Funny thing, or not so funny thing that I discovered… many people (even the family history kind) do not understand the meaning of the descriptions “Descendant” and “Pedigree”. I know for certain that Facebook does not understand. They think I want to sell animals—UGHH! No I’m not selling Dogs or Horses (they too have Pedigrees). Anyways, I digress. I’m talking about Family Tree Poster Art Styles and what the terms mean.
Descendants: I call these Cousin Posters
Descendants are all the people that exist because one couple procreated. The further back in generational time your chosen couple is, the more descendants that couple will likely have, especially if any family unit has a lot of children. Lots of children doesn’t always equal loads of grandchildren, but the chances are greater for more descendants. Family tree poster art for cousins creates interesting patterns AND is sometimes lopsided (which I love!).
If I look at who MY descendants are, they include my son and daughter and their children. So far all the grandchildren are too young to have partners and children of their own. That day will arrive eventually. For now, I have 2 children + 8 grandchildren + 2 in-laws. Grand total: 10 or 12 depending on if you count the in-laws.
When I look at my Grandparents, I count three children of theirs and each of those children has had children, and now many of their grandchildren are having their own families. All of the grandchildren are first cousins (from “Family Ancestrees — In the Beginning” blog post, you learned their parents are siblings). The next generation are second cousins to each other and you say “once removed” when the relationship is between a first & second cousin. Let’s do the math: 3 children + (4, 4, 3) grandchildren + (2 // 2, 3, 2, 3 // 2, 5, 3) great-grandchildren + (0 // 4, 1, 2, 1 // 8) great-great-grandchildren. That’s a grand total of 52 descendants, not counting in-laws.
If you are confused you are not alone! Take a look at this cousin chart explainer here.
Pedigree: I call these Parent Posters
Pedigree is your list of ancestor couples… the people who came before you, that all exist in your DNA! Whether you are aware of exactly who they are (aren’t family dynamics fun?!) or not they double every generation. There’s you — then your two parents — and then each of your parents has two parents, making four grandparents. Family tree poster art for parents, if well researched can look like a big bush.
This total can be blurred to some degree when we add or count up people who raised us vs people who were DNA contributors. That sounds weird, but I think you know what I’m getting at. And because I’m here talking about this and eluding to DNA let me remind everyone: The family who raised you is your family. Mom and Dad will ALWAYS be Mom and Dad. New family is just new — aka ADDITIONAL. As Martha Stewart would say “It’s a Good Thing”.
Cousins vs Parents Posters—OK this will have to be a PART 2!
Other fun terms to keep in your back packet; Maternal and Paternal. You’re smart, I know you can figure that one out.