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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.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Sliders, a mid-1990s science fiction TV series, was built on a mildly provocative premise: What if the reality we inhabit branches off into myriad alternative universes?
Progress on the two branches off the current Midland Metro Line One - through Birmingham Snow Hill to Five Ways and between Wednesbury and Brierley Hill - is expected to move forward when the West Midlands Passenger Transport agrees to apply to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister to begin work.
Jazz and Soul, because everything branches off of that.
While branches off into some digital reproduction, this is all does.
Blood is supplied to this area by a labial artery that branches off the facial artery.
And as liberals have shunned the military since Vietnam and the drafts end, often driving ROTC branches off college campuses, the officer corps has become more conservative -- actively so, Ricks says.