Is that a second cousin … or a first cousin once removed?

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They're Back1

We had some great family connection visitors this week! Meet my second cousins … or maybe my first cousins once removed …?  This is Linda and Barb. Our grandfathers were brothers. Linda is doing some genealogy work and wanted some help filling in our ‘branch’ of the family tree. She has an amazing database going on Ancestry.ca . Linda is from Winnipeg and was in Merrickville visiting her sister, Barb. Barb is keen on donkeys.  That made the Meadow a perfect place to visit! So here we were, meeting for the first time. It tickled my imagination to think of my grandfather and his brother, George, one hundred years back … kicking around as kids. And then one hundred years forward – here we were. I think I can even see some family resemblance.

We got laughing about whether we were first cousins, first cousins once removed, or second cousins. It got me wondering about how those are different. It doesn’t seem very easy to clarify that. One of their parents would have been my mother’s cousin. As my mother’s Uncle was George. (Whoever made up that saying, ‘And Bob’s your uncle’, was not trying to sort this out!)

My mother’s cousin’s child would be her cousin once removed. So Linda and Barb would be my mother’s cousins once removed.

Second cousins share at least one great-grandparent. Roy (my grandfather) and George (their grandfather) had the same father. Our great-grandmothers are different as there were two stages in that family. So my great-grandmother Elliott was my great-grandfather’s second wife. Their great-grandmother Elliott was my great-grandfather’s first wife.

I think … in the end … the conclusion is that we’re second cousins. What I KNOW is that it sure was fun to meet them!

1 comments on “Is that a second cousin … or a first cousin once removed?”

  1. This once removed stuff is funny! When I found out my “second cousin” was actually my “first cousin once removed,” it was quite a revelation. When I told him, he was like, “Is that so?” Then I explained the relationship: my daddy was his daddy’s uncle; but I got the common ancestor wrong. I thought our common ancestor was his grandfather (his daddy’s daddy) and my uncle (my daddy’s brother). But studying a chart recently, however, I learned that our common ancestor is, actually, my grandfather and his great-grandfather. Finally got it right. Fascinating! And fun! I’m glad you made a new cousin connection.

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