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Patrilineality (or agnatic kinship) is a system in which one belongs to one's father's lineage. It generally involves the inheritance of property, names or titles through the male line as well.

A patriline is literally a father line; one's patriline is one's father and his father and his father... ad infinitum, one's nearly infinite line of fathers. The two corresponding adjective forms are patrilineal and father-line. One's patriline is thus a line of descent from a male ancestor to a descendant (of either sex) in which the individuals in all intervening generations are fathers. A man's genetic Y-DNA and his family name (in most cultures) have descended down this same line from father to son. In a patrilineal descent system (= agnatic descent), an individual is considered to belong to the same descent group as his or her father. This patrilineal descent pattern is much more common than matrilineal descent, see the article on family names which are almost all patrilineal surnames. Also for an indepth treatment of current patrilineal surnames, globally, see the same article.

The agnatic ancestry of an individual is that person's pure male ancestry. An agnate is one's genetic relative exclusively through males: a kinsman with whom one has a common ancestor by descent in unbroken male line.

In cultural anthropology, a patrilineage (or patriclan) is a consanguineal male and female kin group each of whom is related to the common ancestor through male forebears.

An agnate is a person, male or female, related by patrilineal descent, provided that the kinship is calculated patrilineally, i.e., only through male ancestors. Traditionally, this concept is applied in determining the names and membership of European dynasties. For instance, because Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom was married to a prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, her son and successor, Edward VII, was a member of that dynasty, and is considered the first British king of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, later changed to Windsor, and so are his descendants in the male line (see Elizabeth II's ancestry; a roughly similar situation will occur on the succession of Elizabeth II, who married a Mountbatten whose actual patriline is of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg). Victoria is reckoned to have belonged to her father's House of Hanover, despite her marriage and the fact that by marriage she legally became a member of the Saxon dynasty and acquired the surname of that family, Wettin. Agnatically she was a Hanover and is considered the last member of that dynasty to reign over Britain.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Patrilineality" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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