76.1 Dear friends: I am doing something I said I’d never do…and that is, posting answers to individual questions over at that wise/dumbGeek site that tries to explain cousin kinship. Over the past year, I have in fact answered every question posed there, here…complete with an explanation and a chart…nobody, no matter how simplistic the question, got short-changed…no need to thank me, that’s what I’m here for.
76.2 I wasn’t going to post answers right there on that site for 2 reasons…(1) You really need a chart in most cases to make it crystal clear…and (2) The gatekeepers over there don’t allow you to reference other websites, like this one…I tried…so the hell with them. But then, one plaintive query inspired me to respond…and now, I dunno, it’s just developing into sort of a habit. Still, I wonder why people keep posting questions when none were ever answered.
76.3 Anyway, 2 more to answer. I wonder if any of these people would pay $5 for a detailed answer, followups included, and a full-color chart? Regular price $100…you save 95%!!!! OK, so for now at least, I’m giving it away…
76.4 Here in Chart 265, since “this guy” (TG) is your dad’s 3rd cousin, TG is your 3rd cousin once removed. And since he is your girlfriend’s dad’s 2nd cousin, he is her 2nd cousin once removed. But where does that leave your and your girlfriend?
76.5 Your dad and your girlfriend’s dad are 3rd cousins. Because TG is your dad’s 3rd cousin, all of TG’s siblings, 1st cousins, and 2nd cousins are also your dad’s 3rd cousins…and your girlfriend’s dad is one of TG’s 2nd cousins. Thus as the offspring of 3rd cousins, you and your girlfriend are 4th cousins. The fraction of genetic inheritance you share is 1/512. If you imagine 512 pennies, 1 penny is what you share, the other 511 is what you don’t. Thus you and your girlfriend as about as closely related as 2 random people off the street…so no worries!
76.6 But I’d like to expand a bit on that idea, viz: Because TG is your dad’s 3rd cousin, all of TG’s siblings, 1st cousins, and 2nd cousins are also your dad’s 3rd cousins. This concept greatly simplifies figuring the relationship between same generation cousins. In Chart 266, your 3G Grandfather X has 2 sons, Y and Z. Each of them started a family or “line”…both of which are lines of X’s descendants. I have colored Z’s line a darker blue to distinguish it from Y’s line, which is the line that leads to you. Besides labeling these individuals, the only difference between Charts 265 and 266 is that I’ve given TG a brother C.
76.7 Now Z himself started 2 lines thru his sons A and B…their sons are obviously 1st cousins, thus TG, C, and GF’s dad are all 2nd cousins…this is within the dark blue line descended from Z. You said that GF’s dad is 3rd cousin to your dad, the light blue line…here the principle of interchangeability comes into play. From your dad’s point of view, there is no difference between GF’s dad, TG and TG’s brother C…all are 3rd cousins to your dad…since your dad is a great grandchild of Y, the other 3 are great grandchildren of Z, and all 4 of them are great great grandchildren of X.
Chart 267 takes this one step further…here D is 1st cousin to TG…both of them are 2nd cousin to GF’s dad…and again, all 3 are 3rd cousins to your dad…since all 4 trace back to X. See how it works?
76.8 When 2 people get married, and unless each is an only child, they are likely to have nieces and nephews. These children of the bride and groom’s siblings are obviously not blood relations to each other. But are they related “by marriage”? People look at it in different ways.
76.9 Your spouse’s family are your “in-laws.” But are you an “in-law” to each of them? With respect to siblings, the answer is yes: the man my sister marries is my brother-in-law. Notice that I can thus have an in-law without being married myself. But is my 1st cousin’s spouse my in-law, or my niece’s spouse? Some people indeed use the terms “cousin-in-law” and “niece-in-law,” but many don’t. They would say “cousin by marriage” and “niece by marriage”…or perhaps just “cousin” or “niece.”
76.10 In this case, “1st cousins by marriage” could describe you and your roommate… because if the guy who married your aunt were your uncle by blood, his children, as well as his siblings’ children, would be your 1st cousins. But the more common assessment would be that you simply are “not related” in any way. For example, think of one of your 1st cousins. That cousin has cousins thru their parent who is not the sibling of your parent. Do you think of yourself as related to those “other side of your cousin’s family” cousins? My guess is you do not…not even “by marriage.”
Dear Stolf: I got to thinking about that old song “I’m My Own Grandpa.” Obviously, the easiest way to get something approximating that would be to simply marry your grandmother, God forbid. And then if you had a kid…well, what sort of lunatic kinship relationships would result, just for the sake of argument? …from Uncle Junior III, in Whippany, NJ
76.11 Dear Unc: They say there are some people you just shouldn’t argue with…ahem. I covered this great old song in detail back in #14. But you’re right…apart from your poor mother discovering that her mother-in-law is now also her daughter-in-law…and your father’s mother is now his daughter-in-law…yeah, there would be some crazy tangles for sure.
76.12 I’ve sketched it out in Chart 269…and to make it easier to figure, I’ve duplicated part of the family tree, surrounded by yellow, so you can keep it straight. I’m crossing out your real grandfather to indicate he is dead, and not around to witness this mess. To start, your father is your step-son, and you are his step-father. And I guess you’d be your own step-grandson…and your own step-grandfather as well…hence the connection to the song. In fact, I suppose your dad would be his also be his own step-grandson/grandfather…since you are his step-father and he is your father. I hesitate in saying this only because I wonder how far steps actually extend the notion…did the Brady boys for instance considered Carol’s parents their step-grandparents?
76.13 In addition, your father’s grandson would also be his half-brother…your son would be your half-uncle and you his half-nephew…your grandmother’s son would also be her great-grandson. Comes to that, your father would also be your step-great grandfather, and you’d be your own step-great great grandfather. When you think about it, this a rare case where the concept of infinity comes into play in genealogy, because you could take the entirety of Chart 269 and link the YOU surrounded by yellow at the bottom to the “gm” at the top, as I’ve done in Chart 270, the new duplicate part surrounded by flesh. Yes, you could keep doing this over and over, forever…but we must stop there, because guess what? You’re all under arrest! Marrying your own grandmother…what were you thinking?…chow 4 now…
I was going to call this a final postscript to the question of the Mouse family tree…but never say never, right? Thing is, the Fan Logic Game can sometimes spin out of control…as we see with the above captures from the 1952 theatrical short Pluto’s Party. So are these meeselettes invited to the birthday bash nephews of Mickey or just Pluto’s pals? Search me…I can tell you that when Mickey is setting out place-cards on the table, he reads: Jimmy (Timmy?), Billy, Freddy, Huey, Georgie, Dewey, Louie, Ronnie, Connie (yes, a girl!), and Pluto. That’s Freddy, not Ferdie, and no Mortie…plus he does seem to mention duck nephews, but only mice show up…go figure…
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