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Saturday August 02, 2014
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Kinship Chart

We would like to express appreciation to David Faithfull, for allowing us to publish his chart on our pages.

 
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
1
Common Ancestor
Son or Daughter
Grandson or Daughter
Great Grandson or Daughter
2nd Great Grandson or Daughter
3rd Great Grandson or Daughter
4th Great Grandson or Daughter
5th Great Grandson or Daughter
2
Son or Daughter
Siblings (Brother or Sister)
Nephew or Niece
Grand Nephew or Niece
Great Grand Nephew or Niece
2nd Great Grand Nephew or Niece
3rd Great Grand Nephew or Niece
4th Great Grand Nephew or Niece
3
Grandson or Daughter
Nephew or Niece
First Cousin
First Cousin Once Removed
First Cousin Twice Removed
First Cousin Three Times Removed
First Cousin Four Times Removed
First Cousin Five Times Removed
4
Great Grandson or Daughter
Grand Nephew or Niece
First Cousin Once Removed
Second Cousin
Second Cousin Once Removed
Second Cousin Twice Removed
Second Cousin Three Times Removed
Second Cousin Four Times Removed
5
2nd Great Grandson or Daughter
Great Grand Nephew or Niece
First Cousin Twice Removed
Second Cousin Once Removed
Third Cousin
Third Cousin Once Removed
Third Cousin Twice Removed
Third Cousin Three Times Removed
6
3rd Great Grandson or Daughter
2nd Great Grand Nephew or Niece
First Cousin Three Times Removed
Second Cousin Twice Removed
Third Cousin Once Removed
Fourth Cousin
Fourth Cousin Once Removed
Fourth Cousin Twice Removed
7
4th Great Grandson or Daughter
3rd Great Grand Nephew or Niece
First Cousin Four Times Removed
Second Cousin Three Times Removed
Third Cousin Twice Removed
Fourth Cousin Once Removed
Fifth Cousin
Fifth Cousin Once Removed
8
Fifth Great Grandson or Daughter
4th Great Grand Nephew or Niece
First Cousin Five Times Removed
Second Cousin Four Times Removed
Third Cousin Three Times Removed
Fourth Cousin Twice Removed
Fifth Cousin Once Removed
Sixth Cousin

What does "once removed" mean?

Determining exactly how one is related to another, particularly when sorting out the cousins in all their varying degrees, can be quite a daunting task. Unless one studies geneology, anyone more distantly related than an actual first cousin may be referred to as a second or third cousin, with no regard to the generations removed.

The chart shown above makes distinguishing relationships quite simple providing the user is able to trace back to the common ancestor. Finding the common ancestor is of critical importance, and yet is frequently overlooked. I can't count the times when I have been asked to explain how two people are related, with the only information to go on is something akin to "my great-grandmother's uncle's grandson". Clearly, in this scenario, the great grandmother is not the common ancestor! (However, since I brought it up, I'll solve that riddle below.) But first, let me provide a basic glossary of terms:

First Cousins - two individuals who have the same grandparents.

Second Cousins - two individuals who have the same great-grandparents

Third Cousins - two individuals who have the same great-great grandparents, and so on down the line...

Removed - this is a term used to describe the relationship between two "cousins" of differing generations. For example, your first cousin's child would be one generation removed from your first cousin, known as your first cousin once removed. The same is true in reverse; Your mother's first cousin would also be your first cousin once removed.

The Riddle

"my great-grandmother's uncle's grandson"

The great grandmother is not the common ancestor, but it does give a good starting point in tracing the family tree. We know that the ancestor of the person in question descends from the great-grandmother's uncle, so we have to determine who the common ancestor of the great grandmother and her uncle is.

We know that an uncle is the sibling of one's parent, so the common ancestor would be the grandparent of the great-grandmother and her uncle. Now we have to find out how many generations down is the person who asked the question. To do this, you might need a piece of scratch paper to scribble the following, counting as you go:

asker (6) - mother (5) - grandmother (4) - great grandmother (3) - g.g. grandmother (2) - g.g.g.grandmother (1)
Now, look on the chart above, start in the upper right corner where it says "common ancestor". The g.g.g. grandmother is the common ancestor, the first generation in this puzzle. If you look horizontally across at column 6, (because the asker is the sixth generation descendant of the common ancestor), you will find that she is indeed the third great-grand daughter (g.g.g. grand daughter)

Get your scratch paper out again. Now this time, you have to forget the term "uncle". You must think of him in terms of his descent from great-great-great-grandma! After all, he was her son! And he had a grandson, who was the great grandson of the common ancestor, and who is the object of this puzzle. So looking back at the chart, this time count the generations down vertically.

g.g.g. grandmother (1) - son (2) - grandson (3) - great-grandson (4)
OK! You are almost finished! You have only to look on the chart and intersect line 4 with column 6 to discover that the answer to the riddle is that the "great grandmother's uncle's grandson" is the asker's second cousin once removed.

 

Additionally you can try the cousin calculator from PrenticeNet if you are more distantly related. 

Copyright 2000 Christie Schuler Smith for CUDDLE International and CousinCouples.com

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