Ancestor Law & Legal Definition


Ancestor refers to a predecessor in the family line. Any one from whom an estate is derived by act of law and right of blood is in a legal sense an ancestor.

The popular notion of the meaning of the word "ancestor," as being a forefather, a progenitor, one from whom the descendant is sprung, is not precisely the sense in which it is used in the statutes and cases. In the popular conception of its meaning one could not correctly be called the ancestor of his brother, yet the courts have held that he may be, within the meaning of the succession statutes. To accomplish the purpose of such statutes grandsons have frequently been held the ancestors of their grandfathers, and in some cases nieces have been held the ancestors of their aunts, and vice versa. [In re Long's Estate, 180 Okla. 28 (Okla. 1936)].