The word "genealogy" is derived from the Greek, meaning the tracing of the descent of family and individuals. Genealogies are often referred to as family trees and sometimes pedigrees.
The word pedigree is derived from the French meaning crane's foot. In early British genealogies, a three-line mark resembling a crane's foot was used to show lines of descent---thus the word pedigree.
Regardless of what term is used to describe genealogies, they have
existed since very ancient times, and all cultures have some form of
Home * Search *Oxford's Of America Site * Help