There was a time when most people lived within a 10 mile radius of their extended family. It wasn’t unusual to have 2nd or 3rd cousins visit for Sunday dinner, but as technology extended mobility and communication the family unit has become smaller and smaller.
Today there are many people who have never met their extended family. Most do not even understand what the term “second cousin” actually means let alone cousins “once removed.”
Fortunately Alice Ramsay made the chart below to help clear up any confusion,
Terms like first, second, and third cousins refer to relatives in your generation, meaning you share a common grand, great-grand, or great-great-grandparent. This can be confusing since it is possible to have second or third cousins old enough to be your parents or your children.
The term “once” or “twice-removed” means you and your relative are separated by a given number of generations. “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,” explains an article by Genealogy. “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.”
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