#39: Nothing or Double

39.1  Dear Stolf: I was very interested in that “tag-team” cousin arrangement you had a while ago…3 individuals, cousins by pairs, but not all together, if I got that right. Could you go over that again for me?  …from Blondie, in Beirut

39.2  Dear Blondie: As they would say in those old movies: Your wish is my command, Effendi. Live a thousand years. The question as I recall went something like: If Al and Bob are cousins, and Bob and Cal are cousins, then are Al and Cal? As always, we’re assuming 1st Cousins here. The answer was a definite maybe. In Chart 136, you see that they would all be “co-cousins,” if each had a parent that was part of a group of 3 siblings.

39.3  Now Chart 137 expands it out to the other possibility…here you see that Al and Bob are “Adams cousins”…Bob and Cal are “Baker cousins”…but Al and Cal are no relation to each other. This is why we typically say, you’re not related to your cousin’s cousins “on the other side.” Heck, you could even marry one of them!

But the “tag-team” emerges when we look to the far left, and see Al’s mother without a last name…so let’s make her……..

39.4   …….a Collins! Now Al and Cal are “Collins cousins”…3 different pairs, 3 different “cousin reunions” to attend, but with none of them having all 3 cousins attending together. On the other hand, if Al, Bob, and Cal sat down to watch Monday Night Football together, each could think to himself: We are cousins, all 3 of us. It certainly is an unusual situation…with today’s mobility, probably not very likely to happen. In olden days, when you married whoever was available in your village, much more likely, and something to watch for as you’re sketching out your family tree.

39.5  Dear Stolf: I get the Double Cousin deal…siblings from one family marrying siblings from another family. You mentioned that the deeper you got into your own genealogy, the more examples turned up. Same with me. But my question is…if you yourself are not a Double Cousin, but one of your Cousins is, does that give you some special or added relationship to them?  …from Veronica, in Venice

39.6  Dear Veronica: You know, it’s become something of a cliche today, to respond first by saying “Interesting question!” But what can I do? Yours is an interesting question! For those who have never heard of “Double Cousins,” Chart 139A shows you what it looks like…the fascinating difference between Double Cousins and regular or “Single” Cousins is that there is no other side for there to be cousins on the other side on. (Take that, English teachers everywhere!)

39.7  In Chart 139A we see that Al and Bob are “Adams cousins.” Normally, Al would also be a “Rabinowitz cousin” and Bob would be a “Halopowski cousin” and that would be that. But as you can see, Al and Bob are also “Baker cousins”…and neither has an “other side.” So what you’re asking is: say you’re also an “Adams cousin.” Does that make your relationship to Al (or to Bob for that matter) something out of the ordinary? Well, let’s sketch it out…

39.8   Now examine Chart 139B carefully, and I believe you’ll conclude that the answer to your question is No. True, you, Al, and Bob are all “Adams cousins”…but your “other side” is Wolfe, and theirs is Baker. And yes, normally your 2 other cousins would each have a different other side…but in this case they don’t…and in any event that doesn’t effect you. Indeed, that’s the whole point of the “other side,” and why you could even marry one of the “other” cousins, since you are no blood relation to them. I know, it seems at first blush that you would have some sort of “enhanced relationship” to the Double Cousins, but you don’t…your Coefficient of Relationship to each of them is 1/8, normal for 1st Cousins, whereas theirs to each other is 1/8 + 1/8 = 1/4, or the same as Half-Siblings.

39.9 Dear Stolf: Go ahead…do it! I know you want to!  …from Madame Moolah, World’s Most Irritating Psychic…”Knows Nothing, Tells All!”

39.12  My Dear Madame: Yes, you read my mind…well, after all, it is Large Print! I sure was thinking how it would come out if the “You” is Chart 139B  were indeed a “Baker cousin” too. And yes, deep in the bowels of my family tree I did find a case of 3 siblings married to 3 siblings…brothers to sisters as it turned out, and very likely arranged by the parents…Well, it worked twice…let’s go for thrice!

39.13  But geometrically speaking, is a puzzlement, no? The best I can do is extend the red line as you see in Chart 139C. Unless I’m overlooking the obvious, I don’t see how you could finagle it any other way. Ah, but what about the Parental Tree, where nobody is “married,” just connected to their offspring? Worth a shot.

39.14  Chart 140 looks to be about the best you can do…again, unless I’m missing something simple here. The alternatives in Chart 141 don’t look too groovy to me. String art, anyone? Next week, we take a break from the rough stuff and present a Cavalcade of Famous Relatives…chow

Wicked Ballsy

Dear G4BB: I’ve seen old records by Trigger Alpert…I often wondered if he was any relation to Herb Alpert…or even for that matter Baba Ram Dass, Richard Alpert as was?  …from Pancho, in Texicali

Dear Pancho: OK, there’s no such place, but we don’t stand on formality here, do we? Herman “Trigger” Alpert was a bass player, with Benny Goodman for a time, but he worked with everybody, and had his own bands too. Internet common knowledge is he is unrelated to Herb, whose family is from Los Angeles…Trigger was born in Indianapolis. Still, from what I’m finding doing my own genealogical research, 5th, 6th, 7th cousins, perhaps removed one measly time, wouldn’t surprise me. Such distant kin are typically considered “unrelated” by the parties involved.

Richard Alpert is another story. Here is an extensive website on the Alperovitz/Alperovich family…both Herb and Richard are mentioned…unfortunately, this site is extremely disorganized, and I couldn’t make heads nor tails of anything. All I can do is tell you this: Herb’s father is Louis, and Richard’s is George…you take it from there…and good luck, my friend!


Copyright © 2011 Mark John Astolfi, All Rights Reserved


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