The family tree is a chart that shows the representation of the connection that exists between the members of an extended family using the structure of a tree. The family chart is also called pedigree and it is said to be extended when we extend the naming through relations of grandparents, great grandparents and great great grandparents . Many language users, of English especially, do not really understand the family structure and cannot really name members of their family. For example, only few know how to identify the difference between grandparents from the father side and grandparents from the mother side. However, this write up is of the aim of shedding more light in some family chart terms.
There are quite a number of reasons why one should know his/her family members by their name on the family tree and also physically with proper identification.
- Understanding the family tree enables you to get connected to your family members.
- With the help of the family tree, you would be able to track out genetic health issues of your family.
- You would be able to learn from your family and also learn your family history.
- It helps your children to be aware about your ancestors and the qualities they need to preserve in their ancestry.
- Knowing about your family tree can be fun.
Your family tree basically revolves around you, your parents, your grandparents, and your great-grandparents. To extend it, you may have you, your parents, your siblings, aunts and uncles, cousins, and so on. These terms would be explained below.
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To start with is the “ancestor“. Ancestor is also referred to as forefather. An ancestor is a parent of an antecedent. That is, a grandparent, great-grandparent, great-great-grandparent and so forth. Ancestor is “any person from whom one is descended. In law, it can mean the person from whom an estate has been inherited. However we aren’t concerned about the meaning according to law.
The next family chart term we would discuss is the paternal and maternal grandparents. The term paternal means “coming from the father’s side” and the word maternal means “coming from the mother side”. Therefore, paternal grandfather and grandmother are the grandparents that are from the father’s side while the maternal grandfather and grandmother are the grandparents from the mother side.
In the family tree chart, we would also talk about “Uncle and Aunt”. Your uncle is your mother or father’s brother while your aunt is your father or mother’s sister.
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The next term to discuss is “cousin”. Your immediate cousin is the child of your uncle or aunt. You share the same grandparents with your first cousins. You share the same great-grandparents with your second cousins. And, you share the same great-great-grandparent with your third cousins and so on. The extent of cousinhood (“first,” “second,” etc.) is determined by the number of generations between two cousins’ parents and their nearest common ancestor.
It is also essential to discuss some major terms attached with cousin parallel vs cross cousin. Your parallel cousin is a cousin from your parent’s same-sex sibling, while a cross-cousin is from a parent’s opposite-sex sibling. To break this down, it means that your parallel cousin is your paternal uncle’s child. That is the child of your father’s brother or of your maternal aunt’s child. That is your mother’s sister. while a cross-cousin is your maternal uncle’s child. That is the child of your mother’s brother or the child of your paternal aunt’s child. That is, the child of your father’s sister (paternal aunt’s child).
It is also very important to discuss the term “removed”. In the cousin chart, the term “removed” refers to the number of generations separating the cousins from one another. Your first cousin once removed can be in two ways. One, your parent’s first cousin or the child of your first cousin. Since” twice removed” indicates two generations, your first cousin twice removed would be either your grandparent’s first cousin or the grandchild of your first cousin.
For the sake of recognition by offsprings, it’s advisable to get yourself, your partner and your children familiar with other family members of the extended family. This can be achieved in many ways. You may pay consistent visits to your extended family members, you can also go on dinners, parties, vacations, lots more with your extended family members, together with your children, you can also tell your children stories about your family that they aren’t aware about.
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In order to ease the next generation the stress of searching for their family tree, it’s advisable to document your family tree and history. This can be done by registering on some websites online. You can also search for your family connection, document them and save the documents manually by yourself.