Friday, 24 May 2013

understanding COUSINS

- it can be confusing and over the years the exact description may have changed a little, but a simple explanation is this ...

Brothers and sisters have the same parents. 
The brothers and sisters of your parents are your aunts and uncles. 
The children of your aunts and uncles, and your cousins, are your cousins.

FIRST cousins are the people who have two of the same grandparents as you.

SECOND cousins are the people who have the same great-grandparents as you, but not the same grandparents.

THIRD cousins are the people who have the same great-great-grandparents...

FOURTH cousins are the people who have the same great-great-great- grandparents ...

FIFTH cousins are the people who have the same great-great-great-great-grandparents ...

A cousin REMOVED is only slightly different.  Removed indicates that the two people (you and the cousin) are from different generations. 
You and your first cousin are in the same generation which is one generation younger than your parents and two generations younger than your grandparents.

A cousin ONCE REMOVED has a difference of one generation so your mother's first cousin is your first cousin once removed, because you are one generation younger.

A cousin TWICE REMOVED has a difference of two generations so your grand-mother's first cousin is your first cousin twice removed, because you are two generations younger.

Working in the other direction if you have a son, and your first cousin has a son, they are SECOND cousins. The relationship of your son to your first cousin is cousin ONCE REMOVED.
Your grandchildren and your first cousin's grandchildren will be THIRD cousins.

Going up or down, the generations remain the same - counting first, second, third etc cousin for the relationship and then removing by one for each separating generation.

1925 - cousins with an Aunt

It can be good to make a graph, finding the common ancestor and working out from there. Working with half brothers and sisters might be a little difficult and while in real life it makes no difference to your feelings for them it can complicate a family tree with lots of extra entries. As long as you are not in a hurry it's a lot of fun, and very satisfying when you work it out.

1986 - first cousins on holiday

NOTE: The children in the photos above are related -
Top photo: the little girl front left with the tongue poking out, is Margaret, 
Bottom photo: these children are Margaret's grandchildren - though she only knew the oldest 3.

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