Our request for permission to use the material below was granted by Cyndi -- of the famous Cyndi's List --  on January 12, 2000!

We start out knowing that a first cousin is the child of your aunt and uncle; and your aunt or uncle is a sibling to one of your parents.

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"If your cousin has a child, that child is a FIRST COUSIN ONCE REMOVED to you, i.e. one generation removed from being a first cousin.

If you have a child, your child is a SECOND COUSIN to your first cousin's child.

If your first cousin has a grandchild, that grandchild is a FIRST COUSIN TWICE REMOVED to you, and a THIRD COUSIN to your grandchild.

It keeps working the same way. If you find a 12th Cousin somewhere, their grandchild would be a TWELFTH COUSIN TWICE REMOVED to you.

            CHILD            sibling                CHILD
          gCHILD            cousin              gCHILD
         ggCHILD         2cousin           ggCHILD
        g2gCHILD        3cousin         g2gCHILD
        g3gCHILD        4cousin         g3gCHILD
        g4gCHILD        5cousin         g4gCHILD
        g5gCHILD        6cousin         g5gCHILD

        The ggCHILD on the left (above) is a SECOND COUSIN TWICE REMOVED to the g3gCHILD on the right (above). (NOTE: The g3gCHILD on the right IS NOT a Fourth Cousin Twice Removed to the ggCHILD on the left; the relationship is still 2C2R.)

        g6gCHILD        7cousin       g6gCHILD
        g7gCHILD        8cousin       g7gCHILD
        g8gCHILD        9cousin       g8gCHILD
        g9gCHILD      10cousin       g9gCHILD

        As you can see:

        first cousins always share a grandparent
        second cousins always share a great grandparent
        third cousins always share a g2 grandparent
        fourth cousins always share a g3 grandparent
        fifth cousins always share a g4 grandparent

        So the Cousin rule-of-thumb is, the "great"s are always one less than the cousin relationship.

        The above method of determining relationship is:
        1) The legal one used by all courts in the USA
        2) The accepted one used by genealogists

        There is another method used by some people that refers to a 1C1R as a 2C; a 1C2R as a 3C; a 1C3R as a 4C; etc. This is likely why there is so much confusion on the issue of cousins and removed.


        The word "Half" means only one of two parents is the blood parent, so where two siblings share only one parent, they are half-siblings. The children of these two half-siblings would be half-cousins, because they share only one of the grandparents.

        So, half-cousins are called that, because they share only one of the two grandparents commonly. As far as Half-Cousin and Removed is concerned, the same rules apply as to full cousins.


        Double Cousins are the result when two brothers marry two sisters (of another family). The children of each married pair are cousins to each other, not only by way of their father's family, but by way of their mother's family as well.

        Otherwise, the same rules apply as to full cousins; so one (whose grandparents were brothers who married sisters) could have a SECOND DOUBLE COUSIN ONCE REMOVED.

    Marriage between COUSINS:

        Most of us in the USA have at least one case of first cousin marriages somewhere in our ancestry. In some cases, it was due to the relatively small populations of newly settled areas - where there was not much other choice for marriage partners.

        It must be noted here that first-cousin marriage taboos are pretty much restricted to North America.  In fact, about half of the states in the USA allow first-cousin marriage."

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        We have two of those in our own family, and they both worked out well, resulting in both cases in lifetimes of happiness.  They all had ten figures and ten toes and no abnormalities at all, said a cousin, who grew up in their midst.

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