What are families?

Families are groups of people related either naturally by ancestry or legally by marriage and adoption. The role of the family is spiritual through the maternal and kinship love between each and economic through the role each play in providing for one another. Families typically live together and form a large proportion of households in society.

The stereotypical family consists of a mother, father and children, although many people are choosing to not have children or not to marry. The increase in divorce and homosexual relationships has also radically changed the families in society, particularly in developed western nations.

What are the different forms of relationship?

- Father - One's male parent.
- Mother - One's female parent.
- Son - Male born of mother.
- Daughter - Female born of mother.
- Sibling - Anyone with same mother.
- Brother - Male with same mother.
- Sister - Female with same mother.
- Grandfather - One's parent's father.
- Grandmother - One's parent's mother.
- Grandson - One's child's son.
- Granddaughter - One's child's daughter.
- Uncle - One's parent's brother.
- Aunt - One's parent's sister.
- Nephew - One's sibling's son.
- Niece - One's sibling's daughter.
- Cousin - One's aunt's child or uncle's child.


1 - Intute brings many articles on the anthropological views of family and kinship.

2 - Database for finding more information on family search procedures and database.

3 - UNESCO's family program in Santos, Brazil.

4 - Click here for the Family Channel.

5 - [link:http://www.focusonthefamily.com/ Focus on the Family]: advices for families, especially Christian families (but not only).

6 - Wikipedia article on Family.