Used within another function to reference all of the ancestors in a cell’s hierarchy
Sample Usage
  • [
  • reference
    The cell for which you want the ancestors. If no cell is specified, the function references the ancestors of the current cell.

This example references the following sheet information:

Row #ProjectLEVELItem NumberCost Per UnitDue Date
1- Men's Formal Button Down0MF01$38.7502/27/19
2  MF01 - Design Phase1DP$25.0002/19/19
3-- MF01 - Assembly1A0$13.7502/27/19
4    Cutout Shirts2A001$10.0002/22/19
5    Sew Shirt2A002$2.5002/26/19
6    Add Buttons2A003$1.2502/26/19

Given the table above, here are some examples of using ANCESTOR in a sheet:


Counts the number of ancestors for the cell containing the formula

This formula is within each row of the Level column.

Row one: 0

Row two & three: 1

Row four through six: 2

=SUM(ANCESTORS([Cost Per Unit]5))

Sums the ancestors for row 5 in the Cost Per Unit column

It has two ancestor rows (rows 3 and 1).  

=INDEX(ANCESTORS([Item Number]2), 2) + " - " + "Design Phase"Returns the ancestor of the value in row 2 of the Item Number column, then adds the values - Design Phase to the result MF01 - Design Phase

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