Have a family tree hanging on the wall? Then you know a bit about your ancestry, or family history and lineage.

If you think ancestry sounds like ancestor, then you're headed in the right direction. Ancestry is basically a history of ancestors, a trail of where your family started and all the descendants that followed. But ancestry goes much further than just your great-great-grand uncle's brother. You can also use the word ancestry to refer to the background of things other than people — such as the ancestry of a building or the ancestry of a nation.

Definitions of ancestry

n the lineage of an individual

blood, blood line, bloodline, descent, line, line of descent, lineage, origin, parentage, pedigree, stemma, stock
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family, family line, folk, kinfolk, kinsfolk, phratry, sept
people descended from a common ancestor
a family line of descent
members of a family line
the people of your home locality (especially your own family)
aristocratic family line
a sequence of powerful leaders in the same family
gens, name
family based on male descent
Type of:
family tree, genealogy
successive generations of kin

n inherited properties shared with others of your bloodline

derivation, filiation, lineage
descent, extraction, origin
properties attributable to your ancestry
bloodline, pedigree
ancestry of a purebred animal
full blood
descent from parents both of one pure breed
Type of:
hereditary pattern, inheritance
(genetics) attributes acquired via biological heredity from the parents

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