, non-employed individuals and those with a separate retirement plan may not have had a social security number.
soundex 1. A four character representation based on the way a name sounds rather than the way it is spelled. Theoretically, using this system, you should be able to index a name so that it can be found no matter how it was spelled. There are many sites on the which will convert a name to the soundex representation. Try RootsWeb's Soundex Converter.
surname 1. Last name. 2. The name borne in common by members of a family.