First Cousins? Second Cousins? Once Removed? Always Removed!!

In my class on genealogy research, I try to spend some time on relationships.  Truthfully, I have family tree software that calculates how I’m related to the 39,700 people in my data base.  Really?  39,700???  Yes, really.  Many of my maternal lines go as far as Plymouth Colony (Yes, there’s a Mayflower or two in the mix) And you know those folks from way back before TV and the internet….they had kids, lots of kids!  So those fecund families spread their names far and wide across this country.  That also holds true for my paternal lines.  My direct great grandfathers were mostly in Alabama and Tennessee but their progenitor, I believe, was an early 1700′s Scotch-Irish immigrant who may have settled first in New England and then gradually migrated south.  (Oh….”fecund”…it’s not a bad word but I challenge you to look it up…I just never get a chance to use it!!)

But I digress. has published an excellent article that describes in simple terms what those simple terms mean: First cousin, once removed, third cousin 4 times removed and so forth.  I won’t get into “Mother-In-Law of the 7th cousin twice removed of the grandson of the 3rd cousin three times removed” but they’re out there.

Anyway, click the “Archives” link above and see if that’s a  description you can live with.   I also have a chart  by Alice J Ramsey that you might like to look at.  I can e-mail that to you by you requesting it at

Have fun!

About these ads

4 thoughts on “First Cousins? Second Cousins? Once Removed? Always Removed!!

  1. I keep a chart next to my desk for trying to be sure I understand the how many cousins how many times removed idea. For some reason, it is a bit difficult for me to wrap my head around at times! And I love the word choice as well: fecund. :)

  2. Interesting! And I love the word choice of “fecund” – especially your pointing it out. ;-) We have a similarly eyebrow-raising word in German that we just don’t get to use all that often: Fackelträgger (torch bearer). My Swiss husband taught my American mother that word, the first time they met, just to get the shock-factor out of the way. And just sayin’, I reversed generations of immigration to America by emigrating to Europe. :-)
    By the way, thank you for following my blog,! You might also like another of my blogs, History Undusted.

  3. And after 3 years studying German in High School (8 years of French was ENOUGH!!) I actually have a favorite German word. I know what it means and its meaning has nothing to do with why it stuck in my mind, That word is “bewergerin”. Imagine, bewerberin of all words….. Go figure!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s