Orphan - Encyclopedia

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ORPHAN, the term used of one who has lost both parents by death, sometimes of one who has lost father or mother only. In Law, an orphan is such a person who is under age. The Late Lat. orphanus, from which the word, chiefly owing to its use in the Vulgate, was adopted into English, is a transliteration of bpOavos, in the same sense, the original meaning being "bereft of," "destitute," classical Lat. orbus. The Old English word for an orphan was steopcild, stepchild. By the custom of the city of London, the lord mayor and aldermen, in the Court of Orphans, have the guardianship of the children still under age of deceased freemen. Orphans' courts exist for the guardianship of orphans and administration of their estates in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania in the United States. In other states these are performed by officers of the Probate Court, known as "surrogates," or by other titles.

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