Genealogy Relationships Chart
Many of us struggle with knowing where distant relatives fit into our family, especially when working on our family history, the following descriptions and the Relationship Chart below will help you to identify the relationships.
Cousin (First Cousin)
Your first cousins are the people in your family who have two of the same grandparents as you. In other words, they are the children of parents siblings, (i.e. your aunts and uncles children).
Your second cousins are the people in your family who have the same great-grandparents as you, but not the same grandparents.
Third, Fourth, and Fifth Cousins
Your Third Cousins have the same great-great-grandparents, your Fourth Cousins have the same great-great-great-grandparents, and so on up the line.
Where you see the word "removed" describing a family relationship, it means that the people are from different generations. You and your First Cousins are in the same generation (i.e. two generations younger than your grandparents). "Removed" is not used to describe your relationship, nor likewise with your Fourth, Fifth, etc., Cousins. The words "once removed" indicates that there is a difference of one generation. For example, your Father's or Mother's First Cousin is your First Cousin "once removed". This is because your Father's or Mother's First Cousin is one generation younger than your grandparents and you are two generations younger than your grandparents. This one-generation difference is described as being "once removed." "Twice removed" means that there is a two-generation difference. You are two generations younger than a First Cousin of your grandmother, so you and your grandmother's First Cousin are First Cousins "twice removed".
Using the Relationship Chart
Now that you have an explanation of what these relationship descriptions mean, have a look at the Relationship Chart below. It will help you figure out how the different people in your family are related, and the generational differences. It's easier to follow that it first looks, just follow the instructions.
- In the top row, find the relationship of first person to the common ancestor and follow the column straight down.
- In the left hand column, find the other person's relationship to the common ancestor and follow that row straight across.
- The resulting relationship is the box where the selected row and column meet.
View or download a pdf of the Genealogy Relationship Chart14.68 KB as shown below
Click chart to zoom