The Search for our Ancestry (XXVII) - The Three Dimensions of Genealogy

Sep 01, 2016 610

By Angelo Coniglio

Genealogy entails more than tracing a single line or surname of ancestors, even though that line may go very far into the past. I like to think of genealogy as having three dimensions, which I characterize as backwards, sideways, and forward.

A simple example: Researching your parents is backwards genealogy; researching your siblings is sideways genealogy, and researching your children is forward genealogy. Even this simple approach can quickly become complex. If you go sideways to include your siblings, to be complete, your tree must go forward for each sibling, and include their children, your nieces and nephews. If you go backwards to detail your parents' lives, you must go sideways to chronicle your aunts and uncles, then forward again, to account for your first cousins.

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