#192: Watch That Second Step…It’s a Lulu!

192.1  Today we get into some heavy-duty kinship analysis…but it will demonstrate a valuable point…that being, as you expand your family tree, you’ll find various relations can occur in more than one way, which might not be immediately obvious. For example, last week I mentioned double 1st cousins can exist in only one basic configuration on your family tree….double 2nd cousins, in 3 ways…double 3rd cousins, in 6 ways, etc. And that’s what will happen today with…

192.2  …step-2nd cousins…And TBT, I don’t recommend you try this at home…it’s merely an academic exercise, shall we say. Because as we saw last week, there is ambiguity in steps as you move beyond the nuclear step-family of parents, children, siblings. Step-1st cousins can occur in 3 distinct ways…it’s a connection between 2 people, no argument there…does it raise to the level of a relationship? In my opinion yes, but a tenuous one…all the more so for step-2nd cousins…and beyond.  

chart 680

192.3  But to give it a whirl…Chart 680 shows how we figure step-2nd cousins…and there are 2 interesting things to notice…

chart 681

In column B, I have re-written the definitions of step-1st cousin so that each contains the words parent, sibling, and child…the definitions in column A did not. And notice how “step-” (in yellow) migrates neatly down the 3 definitions. Now to get the definitions of step-2nd cousin in column C, we remember that 2nd cousins are the offspring of 1st cousins, just as 1st cousins are the offspring of siblings. So where it says “sibling” in column B, we replace that with “1st cousin” in column C…done and done…or are we?

inset192.4  The second definition of step-2nd cousin, highlighted to the left in yellow…does anything occur to you? If not, something would when you tried to diagram these out…step-1st cousin can mean 3 different things!  We now have 5 definitions for step-2nd cousin, not 3.


chart 682

192.5  So I’ve expanded the 3 to 5, and re-written the “new” 3 with grand- terminology. All that’s left to do is diagram them out…see them working in action! And just to be completely kosher, we’ll check that these really are step-2nd cousins. To do that, we’ll remove the step-relationship, indicated by the green arrow, and see what comes of it. In Chart 683  for example, we reconstruct the relationship assuming that the step-mother of YOU is actually YOU’s biological mother…and sure enough…

chart 683

chart 684

chart 685

chart 686

chart 687

192.6  Particularly nice to see how the green arrow indicating the origin of the step-relation migrates up one side of the tree, then down the other. This is simply mathematics’ way of telling us that the 1st type compliments the 5th type, the 2nd type compliments the 4th, and the 3rd type compliments itself…nice how we can all get along, nez pah? Next week, brains hurt and heads explode…don’t miss it!

wicked ballsy


BTW…based on the above reasoning, I believe there are 7 kinds of step-3rd cousins…I leave that as an exercise for you, dear reader…and if you care to tackle it, gold star for you, old school style...


Copyright © 2014 Mark John Astolfi, All Rights Reserved


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