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Genealogy/in-law relationships


In a Family Tree, is it correct to use in-law relationships in working out and quoting relationships? e.g. From a tree father to daughter is simple, but then the line one wants to follow is that of the daughter's husband who becomes an in-law. And the tree continues on until another in-law relationship comes into view.  Can we still continue to use all these relationships from father down the line and call them a relationship.   Or should we be only using blood relationships in stating the relationship especially in a long line of relations. I am not sure if I am cheating if these relationships are not blood ones.Judith Jones

When I am writing a family tree for someone, I always add the "outsiders" who marry into the line and their descendents.  This is your family tree.  Do not add the son-in-laws parents, brothers, sisters, previous children, etc.  This is the normal way of writing your family history.

Anyway you do your own family is not cheating.  It is up to you how you want the tree to look.  Sometimes people make a tree of just photos and then they only use blood relatives.  I would even use legally adopted people in a tree as the court has ruled that they are part of the family although I always mark them adopted.

Good luck with your research.


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Frances Sampey Deak


I specialize in English genealogy. I can answer questions on where to look for specific records and advise what is not available.


20 years experience in England as a professional genealogist.

Society of Genealogists, London
Northwest Kent Genealogical Society

Family Tree, England
Genealogical Helper, US

BA and MA University of South Florida
ABD University of Florida

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