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What is Family ?

A family? ( My family? Your family?)But not The family, or the family of man or even such nebulous bodies as the Commonwealth family.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines family as, amongst others, "The body of persons who live in one house or under one head, including parents, children, servants etc. (1545)" (Contentious I know, but who wouldn't want a servant or two?!)

Alternatively it states, "The group consisting of parents and their children, whether living together or not; in wider sense, all those who are nearly connected by blood or affinity (1667)".

Or, "Those descended or claiming descent from a common ancestor; a house, kindred, lineage (middle English); a race; a people or group of peoples (1583)".

What do you think?Mother, father, (not too contentious again, I hope) and children?Or does it include grandparents and grandchildren?What about uncles and aunts?How about cousins?And where do great grandparents or great grandchildren fit into the picture?Even more open to debate, what about such people as second cousins or even more distant, second cousins, once removed?Where do second families fit in? Children of these families would be half siblings.Children may not be yours of course, they may be step children, they may be adopted or even part of your 'extended' family as foster children. Today we see more and more one parent families as well as families with parents of the same biological sex.

Family, where does it start, and most importantly, where does it end? 

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