#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?


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.


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…


Copyright © 2014 Mark John Astolfi, All Rights Reserved


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