A family consists of a domestic group of people (or a number of domestic groups), typically affiliated by birth or marriage, or by analogous or comparable relationships — including domestic partnership, cohabitation, adoption, surname and (in some cases) ownership (as occurred in the Roman Empire). In many societies, family ties are only those recognized as such by law or a similar normative system. The different types of families occur in a wide variety of settings, and their specific functions and meanings depend largely on their relationship to other social institutions.


  • The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.
    • Article 16(3) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

  • When harmony, mutual consideration and trust pass out of the home, hell enters in.
    • David O. McKay, Pathways To Happiness, (1957), p. 296.

  • More often than not the people that you happen to be related to are your best friends… You can never really turn away from them, and you will always defend them to the best of your ability, they are your greatest resource, and the greatest love will come from them... that is family.
    • Jerry Grant Blakeney

  • "In other words, I don't think people ought to be compelled to make the decision which they think is best for their family." — George W. Bush
Washington, D.C., December 11, 2002

  • The family is always the family but during vacations it is an extended family and that is exhausting.
    • Stein, Gertrude. Paris France. New York: Liveright, 1970. (p. 107)

  • Eine Familie, die keine schwarzen Schafe hat, ist keine charakteristische Familie.
    • A family without a black sheep is not a typical family.
    • Heinrich Böll, "Die schwarzen Schafe" (1951); cited from 1947 bis 1951 (Köln: F. Middelhauve, 1963) p. 478. Translation: "Black Sheep", in Leila Vennewitz (trans.) The Stories of Heinrich Böll (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1995) p. 408.


  • Two or more persons related by birth, marriage, or adoption, who reside together.
    • The U.S. Bureau of the Census
Quoternity © 2019. All rights reserved.