June 22nd, 2005 at 1:09 pm
My favorite cousin is getting married at the end of July. I was trying to figure out how his new wife would be related to me. I then realized that I had never figured out the difference between second, third or fourth cousins and cousins once, twice or thrice removed. Can you clarify?
Here’s the deal on cousins.
Your first cousins are children of your parent’s siblings (children of your Aunts and Uncles). You share two grandparents with them.
Your second cousins share two great-grandparents with you, but not grandparents. Second cousins are children of your grandparent’s siblings.
Third cousins share great-great-grandparents, but not great-grandparents. Third cousins are children of your great-grandparent’s siblings.
And so on.
Also, you apply the same rules to your parent’s cousins, grandparent’s cousins, etc. Your mother’s first cousin is also your first cousin. Your grandfather’s first cousin is your first cousin.
How do you tell apart all these first cousins? Let’s talk about removal.
“Removed” refers to generations separating you from the cousin. Your mother’s first cousin is your first cousin, but ONCE REMOVED. That means there is a generation between you.
Your grandfather’s first cousin is your first cousin, twice removed.
When I think about this, I wonder how many people are related but have no clue about it. It’s an interesting thought…