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Patrilineality, also known as the male line or agnatic kinship, is a common kinship system in which an individual's family membership derives from and is traced through his or her father's lineage.[1] It generally involves the inheritance of property, names, or titles by persons related through one's male kin.

A patriline ("father line") is a person's father, and additional ancestors, as traced only through males. Adjective forms are patrilineal, agnatic and male-line. One's patriline is thus a record of descent from a man in which the individuals in all intervening generations are male. In cultural anthropology, a patrilineage is a consanguineal male and female kinship group, each of whose members is descended from the common ancestor through male forebears.

In most cultures, this means that a person's family name and a man's genetic Y-DNA have been passed along this line from father to son. In a patrilineal/agnatic descent system, an individual is considered to belong to the same descent group as his or her father, from which the members' family name is commonly derived.

An agnate is a person's genetic relative, male or female, with whom kinship is reckoned exclusively through shared male ancestors.[2] (whereas a person to whom one is related through females, or through both males and females, is a "cognate").

Agnatic succession[edit]

Patrilineal or agnatic succession gives priority to or restricts inheritance of a throne or fief to heirs, male or female, descended from the original title holder through males only. Traditionally, agnatic succession is applied in determining the names and membership of European dynasties. The prevalent forms of dynastic succession in Europe Asia and parts of Africa (but see the Rain Queen) were male-preference primogeniture, agnatic primogeniture or agnatic seniority until after World War II.

By the 21st century most European monarchies replaced their traditional agnatic succession with absolute primogeniture, meaning that the first child born to a monarch inherits the throne, regardless of the child's sex.

Salic Law[edit]

Variations of the Salic Law, generally understood in modern times to mean exclusion of women as hereditary monarchs, restricted succession to thrones and inheritance of fiefs or land to men in parts of medieval and later Europe. Once common, strict Salic inheritance has been officially revoked in all extant European monarchies except the Principality of Liechtenstein. However it still prevails in the transmission of most European titles of nobility, notably excepting Spain.

Genetic genealogy[edit]

The fact that human Y-chromosome DNA (Y-DNA) is paternally inherited enables patrilines, and agnatic kinships, of men to be traced through genetic analysis.

Y-chromosomal Adam (Y-MRCA) is the patrilineal most recent common ancestor from whom all Y-DNA in living men is descended. An identification of a very rare and previously unknown Y-chromosome variant in 2012 led researchers to estimate that Y-chromosomal Adam lived 338,000 years ago (237,000 to 581,000 years ago with 95% confidence), judging from molecular clock and genetic marker studies.[3] Before this discovery, estimates of the date when Y-chromosomal Adam lived were much more recent.

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Benokraitis, N. V. Marriages and Families. 7th Edition, Pearson Education, Inc., 2011
  2. ^ Murphy, Michael Dean. "A Kinship Glossary: Symbols, Terms, and Concepts". Retrieved 2006-10-05. 
  3. ^ Mendez, Fernando; Krahn, Thomas; Schrack, Bonnie; Krahn, Astrid-Maria; Veeramah, Krishna; Woerner, August; Fomine, Forka Leypey Mathew; Bradman, Neil; Thomas, Mark; Karafet, Tatiana; Hammer, Michael (2013). "An African American Paternal Lineage Adds an Extremely Ancient Root to the Human Y Chromosome Phylogenetic Tree". The American Journal of Human Genetics 92 (3): 454–9. doi:10.1016/j.ajhg.2013.02.002. PMC 3591855. PMID 23453668. 

External links[edit]