What’s My Line?

What do people mean when they say “My line goes back to _________”? Oftentimes this statement is accompanied by something similar to “I’ve traced all of my line”.

Many people seem to mean the line of their father’s father’s father’s father’s etc., and think that is the only ancestral line they have (or at least the only one that matters). In charting terms, this is one of only two straight ancestral lines they have. The other straight ancestral line they have is the line of their mother’s mother’s mother’s mother’s etc.

In between those only two straight lines on an ancestor chart are a countless number of other lines that zig zag back to wherever humans actually came from.

Which line is most important? Is it one’s father’s father’s father’s father’s line, as many people believe? What if just one connection on one of those countless number of your other zig zag lines never happened? Would you be here today?

Certainly you would not be here as the person you are. Each and every ancestral couple you have was absolutely essential to you being you, and would therefore have been of equal importance. No substitutions could have occurred, or you would not have been you.

If there had been a single substitution somewhere in the past, would you have been born as someone else, or would you have never existed?

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