Solving Cousin Relationships

Cousin relationships confuse me. Brent is my first cousin. Brenda is my first cousin once removed.  Judith is my second cousin once removed.  Laura is my third cousin.

Solving Cousin Relationships

Just what is a removed cousin?  I usually keep it simple and just call them all cousins! Much easier.

But I’m a genealogist, and I am detailed oriented.

It is time to solve this mystery of cousin relationships.

Cousin (also known as first cousin)

The people in your family who have the same grandparents.

Second cousin

The people in your family who share the same great grandparents, but not the same grandparents.

Third Cousins (Fourth, Fifth….)

The people in your family with the same great-great grandparents, great-great-great-great grandparents, etc.

Removed Cousin

“Removed” Cousin indicates cousins  who descend from a common ancestor but are of different generations.   For example, your mother’s first cousin would be your first cousin once removed.  Your grandmother’s first cousin would be your first cousin twice removed.  You are two generations apart.

Double Cousins

Double cousins occur when brothers of one family marry sisters of another family.  This was not so uncommon in generations past. The children of each couple are double cousins by being related to each other on two sides of the family.  As you can imagine, these relationships can be difficult to keep straight when researching.

Fortunately, you can easily find a “cousin chart” online to make determining those cousin relationships a snap. Click here for an easy to use chart.


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