Cousins Explained

Have you ever gotten your first cousins twice removed confused with your second cousins once removed? Well, you're not the only one. This chart attempts to explain the relationships that exist between cousins. It may be extended in either direction for as many generations as is necessary.

 parents child g-child gg-child ggg-child gggg-child child brother/sister nephew/niece g-nephew/g-niece gg-nephew/gg-niece ggg-nephew/ggg-niece g-child uncle/aunt first cousin first cousin once removed first cousin twice removed first cousin thrice removed gg-child g-uncle/g-aunt first cousin once removed second cousin second cousin once removed second cousin twice removed ggg-child gg-uncle/gg-aunt first cousin twice removed second cousin once removed third cousin third cousin once removed gggg-child ggg-uncle/ggg-aunt first cousin thrice removed second cousin twice removed third cousin once removed fourth cousin

The parents represent the common ancestors you have with your relative. Count across the top row until you reach your generation. Now count down this column until you reach your relative's generation. This gives you your relationship to your relative. If you have only one common ancestor with your relative (perhaps this ancestor had multiple marriages), then the same chart applies but the relationships are half blood instead of full blood.

In general, the person in the first row is the ***** of the person in the first column where ***** stands for the appropriate table entry, eg. sister, uncle, second cousin, etc.

Example

Suppose I want to find out my relationship to the son of my grandmother's brother. Then the common ancestors that we share are my great-grandparents which are his grandparents. (I am assuming a full blood relationship). Therefore, reading from the chart we find that

 parents child g-child ME child brother/sister nephew/niece g-nephew/g-niece RELATIVE uncle/aunt first cousin FIRST COUSIN ONCE REMOVED

I am the first cousin once removed of this relative!

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