Who Are the Siblings?

Genealogists are often told to research the siblings of an ancestor and it was the topic of a presentation I recently gave.

I used Riley the dog as a welcome illustration and realized that it was an appropriate picture because he reminded me that in genealogical research the “siblings” are not just individuals who share two sets of parents and that researching all those individuals can be just as helpful and important. Those siblings can include:

  • half-siblings;
  • step-siblings;
  • adopted siblings;
  • foster siblings;
  • other raised in the household.

Unlike the dog, the “siblings” are usually of the same species, but it’s important to think of those who might have been effective siblings of your ancestor. Records on any of those individuals could provide answers to questions on your direct ancestor and also provide you with additional information and perspective on your genealogical problem.