branch

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BRANCH. This is a metaphorical expression, which designates, in the genealogy of a numerous family, a portion of that family which has sprang from the same root or stock; these latter expressions, like the first, are also metaphorical.
     2. The whole of a genealogy is often called the genealogical tree; and sometimes it is made to take the form of a tree, which is in the first place divided into as many branches as there are children, afterwards into as many branches as there are grand-children, then of great grandchildren, &c. If, for example, it be desired to have a genealogical tree of Peter's family, Peter will be made the trunk of the tree; if he has had two children, John and James, their names will be written on the first two branches; which will themselves shoot out as many smaller branches as John and James have children; from these other's proceed, till the whole family is represented on the tree; thus the origin, the application, and the use of the word branch in genealogy will be at once perceived.

References in classic literature ?
On a table, in the centre of the chamber, stood a branched silver candlestick, throwing down the glow of half a dozen wax-lights upon a paper apparently ready for the Lieutenant-Governor's signature.
The Green lay at the extremity of the village, and from it the road branched off in two directions, one leading farther up the hill by the church, and the other winding gently down towards the valley.
The faculties of her nature, already disclosed when I married her, remained fresh and fair; but other faculties shot up strong, branched out broad, and quite altered the external character of the plant.

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