I'd like to find a single noun that relates to me and which corresponds to the list of people including me and each of my ancestors.

I've already rejected the following words:

  • genealogy : means a work, not a list of people.
  • ancestry : seems to exclude me.
  • 1
    Do you just mean your forebears or all of the collateral relatives as well?
    – bib
    Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 13:18
  • 1
    Only my parents, their parents, etc. Not any siblings, unless they're part of the parents (ugh). Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 13:41
  • 3
    There isn't a word for this.
    – ermanen
    Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 13:51
  • It's unfortunately possible, and that's an acceptable answer until there is such a word ;) Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 13:55
  • 3
    In genealogy, there is the word "clade" that means an individual life entity and all its descendants, pretty much the opposite of what is being asked for here. I've searched for and not found a word meaning an individual and all its ancestors. I'd suggest that if "clade" is jargon that most people don't know about, then any word with the requested meaning is going to be more obscure still. I'd therefore advise to use the phrase "me and my ancestors" which is concise, unambiguous and widely understood.
    – Karasinsky
    Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 19:20

8 Answers 8


line of descent.

Noun - the kinship relation between an individual and the individual's progenitors. ≡filiation, lineage, descent




The word lineage is used to describe everyone who descends from a particular ancestor.

  • (n) the kinship relation between an individual and the individual's progenitors. (vocabulary.com)

Probably you are looking for bilateral descent : line of descent traced through both the maternal and paternal sides of the family .

  • Descent in a line from a common progenitor, descending line of offspring or ascending line of parentage. (wiki)
  • 2
    I'm not sure it can be used the way the OP intends. Lineage is synonymous with ancestry in form if not definition. Also th OP specified "each of his ancestors; lineage singles out one only: "direct descent from an ancestor, esp a line of descendants from one ancestor". Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 13:20
  • 2
    This definition of lineage seems to be one grand-father, his children and his grand-children (including me), not the other way around. Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 13:40
  • @OlivierGrégoire agree, until there is such a word : ) -
    – Misti
    Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 14:06
  • I just thought about it, but could I use my lineages (plural form)? Commented Jul 13, 2015 at 21:01

How about Bloodline ?

All the members of a family group over generations, esp regarding characteristics common to that group; pedigree

EDIT: It will be unlikely to have such a single word in any language as it would be rather wasteful to have a word that cannot be used to talk about forebears other than the speakers or writers own and this is a rather rare need. Almost all the other words offered will still have to be qualified with my or of mine to make sense and so fail the single word requirement in a way.

If OP has no children he can use two words to accurately fulfil the requirements with My bloodline which will include OP, however children would usually be included in the bloodline if they exist.

  • Is it me or does this carry the weight of my children too? Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 14:25
  • @OlivierGrégoire You are correct I think, not seen much mention about OPs children so perhaps subconsciously thinking he might not have any yet and he would be the culmination of his bloodline, optimistic thinking I suppose. I still like the word as it hints at the chain of ancestors that OP was asking about. "Forebears and me" is probably the closest that one can get to exclude all others.
    – KalleMP
    Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 15:10

Family tree, though two words, is a useful expression to refer to yourself and your predecessors:

  • A diagram showing the relationships between people in several generations of a family; a genealogical tree.


enter image description here

  • 1
    This bears too much the sense of group of people, not list of people (this is acceptable though). Also, can easily be confused to include siblings at any level (but this is not acceptable). Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 13:40
  • You are asking for an expression that refers to "me and each of my ancestors*". I think a family tree is close to that definition. –
    – user66974
    Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 13:51
  • @OlivierGrégoire - if you check the diagram, you can see that the tree refers to you, your parents, their parents, etc, which seems what you are looking for. I think it is called direct line of descent.
    – user66974
    Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 14:04
  • You're right, the diagram refers to me. The definition refers to siblings as well and that's what I disagree with. I specifically excluded siblings. Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 14:05
  • 1
    That is the concept you are after, your question should be: one word for 'family tree of direct line of descent'.
    – user66974
    Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 14:24

Several good suggestions have been made here already.

One more possibility:

Pedigree: The recorded ancestry [or lineage] of a person or family. (Oxford)

  • 1
    +1, however,IMO- pedigree is evocative of the ancestry of a purebred animal.
    – Misti
    Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 14:05
  • @Mysti Indeed, pedigree is most often used with regards to purebred animals. I too think of animals first when I hear pedigree but since the OP hasn't found what he's looking for yet, I decided it was worth a shot. But I should probably have mentioned the purebred thing in my post. Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 14:11
  • Pedigree seems to lose the inclusion of me, showing only ancestors. "This person is [...] because of his pedigree". Am I wrong? Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 14:17
  • @OlivierGrégoire I would probably say yes, technically the definition does seem to lose the inclusion of me. But there is a certain ambiguity regarding pedigree that many people understand it to be the person (me) or animal as a result of all its ancestors. So in that way it does include me . If you're looking for a single word answer, this is probably the closest I can get to that. Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 14:30
  • The word is same as ancestry but a recorded one. It also means the genealogical chart so the chart can include you and your ancestors; but it starts from the progenitor.
    – ermanen
    Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 14:32

In geneology studies, there is a report often created called an ahnentafel report

a genealogical numbering system for listing a person's direct ancestors in a fixed sequence of ascent. The subject (proband or progenitor) of the ahnentafel is listed as No. 1, the subject's father as No. 2 and the mother as No. 3, the paternal grandparents as No. 4 and No. 5 and the maternal grandparents as No. 6 and No. 7, and so on, back through the generations.


While the term is originally German, it is routinely used in English language genealogy activities.

This term describes the report rather than the relationship, but it may suit, depending on the context of your usage.


progenitor (pro·gen·i·tor/prōˈjenədər) noun - a person or thing from which a person, animal, or plant is descended or originates; an ancestor or parent.

Progenitor is more generic than say, bloodline and overall depending on context, progenitors can be implisivitly inclusive to the individual making the statement.

  • "Progenitor" fails to include the person.
    – deadrat
    Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 19:22

You and your ancestors are kin.

kin, noun -Dictionary.com

  1. a person's relatives collectively; kinfolk.
  2. family relationship or kinship.
  3. a group of persons descended from a common ancestor or constituting a people, clan, tribe, or family.
  4. a relative or kinsman.

kindred [kin-drid] noun -Dictionary.com

  1. a person's relatives collectively; kinfolk; kin.
  2. a group of persons related to another; family, tribe, or clan.
  3. relationship by birth or descent, or sometimes by marriage; kinship.

Admittedly, some of one's kin may be 'related' through marriage. We can differentiate from this by using blood kin.

blood kin, noun -MW

relatives : those that are kin by reason of common ancestry; also : a group united by blood bond

Or just cut to the chase and use kinship.

kinship /ˈkinˌSHip/ noun -Google

blood relationship.

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