When checking out your family history, you may have come across some really confusing terms like first cousin twice removed, or second cousin once removed. Now you don’t have to fret over this, as we bring to you the complete explanation of terminology used to refer to cousins, along with appropriate examples, in this AptParenting write-up.
The term first cousin once removed or twice removed can get confusing for many. I mean, what does ‘removed’ really mean in this context? The answer is not as weird as it sounds. It simply means one generation is removed. For example, your aunt or uncles are your first cousins once removed.
Cousins are cousins. Why then such complicated terminology? Actually, this terminology is used to simplify things. Yes, if you just understand a few basic points, it will be very easy to understand all the terms.
First of all, the terms first, second, and third refer to the generations; it means you share the same grandparents, great-grandparents, and great-great-grandparents, respectively. You can also call your aunts and uncles, cousins, for which the term removed is used. Just remember, your cousins need not be your age.
Just consider all your relatives as your cousins, and it becomes really easy to understand. Browse through the following sections – we have the terminology used to refer to cousins explained for you, along with easy examples.
Thomas and Monica are first cousins, since their parents are siblings.
|The term first cousin is very simple. They are the children of your aunts and uncles. It also means that you two share the same grandparents. Cousins are children of two siblings, simple right? Usually, when just the term cousin is used, it is assumed that you are talking about your first cousin.
Hector and Liza are second cousins, since Hector’s father Thomas, and Liza’s mother Monica, are first cousins.
|Second cousins are the children of two first cousins. That means, they share the same great-grandparents, but not the same grandparents.
Now, Ron and Bella are third cousins, since they are the grandchildren of two first cousins, that is Thomas and Monica.
|Third cousins are the grandchildren of two first cousins, or the children of two second cousins. They share the same great-great-grandparents, but not great-grandparents or grandparents.
First Cousins Once Removed
Here, Hector and Monica are first cousins once removed, as Monica is the first cousin of Hector’s father Thomas.
|First cousin once removed is the first cousin of one’s parent, for a person of a younger generation. For a person of the higher generation, first cousin once removed is the child of one’s first cousin.
First Cousins Twice Removed
Here, Ron and Monica are first cousins twice removed, since Monica is the first cousin of Ron’s grandfather Thomas.
|First cousin twice removed is the first cousin of one’s grandparent, for a person of a younger generation. For a person of a higher generation, it is the child of one’s first cousin.
Second Cousins Once Removed
Hector and Liza are second cousins. Thus, Hector’s son Ron becomes Liza’s second cousin once removed.
|Second cousin once removed refers to the second cousin of one’s parent for a person of a younger generation, and child of one’s second cousin for a person of a higher generation.
Thomas and Melissa are double cousins, since they have both sets of grandparents in common.
|First cousins who share both the sets of grandparents are called double cousins. This happens when two siblings from one family copulate with two siblings from another family.
|Half cousins are children of two half-siblings. Since their parents share only one blood parent, they have only one grandparent in common; therefore, the term ‘half’ is used.
|Step Cousins are the stepchildren of an individual’s aunt or uncle for the person, or they can be the nieces and nephews of one’s step-parent.
Thomas and Monica are first cousins. Thus, Monica’s husband Joshua is Thomas’s cousin-in-law.
|Cousin-in-law is the spouse of an individual’s cousin, or the cousin of one’s spouse.
Maternal or Paternal Cousins
Thomas and Monica are paternal cousins. Monica is also Cliff’s paternal first cousin. But, Cliff is Monica’s maternal first cousin.
|The term maternal or paternal is used to understand whether the cousin is from the mother’s side or the father’s side of the family.
Although most people don’t go much into details, and call their cousins just ‘cousins’, now you know exactly who is a first cousin, and so on. It’s always good to know the authentic terms. We hope this post has made all the confusing terms easier for you.