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Articles on the History of Essex, Researching your Ancestors,
and British History
What is a Gateway Ancestor?
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How finding a Gateway Ancestor will take you further back with your family tree.
Gateway ancestor is a term used in genealogy.
It means that when researching a family tree you discover that one of your ancestors is descended from royalty, the aristocracy, or landed gentry. Fortunately this part of the family tree will have been previously investigated and well documented, not only saving you tremendous time and expense, but will lead you into a world of inter-connected royal families and land-owning aristocracy. Quite something to include in your family tree.
But don't think it will not happen to you, many well-off families fell on hard times, or had many sons who did not inherited any title or wealth, or even there may be a below-stairs liaison with the chamber-maid resulting in an illegitimate child.
So get researching your family tree, you never know what you may find.