Cousin

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A family tree showing how each person is related to the orange person.

In genealogy, a cousin is a relative, other than an ancestor or descendant, who shares a common ancestor. The word cousin is often used to refer to a person's first cousin - the child of someone's aunt or uncle.

How the cousin system works[change | change source]

First cousins
A person shares a first cousin or cousin relationship with the children of their parent's full siblings. Cousins share two grandparents. In the example family tree, Joseph and Julie are first cousins.
  • Maternal first cousins: a person's maternal first cousins or maternal cousins are the children of their mother's full siblings. In the example family tree, Julie is Joseph's maternal first cousin.
  • Paternal first cousins: a person's paternal first cousins or paternal cousins are the children of their father's full siblings. In the example family tree, Joseph is Julie's paternal first cousin.
Second cousins
A person shares a second cousin relationship with the children of their parent's first cousins. Second cousins share two great-grandparents. In the example family tree, Gordon and Matt are second cousins.
  • Maternal second cousins - number one / Second cousins - number one: maternal grandmother's full sibling's grandchildren.
  • Maternal second cousins - number two / Second cousins - number two: maternal grandfather's full sibling's grandchildren.
  • Paternal second cousins - number one / Second cousins - number three: paternal grandmother's full sibling's grandchildren.
  • Paternal second cousins - number two / Second cousins - number four: paternal grandfather's full sibling's grandchildren.
Third cousins
A person shares a third cousin relationship with the children of their parent's second cousins. Third cousins share two great-great-grandparents. In the example family tree, Sam and Lyla are third cousins.
    • Maternal third cousins - number one / Third cousins - number one: maternal grandmother's maternal first cousin's grandchildren.
    • Maternal third cousins - number two / Third cousins - number two: maternal grandmother's paternal first cousin's grandchildren.
    • Maternal third cousins - number three / Third cousins - number three: maternal grandfather's maternal first cousin's grandchildren.
    • Maternal third cousins - number four / Third cousins - number four: maternal grandfather's paternal first cousin's grandchildren.
    • Paternal third cousins - number one / Third cousins - number five: paternal grandmother's maternal first cousin's grandchildren.
    • Paternal third cousins - number two / Third cousins - number six: paternal grandmother's paternal first cousin's grandchildren.
    • Paternal third cousins - number three / Third cousins - number seven: paternal grandfather's maternal first cousin's grandchildren.
    • Paternal third cousins - number four / Third cousins - number eight: paternal grandfather's paternal first cousin's grandchildren.
First cousins once removed
A person shares a first cousins once removed relationship with their parent's first cousins and their first cousin's children. At least one set of one person's grandparents are the great-grandparents of the other person. In the example family tree, Gordon and Julie, as well as Joseph and Matt, are first cousins once removed.
There exist numerous terms for first cousins once removed that describe the relationship more specifically:
  • For a male in the higher generation, "cousin-uncle" or "first cousin-uncle"
    • Maternal first cousin-uncle - number one / First cousin-uncle - number one: maternal grandmother's full sibling's son.
    • Maternal first cousin-uncle - number two / First cousin-uncle - number two: maternal grandfather's full sibling's son.
    • Paternal first cousin-uncle - number one / First cousin-uncle - number three: paternal grandmother's full sibling's son.
    • Paternal first cousin-uncle - number two / First cousin-uncle - number four: paternal grandfather's full sibling's son.
  • For a female in the higher generation, "cousin-aunt" or "first cousin-aunt"
    • Maternal first cousin-aunt - number one / First cousin-aunt - number one: maternal grandmother's full sibling's daughter.
    • Maternal first cousin-aunt - number two / First cousin-aunt - number two: maternal grandfather's full sibling's daughter.
    • Paternal first cousin-aunt - number one / First cousin-aunt - number three: paternal grandmother's full sibling's daughter.
    • Paternal first cousin-aunt - number two / First cousin-aunt - number four: paternal grandfather's full sibling's daughter.
  • For a male in the lower generation, "cousin-nephew" or "first cousin-nephew"
    • Maternal first cousin-nephew: mother's full sibling's grandson.
    • Paternal first cousin-nephew: father's full sibling's grandson.
  • For a female in the lower generation, "cousin-niece" or "first cousin-niece"
    • Maternal first cousin-niece: mother's full sibling's granddaughter.
    • Paternal first cousin-niece: father's full sibling's granddaughter.
First cousins twice removed
A person shares a first cousins twice removed relationship with their grandparent's first cousins and their first cousin's grandchildren. At least one set of one person's grandparents are the great-great-grandparents of the other person. In the example family tree, Sam and Julie, as well as Joseph and Lyla, are first cousins twice removed.
There exist numerous addition terms to describe the relationship of first cousin twice removed more specifically:
  • For either sexes, higher generation or lower generation, “grandcousin”
  • For a male in a higher generation, “great-cousin-uncle” or “first great-cousin-uncle”
    • Maternal first great-cousin-uncle - number one / First great-cousin-uncle - number one: maternal grandmother's maternal first cousin.
    • Maternal first great-cousin-uncle - number two / First great-cousin-uncle - number two: maternal grandmother's paternal first cousin.
    • Maternal first great-cousin-uncle - number three / First great-cousin-uncle - number three: maternal grandfather's maternal first cousin.
    • Maternal first great-cousin-uncle - number four / First great-cousin-uncle - number four: maternal grandfather's paternal first cousin.
    • Paternal first great-cousin-uncle - number one / First great-cousin-uncle - number five: paternal grandmother's maternal first cousin.
    • Paternal first great-cousin-uncle - number two / First great-cousin-uncle - number six: paternal grandmother's paternal first cousin.
    • Paternal first great-cousin-uncle - number three / First great-cousin-uncle - number seven: paternal grandfather's maternal first cousin.
    • Paternal first great-cousin-uncle - number four / First great-cousin-uncle - number eight: paternal grandfather's paternal first cousin.
  • For a female in a higher generation, “great-cousin-aunt” or “first great-cousin-aunt”
    • Maternal first great-cousin-aunt - number one / First great-cousin-aunt - number one: maternal grandmother's maternal first cousin.
    • Maternal first great-cousin-aunt - number two / First great-cousin-aunt - number two: maternal grandmother's paternal first cousin.
    • Maternal first great-cousin-aunt - number three / First great-cousin-aunt - number three: maternal grandfather's maternal first cousin.
    • Maternal first great-cousin-aunt - number four / First great-cousin-aunt - number four: maternal grandfather's paternal first cousin.
    • Paternal first great-cousin-aunt - number one / First great-cousin-aunt - number five: paternal grandmother's maternal first cousin.
    • Paternal first great-cousin-aunt - number two / First great-cousin-aunt - number six: paternal grandmother's paternal first cousin.
    • Paternal first great-cousin-aunt - number three / First great-cousin-aunt - number seven: paternal grandfather's maternal first cousin.
    • Paternal first great-cousin-aunt - number four / First great-cousin-aunt - number eight: paternal grandfather's paternal first cousin.
  • For a male in a lower generation, “great-cousin-nephew” or “first great-cousin-nephew”
    • Maternal first great-cousin-nephew: mother's full sibling's great-grandson.
    • Paternal first great-cousin-nephew: father's full sibling's great-grandson.
  • For a female in a lower generation, “great-cousin-niece” or “first great-cousin-niece”
    • Maternal first great-cousin-niece: mother's full sibling's great-granddaughter.
    • Paternal first great-cousin-niece: father's full sibling's great-granddaughter.
Second cousins once removed
A person shares a second cousin once removed relationship with their parent's second cousins and their second cousin's children. At least one set of one person's great-grandparents are the great-great-grandparents of the other person. In the example family tree, Sam and Matt, as well as Gordon and Lyla, are second cousins once removed.
There are more ways in which this type of relationship can be described more specifically:
  • For a male in a higher generation, "second cousin-uncle"
    • Maternal second cousin-uncle - number one / Second cousin-uncle - number one: maternal grandmother's maternal first cousin's son.
    • Maternal second cousin-uncle - number two / Second cousin-uncle - number two: maternal grandmother's paternal first cousin's son.
    • Maternal second cousin-uncle - number three / Second cousin-uncle - number three: maternal grandfather's maternal first cousin's son.
    • Maternal second cousin-uncle - number four / Second cousin-uncle - number four: maternal grandfather's paternal first cousin's son.
    • Paternal second cousin-uncle - number one / Second cousin-uncle - number five: paternal grandmother's maternal first cousin's son.
    • Paternal second cousin-uncle - number two / Second cousin-uncle - number six: paternal grandmother's paternal first cousin's son.
    • Paternal second cousin-uncle - number three / Second cousin-uncle - number seven: paternal grandfather's maternal first cousin's son.
    • Paternal second cousin-uncle - number four / Second cousin-uncle - number eight: paternal grandfather's paternal first cousin's son.
  • For a female in a higher generation, "second cousin-aunt"
    • Maternal second cousin-aunt - number one / Second cousin-aunt - number one: maternal grandmother's maternal first cousin's daughter.
    • Maternal second cousin-aunt - number two / Second cousin-aunt - number two: maternal grandmother's paternal first cousin's daughter.
    • Maternal second cousin-aunt - number three / Second cousin-aunt - number three: maternal grandfather's maternal first cousin's daughter.
    • Maternal second cousin-aunt - number four / Second cousin-aunt - number four: maternal grandfather's paternal first cousin's daughter.
    • Paternal second cousin-aunt - number one / Second cousin-aunt - number five: paternal grandmother's maternal first cousin's daughter.
    • Paternal second cousin-aunt - number two / Second cousin-aunt - number six: paternal grandmother's paternal first cousin's daughter.
    • Paternal second cousin-aunt - number three / Second cousin-aunt - number seven: paternal grandfather's maternal first cousin's daughter.
    • Paternal second cousin-aunt - number four / Second cousin-aunt - number eight: paternal grandfather's paternal first cousin's daughter.
  • For a male in a lower generation, "second cousin-nephew"
  • Maternal second cousin-nephew - number one / Second cousin-nephew - number one: maternal grandmother's full sibling's great-grandson.
  • Maternal second cousin-nephew - number two / Second cousin-nephew - number two: maternal grandfather's full sibling's great-grandson.
  • Paternal second cousin-nephew - number one / Second cousin-nephew - number three: paternal grandmother's full sibling's great-grandson.
  • Paternal second cousin-nephew - number two / Second cousin-nephew - number four: paternal grandfather's full sibling's great-grandson.
  • For a female in a lower generation, "second cousin-niece"
  • Maternal second cousin-niece - number one / Second cousin-niece - number one: maternal grandmother's full sibling's great-granddaughter.
  • Maternal second cousin-niece - number two / Second cousin-niece - number two: maternal grandfather's full sibling's great-granddaughter.
  • Paternal second cousin-niece - number one / Second cousin-niece - number three: paternal grandmother's full sibling's great-granddaughter.
  • Paternal second cousin-niece - number two / Second cousin-niece - number four: paternal grandfather's full sibling's great-granddaughter.
Second cousins twice removed
A person shares a second cousins twice removed relationship with their grandparent's second cousins and their second cousin's grandchildren. In the example family tree, Sam and Julie, as well as Joseph and Lyla, are second cousins twice removed.
There exist numerous addition terms to describe the relationship of second cousin twice removed more specifically:

For either sexes, higher generation or lower generation, “second grandcousin”

  • For a male in a higher generation, "second great-cousin-uncle"
  • For a female in a higher generation, "second great-cousin-aunt"
  • For a male in a lower generation, "second great-cousin-nephew"
  • For a female in a lower generation, "second great-cousin-niece"
First cousin-in-law
A person shares a first cousin-in-law or cousin-in-law relationship with their spouse's cousin or the cousin of one's spouse. In the example family tree, Joseph and Roger are first cousins-in-law to each other.
  • Maternal first cousins-in-law: the children-in-law of their mother's full siblings.
  • Paternal first cousins-in-law: the children-in-law of their father's full siblings.
First co-cousin-in-law
A person shares a first co-cousin-in-law or cousin-in-law relationship with the spouse of the first cousin of one's spouse.
Second cousin-in-law
A person shares a second cousin-in-law relationship with their spouse's second cousin or the second cousin of one's spouse.
Second co-cousin-in-law
A person shares a second co-cousin-in-law relationship with the spouse of the second cousin of one's spouse.
Half-first cousins
Half-first cousins or half-cousins are the children of their parent's half-siblings. Half-cousins share one grandparent.
  • Maternal half-first cousins - number one / Half-first cousins - number one: mother's maternal half-sibling's children.
  • Maternal half-first cousins - number two / Half-first cousins - number two: mother's paternal half-sibling's children.
  • Paternal half-first cousins - number one / Half-first cousins - number three: father's maternal half-sibling's children.
  • Paternal half-first cousins - number two / Half-first cousins - number four: father's paternal half-sibling's children.
Sesqui-first cousins
Sesqui-first cousins or sesqui-cousins are the children of their parent’s half-sibling with the other parent’s full sibling. Sesqui-cousins share three grandparents.
Double-first cousins
Double-first cousins or double-cousins are the children of their mother's full sister with their father's full brother, or the children of their mother's full brother with their father's full sister. Double cousins share four grandparents.
Double-half-first cousins
Double-half-first cousins or double-half-cousins are the children of their parent’s half-sibling with their other parent’s half-sibling. Double-half-cousins share two maternal grandparents, or two paternal grandparents, or two grandparents on both sides.
Half-second cousins
Half-second cousins are the children of their parent's half-first cousins. Half-second cousins share one great-grandparent.
Sesqui-second cousins
Sesqui-second cousins are the children of their parent's sesqui-first cousins or are the children of their parent’s half-first cousin with their other parent’s first cousin. Sesqui-second cousins share three great-grandparents.
Double-second cousins
Double-second cousins are the children of their parent's double-first cousins are the children of their parent’s first cousin with their other parent’s first cousin. Double-second cousins share four great-grandparents.
Sester-second cousins
Sester-second cousins are the children of their parent’s first cousin with their other parent’s sesqui-first cousin or are the children of their parent’s double-first cousin with their other parent’s half-first cousin. Sester-second cousins share five great-grandparents.
Triple-second cousins
Triple-second cousins are the children of their parent’s double-first cousin with their other parent’s first cousin or are the children of their parent’s sesqui-first cousin with their other parent’s sesqui-first cousin. Triple-second cousins share six great-grandparents.
3.5-tuple-second cousins
3.5-tuple-second cousins are the children of their parent’s double-first cousin with their other parent’s sesqui-first cousin. 3.5-tuple-second cousins share seven great-grandparents.
Quadruple-second cousins
Quadruple-second cousins are the children of their mother’s double-first cousin with their father’s double-first cousin. Quadruple-second cousins share eight great-grandparents.
First cousins-in-law once removed
A person shares a first cousins-in-law once removed relationship with their parent's first cousins' spouses, their first cousin's children's spouses, their spouse's parent's first cousins or their spouse's first cousins' children.
There exist numerous terms for first cousins-in-law once removed that describe the relationship more specifically:
  • For a male in the higher generation, "cousin-uncle-in-law" or "first cousin-uncle-in-law"
  • For a female in the higher generation, "cousin-aunt-in-law" or "first cousin-aunt-in-law"
  • For a male in the lower generation, "cousin-nephew-in-law" or "first cousin-nephew-in-law"
  • For a female in the lower generation, "cousin-niece-in-law" or "first cousin-niece-in-law"
First cousins-in-law twice removed
A person shares a first cousins-in-law twice removed relationship with their grandparent's first cousins' spouses, their first cousin's grandchildren's spouses, their spouse's grandparent's first cousins or their spouse's first cousins' grandchildren.
There exist numerous terms for first cousins-in-law twice removed that describe the relationship more specifically:
  • For either sexes, higher generation or lower generation, “grandcousin-in-law”
  • For a male in the higher generation, "great-cousin-uncle-in-law” or "first great-cousin-uncle-in-law”
  • For a female in the higher generation, "great-cousin-aunt-in-law” or "first great-cousin-aunt-in-law”
  • For a male in the lower generation, "great-cousin-nephew-in-law" or "first great-cousin-nephew-in-law”
  • For a female in the lower generation, "great-cousin-niece-in-law" or "first great-cousin-niece-in-law”
Second cousins-in-law once removed
A person shares a second cousins-in-law once removed relationship with their parent's second cousins' spouses, their second cousin's children's spouses, their spouse's parent's second cousins or their spouse's second cousins' children.
There exist numerous terms for second cousins-in-law once removed that describe the relationship more specifically:
  • For a male in the higher generation, "second cousin-uncle-in-law"
  • For a female in the higher generation, "second cousin-aunt-in-law"
  • For a male in the lower generation, "second cousin-nephew-in-law"
  • For a female in the lower generation, "second cousin-niece-in-law"
Second cousins-in-law twice removed
A person shares a second cousins-in-law twice removed relationship with their grandparent's second cousins’ spouses, their second cousin's grandchildren's spouses, their spouse's grandparent's second cousins or their spouse's second cousins' grandchildren.
There exist numerous terms for second cousins-in-law twice removed that describe the relationship more specifically:

For either sexes, higher generation or lower in generation, “second grandcousin-in-law”

  • For a male in the higher generation, "second great-cousin-uncle-in-law"
  • For a female in the higher generation, "second great-cousin-aunt-in-law"
  • For a male in the lower generation, "second great-cousin-nephew-in-law"
  • For a female in the lower generation, "second great-cousin-niece-in-law"
First co-cousins-in-law once removed
A person shares a first co-cousins-in-law once removed relationship with their spouse's parent's first cousins's spouse or their spouse's first cousins' children's spouse.
There exist numerous terms for first co-cousins-in-law once removed that describe the relationship more specifically:
  • For a male in the higher generation, "co-cousin-uncle-in-law" or "first co-cousin-uncle-in-law"
  • For a female in the higher generation, "co-cousin-aunt-in-law" or "first co-cousin-aunt-in-law"
  • For a male in the lower generation, "co-cousin-nephew-in-law" or "first co-cousin-nephew-in-law"
  • For a female in the lower generation, "co-cousin-niece-in-law" or "first co-cousin-niece-in-law"
First co-cousins-in-law twice removed
A person shares a first co-cousins-in-law twice removed relationship with their spouse's grandparent's first cousins's spouse or their spouse's first cousins' grandchildren's spouse.
There exist numerous terms for first co-cousins-in-law twice removed that describe the relationship more specifically:
  • For either sexes, higher generation or lower generation, “co-grandcousin-in-law”
  • For a male in the higher generation, "co-great-cousin-uncle-in-law” or "first co-great-cousin-uncle-in-law”
  • For a female in the higher generation, "co-great-cousin-aunt-in-law” or "first co-great-cousin-aunt-in-law”
  • For a male in the lower generation, "co-great-cousin-nephew-in-law" or "first co-great-cousin-nephew-in-law”
  • For a female in the lower generation, "co-great-cousin-niece-in-law" or "first co-great-cousin-niece-in-law”
Second co-cousins-in-law once removed
A person shares a second co-cousins-in-law once removed relationship with their spouse's parent's second cousins's spouse or their spouse's second cousins' children's spouse.
There exist numerous terms for second co-cousins-in-law once removed that describe the relationship more specifically:
  • For a male in the higher generation, "second co-cousin-uncle-in-law"
  • For a female in the higher generation, "second co-cousin-aunt-in-law"
  • For a male in the lower generation, "second co-cousin-nephew-in-law"
  • For a female in the lower generation, "second co-cousin-niece-in-law"
Second co-cousins-in-law twice removed
A person shares a second co-cousins-in-law twice removed relationship with their spouse's grandparent's second cousins's spouse or their spouse's second cousins' grandchildren's spouse.
There exist numerous terms for second co-cousins-in-law twice removed that describe the relationship more specifically:

For either sexes, higher generation or lower in generation, “second co-grandcousin-in-law”

  • For a male in the higher generation, "second co-great-cousin-uncle-in-law"
  • For a female in the higher generation, "second co-great-cousin-aunt-in-law"
  • For a male in the lower generation, "second co-great-cousin-nephew-in-law"
  • For a female in the lower generation, "second co-great-cousin-niece-in-law"

Other websites[change | change source]