allied family

Prepared by Elisabeth Lindsay.

In genealogy, allied family or allied lines are terms describing the relationship of one person or family to another. These terms is often confused with associated family or associated lines, but there is a difference. The word "allied" refers to kinship; whereas, the word "associate" derived from the word "socius," meaning "companion," refers to a union -- such as marriage -- and not necessarily kinship. Additionally, the word "associate" often implies subordinate status, without full rights and privileges; for example, an associate professor versus a full professor.

Allied family, then, refers to people directly related to one another such as siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins, also referred to as "collateral lines." It would not, however, relate to direct line ancestors such as parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. Associated family, on the other hand, refers to spouses and spouse families, indirectly related. While the confusion of terms is understandable, the distinction may be important, especially when publishing family histories and genealogies.

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