descent

descent
Hereditary succession. Succession to the ownership of an estate by inheritance, or by any act of law, as distinguished from "purchase." Title by descent is the title by which one person, upon the death of another, acquires the real estate of the latter as his heir at law. 2 Bl.Comm. 201. The title by inheritance is in all cases called descent, although by statute law the title is sometimes made to ascend. The division among those legally entitled thereto of the real property of intestates.
See also per capita
Classification
Descents are of two sorts, lineal and collateral.
@ lineal descent
Lineal descent is descent in a direct or right line, as from father or grandfather to son or grandson.
@ collateral descent
Collateral descent is descent in a collateral or oblique line, that is, up to the common ancestor and then down from him, as from brother to brother, or between cousins.
@
They are also distinguished into mediate and immediate descends. But these terms are used in different senses.
A descent may be said to be a mediate or immediate descent of the estate or right; or it may be said to be mediate or immediate, in regard to the mediateness or immediateness of the pedigree or consanguinity. Thus, a descent from the grandfather, who dies in possession, to the grandchild, the father being then dead, or from the uncle to the nephew, the brother being dead, is, in the former sense, in law, immediate descent, although the one is collateral and the other lineal; for the heir is in the per, and not in the per and cui. On the other hand, with reference to the line of pedigree or consanguinity, a descent is often said to be immediate, when the ancestor from whom the party derives his blood is immediate, and without any intervening link or degrees; and mediate, when the kindred is derived from him mediants altero, another ancestor intervening between them. Thus a descent in lineals from father to son is in this sense immediate; but a descent from grandfather to grandson, the father being dead, or from uncle to nephew, the brother being dead, is deemed mediate; the father and the brother being, in these latter cases, the medium deferens, as it is called, of the descent or consanguinity. Descent was denoted, in the Roman law, by the term "successio," which is also used by Bracton, from which has been derived the succession of the Scotch and French jurisprudence.
Line of Descent
The order or series of persons who have descended one from the other or all from a common ancestor, considered as placed in a line of succession in the order of their birth, the line showing the connection of all the blood-relatives.
@ collateral line
@ collateral line of descent
A line of descent connecting persons who are not directly related to each other as ascendants or descendants, but whose relationship consists in common descent from the same ancestor
@ direct line
@ direct line of descent
A line of descent traced through those persons only who are related to each other directly as ascendants or descendants.
@ maternal line
A line of descent or relationship between two persons which is traced through the mother of the younger.
@ faternal line
similar line of descent traced through the father
@ descent cast
The devolving of realty upon the heir on the death of his ancestor intestate. Another name for what was formerly called a "descent which tolls entry." When a person had acquired land by disseisin, abatement, or intrusion, and died seised of the land, the descent of it to his heir took away or tolled the real owner's right of entry, so that he could only recover the land by an action
@

Black's law dictionary. . 1990.

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