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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 ?
"The driver did call someone after we hit a tree branch, but we are still going."
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: "On arrival at the scene, crews found a woman, lying on the floor with a tree branch over her lower legs.
Fuel-ish idea POLICE in California have arrested a man accused of holding up a petrol station with a tree branch.
4) Huddersfield girl's death after Reinwood tree branch fall A TEENAGE girl in the "wrong place at the wrong time" died after being struck by a falling tree branch.
He does agree that rafflesias belong on the big evolutionary tree branch occupied by the order Malpighiales, which includes the family Euphorbiaceae.
4 Suppose an aye-aye were to tap on a tree branch in search of a meaty meal.
Mr Chen, 41, was battered with a spade, tree branch and metal pipes.
She said: 'Dad was working in a field behind the garden and wanted to put a large tree branch on the bonfire - it would have burned for ages.
COTTAGE GROVE - The annual tree branch pickup will be offered Monday.
A would-be soap actor turned cross-dressing Haight-Ashbury freak, Hibiscus was a self-styled drag messiah whose idea of a sermon on the mount consisted of perching himself on a tree branch in full makeup and regalia and wailing "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man of Mine."
It describes the loving and caring relationship that a young girl has with her grandpa, beginning with an early morning adventure to find the perfect tree branch so grandpa can carve a flute.
The new Scent Clip is a cannister with fight-sealing lid and cotton balls, and it has a special clip, so you can hang it on a tree branch. Spray a scent product on the cotton and then hang the Scent Clip near your stand.