• Degrees of Kinship

    Defining Relationships













    Kinship - the Right Name for the Distant Cousin

    Your first cousin is your parents' brother's or sister's child. However, the first cousin's child is not your second cousin, but your first cousin one removed. The child of the first cousin once removed is your first cousin twice removed, and his child is your first cousin three times removed.

    Your second cousin is your grandparents' brother's or sister's grandchild. That second cousin's child is your second cousin once removed, and his child is your second cousin twice removed, and so on.

    Your third cousin is your great-grandparents' brother's or sister's great-grandchild. The third cousin's child is your third cousin once removed, and his child is your third cousin twice removed.

    Occasionally Misunderstood Terms

    Siblings: Parents in common, brothers and sisters

    Grandnephew and Grandniece: the grandchild of your brother or sister

    Grandaunt or Granduncle: the brother or sister of your grandparent

    Great-Grandaunt or Great-Granduncle: the sister or brother of your great-grandparents

    Stepfather or Stepmother: the husband of your mother or the wife of your father by a subsequent marriage

    Stepchild: the child of your husband or wife by a former marriage

    Stepsister or Stepbrother: the child of your stepfather or stepmother

    Half Sister or Half Brother: the child of your mother and stepfather or the child of your father and stepmother, or of either parent by a former marriage

    In-Laws: your connections by the law of marriage (as distinct from relatives by blood) in particular, your husband's or wife's relatives and your own brother's wife or sister's husband

    Ancestor: the person from whom you descend directly, such as a grandparent or a great-grandparent

    Descendant: the person who descends directly from you, such as a grandson or granddaughter

    Lineal Relations: those in a direct line of ascent or descent, such as a grandfather or granddaughter

    Collateral Relations: those relatives who are linked by a common ancestor, such as aunts, uncles, or cousins

    Connections: those who have a relative in common but who are not themselves related by blood.


    Now the Easy Version

    Brothers and Sisters Siblings

    Children 1st Cousins

    Grandchildren 2nd Cousins

    Great grandchildren 3rd Cousins

    Gt Gt grandchildren 4th Cousins

    Gt Gt Gt grandchildren 5th Cousins

    Gt Gt Gt Gt grandchildren 6th Cousins

    One generation before or after, is Once Removed

    Two generations before/after are Twice Removed etc.

    These days most people do not use the term Grand niece or Grand nephew, or Grand Great Niece etc.
    The word Grand has been popularly replaced by Great.





    Back to Getting Started