1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Pedigree

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PEDIGREE, a genealogical tree, a tabular statement of descent (see Genealogy). The word first appears at the beginning of the 15th century and takes an extraordinary variety of forms, e.g. pedicree, pe de gre, petiegrew, petygru, &c. It is generally accepted that these point to a corruption of Fr. pied de grue, foot of a crane, and that the probable reference is to the marks resembling the claw of a bird found in old genealogies showing the lines of descent. Such etymologies as Minshea's par degrés, by degrees, or père degrés, descent by the father, are mere guesses.