You’re My WHAT Cousin?!?

Have you ever been stumped by the whole “2nd cousin” or “1st cousin once removed” dilemma?  Don’t worry, we all have!!  Figuring out relationships can be difficult.  If you’re like me, then you probably saw all your relatives only a handful of times every year.  And when you did see them, linguistics was irrelevant!  Now you can wow everyone at your next family reunion by telling them the difference between all the different types of cousins and even what type of cousin everyone is!

What’s “removed” really mean?

You’ve all heard the term: X cousin Y times removed.  It’s about time to demystify exactly what this term is telling us.  Are you ready for an “Ah-HA!” moment?  Removed simply means that the two individuals are from different generations.  The number of times removed indicates how many generations separate the two individuals!  If you keep that in mind when you’re trying to figure out cousin relationships you’ll never get lost!

Then who’s my second cousin?

Remember, we just said that for someone to be your X cousin Y times removed they have to be a different generation from you.  Your second cousin is from your generation, but the common ancestors that you share are your Great-Grandparents (or, your grandparent is a sibling to your cousin’s grandparent).

If you’re still confused you can use this handy little tool to figure out your relationship to your cousin:

If you’re really the more manual type (or maybe your family reunion doesn’t have internet access), you might want to download our handy-dandy “Demystifying the Cousin Conundrum” form.

 Demystifying the Cousin Conundrum



  1. I love your chart! I am writing an article about family reunions and would like to know if i may reprint your chart for our readers, giving you credit? This is for a small town free magazine with a small circulation (sorry no funds to offer….). Could you please respond in the next few days? (I have a June 2nd deadline- sorry to not give you more notice.)Thank you so much. Best wishes,
    S Carlton

  2. What’s the relationship between 2 first cousins grandchildren

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