Dedicated to the Memory of Combs &c. founder Carole Hammett (1946-2009)
This Combs &c. Web Site is Generously Hosted by Click Here to Join USGenNet
We Support Free Nonprofit Genealogy and History on the Internet
Combs &c. Research

Lines of Descent
A Combs &c. Resource for Researchers

Last updated 09 Apr 2008
You are Our 30472nd Visitor.
Please Email Additions/Corrections to Webmaster

Disclaimer: This site is meant for the use of genealogical and historical researchers, not those seeking free legal advice. No claim is made to accuracy, and no responsibility for errors.

Descendants and Heirs are often confused even though they are totally separate and distinct: To be an heir, one may be an "heir by devise" (named in a will), in which case, it is not necessary to be a descendant; or an "heir at law," which generally requires that one be either a descendant, spouse or adopted child, or, in days gone by, a male or eldest male child (primogeniture).

Descent requires, firstly, that one be a blood relative. There are two types of descendants: lineal and collateral:

Lineal Descent is in a direct line, such as from parent to child, or grandparent to grandchild.

Collateral Descent is indirect; i.e., "up" to one ancestor, and then "down" again, such as from brother to brother, cousin to cousin, uncle to nephew, etc.

Line of Descent is the order of succesion of blood relatives from their common ancestor. Lines of descent are lineal or collateral, and maternal or paternal.

Degree of Descent is based on the closeness of the blood relationship, with first degree being that of parent and child, second degree grandparent to grandchild, or siblings, etc. (See the University of Manitoba's Systems of Measuring Kinship Degree)

Reminder: Each country's or state's laws are different, and may change from time to time, and it is the statutes of descent and distribution in effect at the time of death that determine heirship and whether the degree of descent is close enough for one to be an heir at law. If, for example, a man dies intestate (without a will) and his closest living relative is a third cousin once removed, under the laws of most states, he is considered to have died without an "heir at law," resulting in his estate "escheating" (reverting) to the state.

Return To
Combs &c. of Resources

Join Combs &c. in Support of USGenNet
— an IRS-approved nonprofit web-hosting service —

Combs &c. Research FamiliesCombs Research Group Proud Patron of USGenNetJoin USGenNet

This site is hosted by USGenNet, a nonprofit web-hosting service solely supported by tax-deductible donations. If this website has provided you with useful information, please consider making a donation to USGenNet to help keep sites like this online.

NOTICE: The Combs-Coombs &c. Research Group is a nonprofit public benefit corporation and complies fully with USGenNet's Conditions of Use. This Combs &c. Research Report has been provided for the free use of those engaged in non-commercial genealogical research by the nonprofit Combs Research Group. Any and all commercial use is strictly prohibited. Researchers are encouraged to copy and distribute this work freely, but with the proviso that it may only be copied and circulated in its entirety -- including this notice, and all sources, bibliographies and credits; and excepting electronically in which case permission is freely granted to link to this site instead. Sincerely, The Combs &c Research Group, Email: Webmaster.

© 1996-2010 Combs-Coombs &c. Research Group