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In
genealogy Genealogy (from el, γενεαλογία ' "study of family trees") is the study of families In human society, family (from la, familia) is a Social group, group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth) or Affinit ...

genealogy
, the progenitor (rarer: primogenitor; german: Stammvater or ''Ahnherr'') is the – sometimes legendary – founder of a
family In human society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same spatial or social territory, typically subject to the same Politic ...

family
,
line of descent In anthropology, kinship is the web of social relationships that form an important part of the lives of all humans in all societies, although its exact meanings even within this discipline are often debated. Anthropologist Robin Fox states tha ...

line of descent
,
clan A clan is a group of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousness, and being a part of ...

clan
or
tribe The term tribe is used in many different contexts to refer to a category of human social group. The predominant usage of the term is in the discipline of anthropology. The definition is contested, in part due to conflicting theoretical understa ...

tribe
, noble house, or
ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousn ...
.. Ebenda
''Ahnherr:''
"Stammvater eines Geschlechts".
Genealogy Genealogy (from el, γενεαλογία ' "study of family trees") is the study of families In human society, family (from la, familia) is a Social group, group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth) or Affinit ...

Genealogy
(commonly known as family history) understands a progenitor to be the earliest
recorded
recorded
ancestor An ancestor, also known as a forefather, fore-elder or a forebear, is a parent A parent is a caregiver of the offspring in their own species. In humans, a parent is the caretaker of a child (where "child" refers to offspring, not necessaril ...

ancestor
of a
consanguineous Consanguinity ("blood relation", from Latin '':wikt: consanguinitas, consanguinitas'') is the property of being from the same kinship as another person. In that aspect, consanguinity is the quality of being descended from the same ancestor as anot ...
family group of
descendant Descendant(s) or descendent(s) may refer to: * Lineal descendant, a consanguinous (i.e. biological) relative directly related to a person ** Collateral descendant, a relative descended from a brother or sister of an ancestor Books * The Descendant ...
s. Progenitors are sometimes used to describe the status of a genealogical research project, or in order to compare the availability of genealogical data in different times and places. Often, progenitors are implied to be
patrilineal Patrilineality, also known as the male line, the spear side or agnatic kinship, is a common kinship In , kinship is the web of social relationships that form an important part of the lives of all humans in all societies, although its exact ...
. If a patrilineal
dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Press Oxford University Press (OUP) is the university press of the University of Oxford. It is the larges ...
is considered, each such dynasty has exactly one progenitor.
Aristocratic Aristocracy ( grc-gre, ἀριστοκρατία , from 'excellent', and , 'rule') is a form of government that places strength in the hands of a small, privileged ruling class, the aristocrats. The term derives from the Greek ''aristokrat ...
and dynastic families often look back to an ancestor who is seen as the founder and progenitor of their house (i.e. family line). Even the old Roman legal concept of
agnate Patrilineality, also known as the male line, the spear side or agnatic kinship, is a common kinship In anthropology, kinship is the web of social relationships that form an important part of the lives of all humans in all societies, although ...
s (
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
for "descendants") was based on the idea of the unbroken family line of a progenitor, but only includes male members of the family, whilst the women were referred to as "
cognatic Cognatic kinship is a mode of descent calculated from an ancestor An ancestor, also known as a forefather, fore-elder or a forebear, is a parent A parent is a caregiver of the offspring In biology, offspring are the young born of living ...
". It is rarely possible to confirm
biological parenthood A parent is a caregiver of the offspring in their own species. In humans, a parent is the caretaker of a child (where "child" refers to offspring, not necessarily age). A ''biological parent'' is a person whose gamete resulted in a child, a male ...
, however, (see
bastardy Legitimacy, in traditional Western , is the status of a born to parents who are legally to each other, and of a child before the parents obtain a legal . Conversely, ''illegitimacy '' (or ''bastardy'') has been the status of a child born outs ...
) in the case of ancient family lines. In addition, the progenitor is often a distant ancestor, only known as a result of
oral tradition Oral tradition, or oral lore, is a form of human communication Human communication, or anthroposemiotics, is the field dedicated to understanding how human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of prima ...
. Where people groups and communities rely solely on a
patrilinear Patrilineality, also known as the male line, the spear side or agnatic kinship, is a common kinship system in which an individual's family membership derives from and is recorded through their father's lineage. It generally involves the inheritance ...
family line, their common ancestor often became the subject of a legend surrounding the origin of the family. By contrast, families and peoples with a
matrilinear Matrilineality is the tracing of kinship In anthropology, kinship is the web of social relationships that form an important part of the lives of all humans in all societies, although its exact meanings even within this discipline are often d ...
history trace themselves back to an original female progenitrix. Matrilinear
rules of descent In anthropology, kinship is the web of social relationships that form an important part of the lives of all humans in all societies, although its exact meanings even within this discipline are often debated. Anthropologist Robin Fox states tha ...
are found in about 200 of the 1300 known
indigenous people Indigenous peoples, also referred to as first peoples, first nations, aboriginal peoples, native peoples (with these terms often capitalized when referred to relating to specific countries), or autochthonous peoples, are culturally distinct e ...

indigenous people
s and
ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousn ...
s worldwide, whilst around 600 have patrilineal rules of descent (from father to son).J. Patrick Gray: ''Ethnographic Atlas Codebook.'' In: ''World Cultures.'' Vol. 10, No. 1, 1998, pp. 86-136, here p. 104: Table 43 ''Descent: Major Type'' (one of the few assessments of all 1,267 ethnic groups
pdf file; 2.4 MB; without page nos.
): "584 Patrilineal 52 Duolateral 160 Matrilineal 45 Mixed". Th
''Ethnographic Atlas by George P. Murdock''
contains data sets of 1,300 ethnic groups (as at December 2012 a
''InterSciWiki''
), of which often only samples were assessed.
In the
mythological beliefs
mythological beliefs
of the
Romans Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, ...

Romans
the god of war,
Mars Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and the second-smallest planet in the Solar System, being larger than only Mercury (planet), Mercury. In English, Mars carries the name of the Mars (mythology), Roman god of war and is often referred to ...
, was viewed as the progenitor of the Romans; . which is why the
Mars symbol A planet symbol (or ''planetary symbol'') is a graphical symbol used in astrological symbol, astrology and astronomical symbol, astronomy to represent a classical planet (including the Sun and the Moon) or one of the modern planets. The symbols wer ...

Mars symbol
(
A gender symbol is a pictogram A pictogram, also called a pictogramme, pictograph, or simply picto, and in computer usage an icon An icon (from the Greek language, Greek 'image, resemblance') is a religious work of art, most commonly a ...
, a shield and spear), is used to refer to the male sex. Besides cities and countries,
ethnic groups An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from other groups. Those attributes can include common sets of traditions, ances ...

ethnic groups
may also have a progenitor (often a god) in their mythologies, for example, the
Hellenistic The Hellenistic period spans the period of History of the Mediterranean region, Mediterranean history between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the Roman Empire, as signified by the Battle of Actium in 31  ...

Hellenistic
Greeks The Greeks or Hellenes (; el, Έλληνες, ''Éllines'' ) are an ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has cer ...

Greeks
look back to
Hellen In Greek mythology Greek mythology is the body of s originally told by the , and a of . These stories concern the and , the lives and activities of , , and , and the origins and significance of the ancient Greeks' own and practices. Mode ...

Hellen
as their progenitor. In Indian
Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religion Indian religions, sometimes also termed Dharmic religions or Indic religions, are the religions that originated in the Indian subcontinent. These religions, which include Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, ...

Hinduism
''Manu'' is the progenitor of all mankind. In the
Abrahamic religions The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic Semitic most commonly refers to the Semitic languages, a name used since the 1770s to refer to the language family ...

Abrahamic religions
,
Adam Adam (; Aramaic Aramaic (: ''Arāmāyā''; : ; : ; ) is a language that originated among the in the ancient , at the end of the , and later became one of the most prominent languages of the . During its three thousand years long his ...

Adam
,
Noah In the traditions of Abrahamic religions, Noah ''Nukh''; am, ኖህ, ''Noḥ''; ar, نُوح '; grc, Νῶε ''Nôe'' () features as the tenth and last of the Antediluvian , pre-Flood Patriarchs (Bible), patriarchs. His story appears in the ...

Noah
,
Abraham Abraham, ''Ibrāhīm''; el, Ἀβραάμ, translit=Abraám, name=, group= (originally Abram) is the common patriarch of the Abrahamic religions, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In Judaism, he is the founding father of the covenan ...

Abraham
and others are described as progenitors (see also
Biblical patriarchy Biblical patriarchy, also known as Christian patriarchy, is a patriarchal social system In sociology, social system is the patterned network of relationships constituting a coherent whole that exist between individuals, groups, and institutions ...
). In
archaeogenetics Archaeogenetics is the study of ancient DNA Ancient DNA (aDNA) is DNA The structure of part of a DNA double helix Deoxyribonucleic acid (; DNA) is a molecule File:Pentacene on Ni(111) STM.jpg, A scanning tunneling microscopy image of ...
(archaeological genetics), a human
Y-chromosomal Adam In human genetics Human genetics is the study of inheritance as it occurs in human beings. Human genetics encompasses a variety of overlapping fields including: classical genetics, cytogenetics, molecular genetics, biochemical genetics, genomi ...
has been named as the
most recent common ancestor In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, physiological mechanis ...
from whom all currently living people are descended patrilinearly. This Adam lived in
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', ...

Africa
at a time variously estimated from 60,000 to 338,000 years ago.


Examples of patrilineal top ancestors


See also

*
Protoplast Protoplasts of the moss '' Physcomitrella patens'' Protoplast, from ancient Greek (''prōtóplastos'', "first-formed"), is a biology, biological term coined by Johannes von Hanstein, Hanstein in 1880 to refer to the entire cell, excluding the ce ...
, progenitors of mankind in a creation story *
Ancestor An ancestor, also known as a forefather, fore-elder or a forebear, is a parent A parent is a caregiver of the offspring in their own species. In humans, a parent is the caretaker of a child (where "child" refers to offspring, not necessaril ...

Ancestor
*
Ahnentafel An ''ahnentafel'' (German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German ...

Ahnentafel
*
Legendary progenitor A legendary progenitor is a legendary or mythological figure held to be the common ancestor of a dynasty, people, tribe or ethnic group. Overview Masculinity, femininity and ''"ghenos"'' or Kinship, lineage linked to legendary progenitors were ...
*
Progenitor cell A progenitor cell is a biological cell that, like a stem cell In multicellular organisms, stem cells are undifferentiated or partially differentiated cells that can differentiate into various types of cells and proliferate indefinitely t ...


References

{{Authority control Kinship and descent Genealogy Ancestors