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I know I said in my last post that I would talk about Ancestry.com.  But before I do that, I wanted to address the problem of “cousins”.  Not that my cousins are any “problem”…ha!   I want to tell you what it means when we say, “2nd cousin, once removed” and so on.  Take a look  below.

Augustus    —————————–Siblings——————————-  Augusta

Robert        —————————-1st Cousins—————————–   Mae

David          —————————2nd Cousins—————————-   Faye

Anne           —————————3rd Cousins—————————-    Arlene

It’s easy to figure out who your cousins are.  But where does all that “once removed” stuff come in?  Well, in this illustration, David is 2nd cousins with Faye.  What is his relationship to Faye’s daughter, Arlene?  It’s about climbing up the “genealogy ladder” and seeing how many jumps it takes to get to the other side.   Arlene is “one jump down” from Faye, so David is Arlene’s “2nd cousin, once removed.”   Again, what is Anne’s relationship to Mae?  Climb back up the ladder and see that Mae is Robert’s 1st cousin.  So, jump down 2 steps and you will see that Anne is Mae’s “1st cousin, twice removed.”  Am I making sense here?  Go up the “ladder” to find the first relationship, then climb down the “ladder” and count how many jumps you have to make.  So…

Robert and Faye are 1st cousins, once  removed.

Anne and Mae are 1st cousins, twice removed.

David and Arlene are 2nd cousins, once  removed.

Robert and Arlene are 1st cousins, twice removed.

This is the easiest way for me to figure it out.  If you are having trouble getting it, you can read more here at Genealogy.com or see a different kind of chart at Genealogy.About.com.  Hope this helps!  Ancestry helps next…