The Cousin Connection: Explaining the Various Levels of Cousins

Do you know your cousins? Not the cousins you grew up with, but the many cousins you are going to encounter in your genealogical research? Once you get far enough into your genealogy research, you will be faced with a list of cousins of varying degrees of closeness to you. Making sense of just how close those cousins are to you is key to understanding your family tree as a whole, as well as where those cousins fall on it. Knowing your exact cousin relationship can also help you verify DNA matches if you do DNA testing.
You will probably hear the term “removed,” as well as a variety of numbers in association with cousin relationships when reading about genealogy. These relationships are significant to your research. Your first cousin three times removed, your second cousin one time removed, your third cousin four times removed and more are all meaningful relationships. But what do they mean, and how do you figure out just how you are connected to a particular cousin?
It’s easy!
Once you have the particular technique down, you can figure out exact cousin relationships in your head. Cousin relationships that go back farther in time can be worked out by drawing a chart and counting. You will amaze your friends and relatives with your newfound cousin calculating ability, and your genealogy research will become a lot easier and more meaningful to you. It’s a must-have skill for any serious genealogist...