#188: Removing Day

188.1  Today we address something that has bugged me for some time…it’s this simple question: All those people who think that your 1st cousin’s child is your 2nd cousin…what do they think removed cousins are? Because what they’re calling a 2nd cousin is actually a 1st cousin once removed…or to be completely proper, a 1st cousin once removed descending.

188.2  And I believe for a lot of them, the answer is what I’ve always assumed it was: they haven’t the foggiest notion of what removed cousins are. If they did, they’d know what 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc. cousins are as well, and obviously they don’t. In my experience, people making the “2nd cousin” mistake do so simply because they don’t understand our kinship system. I have never talked to anyone making that mistake who had even the remotest idea what a removed cousin was. Occasionally, one will realize that calling their 1st cousin’s child their 2nd cousin automatically makes their parent’s 1st cousin also their 2nd cousin…but most haven’t thought that much about family trees beyond the absolute basics.

188.3   For the past several weeks, I’ve been exploring the crazy ideas people have about kinship at the Yahoo! Answers website. A question is posed, and all manner of correct and incorrect answers come forth. So I tried a site search for questions concerning 2nd cousins. As expected, some got it right, others wrong. Of those who were wrong, the vast majority didn’t bring removed cousins into it. But luckily for me, a few did…and so I have two answers to my original question…and there may be others, but it’s a start.

188.4  The first answer is that it has something to do with marriages. Now that makes a certain amount of cockeyed sense…their incorrect use of terminology has already accounted for actual removed cousins…so “removed” must apply to something else…and what else could there be? Examples…

inset 1

188.5  (A) is not “super sure”…good!…but guesses that a removed cousin is a step-child of your biological uncle or aunt. Wrong, but not an unreasonable guess. (B) believes a removed cousin is your biological cousin’s spouse…a cousin-in-law. Again wrong, but again at least they’re trying. And in both these instances, it’s a marriage that creates the removed cousin…as a step- or as an in-law. (C) seems to be saying the same thing as (B), but misses the mark…they probably don’t mean it’s your married cousin who’s your removed cousin, but  rather the person your cousin is married to…hard to tell when they can’t clearly communicate their thoughts. And speaking of which, (D)‘s answer is almost mystical…suffice it to say if Dear Abby had given answers like that, she wouldn’t have lasted a week….she would have been “one out” in a hurry, boy.

chart 658

188.6  So we know that at least some people who think your 1st cousin’s child is your 2nd cousin also think a removed cousin is either your step-cousin or your cousin’s spouse. But there’s another erroneous interpretation for removed cousins…I have no hard data, but I get the feeling this one is more common. It begins when somebody says that a 2nd cousin and a 1st cousin once removed are the same thing. And when this idea is expanded upon, what comes out is that they believe an Xth cousin Y times removed is the same as an (X+Y)th cousin…you just add everything up. Chart 658 illustrates this notion out to 4th cousin.

188.7  Let me stress that Chart 658 is wrong in two ways: 2nd, 3rd, and 4th cousins are wrong…and the idea that you add the numbers to get an equivalent terminology is also dead wrong. But the thinking is, as a blogger once remarked, Why say 3rd cousin once removed when you can just say 4th cousin?  In other words, 3 + 1 = 4…Keep It Simple, Stupid. And this makes sense…the relative identified as a 4th cousin can be described in 3 other ways…3C 1R…2C 2R…and 1C 3R…but why would you bother? What’s the point? It takes a perfectly simple concept…4th cousin…and complicates it for no good reason. But…since people do talk about removed cousins all the time…the correct inference here is that this “useless” interpretation must be wrong, just because it is useless, it serves no purpose. OK, lots of people can’t think that logically, but there you go…

188.8  However….the “add it up” theory of what “cousin removed” means is an interesting one, wrong as it may be…and I’d like to look at it a bit further, which, since this is my blog, I may do with blissful impunity. The thing is, “adding it up” has an undeniable internal logic to it…unlike many other goofed up kinship notions, it hangs together…it does not contradict itself.

chart  659

188.9  Look at Chart 659 and take 4th cousin as an example. It definitely is 3 steps away from a 1st cousin…hence 1st cousin 3 times removed…in green. It’s also 2 steps away from a 2nd cousin (brown), so 2nd cousin twice removed…and 1 step away from a 3rd cousin (orange), giving you, by this logic, 3rd cousin once removed. But again,  why would you ever want to express it that way? And the answer is, you wouldn’t. But let’s press on.

chart 660

188.10  The point of a system of kinship terminology is to uniquely identify everybody you’re related to, each and every twig on your family tree. So let’s expand Chart 658 outward. If for you, your 1st cousin’s child is your 2nd cousin, your 1st cousin’s grandchild is your 3rd cousin, etc…then it must be the same for your father…and in Chart 660, we do just that…your father’s cousins noted in green. The question now is, what are your father’s cousins to you? People who make this 2nd cousin mistake do so because they don’t understand kinship, and trying to expand it this way is way beyond anything they can or even want to attempt.

188.11  But let’s take a crack at it, for the sake of argument. Look at 3 people…your father, your father’s 1st cousin, and you. What do you have? A pair of 1st cousins and the child of one of them. Now look at you, your 1st cousin, and your 1st cousin’s child. What do you have? The same exact thing! A pair of cousins and the child of one of them. Situations are the same, so relationships must be the same. In your case, you and the child of your 1st cousin are 2nd cousins…so in your father’s case, your father’s 1st cousin and the child of your father’s 1st cousin’s 1st cousin must also be 2nd cousins…making your and your father’s 1st cousin 2nd cousins. This is a perfect example of the patterns that repeat over and over…up, down, and across a family tree.

188.12  So your father’s 1st cousin is your 2nd cousin. Now simply apply the same cousin terminology used on the left side of Chart 660  to the side: your 2nd cousin’s child is your 3rd cousin…in this case, your 2nd cousin is your father’s 1st cousin…and your 3rd cousin is your father’s 2nd cousin…and this continues all the way down the generations. Notice that this 3rd cousin (actually your 2nd cousin using correct terminology) is of your generation…so here your generation consists of a 1st cousin, then a 3rd cousin, and if we extended it to the right…what?…a 5th cousin?….1, 3, 5, all odd numbers?

chart 262

188.13  Yes, this is exactly what happens…the infamous Odds/Evens system of kinship terminology I covered in Related How Again? #75 . This is where your odd numbered cousins are in your generation…your even numbered cousins are in your father’s generation and your son’s generation…odd numbered for your grandfather’s and grandson’s generation…and alternating up and down, as in Chart  263.

chart 263

And checking recycled Charts 262, where each number of cousin has its own color, we notice something interesting: You have 2nd cousins in 2 different places on your family tree…3rd cousins in 3 places…4th cousins in 4 places…and it will keep going like that, as you see in Chart 661.

chartt 661

188.14  And an unwieldy mess it is…let’s take 7th cousins as an example, and say Teddy Roosevelt and my grandfather were 7th cousins. This could mean…

1.  Gramps was the 4th great grandson of TR’s 1st cousin…or…
2.  Gramps was the 2nd great grandson of TR’s 3rd cousin…or…
3.  Gramps was the grandson of TR’s 5th cousin…or…
4.  Gramps was TR’s 7th cousin (i.e. the same generation)…or…
5.  Gramps was TR’s grandfather’s 5th cousin…or…
6.  Gramps was TR’s great great grandfather’s 3rd cousin…or…
7.  Gramps was TR’s 4th great grandfather’s 1st cousin…

188.15  So much for “7th cousin” pinpointing a unique spot on your family tree, nez pah? So you might say, well don’t call them 7th cousins…just use one of the 7 specific descriptions above. Trouble is, that won’t work either…take description #3…Gramps was the 2nd great grandson of TR’s 3rd cousin. Here, “3rd cousin” can refer to one of 3 different things, so description #3 refers to 3 different things…d’oh!

188.16  Bottom line: the Odds/Evens system is completely useless as a coherent system of kinship terminology. Does the nudnik who thinks their 1st cousin’s child is their 2nd cousin actually know that by doing so they’re advocating such a system? Of course not…this a perfect example of an unintended consequence. But then, that’s what happens when you literally don’t know what you’re talking about.

chart 127

188.17  One thing I ought to mention…Chart 127 shows the correct terminology for numbered cousins (your generation) and removed cousins (other generations.) And you will notice that for each removed cousin type, there is one among your ancestors, blue area…and one among your descendants, pink area. That is why you must add “ascending” for the blue and “descending” for the pink…but that’s it, system is now complete. It can’t and won’t be any more cumbersome than that. How in the world would you distinguish 7 different 7th cousins? 7th cousin 1st degree, 7th cousin 2nd degree, 7th cousin 3rd degree, and like that? And which is which? Our system is very solid and very practical…could it be better? Absolutely, because…

188.18  …a responder at Yahoo! Answers with a Hispanic last name said this regarding removed cousins: It [your 1st cousin's child] would be like your mother’s cousin. To you it would be your cousin once removed. In my culture and family, however, my mother’s cousin would be my aunt/uncle. Specifically, they mean “2nd uncle” and “2nd aunt”…in Spanish, a 1st cousin once removed ascending is a 2nd uncle/aunt…a 1st cousin once removed descending is a 2nd nephew/niece…keeping the terminology consistent for generations above and below you. Not that the Spanish language is perfect…they have a muddled way of dealing with grands and greats, to the extent that nobody can agree just how to do it. Still, removing removeds is a laudable achievement, sez me.

wicked ballsy

wicked

The question is, how exactly is Uncle Duke related to Zonker Harris? His full name is Raoul Duke…his son Earl and his cousin David are also both Dukes. He is described by some on the net as an “uncle by courtesy”…that is, an old family friend of Zonker’s parents, an “honorary” uncle. But this strip implies otherwise.

For the record, Zonker’s full name is Edgar Zonker Harris…revealed in the 1983 musical “Doonesbury: A Musical Comedy.” I don’t believe Zonker’s parents have first names. Zonker has an unseen (so they say) sister named Louise…Zonker’s nephew Zipper Harris is her son. But could Zonker’s mother’s maiden name be Duke? Without reading every strip since 1970, I’m not prepared to bet on anything…let’s leave it at that.

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Copyright © 2014 Mark John Astolfi, All Rights Reserved

#187: 20 Q’s…and Thanx For Asking!

187.1   Posts from Yahoo! Answers are in black italics…my comments in red. The abbreviation OP means Original Poster.

187.2  Question…Okay, so I want to find out the exact title of a relative and I. My mom’s maternal grandpa and my relative’s mom’s father were half brothers because they had the same mom but two different dads. So, would that make my relative and I half 1st cousins once removed since my great-grandparent and his grandparent were half-brothers? No, half-2nd cousins once removed…but you were close!  I just want to know our exact title please, thanks! 

187.3  Okay, so here’s a point to ponder: because the word “maternal” derives from “mother,” people sometimes think that the phrases “my maternal” and “my mother’s” mean the same thing…but in a genealogical context, they mean different things. Consider: my maternal grandfather refers to the grandfather you have on your mother’s side…this is another way of saying my mother’s father. On other hand, my mother’s grandfather is obviously not your mother’s father, so it isn’t your maternal grandfather, capeesh? Having said that, the OP clearly does know the difference…the half-brothers are at the end said to consist of his great grandfather and the other relative’s grandfather…which is completely consistent with what he said at the beginning. Checking Chart 655 we see the answer is half-2nd cousins once removed. 

chart 655

187.4  “Best Answer…Asker’s Choice”…Call him RiQ – Relative in Question – and work it out one generation at a time: 

Generation 1: Your great grandpa & RiQ’s grandfather = 1/2 brothers
Generation 2: Your grandparent & RiQ’s parent = 1/2 1st cousins
Generation 3: Your parent & RiQ = 1/2 2nd cousins
Generation 4: You & RiQ’s child = 1/2 3rd cousins 

I threw in RiQ’s (future) child as a bonus. You and RiQ are half second cousins once removed through your parent.  That’s right, except that you can’t be any sort of cousin unless it’s thru one of your parents…I’m just sayin’...

187.5  Answer #2…You are 1/2 first cousins. Wrongo! Not having the “once removed” on there means they evened out the generations when they shouldn’t have, perhaps owing to the possible confusion over the word “maternal” that I mentioned in 187.3. But even doing that, they should have come up with half-2nd cousin, so who knows?

187.6  Answer #3…Half 2nd cousins 1 time removed………. as it your great great grandparent and his great grandparent which is the common blood ancestor  This answer is rock solid…and what’s more, there is only one common blood ancestor, resulting in descendants that are a type of half-cousins…for full cousins you must descend from full siblings, and that requires 2 common ancestors, not just one.

187.7  Answer #4…1st cousins removed. exactly  It’s a shame we don’t have such a word as “unexactly.” Not only is 1st cousins not even close, but you can’t just be “removed”…has to be a number of times, to indicate which generation this cousin is a part of, nez pah?

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187.8 Question…Auntie or cousin? What is my mom’s cousin to me if my dad’s brother married her? Is she my second cousin or aunt?

187.9 Answer #1…She is both. Actually she’s neither. Is she your aunt? Your uncle married her, but that in itself only makes her your aunt by marriage, not by blood. Is she your 2nd cousin? If she’s your mother’s 1st cousin, she’s your 1st cousin once removed…she would be your children’s 2nd cousin, not yours. She is your mother’s cousin by blood (they have a common ancestor, which would also be your ancestor). She is actually your 1st cousin once removed. Like I just said…so why did YOU say “both,” meaning 2nd cousin when you knew she wasn’t? Geez louise…

She BECAME your “aunt” through marriage to your uncle. The difference here.. she would stop being an aunt, if they divorce. But the blood relationship would never be changed by divorce.. since it relies on a relationship through a common ancestor. True enough…in this case your 1st cousin once removed is you aunt by marriage. Your dad’s brother is also a blood relationship (through their parents, who are your grandparents). This is really not such a massive issue. It comes down to the fact that your dad and his brother both married women who are related to each other. Happens all the time No, actually is doesn’t…unless by “all the time” you mean “occasionally” then I can accept that. The upshot of course is the offspring will be your 1st cousins on your fathers’ side, and your 2nd cousin on your mothers’ side….”irregular double cousins” if you must know.

187.10  Answer #2…You go by direct lineage that was there before marriage. It’s more accurate for the family tree, and with the way marriages end in divorce, the ‘aunt’ part is moot, the person will always be your second cousin. Make that 1st cousin once removed and you’re right in a muddled sort of way…in other words, a marriage by itself doesn’t give you additional blood relatives…altho the offspring of such a union does. 

187.11 Answer #3…If she is your mother’s first cousin then she is your first cousin once removed but she is also your aunt by marriage. That’s it in a nutshell…no need to continue…unless you insist… 

To figure cousin relationship
Children of siblings are first cousins to each other as they share grandparents.
Children of first cousins are second cousins to each other as they share great grandparents. Children of second cousins are third cousins as they share great great grandparents.
and so on. 

The removes come in when you are in a different generation coming down from a common ancestor. You are a first cousin once removed to your parents’ first cousins as their grandparents are your great grandparents. Thus one generation different. You are also a first cousin once removed to your first cousins’ children as your grandparents are their great grandparents. Again, one generation different. No argument from me…except to add that the IC 1R ascending is the one in the older generation, the 1C 1R descending is the one in the younger generation.

Here is a relationship chart.   http://www.islandregister.com/cousin.htm… 

This chart is fine…I find drawing trees settles the issue much faster in my mind, but  if such a charts useful to you, knock yourself out. I do like that the chart uses “grand niece/nephew” instead of “great niece/nephew”…a real professional touch.

187.12 Answer #4…The first cousin of your parents is your first cousin once removed. Good so far… If your fathers brother married your mothers first cousin she would be your first cousin once removed and a cousin by marriage. Not cousin by marriage but aunt by marriage…because her being your mother’s 1st cousin has nothing to do with who she marries, which I think you knew, you just got careless, we’ll say.  If they divorced she would still be your first cousin once removed. And that’s a mercy anyway…

187.13  Answer #5…Both. No, neither. Many people have multiple relationships. No they don’t. On the contrary, it’s rare enough that many people haven’t heard of it and so don’t think it can happen.  My brothers and I, for instance, are brothers, plus 4th cousins, 5th cousins and 6th cousins once removed. Some of my 1st cousins are also my 4th, 5th and 6th 1R also. Well, technically you mean double 4th, 5th, etc. but we get it…

You usually use just one title, unless you are bragging at the genealogy clubhouse. In the first place, relationships are never called “titles.” In the second place, people treat multiple relationships in any number of ways…depends on how accurate a picture they wish to paint. For example…if half-brothers had mothers who were siblings, they’d also be 1st cousins…it’s up to the individual whether to mention both relationships…they would certainly be more closely related than half-siblings regardless of what they chose to call themselves. And in the third place, if it’s true it isn’t bragging.

Call the Lady in Question LiQ:
Generation 1: Your mom & LiQ = 1st cousins
Generation 2: You & LiQ’s children = 2nd cousins 

That’s one relation; you and LiQ are first cousins once removed through your mom. The person who said “second cousins” is wrong; LiQ’s children, not her, will be your second cousins. Absolutely. The second relation is that she married your uncle, so she is your aunt by marriage. Her children will be your first cousins through their father, your uncle. So, they will be your 1st and 2nd cousins both. Absolutely again. I’d call her “Aunt”, especially if she is more than 10 years older than you, but “Aunt” or “Cousin” is really up to you. How old she is has nothing to do with it…if she were younger than you, she’d still be your aunt by marriage. What if you called her your “cousin” before she married your uncle? You might change to “aunt,” or stick with “cousin,” your choice. The cool thing about Spanish kinship terminology is that your mother’s 1st cousin is automatically a kind of aunt…what they call a “2nd aunt” or tia segunda.

187.14  Answer #6…If this lady is your mums first cousin then she is your 1st cousin once removed and if then your dads brother ( your Uncle) married her, she is also your Aunt  If you mean aunt by marriage then I’m with you.
 
187.15  Answer #7…she’s ur cousin as well as ur aunt  Yeah, sorta, kinda, approximately, like we’ve said. She’s something by blood and something else by marriage, that’s for sure.

187.16  Answer #8…She would become the closest relationship to you, an Aunt. Well, an aunt is by definition your parent’s sibling, and that’s certainly closer to you than your parent’s 1st cousin. But a relative by marriage is neither close or distant, since they’d not related to you at all.

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187.17  Question…My daughters relation to my nephew?  I’m sure you’ve heard it said that there are no stupid questions…frankly, I wouldn’t be so sure. This one comes precariously close…I mean, a child might ask something like this, but not someone old enough to have a daughter themselves. Who is her nephew? Her sibling’s son…that son and her daughter are 1st cousins, one of the first things a child learns about kinship as they move beyond the nuclear or immediate family of mother/father, son/daughter, brother/sister. So you might suspect that this nephew really isn’t OP’s nephew after all…assuming OP is a woman, perhaps it’s her husband’s nephew, or the son of her half-sibling or step-sibling. Still, my policy is to take what people say at face value…it’s only common curtesy.  So the answer is: 1st cousins.

187.18  Answer #1…Your nephew is your siblings child or your husbands siblings child meaning your chaildren and their children are 1st cousins, as they share the same grandparent/s… Which is to say, either your parents or your husband’s parents would be their grandparents if for some reason they do not share the same grandparent/s then they are not related at all  I don’t know if you had some reason in mind when you said “for some reason”…but for the sake of argument, let’s see what reason there could be. Since we are for now supposing OP’s daughter and nephew have no grandparents in common, this nephew can’t be OP’s nephew or her husband’s nephew. Chart 656 shows 2 more possibilities.

chart 656

Chart 656A supposes the nephew is the son of OP’s half-sibling…but then daughter and nephew would share B as a grandparent, so that doesn’t work…in this case the nephew would be a half-nephew, OP his half-aunt, and her daughter his half-1st cousin. Chart 656B tries step-siblings..A and B had OP, C and D had the sibling, then B and C were married, giving OP a step-mother and a step-sibling. Now the nephew would be no relation to OP’s daughter, and share no grandparents with her. Still, if the step-siblings were close, they might call each other’s children their niece or nephew.

187.19  Answer #2…First cousin, if they share a pair of grandparents. Otherwise, step cousin.  Sure enough, step-‘s is precisely what this answerer deduced…but there is an important caveat, explained below.

chart 657
187.20  Answer #3…First cousins. They should share a set of the same grandparents. And the caveat is this: determining relationships based on shared grandparents doesn’t work. Sharing 2 grandparents doesn’t guarantee you’re 1st cousins…you could be half-siblings or even double half-1st cousins…as per Chart 657. The shared grandparents in each case are highlighted in yellow…and if the double half-1st cousins is an eye-opener, it was intended as such. My point is: stop doing it! 

187.21  And that wraps up the 20 Questions Project for now… lots of fun, may revisit it…altho next week, Yahoo! Answers does move me closer to answering something I’ve wondered about for a long time…till then, dear friends…

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Copyright © 2014 Mark John Astolfi, All Rights Reserved

#186: 20 Q’s…the Black and the Red

186.1  …being the real-life adventures of average folks wresting with kinship questions at Yahoo! Answers…posts are in black italics…my comments in red. The abbreviation OP stands for Original Post or Original Poster…

186.2  Question: If her great uncle is my grandfather, what does that make us? Before anything else, let’s look at the terms “great” and “grand”…when applied to uncles and aunts, it’s one of the rare areas of kinship terminology where there is more than one way to do it. Most everything else has a distinct meaning…for example, 2nd cousins are one thing…the children of 1st cousins…and not anything else…which is not to say people don’t use the term incorrectly, but they’re wrong. With great/grand, there really is no absolutely correct way to use them.

186.3  Still, in a genealogical context, there is a preferred usage, and it is “grand uncle” for the brother of your grandfather. The important point is that each of these gentlemen is thus referred to by one “grand. In like fashion, the brother of your great grandfather is your great grand uncle…again, each is called the same thing, “great grand.” This is done to keep them straight…watch what happens with using “great uncle” for the brother of your grandfather. The brother of your great grandfather is then your great great uncle…one has one “great,” the other has 2 “greats”…but then your great great grandfather also has 2 “greats” even tho he is one generation earlier than that great great uncle. So the idea is that all the siblings of one generation will  have same number of greats…that’s all there is to it. At the same time, there are court cases where “grand uncle” and “great uncle” are deemed to be the same thing legally.

186.4  As to the question at hand…at some point, if you’re really interested in kinship and genealogy, you’ll discover you can do questions as simple as this in your head. If somebody is her grand uncle, he is the brother of one of her grandparents…in this case we’ll say the brother of her grandfather….and the brother of her grandfather is your grandfather. You and her are 2nd cousins. Taking it step by step…your father has a brother and that brother has a child…the child is your 1st cousin. Your grandfather has a brother and that brother has a grandchild…the grandchild is your 2nd cousin. Done and done. Keep at it, dear friends…it will all come in time!

chart 652

186.5  Answer #1…Assuming he is a great uncle by blood, I’ve said it a thousand times but I’ll say it again: if he isn’t an uncle by blood, he isn’t an uncle period…the man married to your father’s sister is an uncle by marriage only, an honorary uncle if you will, but not your uncle. You call him uncle out of courtesy…but consider this: if he divorces your aunt, do you still call him uncle? And since I brought it up, here’s my answer: if they have children, your 1st cousins, then divorce or no, he is still the father of your cousins, so I would still call him uncle…in my family I have several ex-aunts by marriage and I never stopped considering them as aunts. 

Generation 1: Your grandfather and her grandparent = siblings
Generation 2: Your parent and her parent = 1st cousins
Generation 3: You & She = 2nd cousins 

When (if) you both find that special someone and have children, they will be generation 4, and 3rd cousins to each other.  What can I say…correctamundo. You are OK to date and even marry, Relations between 2nd cousins are legal everywhere in the world and in all 50 states…even between 1st cousins, legal practically everywhere in the world and in about half the states, did you know that?  but go really slow and be super polite, or there will some distinct silences at family gatherings. Do you recognize this gag from last week? Yup, same poster…I want to say he’s got a million of them, altho it appears he does not…still, appearances can be deceiving, nez pah?

186.6  Answer #2…Cousin (a little far related ). Clumsily stated but true…in common parlance, a 2nd cousin (or beyond) is typically called a “distant cousin.” And while a 2nd cousin doesn’t sound that distant compared to say a 10th cousin, you share only about 3% of your genes with your 2nd cousin, the other 97% you don’t. 
186.7 Answer #3…well if the great uncle and granddad is in the same generation your dads will be in the same generation and so will you and as your related you will be cousins. See, there’s no “if” about it…grand unc and grand pop can’t be anything but the same generation…and since 2nd cousins are a type of cousin, it’s not wrong to say you’re cousins. p.s. i drew this on a piece of paper  No kidding? I usually draw my diagrams on the bathroom wall, but it takes all kinds, sez me…

186.8  Answer #4…just about nothing  Genealogically, no, not just about nothing…genetically, as we’ve seen, yes, just about nothing. 

186.9  Answer #5…Family  Which just goes to show you can be absolutely correct and still not helpful.

186.10  Answer #6…So your common blood ancestors are your Great Grandparents, which means you are 2nd cousins Yes…and notice here they say great grandparents plural…if the common ancestor were only one grandparent, and not 2 grandparents, you’d be half-2nd cousins. Astute.

186.11  Answer #7…or great cousins because i ave a great uncle and his granddaughter is my second cousin  A few blogs back, I cautioned about starting a sentence with “There is no such thing as — “…so I won’t say that now. I will say this: Genealogists do not use the terms “great cousin” or “grand cousin”…people in general do, but not very often…I Googled them and got about 13,000 and 9,000 hits respectively…minuscule by internet standards…and perusing the first 50 or so each time, only a couple hits referred to specific kinship…mostly they were saying that they had wonderful cousins. Consequently, there is no generally agreed on meaning for these terms…a future blog will investigate just what the few people who do use them mean by them. Here, I think you mean any cousin beyond 1st cousin…what is generally called a distant cousin. But your conclusion is right on. Good! Great! Grand!

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186.12  Question…How Am I Related To This Person? She’s my grandmother’s cousin. Does that make her my great cousin, just my grandmother’s cousin, or something else? Thanks!  Speaking of which…! Here the use of the phrase “great cousin” goes beyond numbered cousins…that is, your cousins, or cousins of your generation…to cover removed cousins as well. The answer is nothing more than the definition of twice removed…belonging to your grandparents’ generation…so this person is your 1st cousin twice removed

chart 653

 

186.13  But here’s the point, and it’s a crucial one: there is absolutely nothing wrong with simply saying “my grandmother’s 1st cousin”…in fact, it is the single best way to say it!  Everybody will know precisely what you mean…there is not the slightest shred of ambiguity or confusion. Truth be told, “removed” is genealogical jargon…you use it in general conversation at the risk of not being understood. It’s shorthand, really…instead of saying Lucretia Borgia was my great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great grandmother’s 3rd cousin….or even my 18G grandmother’s 3rd cousin…they’ll say my 3rd cousin 20 times removed. The 3 underlined expressions mean the same thing, no foolin’. And you’re welcome!

186.14  Answer #1…

Generation 1: Your Grandmother & her cousin = 1st cousins
Generation 2: Your parent and C’s children = 2nd cousins
Generation 3: You & C’s grandchildren = 3rd cousins 

You are two generations apart from “C”. That makes you 1st cousins twice removed. “Removed” means “generations apart” in cousins. Again with those lists…it’s that same jokester, the one who sometimes gives bonus answers, as he calls them. But he’s right, no two ways about it. 

186.15  Answer #2…1st cousins 2 times removed  I concur.

186.16  Answer #3…if she’s your grandmother’s first cousin then she is your first cousin twice removed. her children are your 2nd cousins once removed (they are your parent’s 2nd cousins) & her grandchildren are your third cousins. Wow…3 answers, 3 utterly accurate answers…I’m feeling light-headed…

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186.17  Question…If my 3rd great grandfather is a first cousin 6 times removed from a cousin, what is my relationship to that cousin?  Permit me to call the cousin referred to by “6 times removed from a cousin” Bob…and the 3G grandfather I’ll call Gramps. If Bob has a 1st cousin 6 times removed, it would be the 1st cousin of Bob’s 4G grandfather…that’s 4 greats. Where does the 4 come from? To convert between times removed and the ancestor whose cousin is removed, you add up all the “greats” and count the “grand” and “father/mother” as 1 each, like this…

great (1) great (1) grand (1) father (1)… 1+1+1+1=4… 4 times removed
great (1) grand (1) father (1)…1+1+1=3… 3 times removed
grand (1) father (1)… 1+1=2… 2 times removed
father (1)… 1 time removed

Here, we work backwards…to get 6 times removed, you need 1 father, 1 grand, and 4 greats…1+1+4=6. So that means that your 3G grandfather has a 1st cousin, and that 1st cousin is Bob’s 4G grandfather…notice it’s 3G versus 4G…so it’s no surprise that you and Bob are something once removed. What that something is can be found by shinnying down the Cousin Ladder in Chart 654A. And we get…6th cousin once removed.

chart 654

But there’s a wrinkle…when 2 people are cousins removed, one is in an older generation, one is in a younger generation…and unless you append ascending or descending respectively, there’s no way for us to know which is which. I have assumed Bob is alive today and OP wants to know how they are related…understandable. So Bob is the 1C 6R descending, Gramps is the 1C 6R ascending. What if it were the other way around? We take Chart 654A…switch the positions of Bob (“cousin”) and Gramps (“3 greats”) to get Chart 654B…and we get 1st cousin 11 times removed. Taking a generation to be 25 years, Bob is now around 325 years old if he’s a day…whew.

 

186.18  Answer #1…There are genealogical relationship charts on line that can be downloaded and printed. That’s true…but with 6th cousins on the one hand and 11 times removed on the other, charts might not extend far enough to work in this case. I cannot imagine that your would know a first cousin 6x removed relationship of your 3rd G Grandfather, but not know your relationship with this person.  What a cockeyed thing to say! In my 63 years of living, I’ve found people who have no imagination whatsoever to be extremely rare…but we have one here, woo hoo!

186.19  Answer #2…

3rd GGF = 1C6R
2nd GGF = 1C5R
1st GGF = 1C4R
GP = 1C3R
Parent = 1C2R
You = 1C 1R 

It’s our old friend the list-maker…usually he’s pretty good, but with this first one, not so much. As a rule, I don’t simply say somebody’s wrong and leave it at that…I try to see where they went wrong and how they can be set right. This first list has the OP’s line of ancestors on the left, and what they should be to the cousin I’ve called Bob on the right…and the removeds are fine, but the numbered cousins should increase by one for each step…ending up with 6th cousin…6C…for you.

Maybe. there are a lot of ways to go with this one. No, actually there are only 2 ways to go with this, as I explained with the ascending and descending stuff.  Here’s another: 

3rd GGF = 1C6R
2nd GGF = 1C7R
1st GGF = 1C8R
GP = 1C9R
Parent = 1C10R
You = 1C11R 

And he gets this one right…which makes his first screwy list all the more mysterious, nez pah?

186.20  Answer #3…Friends at the very least.

186.21  Answer #4…That is insanely difficult to calculate,  Please don’t speak for everyone…insanely difficult for you, I can believe…but not insanely difficult for me, just the opposite…which is to say, if I found I couldn’t do it, I’d conclude that I’d lost my mind. and it wouldn’t be that important, genetically speaking you probably would only be trace genetically related  Well, give the devil his due…..on this point you are 100% correct…in fact, calling it a trace would be overly generous…6C 1R are 99.994% unrelated…as are 1C 11R…which means if you have 25,000 genes, you share 2…actually 1½, so it looks like you caught me in a generous mood after all.

186.22  Answer #5…No  Meaningless answer, you old rascal you. I’m trying to remember the last time I was instructed to “answer yes or no, even if it doesn’t make any sense”…but I’m coming up blank, sorry.

186.23  We’ll wrap up our 20 Q’s series next week…I wonder, will it really end up as 20?…I meant it originally only as a figure of speech…

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Copyright © 2014 Mark John Astolfi, All Rights Reserved

#185: 20 Q’s…Tangles Untangled, While U Wait

185.1   And do people ever get tangled with genealogy and kinship! Trust me, even I make an occasional mistake if I’m not careful, so I understand. Here are some more queries and attempted answers from Yahoo! Posts are in black italics…my comments in red. BTW, if you’ve never seen it before, the abbreviation OP stands for Original Post or Original Poster…

185.2  Question: What is the title of how I am related to my mom’s 2nd cousin’s niece? what would you call my relation to my mom’s second cousin’s niece (on his wife’s side if it matters) would that be my 3rd cousin?  I hate to get picky…but people in general, not to mention genealogists, don’t call it a “title”…better so say “relationship” or “name of the relationship.” 

185.3  Answer #1, “Rated Highest” by others…You are not related at all  Completely and utterly correct…doesn’t explain anything, but if you want to get a quick answer and then move on, this is it. Before I give my answer, we should look at the next answer, which illustrates the importance of reading a question carefully

185.4  Answer #2…You are probably not related. We can’t tell from the way you worded your question. On the contrary, the OP gave us everything we need to know…the key is when they said “on his wife’s side if it matters.” Well, it matters very much…and here the OP has told us 2 important things: first, the mother’s 2nd cousin is a man (“his”)…and second, the niece is not his biological niece but his wife’s…he may be called “uncle,” but that’s because he is married to the niece’s biological aunt, nez pah?

Your mom’s 2nd cousin’s child is your 3rd cousin. The niece would be your 3rd cousin, if she is a child of your mom’s 2nd cousin’s brother or sister, This is exactly how it works, no denying it. but if that was true you would have phrased your question differently, I suspect.  And what do you know? OP did phrase the question differently than how you read it…you just didn’t catch it, I’m afraid. 

You are good to go if you want to date her. That is behind about half of he cousin relationships we get here.  Historically, one of the main uses of kinship was just that…reckoning whom you can and can’t marry. Just take it slow. If you try to set a county speed record for getting a bra off on a first date, there will be some distinct silences at family gatherings. A game attempt at humor, but it fails for one simple reason: family gatherings tend to be limited to family…and your family doesn’t include this niece. Say for example your mother staged a family gathering…she might invite her siblings, 1st cousins, even 2nd cousins…and they all might bring their spouses…but would those spouses bring their siblings?…and those siblings, their children? It’s possible…if you lived out in the hinterlands and things get lonely…but it doesn’t sound like a typical family gathering to me.

chart 648

185.5  My Answer: OP, you did not mention if your mother’s 2nd cousin has any children…in Chart 648 I put one in as a point of reference…and that child would indeed be your 3rd cousin. “Wife’s niece” would be this 3rd cousin’s 1st cousin, but not on your side of the family, hence no relation to you. But you did have the generations sorted out right, as far as that goes…in Chart 649, if the niece had been the 2nd cousin’s biological niece, thru his sibling, this niece would then be your 3rd cousin…but you said it was by marriage, so she’s not your 3rd cousin, or anything to you. 

chart 649
185.6 Answer #3…Your mom is related to her 2nd cousin, not even to his wife…much less the wife’s niece. YOU have NO relationship at all to this niece.. unless you have an ancestor in common (meaning, the same ancestor, somewhere back). Your mom’s 2nd cousin IS related to you.. he is your 2nd cousin once removed. It stops right there. Awkwardly put at the beginning…”not even to his wife” should read “but not to his wife”…other than that, when you’re right you’re right, and you’re right. 

185.8  Answer #4…Unrelated. In-laws never enter into the equation for anyone who isn’t married into the family.  Most people don’t refer to everyone who marries into their family as an “in-law”…but instead say “by marriage.” Traditionally in-laws are the closest…mother/father-in-law, son/daughter-in-law, siblings-in-law…speaking of which…For instance, your brother’s brother-in-law means nothing to you (well unless this means the guy your brother married, rather than the woman he married’s brother. Except you got tangled up and said that wrong…if your brother married another man, that man wouldn’t be your brother’s brother-in-law…he’d be your brother’s spouse, partner, husband, wife, whatever…if that, since opinions vary on same-sex unions, and in the interest of us all living together and getting along, we’ll leave it at that. If he were anybody’s brother-in-law, he would be yours, not your brother’s, follow that?

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185.9  Question…If my Great Grandmothers sister married her Grandfather what does that make us? So me and my girlfriend have been dating for a few weeks and I just found out were the same ethnicity and have the same cousin. So I done some digging and found out that my great grandmothers sister married my girlfriends grandfather. I underlined the word “her” for good reason…it sure sounds like “her” refers to your great grandmother’s sister, giving you CHart 650A, strictly illegal, I don’t care who you are. But reading further, it turns out “her” refers to your girlfriend, giving us something distinctly different, Chart 650B

chart 650

 

185.10  My Answer…What we have here in Chart 650B is nothing more than a straightforward “Cousin Ladder”…you and your girlfriend are 2nd cousins once removed…she is your parent’s 2nd cousin. Thru practice, this type of up and down reckoning will come as second nature…you just have to work at it. 

185.11  Answer #1, “Rated Highest” by others…2nd cousins 1 time removed  Short, sweet, and to the point. Sweet!

185.12  Answer #2…
Generation 1: Your GGM & her sister = sisters
Generation 2: Your grandparent & her parent = 1st cousins
Generation 3: Your parent & your girlfriend = 2nd cousins
Generation 4: You & GF’s future child = 3rd cousins 

I threw your GF’s child in as a bonus. If you two do marry and have children, your children will be your 3rd cousins as well.  You might recall last week, one of the answerers threw in a “bonus…yup, altho I am leaving out screen names, this is the same individual…and generous to a fault. “Removed” means “Generations apart” in cousins. As you see, you and your GF are one generation apart. That makes you second cousins once removed.  Right answer…bravo.

185.13  Answer #3…So your great grandmother’s sister is her grandmother. Because if she isn’t, you’re not related by blood at all. I mention this because you oddly mention that she married her grandfather, rather than just saying is her grandmother. Otherwise, you’re second cousins once removed.  Another right answer…and it brings up an interesting point…what I call a Conan Relation…one that seems redundant because there is a simpler, more natural way to express it…like saying “my sister’s uncle” instead of “my uncle.” And as with other Conan Relations, what we have here does suggest the possibility that the grandmother’s sister is not the girlfriend’s grandmother…just someone who married the girlfriend’s grandfather after that grandfather had a child with somebody else, that child being the parent of the girlfriend. In that case, yes, OP and his girlfriend would be related by marriage only, not by blood. HOWEVER, the fact that he says “we have the same cousin”…even without saying what kind of cousin, numbered and/or removed…confirms that the 2 lovebirds are related, and that’s good enough for the likes of me.

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185.14  Question…What is my 2nd cousin’s 1st cousin to me? Remember this rule: to you, your Xth cousin’s Yth cousin is whichever is larger, X or Y. So here, the your 2nd cousin’s 1st cousin is your 2nd cousin. In this context, your sibling is considered your “0th cousin.” If X and Y are equal, the answer could be you, your sibling, or anything up to and including your Xth cousin. 

chart 651

185.15  Answer #1, “Rated Highest” by others…Probably nothing. “Cousin’s cousin” is fun to say but not a real relation. If you have a common ancestor, you are elated; otherwise you are not. OK, if you insist…the complete answer, as airtight as it is foolproof, needs “if you are related” tacked onto the end. Since in this case there is nothing to indicate they are not related, I take OP at his literal word. And “probably” is not accurate…knowing nothing else, it’s 50/50, related or not related…and 50% is not probably. Also, notice that a slip of the typing finger results in a humorous typo…sadly, having a common ancestor does not always lead to elation. 

185.16  Answer #2…What common blood ancestor do you share with your 2nd cousins, 1st cousin, I would suggest you don’t and that they are related from the other side of the family, in which case you are not related at all   This person is only coherent enough to come off as an obnoxious nudnik…pay no attention to them. 

185.17  Answer #3…It is according to whether you share a common ancestor. There are different sides to any one family. Your cousin’s cousins are not necessarily related to you at all. Well yes, as I’ve said…still, you’ve absentmindedly forgotten to give an actual answer, just in case, right? Tsk-tsk.

185.18  Answer #4…Just a friend  More tsk.

185.19  Answer #5…depends, may be your wife  An odd answer, yet not impossible…people still do marry their 2nd cousins, altho not as often as was done in previous generations.  

185.20  Answer #6…I saw an article the other day about this, let me check my history real fast and I will get back with the link  This  reminds me of Facebook postings like “I just took a shower”…and we should care why, this shower? This person never did get back with the promised link…not when I was there anyway…perhaps they have since and good for them if they did. 

185.21  Answer #7…your second cousin  That’s what I would say, which is why I did. 

185.22  Couple more weeks of 20 Q’s coming up…because I’m having a ball, and it’s whose blog again?

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Copyright © 2014 Mark John Astolfi, All Rights Reserved

#184: 20 Q’s…Help Is On the Way

184.1   It is fascinating…even priceless…the way Yahoo! Answers demonstrates how confused people today are with kinship and genealogy. Based on the grammar and spelling of the questions and answers, I would guess most of these contributors are younger. I think Baby Boomers have a better handle on it, but not all do…and we may be the last generation who actually cares…but again, maybe not. Posts are in black italics…my comments in red. In case I use it, and it’s new to you, the abbreviation OP means Original Post or Original Poster.

184.2  Question: I have a half sister named Kelsey, but we are closer than most full siblings. We have the same mom but different dads. Neither one of us speak to our fathers anymore (long story). Kelsey is married to a man named Brent, and they have a son named Dustin. I am married to Brent’s full sister, her name is Corrie. Now Corrie and I are expecting our first child, a girl we are naming Mae. What would the official term be for them? We are just curious because they will not technically be double cousins but they will not be regular cousins either. Does anyone know? 

184.3  My Answer: I know! I know! You’re right in saying that Mae and Dustin won’t be double 1st cousins because while they are 1st cousins thru Brent and Corrie, they are only half-1st cousins thru you and Kelsey. They are “double cousins” in the sense that they are related 2 ways. “Regular double cousins” would fit if the 2 ways are the same…but since the 2 ways are different, they are “irregular double cousins.” Do this: total up their degree of relationship and see how it compares with more common relations…for them, it’s 1/8 + 1/16 = 3/16….which is halfway between 1st cousins at 2/16 and half-siblings at 4/16. So you can say they’re closer than 1st cousins but not as close as half-siblings.

chart 645

184.4  Answer #1, “Rated Highest” by others…Brent and Corrie are siblings…their children are first cousins, via that relationship. They are 1/2 1st cousins through you and Kelsey. So true…good for you. Most persons just leave off the 1/2 portion. They are cousins through both parents sides. Normally, one would go with the “closest” relationship which is full 1st cousins. Well, except if you leave off  the “1/2 portion” then their relationship on both sides is simply 1st cousin, and neither side is closer than the other, right? Now when folks are related in more than one way, they do find it convenient to use the closest relationship to describe themselves, at least in casual conversation. But I suspect when you say “normally,” you don’t actually know of any “abnormal” situations, where a more distant relationship is the one they prefer…”normally” is just a filler word, like “um” or “you know.”

chart 50 re

184.5  But as it turns out…ha!…I do know of such an abnormal case: Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip. They are in fact related to each other in many ways…2nd cousins once removed…3rd cousins…4th cousins…4th cousins once removed…5th cousins…probably more. Now 2C 1R is 1/64, which is closer than 3rd cousin at 1/128…but when it’s simplified to only one relationship, the one I see used most often is  3rd cousins. I believe the reason is this: they are 3rd cousins because they are both the great great grandchildren of Queen Victoria and Crown Prince Albert…thus this relationship is both Royal and British, because Victoria was British, altho Albert was German. Phillip is a 2nd cousin to Elizabeth’s father King George VI since the two men are the great grandchildren of King Christian IX of Denmark…Royal but not British, you see? It makes a difference, apparently…even so, Victoria’s mother, 3 of her 4 grandparents, and all 8 of her great grandparents were from Germany. Then again, maybe 3rd cousin simply “sounds” closer than 2C 1R…

184.6  Answer #2…your spouses are siblings. your children are half cousins. good luck.  And with answers like this, you’ll need some luck. Yes, your children are half-1st cousins, but not because your spouses are siblings, but because you and Kelsey are half-siblings. Your spouses being siblings makes the children full 1st cousins.

184.7  Answer #3…When the kids are old enough to enjoy silliness they can honesty say they are one and a half cousins. I’m not against silliness, heaven knows, but honestly they cannot. The trouble is that the larger the “number” of the cousins, the more distant the relationship…2nd cousins are more distant than 1st, 3rd are more distant than 2nd, etc. So 1½ cousins would be more distant than 1st…but as we saw in 184.3, Mae and Dustin are closer than 1st, not more distant. D’oh! If “1½ cousins” has any meaning at all, it can only mean half-1st cousins…more distant than 1st, less distant than 2nd.

184.8  Answer #4…I have 10 years on Observer, since I’ve been a genealogical researcher for 50+ years, and I use “half cousin” ALL the time. I know a family whose children are half first cousins, 7 times removed, to president John Adams. We don’t use it a lot, but we use it. How special for you….or them…or somebody.

Your children will have two relationships; full first cousin and half first cousin, Many people have two, but not so close. My brothers and sisters are also my 4th, 5th and 7th once removed cousins, for example. Most genealogists can say the same thing about their siblings. (Probably not that exactly, but “also” followed by a number of cousinhoods.) Most normal people could too, if someone would research their family tree. Ok, here’s the deal…siblings are also cousins to each other if their parents are cousins to each other. Based on complex mathematical and demographic analysis, it’s been estimated that everybody alive today is at most a 50th cousin to everybody else. So technically, you’re right…for example, my parents could be 20th cousins to each other…unfortunately, discovering kinship that remote is all but impossible, unless you’re related to royalty. Official and familial record-keeping simply wasn’t that good.

We usually drop the “half” for anyone to whom we are related save brother and sister, and usually drop it for them if we get along; and we usually drop all but the closest relationship; when I introduce my brother I say he’s that, dropping the cousins part. If, however, I’m at the genealogy clubhouse, cursing the way they spelled “Pack” in Arkansas in 1850, and it is 2 for 1 night in the tap room, I will introduce my brother as that plus all three cousin titles.  And that’s fine according to your clubhouse rules, I’m assuming…

184.9  Answer #5…There is a half sibling relationship between you and Corrie. Your Spouses are siblings. Your children would would half cousins on your side (this is not a term that is used in Genealogy)  and first cousins on their fathers side. Source(s): Genealogical researcher 40+ years  This basic answer is correct, altho there’s no “fathers’ side” since both couples are of mixed gender family-wise, if you catch my drift…better to say “on the other side.” And half-cousin most definitely is a term used in genealogy…and the fact that a researcher of 40+ years uses it…shows the good of it.

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184.10  Question…Ana has 2 aunts,Gertie&Samntha& 1 uncle,Jimbo.Jimbo has nephew on Anna’s side of family,Timothy. what is relation b/w timonthy’s child & ana?  

184.11  My Answer…When answering kinship questions, I assume that people are related by blood, not by marriage, and go from there. Here, Jimbo’s nephew TImothy could be Gertie’s son, Samantha’s son, the son of another of Jimbo’s siblings…or even Anna’s brother! But assuming brother is out, Timothy is Anna’s 1st cousin…thus Timothy’s child is Anna’s 1st cousin once removed.

chart 646

184.12  Answer #1, “Rated Highest” by others…Well none of us can tell unless we knew how the aunts and uncles are related.  Speak for yourself, bucko! There are aunts and uncles that are siblings to your parents. Then there are aunts and uncles only because they married siblings to your parents. Except…that here  Timothy is described as Jimbo’s “nephew on Anna’s side of the family.” Thus even if Jimbo were Anna’s uncle by marriage, married to Anna’s blood aunt, Timothy is still Anna’s blood 1st cousin thru that aunt. If Jimbo were an uncle by marriage, and Timothy were his nephew by one of his siblings, TImothy wouldn’t be on Anna’s side of the family…but he is!  You missed that. The only family of your aunts and uncles by marriage that are related to you are the children,. grandchildren etc they produce by your aunts and uncles who are siblings to your parents. Their nieces and nephews by their siblings aren’t related to you at all unless some place back down the line you share a common ancestor. Again, true enough, but irrelevant in this case.

Too many young people think their cousins’ cousins are related and they aren’t unless some place back down the line they shared a common ancestry.  Your questions is very convoluted as you don’t explain how the aunts and uncles are related. Your cousins on your mother’s side of the family are not related to the cousins on your father’s side unless some place along the line they share a common ancestor. I was taught this when I was about 5 of 6 years old. It appears today no one explains relationships to kids. Don’t feel bad a lot of the questions we get from young people trying to determine relationships are convoluted.  All I can say is: Ask a convoluted question, get a convoluted answer…except to me the question was crystal clear.

184.13  Answer #2…Find the common blood ancestor of timonthy’s child & ana and you will then be able to work out if their is any relationship or if there is no common blood ancestor there is no relationship  Well, sure…but something tells me this is a skill the OP lacks..at least for now…

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184.14  Question…How is my great grandfather’s half brother’s granddaughter related to me? I know she’s my cousin but what degree is she 1st? 2nd? 3rd? and then there’s all this once/twice/thrice removed stuff…it’s confusing.

184.15 My Answer…As per Chart 647, the granddaughter is your parent’s half-2nd cousin…your parent is one generation removed form you, so the granddaughter is your half-2nd cousin once removed. BTW, nobody says “thrice” anymore…not needed in this case anyway.

chartt 647
184.16  Answer #1, “Rated Highest” by others…Half brothers don’t matter when you’re calculating how close you are related.  Wrong! Fail! Nothing could be further from the truth. There is no such thing as a half cousin.  A quick google…and in this case quick means 0.27 seconds…says otherwise. Your grandfather and her father were cousins. Your father and her are second cousins. This makes you a second cousin, once removed. Put a “half-” in front of that and we’re good to go.

184.17  Answer #2  It’s early. I hope my abbreviations don’t confuse you. It gets less confusing if you draw a picture: 

Generation 1: GGF & HB = half brothers
Generation 2: Your grandparent & HB’s child = half 1st cousins
Generation 3: Your parent & HB’s GD = half second cousins
Generation 4: You & HB’s GD’s child = 3rd cousins 

I threw in GD’s child as a bonus, and to show you GD isn’t your 3rd cousin.  I won’t deny that your heart’s in the right place…but you risk further confusing a confused person…better to say what the correct relationship is, not what it isn’t. That being said, you have correctly identified each rung of the “Cousin Ladder.” Gold star for you.You and GD are in different generations; even if you are close to the same age, you are in different generations. That’s where removed comes in. Removed means “generations apart”. If you were to draw a line from you to GD, it would not be perfectly horizontal. It would tilt up a bit. Careful now! It might also tilt up a lot…or not at all if you put people who are the same general age at the same horizontal level, which you’re perfectly free to do. It doesn’t change their relationship…it’s just a different way to draw the diagram.

You two are half second cousins once removed through one of your parents. Most people would drop the “half”. In fact, unless you are bragging in the genealogy clubhouse, “distant cousin” would be enough, in casual conversation, or just “cousin”, as in “My cousin is a dynamite tennis player.”  Except that in a genealogical context, you wouldn’t be bragging, just being accurate. Saying “distant cousin” would suggest to a genealogist that you didn’t know.

Added later:  Some of us use “half” and some don’t. If, God forbid, you needed a bone marrow transplant, they’d test your first cousins before your half first cousins.  90% of the obituaries I read – and I’ve read thousands – don’t distinguish between half siblings and siblings. A careful genealogist uses “half” if he/she wants to be precise. It’s too clumsy for normal people.  What, normal people can’t be clumsy?

184.18  Answer #3…2nd cousin, once-removed. We don’t use the ‘half’ title here. Your GrGrFather has a (half) brother. Those old guys each have children who are 1st cousins. The next generation down (your parent and the woman you speak about) are 2nd cousins. We go down another generation to get to you, but we don’t go down a generation for the woman. There is a one generation difference. That is where the ‘once-removed’ applies. If this woman has kids, they will be your 3rd cousins. Same deal as before….add “half-“.

Same generation is siblings (Brothers & sisters).
One generation down (kids) are 1st cousins.
Two generations down are 2nd cousins.
Three generations down are 3rd cousins.
‘Removed’ means a generation difference. (once, twice). 

184.19  Answer #4…As long as she is blood related through your great grandfather’s half brother, ie you share at least one Great Great Grandparent, then she is a half 2nd cousin once removed to you…if on the other hand you do not share a common blood ancestor then you are not related at all  I’d be interested to know how you think your great grandfather’s half-grand niece and you could conceivably not be blood relatives. The only way that could happen is if your great grandfather and his half-brother weren’t related…but they are, since they’re half-brothers. 

184.20  Are you learning from the mistakes of others, dear friends? We will continue in half a fortnight…  

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Copyright © 2014 Mark John Astolfi, All Rights Reserved

#183: 20 Q’s…Con-Foo-Shush

183.1   From the Yahoo! Answers genealogy section…a couple of confuzzling multiflations of contentious mishegoss, de-tweezed by webniks with varying degrees of verisimilitude and adroitage…posts are in black italics…my comments in red. The abbreviation OP stands for Original Post or Original Poster…

183.2   Question: I’m confused, help? Events are in chronological order. Jim gets with Elizabeth and they have a kid named Sophia. Jim and Elizabeth completely end their relationship. Elizabeth and Sophia later move away to another country. Elizabeth remarries. Jim gets with Tammy and they have a kid named John. Jim and Tammy completely end their relationship. Tammy and John later move away to another country. Tammy remarries. Jim gets with Angela and they have three kids, Jack, Jill, and Jimmy. Jim is married to Angela.

Please answer all of my questions.
(1)  What is the real definition of a step parent?
(2)  Is Angela a stepmom to Jim’s other kids, Sophia and John? Even if she hasn’t met them and they live in different countries?
(3)  Would Sophia then have two stepmoms in total, first Elizabeth, and then Angela?
(4)  Would John then have one stepmom, Angela?
(5)  Jack, Jill, and Jimmy would all be full siblings, but they would have two half siblings, John and Sophia. Would John have 4 half siblings, and would Sophia have 4 half siblings?

183.3  My Answer:

(1)  A little historical context: our prefix “step-” comes from the Old English word “astieped” which meant “bereaved.” When one of your parents died, and your remaining parent remarried, it referred to your “new” parent. Back when marriage was forever, this was the only way you could get a “new” parent…somebody had to die. You couldn’t have 2 step-parents…one married to each of your biological parents, as happens today, because one parent had to be dead. Sorry…that’s just the way it was. Eventually, “step-” lost its connotation with bereavement and death, and that’s where we stand today…a woman who is now married to your biological father…and who is not your biological mother…is your “step-mother.”

(2)  In common usage, “step-mother” refers a woman who raised you, as your mother, but wasn’t your biological mother. She functioned as your mother, perhaps was the only mother you ever knew, and you probably call her “Mom.” But as this question demonstrates, it’s possible your biological father was or now is married to a woman who didn’t raise you, who never functioned as your mother in a family setting. Usage varies…some people would simply say “my father’s wife”…others would say “my step-mother,” even in the case where you and her have never met. 

(3)  Now we come to the “married” part of it. Jim has had only one wife, Angela. Jim was never married to Tammy, so Tammy was neither Sophia’s father’s wife, nor Sophia’s step-mother. True, Sophia and John are half-siblings…but there is no universally accepted way to refer to your step-sibling’s “other” parent. So again, strictly speaking, Angela is the only one who could be called Sophia’s step-mother…in these circumstances, Sophia might well call Angela her father’s wife….or more realistically, “current” wife. Looked at this way, the answer to (4) is yes.

(5)  Yes…all the children have the same father…ones that share a mother are full siblings…ones that don’t are half-siblings…so Sophia and John would each have 4 half-siblings…Jack, Jill, and Jimmy would each have 2 full siblings and 2 half-siblings. But who is a step-sibling to whom again depends on how you look at it…step-siblings if Angela is considered a step-mother, not if she’s not.

chart 643

183.4  Best Answer:  

(1) Someone who is married to your biological parent. Married. I agree, but it is tricky…because even if your biological parents raised you, they might not have been married, nez pah? See today’s wicked ballsy.  To take an extreme example, if Jim, who seems to be quite the male slut, brought home a tramp for a one-night stand, she would not be stem-mom for a day. I would replace “seems to be” with “is”…but we have to admit that in this day and age, that’s considered old-fashioned thinking…nothing wrong with it, I’m just sayin’…

(2)  Here you get into use. “Step-mom” is, ideally, one who raises you and loves you as she would her own children. I know several people who are adults, living on their own, whose parents divorced and remarried. Some refer to the second wife as “my step-mom” and some as “my father’s wife”. It depends on how much they like the lady, and how much time they spent with her. Most of the ones who were out on their own when the divorce happened use “My father’s wife”.  Exactly…common usage varies.

(3)  No. Jim can be married to just one person at a time. I purely don’t know what Muslim children whose father has four wives call the other mommys. If Jim commits bigamy, the second marriage isn’t legal. This is certainly true…for now anyway. Because as the legal meaning of marriage continues to be redefined, many more combinations and permutations will become acceptable, like it or not. Heads-up for future reference: while today you are allowed to call certain connubial scenarios “icky,” doing so in the future may well qualify as “hate speech.” For example, check this article on identical twin sisters…traditional Mormons…married to the same man.

(4) Maybe. See your second Q, which discusses “step-mom” vs. “My father’s wife”.  Correct.

(5)  Yes. Also correct. This poster hews to traditional usage, but as I said, the times they are a-changin’.

183.5  Answer #2:

(1)  A step parent is a person (husband or wife) who is married to the parent of a child but is not the child’s parent. Step parents ONLY HAPPEN if there is a marriage. Sure, that’s how I would call it. When I hear “parent,” I think of a biological parent. But a parent could also be somebody who raised you, or is married to your biological parent, or both. But if they’re neither, I wouldn’t call them a parent…still, many people would. It’s like who qualifies as an in-law. You might consider your husband’s cousins to be your cousins…but perhaps he doesn’t…and/or they don’t.

(2) If Angela marries Jim, she is step mother to any child he has, with any other woman, if he was married to the other woman or not. As has been said, it can be that way…or Angela can just be “my father’s wife” and not any kind of mother.

 (3) (4)  Sophia’s only stepmother is a woman who is married to her father. Where anyone lives, does not matter. John’s stepmother is anyone who legally married his father. (your message is too round about and “gets with” is meaningless) I would agree that if  Sophia and John have a step-mother, it would be Angela. The “gets with” implies they weren’t married, and the living in other countries reinforces the point that Angela didn’t function as a mother to either Sophia or John.

(5)  Full siblings are any child who has the SAME MOTHER AND FATHER. Half siblings have ONE same parent, mother or father. The parents don’t need to be married in either situation. The kids are still either full or half siblings. Quite so…reproduction is blithely independent of marriage…or even cohabitation for that matter.

183.6  Answer #3: Depends. Does “gets with” mean married or just dating?  I was wondering the same thing. I think we all got the impression Jim didn’t marry Elizabeth or Tammy…altho you can’t technically remarry until you’ve been married first…then again, they didn’t get divorced from Jim but “ended the relationship.”  A  bit ambiguous…if the OP meant that everybody here was married, then we’d be talking about “current step-mother” and “former step-mothers,” but you can’t read a person’s mind…

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183.7  Question:  What is my grandfather’s half cousin to me? I am visiting a distant relative in the UK and am not sure what she is relative to me (Cousin, half cousin, etc.). She is my grandfather’s half cousin. My great grandfather had a half brother who had a child. What is that to me? When addressing such a question, I make 2 assumptions: first, that “cousin” means “1st cousin”…and second, that this person is related to you at all…if she were your grandfather’s half-uncle’s wife’s niece, your grandfather might call her a cousin even tho she wouldn’t be related to either your grandfather or to you.

Now the answer here is simple…it’s the very definition of “removed”…”once removed” is your father’s generation…”twice removed” is your grandfather’s generation. So to you she’s be the same thing she is to your grandfather, only twice removed…half-1st cousin twice removed. Let’s see if anybody gets it right…

chart 644

183.8  Best Answer:  She is your grandfather’s half first cousin. That makes her Your father (Mother)’s half cousin once removed. Your half first cousin twice removed. Yup, somebody did get it right, altho…Your child’s half first cousin three times removed. You add a “removed” for every generation. If the half-cousin has a child. he/she will be your father’s half second cousin. If the half-cousin has a grandchild, he/she will be your half third cousin.  while all of this extra stuff is true, it could be confusing to the OP and I would have bit my tongue and left it out. No one but a genealogist showing off uses the term “half-cousin” in casual conversation. How snarky. You are what you are…don’t blame the genealogist. When you converse, call her “cousin” and ask if she’d like the tea (or the warm beer); that is close enough. OK, a congenial host in the end, despite the snarkiness.

183.9  Answer #2, “Highest Rated” by others:  That person would be your half first cousin twice removed.  Another right answer…are we on a roll or what? Your grandfather (Ben) has a half first cousin (Emily). Ben has a son named Steve. Steve and Emily are half 1st cousins, once removed (1 generation removed from each other).Steve has a son (You). You and Emily are half 1st cousins, twice removed (because you are two generations apart). Hope that helps. It would obviously help more if you happened to guess their names correctly…still, you’re right on in your explanation…good 4U.

183.9  Answer #3:  your “kith and kin”. or just “kin” if you are more modern. True, but it doesn’t help…it does however give me the chance to mention what “kith” is, if anybody ever wondered about it. Kith refers to your friends or acquaintances…together with kin, your relatives, which are defined differently for different societies, they constitute the people you know.

183.10  Answer #4: 3rd cousin  Wrong. The reader might find to fun to figure out how many separate mistakes they have to make to get to this conclusion…today anyway, I’m not in the mood to.

183.11  Answer #5:  She can be either your third half cousin or your half cousin twice removed. A relationship is what it is…it can be described in many ways, but it is only one “thing”…so if you think your 2 alternatives describe the same thing, you are wrong…even tho your second choice happens to be right.

ADDED: I know there are a lot of answers here. Let me explain mine more. Yes, that would be enlightening. Most people refer to cousins as first, third, second. First cousin are the children of your parent’ brothers and sisters. Yes, I’m with you so far. Every new generation adds out a layer so their kids would be your second and so on. No…very common mistake but still wrong.

The “____ Removed” title also has to do with generations. You take the relationship between this person and your family tree down to it’s barest form (in this case half cousin) and then each generation after that becomes a once, twice or three times removed.  Now you’re right again. This helps clarify how closely a person is really related to a person. We all know someone who says, “I am the cousin of Henry IIX” but that covers a lot of possibilities where as someone who says, “I am his cousin 10 times removed” means your great (x9) ancestor was an actual cousin (their parents were siblings). This raises a valuable point…ancestors from long ago will always be removed by a high number of steps…while the actual type of cousin…1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc….could be anything, depending on how they are related to your ancestor of that generation. This is what I believe you meant when you said “barest form.” Problem is, your math is off…if a cousin is X times removed, they are a cousin of your ancestor with X – 2 greats…as for example, your great grandfather’s 1st cousin is your 1st cousin 3 times removed…3 removeds – 2 = 1 great…so 10 times removed is the cousin of your 8G grandfather. Source(s): I learned most of this in an article in Biography magazine On the whole, I’d recommend canceling your subscription…either that or reading more closely.

183.12  Answer #6:  She would be your 2nd cousin, once removed. and her children would be your 3rd cousin. Another cockeyed answer. For starters, “cousin” should be “half-cousin.” After that, she is not your 2nd cousin once removed…her children are your 2nd cousins once removed, since they are your father’s 2nd cousins. And her grandchildren, not her children, are your 3rd cousins. Trust me on this, I have no reason to lie.

183.13  Answer #7:  your inlalaw  Who says spelling doesn’t matter?

183.14  Answer #8:  she is a half ***.  Testy…very testy…

183.15 Update from Original Poster : WOW! Everyone seems to have a different answer.  Well, here’s an interesting distinction between genealogy and knowledge in general. In genealogy, a half-cousin is different from a cousin. But with knowledge in general, being half-wrong is no different than being wrong, you see? Genealogy is a difficult science.  My initial reaction is to say no, it’s not that difficult at all…but that would be unfair of me, because many people do find it confusing. What I will say is that if you study it, and think about it, it should make sense, for the simple reason that it’s merely the same basic patterns and connections repeated over and over…up, down, and across your family tree. Still more, next week…aloha…

  

wicked ballsy

Myron Cohen was a wonderful comedian who appeared many TV shows in the 1950s and 60s…34 times on Ed Sullivan alone!  And he was old-school…instead of one-liners, he would tell stories…jokes, basically…and this one here is not verbatim as he would tell it,  just my rendering of it. But the punch-line is his, and notice how he tells an “adult” story without using any “bad” words…

wb

It seems Saul and his wife were celebrating 50 years together, and invited their 3 children to dinner. His son the lawyer arrived last minute and said: “Sorry, Pop, I got held up in court, and rushed over here…I didn’t have a chance to buy you something.” “That’s alright,” said Saul, “you’re here with us for this special occasion and that’s what counts.”

Then his son the doctor shows up…”Pop, I was going to get you a nice gift, but I had an emergency call, then came over as quick as I could.” “Don’t worry about it,” said  Saul,” you’re here now and that’s all that matters.”

Then came his daughter…”I’ve been running around all day doing errands and it just hit me, I forgot to get you a present.” Saul assured her: “Your being here is the only present we need.”

After the meal, Saul stood up and addressed his brood: “It’s wonderful that we could all be together tonight, but something’s been eating at me and I have to come clean. You’ve been living a lie…your mother and I were never married.”

His son the lawyer said: “You mean we’re all… ?”

“That’s right,” said Saul, “and the cheapest!”

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Copyright © 2014 Mark John Astolfi, All Rights Reserved

#182: 20 Q’s…Half a What Again?

182.1  They say the wise man learns from the mistakes of others…the fool, not even from his own. Let’s see what we can learn from Yahoo! Answers as they tackle the mystifying concept of “half-cousins.” Do they really exist, or are they just an urban myth? Come closer, we’ll find out together…and as last week,  posts are in black italics…my comments in red. OP stands for Original Poster, the question-asker…

182.2  Question: What is a half cousin? Excellent question…ask and you learn…but be careful who you ask! And as the word “cousin” commonly means “1st cousin,” we will take “half-cousin” to mean “half-1st cousin.”

182.3  Best Answer: the cousin of one of your half siblings. Wrong! Fail! But admirably demonstrating the poverty of the whole Yahoo! Answers approach…that is, the one who doesn’t know the right answer gets to decide which answer is right…d’oh!  Still, an interesting idea, one worth exploring a bit further…but first, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page… So, if your mom remarries and has a kid. That kid might have some cousins from his dad. Those cousins could be considered your half cousins. And it’s just as I suspected…we’re on different pages…they are confusing half- with step-. This kid your mom has is your half-brother…but his relations on his father’s side are all step-‘s to you, in the same way as his father is your step-father, and he and his siblings are your step-siblings. Just call them cousins. Why does it matter?  Well, in the first place, the confusion between half- and step- matters when biology matters, since a half- is a blood relative and a step- isn’t (at least not usually…it could be…for example, if your mother’s new husband is also her 4th cousin…this does happen.)

182.4  In the second place, introducing your half-cousin (or 2nd cousin, or half-2nd cousin, or any collateral relative in your generation) as “my cousin” is a completely acceptable everyday simplification…true, they might think you meant “first cousin” but that might not matter, as you say. The trouble begins when such a colloquialism spills over into genealogy…assembling a family tree and considering half-cousin Bob as as full cousin gives Bob one grandparent that he doesn’t actually have…and leaves out one of his actual grandparents. Family trees aren’t of much use if they aren’t accurate. 

chart 639

182.5  But looking at a half-sibling’s 1st cousins…he has 2 sets…those on his father’s (your step-father’s) are not related to you. Those on his mother’s side are the children of his mother’s siblings…and since they are also the children of your  mother’s siblings, they are as much your 1st cousins as they are his. Half or full cousins do not depend on the relationship between the cousins, but the parents…if the parents are full siblings, full cousins…if the parents are half-siblings, half-cousins. 

182.6  Answer #2, “Highest Rated” by others…lol okay i’ve got 2 half sisters and 2 stepsisters. now you obviously know what “steps” are. halfs just means there is blood connection. for e.g.: mother + new man = half whatever. simple as that (-:   This is correct as far as it goes…altho perhaps it goes too far in assuming the OP knows what step-‘s are. I do not fault this person’s lack of capital letters…I don’t blog that way, but I do post on Facebook and generally email in such a casual fashion. I also like that half-relations in the plural is called “hafts” not “halves”…like the Toronto Maple Leafs, not Leaves…LOL me too…

182.7  Answer #3…Half-cousins are more common than most people realize. Sure, and for people who don’t think they exist at all, merely one would come as quite a revelation, nez pah? Here’s one example: ‘My’ brother had a child with a woman, and then he took off. I fell in love with her, we married, and I was raising my nephew as my own. We then had another son. The two boys are half-brother and half-cousin. Sounds like a happy family…God bless and good luck to you…still, if we examine your situation…

chart 640

182.8   …we find that Moe and Joe, while indeed half-brothers, are actually full 1st cousins…assuming your brother is your full brother…if he were your half-brother, then they’d be half-cousins. Notice, you correctly call Joe your “nephew,” not your half-nephew, which is what he would be if his father were your half-brother. Again, it doesn’t depend on them, but on their parents. Altho upon further reflection, perhaps you were talking figuratively…meaning the boys can be thought of as both brothers and cousins, or partly brothers and partly cousins…as for example someone whose mother died when they were very young might consider his much older sister who raised him as “half-sister, half-mother.” Still, genealogically and genetically, Moe and Joe are half-brothers…and full 1st cousins, because their fathers are full brothers, not half-brothers. 

182.9  Answer #4…Half cousins are the children of two half siblings. Direct, to the point, and correct. Sadly, in today’s dumbed-down world, some take this to mean the half-siblings are married to each other…but think about your own 1st cousins…you and they have parents who are siblings…did those siblings marry each other? I rest my case. 

182.10  Answer #5…I think it could also be if, let’s say your Aunt (who is blood related to you), who is married and has children (your cousins)divorces your Uncle. Then remarries and has children with a different man, and those would be your half-cousins?  Nope…if your aunt is your parent’s full sibling, than any children she has with anybody are your full 1st cousins…honest…I wouldn’t kid you about something like that.

182.11  Answer #6… Sorry I honestly am not sure. I know you can have half-siblings (I have them), but I haven’t ever heard of half-cousins…With all due respect, it’s beyond me how your honestly not being sure helps answer the question…at least you’re sorry.

182.12  Answer #7…i dont think there is a such thing  Me, I would be very careful in going around saying things don’t exist. Well, OK…apps don’t exist…they’re actually programs, not apps.  ;) ;)  But my point is that taking the world to consist only of those things that you yourself have heard of is a pretty myopic way to look at it…commonplace these days, true, but so limiting. And you’ve got to learn to trust people…so trust me when I say there are half-cousins. i know there is step cousins but if there is two sisters that have diffrent moms or maybe difrent dads but the same of one parent they’re half sisters. You have inadvertently hit upon the “building block” nature of genealogy…say these half-sisters you mention each have a child…those children are half-1st cousins…then they each have a child, the original half-sisters’ grandchildren…those are half-2nd cousins, and on down the line…

182.13  Answer #8…if your mom or dad re marrys, their neices and nephews become your half cousins  Again, step- not half-.

182.14 Answer #9…a half cousin is a person whose related to ur cousin, but ur half cousin isn’t really related to u. Did u get that? Sadly, I did get that…and you’re off your rocker, dear friend… don’t be surprised if nobody listens to you. But to sum up: 1st cousins are the children of siblings…half-1st cousins are the children of half-siblings…2nd cousins are the children of 1st cousins…half-2nd cousins are the children of half-1st cousins…3rd cousins are the children of 2nd cousins…and on and on, like that…

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182.15  Question: How much DNA do I share with my “half first cousin”? My mother only has half brothers and sisters. I was wondering how much DNA do I share with my mom’s half sisters’ offspring. Are they genetically more like my second cousins than first cousins since our moms are only half siblings (they share the same mother only)?  In a nutshell, your half-1st cousins (1/16) are exactly half-way between your 1st cousins (1/8) and your 2nd cousins (1/32). All half-relations fill in the missing powers of 2 along the horizontal line of your generational collateral relatives….starting with half-siblings (1/4) being half-way between full siblings (1/2) and 1st-cousins (1/8). But let’s see what others think…

182.16  Best Answer: Dr J is the real expert. It isn’t that simple. You have 46 chromosomes and 44 of them are Autosomes. It is what most of your DNA is. You get it 50-50 from both parents but not necessarily 25% from each of your 4 grandparent. The reason why when your parents passed on the Autosomal they received from their parents to you it went through a process where it was randomly jumbled and recombined. So while you got 50% from your father’s side and 50% from your mother’s there can be a bias in what you inherited from grandmother and grandfather on both sides of the family. How you inherited any bias will not be how your siblings inherited it unless you have an identical twin. So no one can say exactly how much DNA you share with your full siblings if you have some. Autosomal is what determines your “looks” genetically as well as other things. Here is a great link. If you scroll down it discusses the recombining toward the end of the page.  .http://www.dnainheritance.kahikatea.net/…  

182.17  The website cited is fine…and this comment is correct as well. You have 2 complete sets of genes…one comes from your mother’s ovum, the other from your father’s spermatozoa that fertilized it…so yes, exactly 50% of your genetic make-up comes from each parent. But the 1/2 that you share with a sibling…or the 1/4 you share with a grandparent…is indeed an approximation…it could be a little more or a little less. To take a super-simplified example: if one complete set consisted of only 2 genes, there are 4 different ways your father could pass along to you half the genes he got from his parents.

chrat 641

182.18  If we then compare brother to brother, we see there are 16 possible combinations. In 8 of them, you and your brother share half your genes…in 4 of them you share both, in 4 others you share neither. What each of you gets from your father is like flipping a coin…heads you get a blue from your grandfather, tails you get a red from your grandmother…so between brothers, in this scenario, 100%, 50%, and 0% are all possible. But we have around 25,000 genes, not 2. Could 2 brothers actually share all  their genes? It’s possible, but only as possible as each of you flipping a coin 25,000 times…and getting a match every time! In reality, between brothers it averages out to 50%.

chart 642
182.19  Answer #2  “Highest Rated” by others It’s not so simple. It definitely is NOT 1/2. See: http://www.genetic-genealogy.co.uk/Toc11… and look especially at Table 2. This is also a good reference…it’s my favorite site, Prof. Lancaster’s “Genetic and Quantitative Aspects of Genealogy.”  And you’re right, it’s definitely not 1/2…it’s 1/16…but I don’t see where the OP thought it might be 1/2…just that it might be half of something else, which is it…your relationship to a half-1st cousin is half your relationship to a full 1st cousin.

182.20  Answer #3  You share 1/2 of your parents DNA and your first cousin share 1/2 of their parents DNA. The parents who are siblings share 1/2 of their parents  So far this first part is true…AND you and your cousin may not share the same Genealogical DNA, which is compared and correlated differently than Genetic DNA – like paternity testing.  I haven’t a clue what this second part is supposed to mean…I do know that Genealogical refers to where you got it and Genetic refers to what it is you got, so the 2 concepts are different, but they will not give you different numbers in terms of percentage of genes shared.  Source(s): Genealogical researcher 40+ years, Anthropologist & retired Instructor  Maybe in retirement your thinking has gotten a little sloppy? It can happen…no harm done…I caught it for you!

182.21  Answer #4 You and your mother share 50% of your genes. Your mother shares half of that with her mother, so you share 25% with your grandmother. Half of that is shared with her children (your mother’s half siblings), so you share 12.5% with them. And they share half of that with their kids, so you share 6.25% of your genes with them.  This is correct…1/16 is 6.25% because when I went to school, 100 ÷ 16 = 6.25. They are your fourth degree relatives. The term “degree” has several different meanings when applied to kinship, so using it is ambiguous, and I would not.  For most people, first cousins would be third degree relatives and share 12.5% of genes. Because 1/8 is 12.5%…and “for most people” is technically correct. If 2 people are 1st cousins, they are related by 1/8…they may also be related in other ways, say half-siblings or 2nd cousins, in which case they’re closer than 1/8…but what they got solely from that 1st cousin relationship is 1/8. The only exception  is if the parents who are siblings are identical twins, in which case the 1st cousins would be as closely related as half-siblings or 1/4.

182.22  Answer #5  Dr. J is the expert. It’s clear to see that Dr. J holds a lot of sway in this neck of the woods, boy! For swapping stories around the dinner table, without using big words, and knowing it is not really accurate, assume full siblings share 100%. Except…they don’t, they share 50%…why assume what isn’t true? I’ll append the correct percentages in red…

Then
Full siblings = 100%  50%
Their children, 1st cousins, share 50%   25%
Their children, 2nd cousins, share 25%  12.5%
Half siblings = 50%  25%
Their children, half 1st cousins, share 25%  12.5% 
Their children, half 2nd cousins, share 12.5%   6.25%

Trouble is, the numbers for the children are still wrong…when siblings (related by 1/2) have children, those children are 1st cousins, related by 1/8 (dividing by 4) not 1/4 (dividing by 2). This is easy to see using the “If it were 100%” approach. Your uncle is related by 50% to his son, your 1st cousin. If your uncle and your father shared 100% of their genes, your father too would be related to his nephew by 50%. But your father and your uncle aren’t related by 100%, but by only half that. So your father’s relation to his nephew, your 1st cousin, is half of 50%, or 25%.

Now if you had 100% of your father’s genes…then you would related to your 1st cousin by the same amount as your father is, 25%.  But you only have half your father’s genes, so your relation to your 1st cousin is half of 25%, or 12.5% ..which is where the 1/8 between 1st cousins comes from. 

So, again just gross approximations, yes, half first cousins share about the same DNA as full second cousins.  Nope, it’s not the same amount, but half as much, 1/16 as opposed to 1/32. The approximations aren’t that gross! You share exactly half DNA, but the first set of each DNA is the same This statement makes absolutely no sense…seriously, I wouldn’t know where to begin.  Source(s): Biology expert 12 years  Unfortunately, those 12 years were 1965-1968, 1974, 1982-1986, 1993, and 2002.

182.23  Next week, more “experts” whither under our scrutinizing truth-o-scope…be seeing you…

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