What is a 2nd cousin? Kinship chart for the confused!

Most of us know who our grandparents, aunts, uncles, nephew and nieces are.  But when it comes to cousins, many people get confused about what constitutes a 2nd or 3rd cousin, or a 1st cousin once removed.  Hopefully, this explanation and kinship chart will clarify the matter.

Basically, a cousin is someone with whom you share a common ancestor.  How close in generations that ancestor is denotes whether that cousin is first, second, third and so on.

So, a 1st cousin is one who shares a grandparent with you and is a child of your parents’ siblings.  If your first cousin has a child, then that child is a first cousin ‘once removed’.  If that child then grows up and has a child, that new child will be a first cousin ‘twice removed’ and so on.  In other words, the line from your aunts and uncles are always first cousins.

A 2nd cousin is one descended from your grandparents’ siblings and with whom you share a common great-grandparent.  Your second cousin is therefore the child of your parent’s first cousin.  Again, each subsequent generation is ‘once removed.’

A 3rd cousin is descended from your great-great grandparents, and so on.

The following kinship chart should clarify everything:

If you are actively searching for living cousins or other relatives, I offer a people tracing service, and you can view the details on THIS PAGE.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.