Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    One from whom an inheritance is claimed. See 29 L. R. A. 542, note.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    One who has preceded another in a direct line of descent; a lineal ascendant. A former possessor; the person last seised. Termes de la Ley; 2 Bl. Comm. 201. A deceased person from whom another has inherited land. A former possessor. Bailey v. Bailey, 25 Mich. 185; McCarthy v. Marsh, 5 N. Y. 275; Springer v. Fortune, 2 Handy, (Ohio,) 52. In this sense a child may be the "ancestor" of his deceased parent, or one brother the "ancestor" of another. Lavery v. Egan, 143 Mass. 389, 9 N. E. 747; Murphy v. Henry, 35 Ind. 450. The term differs from "predecessor," in that it is applied to a natural person and his progenitors, while the latter is applied also to a corporation and those who have held offices before those who now fill them. Co.. Litt 78b.