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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 ?
rudis the dry weight and the percentage of calcium carbonate encrustation were negatively correlated with the number of main branches (r = -0.75, r = -0.89, resp.) and the number of branchlets (r = -0.90, r = -0.95, resp.).
We collected branchlets haphazardly, within 20 feet of ground level, from among available branchlets bearing galled leaves.
Pollen strobili simple, axillary, on the most recent year's branchlets, borne on minute recurved peduncles so that the strobili are most easily visible from the lower surface of the branchlet, 4-10 mm long, subtended by 12 or 16 keeled sterile scales arranged in 4 vertical rows; microsporophylls numerous (20-36), arranged in alternating whorls of 4, hyposporangiate (occasionally perisporangiate), dorsiventral, each with (3-)4(-6-7) microsporangia.
Trees 5-15 m tall, branchlets grayish brown to dark brownish, sometime with or without spines, rising on young.
The proximal dendritic compartment of PCs has a very low number of spines, which are organized in clusters and postsynaptic to CF varicosities, while the distal compartment is contacted by thousands of PFs and has a very high spine density (spiny branchlets) [4].
Seasonal changes in tannin and nitrogen contents of Casuarina equisetifolia branchlets. Journal of Zhejiang University Science B., 10: 103-111.
Vitex negundo, which was commonly known as the five-leaved chaste tree, was a large aromatic shrub with quadrangular, densely whitish, tomentose branchlets. It was widely used in folk medicine, particularly in South and Southeast Asia.
Here, a couple of trees had smaller, less leathery leaves in which the longitudinal venation was not so prominent; the branchlets were not glaucous and some had a heavy bud crop with umbels of up to 13 flower buds.