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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Your Family Tree

My daughter was looking at some genealogy information online recently and asked me what a sororal nephew was. I didn't know, so I looked it up.  A sororal niece or nephew would be your sister's kids.  Don't ask me what your brother's kids would be called.

While I was at it, I thought I'd get to the bottom of first cousins, second cousins and the once / twice removed business.  I went to and found the information below.  I just copied and pasted it but here's a link .

Relationship Terms
Cousin (a.k.a "first cousin")
Your first cousins are the people in your family who have two of the same grandparents as you. In other words, they are the children of your aunts and uncles.

Second Cousin
Your second cousins are the people in your family who have the same great-grandparents as you., but not the same grandparents.
Third, Fourth, and Fifth Cousins
Your third cousins have the same great-great-grandparents, fourth cousins have the same great-great-great-grandparents, and so on.
When the word "removed" is used to describe a relationship, it indicates that the two people are from different generations. You and your first cousins are in the same generation (two generations younger than your grandparents), so the word "removed" is not used to describe your relationship.

The words "once removed" mean that there is a difference of one generation. For example, your mother's first cousin is your first cousin, once removed. This is because your mother's first cousin is one generation younger than your grandparents and you are two generations younger than your grandparents. This one-generation difference equals "once removed."

Twice removed means that there is a two-generation difference. You are two generations younger than a first cousin of your grandmother, so you and your grandmother's first cousin are first cousins, twice removed.

I finally understand the once removed bit! Now the next time you're writing a family reunion scene (or playing Trivial Pursuit) you'll be able to wow everyone!


Julie Musil said...

I always wondered about the removed thing also. I have cousins (we call them that) who are the kids of my...heck, I was going to write the whole thing out, but I get too confused. Anyway, a fun post about crazy big families. Thanks!

Carole Anne Carr said...

Me too, thanks for that, always wondered.

Jessica Bell said...

LOL! I've always wondered that too. Thanks!

DL Hammons said...

Now my brain hurts!! :)

aspiring_x said...

hee hee hee! i think i'm still a little confused! now, how does it apply for the modern family, half-sisters, step-fathers, third step cousin one and a half times removed??? :P

Hannah Kincade said...

Huh. We always called my parents cousins, aunts and uncles. Probably an age thing...weird. I'm intrigued. Thank you.

salarsenッ said...

You answered a lot of questions I've had but never found the time to research. Nicely done; although, I have a major brain cramp, now.

Karen Walker said...

Cleared up a mystery, Vicki. thanks. But it doesn't make sense to me. I always thought second cousins were the children of my first cousins.

Carolyn V said...

Woo hoo! I can now call everyone the right thing! =) But I'm still going to call them my crazy fam. =D

Mary Vaughn said...

Always thought "removed" were the ones no one wanted to admit to being related to. I'm with Carolyn, they're all just my crazy family (with some crazier than others)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Trivia Pursuit, here I come!

walk2write said...

I guess the brother's kids would be fraternal nieces or nephews. Thanks for clearing that up about removed and ordinal cousins. For some reason, I thought the removed ones were disowned or something:)

Jolene Perry said...

I figured all of that when I met Kurt Cobain's dad at a family reunion and HAD to know how closely we were related.

LTM said...

omg... *snort* I'm going to have to read the "Removed" part three more times... I ALMOST understand it now... :D LOL! (children watching Fishooks behind me messin me up!) <3