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28 October 2012

Do Your Descendants Have Ancestors?

Of course your descendants have ancestors--you are one of them.

These are two words that frequently are used incorrectly, at least in the technical sense. Your ancestors are those people from whom you actually descend. These include your parents, grandparents, and their parents, grandparents, etc. Uncles, aunts, cousins, etc. aren't technically considered your ancestors. Uncles and aunts, are your relatives, but there's a distinction between an ancestor and a relative.

Descendants are your children, grandchildren, etc.

Everyone has ancestors.Not everyone has descendants (and that's just fine if people don't).

Sometimes writers use ancestors more generically to refer to all those who have come before. That's ok for them, but usually genealogists prefer to be more precise. There's enough confusion in records as    it is.

1 comment:

  1. I recently saw a comment on Ancestry.com's Facebook page from someone who asked for a change so that they could enter descendants and not just ancestors. Huh?