Coar.Org: Relationship Chart
Last modified: Wednesday, 31 December 1969 19:00 -0500
This table helps you calculate the name of your relationship to another member of your extended family. To use it:
The 'n times removed' number comes from the difference between the number of generations you need to go back to find a common ancestor for the two individuals; the 'nth cousin' number comes from the smaller of the two distances to the common ancestor, minus one. For example, Ken Coar and Toby Acheson are first cousins (with no removes) because they share a common grandfather -- 2 generations back minus one equals 'first'. Similarly, Ken Coar and Stacy Coar Phillips are third cousins because they have the same great-great-grandfather. However, Ken Coar and Stacy's father Robert Joseph Coar are second cousins once removed -- second cousins because the individual closer to the common ancestor (Robert) is only three generations away (minus one resulting in 'second cousin'), and the difference in distance between him to the ancestor (3 generations) and from Ken to the ancestor (4 generation) is 1 -- hence 'once removed.'
Abbreviations in the table are fairly obvious; '4-R' means 'four times removed', '5-G' means 'Great - great - great - great - great', and so on.
Ortho- and Cross-Cousins
Although not really important genealogically, the gender aspect of a cousinly relationship is sometimes significant socially or genetically, particularly when marriage is involved. You may encounter the terms 'ortho-cousin' or 'cross-cousin', which have to do with the gender situation, though they usually aren't applied to any relationship more complex than first cousins. You are related to your first cousin through one of your parents and one of his/hers; if both of those parents are the same gender (i.e. your mother's sister or your father's brother) then you are ortho-cousins. If the genders are different (i.e., your mother's brother or your father's sister), then you are cross-cousins. The type of cousin-ness can be important in terms of heredity and consanguinity if first cousins marry.