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Evidence of the diversity and multi-layered organization of the hematopoietic system is leading to new insights that may inform ex vivo production of blood cells. Interestingly, not all long-lived hematopoietic cells derive from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). Here we review the current knowledge on HSC-dependent cell lineages and HSC-independent tissue-resident hematopoietic cells and how they arise during embryonic development. Classical embryological and genetic experiments, cell fate tracing data, single-cell imaging, and transcriptomics studies provide information on the molecular/cell trajectories that form the complete hematopoietic system. We also discuss the current developmentally informed efforts toward generating engraftable and multilineage blood cells.